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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: 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

 
Raising Funds within the Rules: The Law of the Ask
April 14, 2016 - 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM
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During a time of economic change, community-based nonprofits are under increasing pressure to diversify their funding sources to include government, private foundations, corporations, and individuals. Expanded ways of fundraising, including special events and the internet, have opened up innovative avenues to support their work. This workshop will provide an overview of the federal and state laws that apply to nonprofits that are fundraising in New York, including the documentation and disclosure rules imposed by the Internal Revenue Code, state charities registration and reporting, and the use of volunteer and paid fundraisers.

Learning objective: Participants will be able to recognize, and adhere to, funding regulations so as to better support the organization's fundraising activities.

For nonprofit managers, development professionals, and others involved in nonprofit fundraising.

Instructor: Nicole Cuttino, Staff Attorney

 
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.

Note:
Click here for the full brochure and agenda.

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: The Accommodating Employer: Keeping Disabled Employees at Work
March 9, 2016 - 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
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The Americans with Disabilities Act and New York State and City laws not only prohibit employers from discriminating against disabled workers, but also require employers to make reasonable accommodations where necessary so that these employees can do the job. This workshop will explain who is entitled to the protections of these laws, when employers must offer an accommodation, and when they can refuse to do so.

Learning objective: Participants will be able to analyze their organization's procedures for accommodating "disabled" workers based upon current law and to create a process for responding to accommodation requests.

For senior management, human resources professionals.

Instructor: Judith Moldover, Senior Staff Attorney

 
Webinars for Wise Nonprofits: Becoming a Nonprofit: Incorporation and Tax Exemption
February 10, 2016 - 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.

Learning objective: Participants will be able to evaluate the decision to form a nonprofit corporation and apply for federal tax exemption based upon an understanding of state and federal law.

For those interested in forming a nonprofit organization in New York.

Instructor: Nicole Cuttino, Staff Attorney

 
Webinars for Wise Nonprofits: Considering Lobbying Amnesty: What Nonprofits Need to Know
February 25, 2016 - 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
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Do you suspect that your organization may sometimes lobby? Ever wonder whether you should register as a lobbyist? Staff at New York City nonprofit organizations may be involved in regulated lobbying activity if they contact City Council members to seek discretionary funds, lobby on the city or state budget, participate in the ULURP land use and zoning process, and more. New York City and New York State both require nonprofits to register as lobbyists if they spend $5,000 or more on staff time and other lobbying expenses in a year. Penalties for violations can be steep. New York City and New York State are offering amnesty from lobbying law penalties for the next few months.

Learning Objective: Participants will be able to evaluate if their organization should seek amnesty and understand what costs are involved and the potential risks and benefits.

For senior management and advocacy staff.

Instructor: Laura Abel, Senior Policy Counsel

 
Webinars for Wise Nonprofits: Creating Scholarships: Legally Structuring a Lasting Educational Impact
May 3, 2016 - 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
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Scholarships are an excellent way for donors to support a student's educational achievement. Some donors found new nonprofits just to administer the scholarship fund while others donors will work with established organizations. This webinar will consider how to structure and administer scholarship programs.

Learning objective: Participants will be able to evaluate whether to create a scholarship fund and, if they move ahead, how to run a scholarship fund.

For those considering establishing a scholarship.

Instructor: Nicole Cuttino, Staff Attorney

 
Webinars for Wise Nonprofits: Earning Income for Your Nonprofit: About UBIT (Unrelated Business Income Tax) and Why It Matters
April 12, 2016 - 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
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Is the income your organization earns taxable? Make sure you stay in compliance. Learn the fundamentals of "unrelated business income" tax (UBIT): What is "substantially related"? Are there exceptions? What are the limits? Does the "commerciality doctrine" apply? And more!

Learning objective: Participants will be able to evaluate when revenue generating activity may lead to taxable income based upon tax rules and determine the possible impact on the organization.

For management staff.

Instructor: Neil Stevenson, Senior Staff Attorney

 
Webinars for Wise Nonprofits: Integrating Financial Capability Services into Workforce Development Programs: Legal Issues in Collaborations
March 16, 2016 - 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
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Financial capability services--such as credit building and repair, financial education and counseling, and matched savings programs--aim to increase the capacity of the working poor to manage their financial resources effectively and to thus improve their financial security. By providing financial capability services as a part of other social services, organizations with an anti-poverty mission can enhance their impact and improve overall outcomes for their low- to moderate-income clients. With a focus on workforce development providers (in light of the emphasis on financial literacy of the recent Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act), this workshop will (1) examine the different ways that organizations may proceed in integrating financial capability services into service delivery models, and (2) highlight the legal and practical issues to be addressed in any such integration/collaboration.

Learning objective: Participants will be to identify potentially protected information and develop strategies for properly sharing that information with collaborators so as to develop effective counseling programs.

For Board members, executives, and senior program managers.

Instructor: Neil Stevenson, Senior Staff Attorney

 
Webinars for Wise Nonprofits: Making the Most of Election Season: Civic Engagement and Nonpartisan Advocacy within the Rules
March 29, 2016 - 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
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With the 2016 election season quickly approaching, nonprofit organizations need to consider how they can help educate and mobilize their communities without jeopardizing their tax exempt status. While 501(c)(3) organizations cannot participate in election season in a partisan manner, they can run voter registration and get out the vote campaigns, hold candidate forums, and produce voter guides, so long as they do so in a nonpartisan manner. This webinar will explain how to do all of that and more. It will also provide advice on how to respond when a candidate asks to use an organization's space or mailing lists, or invites himself to appear at an organization's event.

Learning objective: Participants will be able to identify activities that could be considered partisan within the meaning of state and federal law so as to develop effective advocacy programs that are legally compliant.

For nonprofit managers and advocates.

Instructor: Laura Abel, Senior Policy Counsel

 
Webinars for Wise Nonprofits: Serving on a Board of Directors: Your Legal Responsibilities
January 13, 2016 - 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM
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Directors agree to serve on nonprofit boards because they support the mission and work of an organization. However, service on a nonprofit board brings with it significant responsibilities. This webinar will address the role of nonprofit board members and how board members can provide proper oversight.

Learning objective: Participants will be able to identify the responsibilities of board members based upon the organization's governing documents and proactively support good corporate governance.

For newly elected members of Boards of Directors.

Instructor: Linda S. Manley, Legal Director

 
Webinars for Wise Nonprofits: Terminating Employees: It's an Art and a Science
March 3, 2016 - 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
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Ending the employment relationship is almost as traumatic for management as it is for the employee who is being let go. The "art" is managing employee relations to reduce the risk of legal action, while the "science" is minimizing the risk of legal liability if legal action is taken.

Learning objective: Participants will be able to strengthen procedures for addressing different types of terminations based on best practices so as to better manage these difficult situations.

For senior management, human resources professionals, and supervisory personnel.

Instructors: Judith Moldover, Senior Staff Attorney; Vicky Minor, Director of Human Resources, Forestdale, Inc.

 
Becoming a Nonprofit: Incorporation and Tax Exemption
Not Currently Scheduled
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Getting a new nonprofit organization off to the right start can mean the difference between success and failure. This workshop 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: Kelsey Ripper, Equal Justice Works Fellow, sponsored by Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP

 
Becoming a Nonprofit: Incorporation and Tax Exemption
March 24, 2016 - 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM
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Getting a new nonprofit organization off to the right start can mean the difference between success and failure. This workshop 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.

Learning objective: Participants will be able to evaluate the decision to form a nonprofit corporation and apply for federal tax exemption based upon an understanding of state and federal law.

For those interested in forming a nonprofit organization in New York.

Instructor: Nicole Cuttino, Staff Attorney

 
Becoming a Nonprofit: Incorporation and Tax Exemption
June 23, 2016 - 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM
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Getting a new nonprofit organization off to the right start can mean the difference between success and failure. This workshop 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.

Learning objective: Participants will be able to evaluate the decision to form a nonprofit corporation and apply for federal tax exemption based upon an understanding of state and federal law.

For those interested in forming a nonprofit organization in New York.

Instructor: Nicole Cuttino, Staff Attorney

 
Compensating Nonprofit Executives: State Law, IRS Rules, and Best Practices
May 25, 2016 - 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM
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Paying excessive management salaries or paying more than fair market value for goods or services provided by insiders is wasteful and can result in enforcement actions against the organization and the responsible individuals. This workshop will provide legal and practical information for nonprofit organizations that seek to set reasonable compensation for executive directors and other senior managers, enter into legitimate transactions with Board members and other insiders, and comply with the conflict of interest and related reporting requirements on federal Form 990.

Learning objective: Participants will be able to establish procedures for setting reasonable compensation for executive staff based upon state and federal law.

For senior managers, human resources professionals, and Board members.

Instructor: Sean Delany, Executive Director

 
Connecting Corporate Dollars to Your Cause: Sponsorships and Sales
February 11, 2016 - 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM
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Corporate sponsorship offers exciting opportunities for businesses to be associated with charitable activities and for charities to raise additional revenue. Such relationships can take various forms and can be the proverbial "win-win". But corporate sponsorships also pose significant risks to the nonprofit. This workshop will examine case studies, hypotheticals, and form documents.

Learning objective: Participants will be able to evaluate potential sponsorship (both special event and ongoing sponsorship) and cause-related marketing relationships with businesses based upon applicable state and federal rules.

For development professionals and senior managers.

Instructor: Neil Stevenson, Senior Staff Attorney

 
Getting People Work: Workforce Development Contracts and Collaborations
June 9, 2016 - 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM
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Community-based nonprofit organizations play a key role training and preparing the hard to employ for work. Through examination of case studies and form documents, this workshop will seek to identify some of the legal issues associated with some of the most promising current efforts in this field, including: employer engagement; educational integration; and sector-based employment training.

Learning objective: Participants will be able to evaluate collaborative opportunities against the risk these relationships pose so that the organization can participate in promising initiatives while implementing "best practices" around legal risk management in contracting.

For managers of nonprofit organizations that are involved in workforce development programs in New York City.

Instructor: Neil Stevenson, Senior Staff Attorney

 
Making the Volunteer Experience Work within the Law: Volunteers (and Interns and Independent Contractors!) without Tears
April 6, 2016 - 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM
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Volunteers, when managed effectively, are a tremendous asset to a nonprofit organization. But volunteers must be managed carefully to ensure that they are an asset and not a liability.

Learning objective: Participants will be able to structure valid volunteer and intern relationships using proper techniques for selecting and managing your volunteer workforce so as to reduce legal risk.

For Board members, senior management, managers of volunteers, and human resources professionals.

Instructor: Judith Moldover, Senior Staff Attorney

 
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.
 
Setting the Scene: Checklist of Legal Issues for Performing Arts Groups
June 1, 2016 - 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM
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Putting on a live performance is what you do, but in addition to all the artistic challenges, legal risks abound. Your performing arts organization needs to avoid unnecessary legal challenges by taking proactive steps. This workshop is an overview of major areas of legal risks involved in live performances of dance, opera, music, and theatre.

Learning objective: Participants will be able to identify the legal issues that must be addressed in mounting a live performance so as to mitigate risk and have a successful event.

For Board members, senior management, and artistic directors.

Instructor: Judith Moldover, Senior Staff Attorney

 
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

 
Working with Your Board: Best Practices for Ensuring Good Governance
March 1, 2016 - 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM
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A well-functioning Board has a good understanding of its role in nonprofit governance and provides leadership, resources, and expertise to the management of the organization. This workshop will address the obligations and best practices for Board oversight and involvement in nonprofit governance. Topics will include what the staff should do to help Board members serve effectively in their roles, oversight of financial reporting and responsibilities, and tips to help ensure confident compliance with federal and state governance regulations.

Learning objective: Participants will be able to develop strategies for engaging board members in the governance of the organization based upon their legal obligations in order to better achieve the organization’s mission.

For management staff

Instructor: Elizabeth Perez, Legal Director