Schnader attorneys counsel nonprofit organizations of every size, providing them with timely, cost-effective legal representation. Clients range from small local nonprofits to nationwide organizations, and cover a range of industries, from healthcare and medicine to education and the fine arts. We advise private foundations, philanthropic trusts, universities, and community-focused organizations, often serving as outside general counsel.
Our attorneys also serve on the boards of nonprofit organizations throughout the country. A few examples include: Christadora, Inc. (a nonprofit offering environmental education and leadership training to New York City public school students); Arcade Comedy Theater in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; the Committee of Seventy (an election watchdog and good government group in Philadelphia); and the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy in Washington, D.C.
We guide nonprofit clients through all phases of founding and development, from inception through ongoing compliance and governance matters. Specific services include:
We assist with the development of articles of formation, bylaws, and structuring the board of directors. We also guide clients through the application process for tax-exempt status.
Labor and Employment
We counsel clients on issues related to employment agreements, employee or contractor compensation, employee discipline and termination, discrimination, harassment, pay equity, disability accommodation, workplace privacy issues, and employee benefit programs. On behalf of religious organizations, we have obtained government rulings on the church plan status of many benefit arrangements.
Our work in this area includes preparing and reviewing federal and state tax returns and assisting with tax reporting issues related to scholarships and fellowships. We also advise clients of proper conduct to remain tax-exempt.
We frequently structure scholarships and fellowships, as well as trusts and restricted gifts, on behalf of nonprofit organizations. Our lawyers are experienced in the preparation and review of planned giving vehicles such as charitable remainder trusts, Uni trusts, pooled income funds and charitable gift annuities. We also counsel nonprofits on state and national fundraising from various sources.
Intellectual Property Services
We assist nonprofit clients in software development and licensing transactions, copyright and trademark registration, Internet broadcasting and website regulation, cybersquatting, and related transactional matters and litigation.
Schnader has handled all manner of real estate issues faced by nonprofit organizations. We regularly negotiate construction and architectural contracts, financing documents, and advise on commercial leases and licenses. We have particular expertise assisting institutions of higher education with real estate acquisition, leasing, and development. Recently, we represented a liberal arts college with a mixed use campus project including a hotel, restaurant and book store. We have experience in student housing and related dining services as well as public / private loan and grant programs for construction.
We assist nonprofit clients with mergers and acquisitions, institutional reorganizations, liquidations, joint ventures and expansions with both nonprofit and for-profit components.
Our litigators have handled many kinds of disputes on the trial and appellate level. A few examples of nonprofit litigation representations include:
- Represented the Barnes Foundation in its successful, multi-year effort to amend certain terms in the Foundation’s indenture and obtain court permission to relocate its galleries to downtown Philadelphia. The trial court permitted the change and the Supreme Court exercised its extraordinary jurisdiction to dismiss an objector’s appeal. In later proceedings, the Barnes Foundation successfully defended against several petitions by opponents of the change to reopen the decree.
- Schnader represented the New Jersey Institute of Technology in a dispute with its alumni association. After obtaining a preliminary injunction permitting NJIT to disaffiliate from the alumni association, we tried the breach of contract and trademark case for 40 days over the course of three years. The trial court found in favor of our client in all regards, and the decision was upheld on appeal.
- Represented a major health care provider in antitrust litigation with a large healthcare insurer and a competing health care provider.
- Represented the Metropolitan Opera in a patent litigation and in a dispute regarding the proposed auction by a third party of the Met’s property.
- On behalf of a national human services nonprofit, prevailed on summary judgment in a suit alleging religious discrimination.
News & Publications
- Michael Wietrzychowski quoted in HR Dive article
- It’s a New Day at the NLRB: Four Recent Decisions Leap Back to More Employer-Friendly Times
- Schnader a Tier One Firm in 2020 “Best Law Firms” Rankings
- Schnader Attorneys Named to The Best Lawyers in America 2020
- Does sports betting put student athletes at risk?
- Sports Betting and the Impact on Colleges and Universities
- Schnader Lawyers Named to PA Super Lawyers and Rising Stars
- Trump Administration Appeals District Court Order on Pay Data
- Employers Must Submit 2017 and 2018 Pay Data to EEOC by September 30
- Schnader Wins Notable Victory in Cy Pres Litigation
- Is Your Business One of the 3,500 Scheduled by DOL for an Affirmative Action Program Audit in 2019?
- Schnader a Tier One Firm in 2019 “Best Law Firms” Rankings
- Final New York State Sexual Harassment Guidance and Forms Issued Days Before Effective Date
- Schnader Attorneys Named to The Best Lawyers in America 2019
- Many Schnader Lawyers Named to PA Super Lawyers
- Gordon Woodward Comments on Instructive Court Opinion Regarding Communication with In-House Counsel
- Schnader a Tier One Firm in 2018 “Best Law Firms” Rankings
- Gordon Woodward Honored by National Black Child Development Institute
- Schnader a Tier One Firm in 2017 “Best Law Firms” Rankings
- Is an S Election for an LLC Smart Planning or a Bad Idea?
- Obtaining Relief from Penalties Related to IRS Form 1098-T Filing Deficiencies
- Philadelphia’s Nonprofit Recertification Requirement Abolished
- Reprieve Granted to Philadelphia Tax-Exempt Property Owners
- “Effective Corporate Governance in the Nonprofit Sector”
- The Changing Landscape of Charitable Tax Exemption in Pennsylvania
- Potential Tax Changes Ahead for Pennsylvania Nonprofits
- Pennsylvania Bureau Changes Due Dates for Renewing Charitable Solicitation Registrations
- Nonprofit Law Revitalization Comes to New York
- Doing Good While Doing Well — Delaware Is the 19th State to Adopt Public Benefit Corporation Law
- The City of Philadelphia Passes Two Bills Affecting Taxes on Nonprofits
- Schnader Attorneys Recognized as Members of the 2012 Capital Pro Bono Honor Roll
- Regulatory Focus on Colleges and Universities Is Increasing
- “Barristers Meeting Needs of Diverse Attorneys”
- Zoning Registration Now Easier for Philadelphia Community Organizations
- Consider a Private Foundation to Fulfill Your Philanthropic Goals
- Charitable Giving Under the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012
- “Affinity Bar Associations: Why Should Young Lawyers Join?”
- For Profit Corporations with a Social Mission – Pennsylvania’s New Benefit Corporation Act
- Good Donor Stewardship – Acknowledging Contributions
- Schnader Attorneys Recognized as Members of the First Judicial District of Pennsylvania’s Pro Bono Roll of Honor
- IRS Issues Guidance Permitting Deductions for Gifts Made to a Charity’s Subsidiary LLC
- Schnader Supports American Benefactor Foundation Event Honoring Charles “Charlie Mack” Alston and Celebrating “I WILL Be Great Leaders”
- Schnader Announces Sponsorship with DreamIt Ventures
- Ralph Wellington Quoted in New York Times Article
- Schnader Attorneys Discuss Barnes Foundation Legal History
- Schnader and New Leash on Life Featured in Recent U.S. Department of Justice Article
- Schnader Pro Bono Client Deserving Decor In the News
- Doing Good AND Doing Well – New York’s New Benefit Corporation Law
- New Pennsylvania Rules Require Immediate Appeals in Matters Involving Trusts, Charities, and Other Proceedings Heard by Pennsylvania Orphans’ Courts
- New Philadelphia Lobbying Law: Implications for Nonprofit Organizations
- “Regulators Propose Alternatives to Credit Ratings”
- Sixty-Eight Schnader Attorneys Rated AV® Preeminent™ by Martindale-Hubbell®
- Schnader Names Four New Partners
- Schnader Welcomes Sarah Hewitt to the Firm
- IRS Announces Relief Program for Non-Filers
- IRS Advisory Committee Recommends Online Guide for Setting Executive Compensation
- Nonprofit Alert: New Tax Incentives for Hiring Unemployed Workers
- New Tax Credit Helps Small Nonprofits Provide Health Insurance Coverage
- 2010 IRS Employment Tax Audits to Include Exempt Organizations
- IRS to Audit Governance Practices of Public Charities
- “Can a Nonprofit Give “Thank You” Gifts to Donors?”
- “Can a Nonprofit Sell Its Assets to Pay Its Bills?”
- “Charities and the Orphans’ Court”
- Schnader Attorneys Assist Area Big Brother Big Sister Branches with Successful Merger
- “Charities and the Orphans’ Court”
- The Recruiting Team’s Role In Affirmative Action Compliance
- Sarah Hewitt, Richard Barkasy, and Megan Harmon Presented “Delaware – The Land of A Million of Corporations”
- Molly Unterseher Presented at “Representing and Managing Tax-Exempt Organizations”
- Molly Unterseher Discussed “How to Start and Run a Nonprofit”
- Presentation: The Impact of Sarbanes-Oxley and the Era of Corporate Governance on Nonprofit Organizations
- Presentation: Introduction to Tax-Exempt Organizations
- Corporate Client Seminar: Brass Tacks of Board Service