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Workshop Descriptions

Below is an alphabetical list of currently scheduled and frequently recurring workshops.

Click here to receive workshop announcements by email.

Webinars for Wise Nonprofits: Good Governance: Developing a Conflicts of Interest Policy
Not Currently Scheduled
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A functional and up-to-date conflict of interest policy helps to protect your organization from unnecessary risk resulting from conflicts or the appearance of conflicts. Plus, the IRS Form 990 asks whether the filing organization has a written conflict of interest policy. Join us as we discuss what should be included in your organization's conflict of interest policy, how to apply your conflict of interest policy to real-life situations, and what to do if you realize correct conflict of interest procedures have not been used. For nonprofit managers and board members.

Instructor: Linda S. Manley, Legal Director

Webinars for Wise Nonprofits: Understanding DSRIP Master Services Agreements: Protecting Your Legal Interests
September 29, 2015 - 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
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As New York State's Medicaid Redesign moves forward, Performing Provider Systems (PPS) are pressing community based providers to commit to their networks and participate in Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) programs. DSRIP programs offer participants the opportunity to be part of a network working to improve health outcomes and to share in incentive payments from the State.

These newly forming networks are intended to engage a wide range of service providers, including those with limited backgrounds in the provision of traditional health care services. Additionally, participants are being asked to commit to being part of a PPS before all the details of how the relationship will work are known. This webinar will identify potential risks and rewards for participating in one or more DSRIP as well as explain standard Master Service Agreement terms, PPS governance structure and material terms.

Instructors: Linda S. Manley, Legal Director and Elizabeth Perez, Senior Staff Attorney

Webinars for Wise Nonprofits: Bylaws that Work: Creating and Amending Bylaws
Not Currently Scheduled
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Bylaws are the documents that guide an organization's decision-making processes. Too often, however, bylaws are overly complicated and hinder rather than encourage Board participation and oversight. Using case studies, hypotheticals, and form documents, this webinar will help participants to revise their organization's bylaws to promote good governance practices. For board members and senior managers.

Instructor: Elizabeth M. Guggenheimer, Deputy Executive Director

Webinars for Wise Nonprofits: Charitable Gaming As a Fundraising Tool: Understanding Federal, State and Local Rules for Charitable Gaming Activity in New York City
December 1, 2015 - 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
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Nonprofits that fundraise by conducting raffles, bingo, casino nights and other games of chance are engaged in charitable gaming activity, which has specific rules at the state and local level. Learn which forms of gaming activity require a license, which are subject to accounting and reporting requirements, and how to properly conduct a charitable game without running afoul of State and local rules. This webinar will also include a discussion of federal tax implications for tax exempt organizations and charitable gaming activity participants. For board members, senior management, and development professionals.

Instructor: Nicole Cuttino, Staff Attorney

Webinars for Wise Nonprofits: Leasing Space: Negotiating Lease Agreements and Lease Modifications
October 15, 2015 - 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
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Securing the right space, at the right price, is key to a nonprofit's success. This webinar will address the ins and outs of negotiating and understanding commercial leases. For Board members and nonprofit managers.

Instructor: Hedwig O'Hara, Senior Staff Attorney

Webinars for Wise Nonprofits: Joint Ventures in Housing Development: You Need a Money Partner
December 10, 2015 - 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
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Putting together a housing project from start to finish in today's market requires upfront cash. Nonprofit affordable housing developers may find themselves unable to pull together the funds necessary to purchase a parcel or building for renovation and begin architectural work and land studies without working with a joint venture partner. In this webinar using a case study approach, Senior Staff Attorney Hedwig O'Hara will describe four or five different joint venture arrangements and will lead a discussion with a guest co-presenter on the legal and business implications presented by each scenario. For affordable housing developers, geared for executive directors, directors of housing and project managers.

Instructors: Hedwig O'Hara, Senior Staff Attorney; Lauren Heller, Skadden Extern, Staff Attorney; and Guest Co-Presenter Lee Warshavsky, Assistant Director/General Counsel, Settlement Housing Fund

Strategic Legal Thinking Seminar: Managing Volunteers - Understanding the Legal Impact
November 12, 2015 - 11:30 AM to 3:45 PM
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Every nonprofit relies heavily on the services of volunteers: Board members, tutors, mentors, little league coaches, office workers, committee members who organize the annual gala, and the people who serve coffee and donuts at your community events. But what are your legal responsibilities to your volunteers, and what are your potential liabilities because of actions taken by your volunteers?

This seminar will look at the legal differences between an employee and a volunteer and offer information to help nonprofits clarify the volunteer relationship. The seminar will discuss the legal issues involved in compensating a volunteer or reimbursing the volunteer's expenses--including whether such payments are subject to tax, how the nonprofit can avoid inadvertent problems under the wage and hour laws, and whether a volunteer can claim a tax deduction in connection with volunteering. It will also examine when a nonprofit can be held liable for a volunteer's actions, when a nonprofit may be liable to the volunteer, and ways to mitigate that liability.

This seminar is designed for executive directors, board members, human resource professionals, and volunteer managers.

Click here for the full brochure and agenda.

This seminar is full. To join the waitlist, please send an e-mail to with your name, organization, and contact information.

Presenters: Linda S. Manley, Legal Director, Lawyers Alliance for New York; Erin D'Angelo,Of Counsel, Labor and Employment Group, DLA Piper (LLP) US; Judith Moldover, Sr. Staff Attorney, Lawyers Alliance for New York; Regina Hopkins, Asst. Director, D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center; and Ali Hodin-Baier, Assoc. Executive Director for Programs, Volunteers, and Evaluation, DOROT

Lawyers Alliance is pleased to offer this seminar in conjunction with Pfizer, DLA Piper, and the National Network of Business Law Pro Bono Programs.

Webinars for Wise Nonprofits: Staying Within the Limits: NYS Executive Compensation Rules
Not Currently Scheduled
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Thanks to Executive Order 38, some nonprofits receiving NYS funding to provide social services are subject to a $199,000 cap on senior executive compensation, and limits on the proportion of state funding they may use for administrative expenses. Learn which nonprofits must comply with EO 38, which are subject to the compensation cap, when and how to seek a waiver, and what to do if current compensation arrangements are not compliant. For board members, senior management, and human resources professionals.

Instructors: Judith Moldover, Senior Staff Attorney and
Laura Abel, Senior Policy Counsel

Webinars for Wise Nonprofits: Becoming a Nonprofit: Incorporation and Tax Exemption
December 16, 2015 - 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
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Getting a new nonprofit organization off to the right start can mean the difference between success and failure. This webinar will go step-by-step through the process of incorporating in New York State and applying for federal tax exempt status. Attention will be given to the benefits and obligations of incorporation and tax-exempt status including reporting requirements, the role of board members, and the limitations on lobbying and political activities. For those interested in forming a nonprofit organization in New York.

Instructor: Nicole Cuttino, Staff Attorney

Making Your Voice Heard: Lobbying Within Limits
December 2, 2015 - 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM
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Increasingly, nonprofit groups understand that the success of their missions may require them to engage in legislative advocacy. This workshop focuses on the rules that govern lobbying by nonprofits. It will identify the federal limits on the amount of lobbying nonprofits can undertake, and the federal, state, and local laws requiring the disclosure of lobbying activity. It addresses advocacy concerning legislative, budgeting, and agency rule-making processes. The workshop also explains the lobbying laws that apply to procurement of contract funding from New York City and New York State -- essential information for any nonprofit that relies on government funding to do its work. For nonprofit managers and others involved in the day-to-day operation of not-for-profit tax-exempt organizations.

Instructor: Laura Abel, Senior Policy Counsel

Role of the Board in Corporate Governance
Not Currently Scheduled
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The public expectations of accountability of nonprofit organizations are great, and nonprofit organizations must pay attention to their corporate governance procedures and structure to be effective. This workshop addresses the role of the Board of Directors in ensuring that a not-for-profit corporation's corporate governance is not only legally adequate, but also consistent with best practices. Specific topics will include fiduciary duties and obligations of directors under federal and state laws; measures that executive managers of nonprofits and their Boards can implement to ensure adequate corporate accountability, including compliance with the Better Business Bureau standards for charitable accountability; procedural aspects of running a Board of Directors; and the penalties that can be imposed by the IRS on nonprofit organizations and their managers for engaging in "excess benefit transactions." For nonprofit board members, executive directors, and senior managers.
Working with Partners: How to Create Successful Legal Collaborations
Not Currently Scheduled
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Nonprofit organizations rely upon collaborations to enable them to deliver services they cannot deliver alone. By collaborating, groups are able to draw upon outside expertise, expand geographic reach, and tap otherwise unavailable resources. This workshop will address the legal issues associated with collaborations and back office consolidations including: different options for structuring collaborative relationships, the process of selecting a collaborative partner, and memorializing the agreement among collaborators. For board members and senior managers.

Instructor: Linda S. Manley, Legal Director