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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.

 
 
Raising Funds within the Rules: The Law of the Ask
Not Currently Scheduled
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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

 
National Network Webinar: Best Practices to Identify and Reduce Employment Law Risks in 2017 for Nonprofits
January 31, 2017 - 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
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Lawyers Alliance is pleased to announce a complimentary January 31, 2017 webinar, Best Practices to Identify and Reduce Employment Law Risks in 2017 for Nonprofits, offered by Jackson Lewis and the National Network of Business Law Pro Bono Programs from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. EST. The focus will be federal employment law issues of concern to nonprofit organizations.

What you will Learn: If you have employees, you have employment risks. Unfortunately, it's hard to keep track of all the laws and changes to them. This presentation is designed to assist nonprofit organizations by starting 2017 with practical steps to reduce potential liability. During this webinar we will discuss: strategies to avoid common employee claims and lawsuits; how to pay employees correctly and avoid common mistakes in the nonprofit sector; and steps to ensure up-to-date and legally compliant personnel policies.

Speakers: Tara K. Burke, Of Counsel, and Matthew R. Bryne, Of Counsel, Jackson Lewis (Cincinnati office)

This webinar is geared towards executive directors, human resources professionals and board members of nonprofits.

Please click here to register for the webinar: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4682237659971962113. (Under "Who is your Jackson Lewis client?," please put "Lawyers Alliance for New York" so we can follow which nonprofits learned of this session from Lawyers Alliance. Thank you.)

 
CLE Accredited Live Webinar (for Attorneys Only): Understanding Fiscal Sponsorships
December 15, 2016 - 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
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This webinar will prepare attorneys to work with nonprofits needing assistance and guidance in structuring a fiscal sponsorship, which allows a non-tax-exempt organization to fundraise and operate under the umbrella of a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization (the "fiscal sponsor"). Topics covered will include fiscal sponsorship structuring options, the advantages and disadvantages of fiscal sponsorships, and common legal issues in such arrangements.

CLE Credit: This course has been approved in accordance with the requirements of the NYS CLE Board for a maximum of 1.0 CLE credit hours, of which 1.0 credit hours can be applied towards the professional practice requirement.

Payment Options: This program is free for all current volunteers with Lawyers Alliance for New York. It is $50 for all other attorneys. Full or partial scholarships are available based on need; e-mail CLE Registrar address below.

Registration: All current volunteers should register by e-mailing their name and preferred e-mail for contact to CLEregistrar@lawyersalliance.org. All others may register online by using the button below.

Staff: Elizabeth Perez, Legal Director and Mary Burner, Staff Attorney

Lawyers Alliance for New York has been certified by the New York State Continuing Legal Education Board as an Accredited Provider of continuing legal education. This webinar course is appropriate for non-transitional credit for experienced attorneys only.

 
Webinars for Wise Nonprofits: Funding and Promoting Arts Organizations: Lobbying and Political Activity Guidelines
January 18, 2017 - 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
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Arts organizations may engage in regulated lobbying when they seek government funding, work on social justice-related projects, or advocate for expanded arts education in the schools. Public charities can lobby, but they must be aware of and stay within tax code limits on the amount of lobbying they may do. This webinar will identify those limits and the laws requiring the disclosure of lobbying activity. It will also explain the tax code's requirement that public charities must avoid supporting or opposing candidates.

Learning Objectives: Participants will be able to evaluate how much lobbying their organization can do, whether their organization must register as a lobbyist, and how to avoid engaging in partisan political activity.

For board members, managers, and others involved in the day-to-day operation of arts organizations that are public charities.

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

 
Webinars for Wise Nonprofits: Getting Your House in Order: Governance for HDFCs
January 24, 2017 - 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
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Housing development fund corporations ("HDFCs") are typically formed by and affiliated with another, sponsoring nonprofit organization ("Sponsor"). While the Sponsor might be vigilant about taking care of its governance, experience has shown that Sponsors often do not adhere to governance guidelines for their HDFCs. This workshop will focus specifically on the role of the Sponsor in forming the HDFC and the role of the Board of Directors in ensuring that the HDFC's corporate governance is consistent with best practices. It will also address how a Sponsor establishes control of the HDFC. The workshop topics will include a discussion on fiduciary duties and obligations of HDFC directors under federal and state laws, measures that principals in an HDFC can implement to ensure adequate corporate accountability, and procedural aspects of running an HDFC Board.

Learning Objectives: Participants will receive advice on how to establish procedures to efficiently run multiple affiliated entities and will be able to keep HDFCs in compliance with federal and state law.

For board members, executive directors, management, and executive staff.

Presenter: Hedwig O'Hara, Senior Staff Attorney

 
Webinars for Wise Nonprofits: Careful Lobbying Compliance: Keeping Track of the Required Reports and Restrictions on Lobbyists' Activities
April 6, 2017 - 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
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Nonprofits that register as lobbyists in New York State or New York City because they use their own employees to lobby on behalf of the organization are expected to file the same reports, and adhere to the same code of conduct, as professional lobbying firms. They must register with and report to both NY State and NYC even if they only lobby in NYC, and even if their advocacy is aimed solely at city agencies, not the state legislature or City Council. Nonprofit lobbyists that invite elected officials to conferences or fundraising dinners must comply with the ban on gifts to public servants. Those that register with NY State must disclose board members' business relationships with state employees and elected officials. Employees registered with NYC must report on fundraising events they host for City Council candidates on their own time, and must abide by the City's code of ethics for lobbyists.

This webinar will explain NY State and NYC's requirements for nonprofit organizations that register as lobbyists and will provide practical tips for complying with these often confusing rules.

Learning objective: Participants will be able to identify the obligations of a nonprofit organization registered as a lobbyist, and develop practical strategies to ensure compliance.

For nonprofit managers, organizers, and others involved in the day-to-day operation of not-for-profit tax-exempt organizations in New York.

Presenter: Laura Abel, Senior Policy Counsel

 
Webinars for Wise Nonprofits: Changing the Name of a New York Not-for-Profit Corporation
February 2, 2017 - 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
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A not-for-profit corporation's name is important because it is often a means by which the organization communicates its mission. For any number of reasons, an organization may determine that it is time to change its corporate name. Regardless of the reason for the name change, a New York not-for-profit must follow certain steps and procedures in order to effectuate a name change in compliance with New York law.

Learning Objectives: Participants will be able to understand the name change process for a not-for-profit corporation incorporated in New York.

For nonprofit organizations incorporated in New York interested in learning more about the process of changing the organization's name.

Presenter: Mary Burner, Staff Attorney

 
Webinars for Wise Nonprofits: Hitting Your Goals and Limiting Your Risk: Special Events Fundraising
March 2, 2017 - 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
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Gala dinners, service days, concerts, conferences, and other special events can raise funds and increase awareness and excitement for your organization's work. Hosting a successful special event - one that meets your participation and financial goals - requires significant time, energy and planning, as well as a careful consideration of relevant legal issues.

This webinar will cover New York State requirements for soliciting donations, gaming activities such as raffles and casino nights, and hiring professional fundraisers. The webinar will also review IRS rules for nonprofits receiving cash or in-kind gifts made in connection with a special event, and when and how to recognize event sponsors without running afoul of IRS rules. It will discuss compensation, contract considerations, and other legal questions when dealing with employees, contractors, or special event volunteers to ensure that your organization limits its liability in the planning and execution of a special event.

Learning Objectives: Participants will be able to plan and execute a successful fundraising event based upon an understanding of state and federal fundraising rules for tax exempt organizations.

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

Presenter: Nicole Cuttino, Senior Staff Attorney

 
Webinars for Wise Nonprofits: Housing Development Fund Corporations and Related Party Contracts
March 8, 2017 - 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
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Housing development fund corporations ("HDFCs") are typically formed by and affiliated with another, sponsoring nonprofit organization ("Sponsor"). Due to the nature of the relationship with the Sponsor and the ownership structure for affordable housing projects, the Sponsor and their affiliated HDFCs are often involved in related party transactions. This webinar will review common structures used in an affordable housing transaction and the related party contracts that result from such transactions. The webinar will provide advice on how best to structure the board and officers of an HDFC and how to address and resolve the related party issues that arise under the NYS Nonprofit Revitalization Act.

Learning Objectives: Participants will gain practical advice on how to structure the board and officers of HDFC affiliates and will learn how to address related party transactions in an affordable housing transaction.

For board members, executive directors, management, and executive staff.

Presenter: Hedwig O'Hara, Senior Staff Attorney

 
Webinars for Wise Nonprofits: Making the Most of Election Season: Civic Engagement and Nonpartisan Advocacy within the Rules
June 7, 2017 - 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
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With the 2017 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 Objectives: 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.

Presenter: Laura Abel, Senior Policy Counsel

 
Webinars for Wise Nonprofits: Managing Ailing Employees: Balancing Statutory Obligations and Operational Needs
February 7, 2017 - 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM
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Handling employee illness, injury, and pregnancy tops the list of difficult employee relations issues, especially for nonprofits trying to be humane employers on limited resources. This webinar will help employers understand their rights and obligations under multiple federal, state, and local laws including the New York City Earned Sick Time Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, and NYS Workers Compensation law. Please note: This webinar will be 1.5 hours, in order to cover this complex subject in more depth.

Learning Objectives: Participants will learn the difference between sick days and medical leaves; alternatives to medical leave; the essential elements of a medical leave policy, including optional and legally required rules around eligibility, benefits, and reinstatement; and what to do if the employee can't return from leave as originally planned.

For Human Resources Directors and administrators.

Presenter: Judith Moldover, Senior Staff Attorney

 
Webinars for Wise Nonprofits: New York City's Employment Laws: A Guide for the Perplexed
April 19, 2017 - 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
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New York City regulations aimed at protecting employees, and sometimes even individuals who are not employees, have proliferated over the past few years. This webinar will help make sense of them all, from criminal background checks to sick leave to new rules for independent contractors, not to mention employment protections for interns.

Learning Objectives: Participants will have a comprehensive update of new and updated obligations for New York City nonprofits with employees.

For Executive Directors and Human Resources professionals.

Presenter: Judith Moldover, Senior Staff Attorney

 
Becoming a Nonprofit: Incorporation and Tax Exemption
December 13, 2016 - 9:30 AM to 12:00 PM
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Getting a new nonprofit organization off to the right start can mean the difference between success and failure. This 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.

Presenters: Mary Burner, Staff Attorney and Elizabeth Perez, Legal Director

 
Becoming a Nonprofit: Incorporation and Tax Exemption
March 16, 2017 - 9:30 AM to 12:00 PM
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Getting a new nonprofit organization off to the right start can mean the difference between success and failure. This 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 Objectives: 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.

Presenters: Mary Burner, Staff Attorney and Nicole Cuttino, Senior Staff Attorney

 
Becoming a Nonprofit: Incorporation and Tax Exemption
June 21, 2017 - 9:30 AM to 12:00 PM
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Getting a new nonprofit organization off to the right start can mean the difference between success and failure. This 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 Objectives: 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.

Presenter: Mary Burner, Staff Attorney

 
Collaborations: Linkages, Referrals, MOUs, RFPs, Contracts and Subcontracts
January 19, 2017 - 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM
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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(s) among collaborators.

Learning objective: Participants will learn when and how to document your collaborative arrangements; and risk identification and management.

For board members and senior managers.

Presenter: Neil Stevenson, Senior Staff Attorney

 
Managing Your Workforce: Practical Employment Law
Not Currently Scheduled
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A nonprofit's most important resource is its "human capital," but managing employees with legal compliance and sensitivity in an era of renewed government regulation can seem overwhelming. Compliance starts with recognizing legal trouble spots, including new and updated laws such as New York City's background check laws. This training will help by giving you an overview of major human resources concepts and their legal underpinnings, from the moment a candidate is interviewed to the moment employment ends.

Learning objective: Participants will gain a working knowledge of legal risk inherent in typical employment situations such as hiring and termination, as well as strategies for reducing risk by being legally compliant.

For board members, senior management, and human resources professionals, as an orientation for those who are new to the field and a refresher for more experienced practitioners.

Instructor: Judith Moldover, Senior Staff Attorney

 
Multi-Facility Strategies for Midsized and Large Nonprofits
February 8, 2017 - 9:30 AM to 11:30 AM
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Nonprofits that operate their programs out of multiple locations to provide services to multiple population centers face time-consuming real estate challenges that often divert leadership's attention away from mission work. We will explore real estate strategies and tactics to keep the focus where it should be and to have your real estate work for you. Topics include aligning funding agreements with long-term leases, creating an efficient real estate "committee", and program friendly landlords. Hedy O'Hara will provide advice on how to structure your real estate committee under the NYS Nonprofit Revitalization Act and review the pitfalls and provide suggestions on how to manage multiple sites.

Learning objective: Participants will receive tips on how to manage multi-site programs; how to negotiate a lease provision that protects a nonprofit when funding is lost or cut back; how to form and run a real estate committee of the board.

For managers, executive staff, or staff responsible for real estate in nonprofits with multiple offices, program sites, or additional locations, or nonprofits that are contemplating an expansion in the near future.

Presenters: Hedwig O'Hara, Senior Staff Attorney; Lindsay Ornstein, Partner, Transwestern; and Stephen Powers, Senior Vice President, Leader New York Nonprofit Practice, Transwestern

 
Operating an Afterschool Program: Liability and Regulatory Issues
January 12, 2017 - 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM
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There are a number of regulatory and liability issues that may arise in the operation of afterschool programs. This workshop will discuss liability for negligence, proper classification of employees, independent contractors, and volunteers, and regulatory requirements in the areas of facilities, staffing requirements, background screening, and child abuse reporting. In addition, this workshop will provide guidance for directors of afterschool programs to ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations and decrease liability exposure.

Learning Objectives: Participants will be able to identify and mitigate common legal risks associated with the operation of an afterschool program and understand New York State regulatory requirements for school age child care programs.

For board members and senior managers.

Presenter: Nicole Cuttino, Senior Staff Attorney

 
Operating with Earned Revenue: Social Enterprise for Nonprofits
February 28, 2017 - 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM
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Social enterprises are often thought of as enterprises that operate as traditional businesses but also pursue charitable/social/non-profit-maximization goals. This workshop highlights the factors to be considered:

* when nonprofits (particularly 501(c)(3)s) anticipate generating significant earned revenue;

* in determining whether to operate such enterprises as "affiliated" for-profit or nonprofit entities;

* in selecting among the different types of legal entities in which "social enterprise" may be housed; and

* in examining several case studies that explore the effects that certain income-generating activities may have on the tax-exempt status of nonprofits.

Learning Objectives: Participants will learn why earned-income may be problematic for a nonprofit organization and options for dealing with earned-income issues.

For nonprofit managers, development professionals, and "social" entrepreneurs.

Presenter: Neil Stevenson, Senior Staff Attorney

 
Paying Attention to Pay Practices for Nonprofits
March 21, 2017 - 9:30 AM to 11:30 AM
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Nonprofit employers have multiple obligations with respect to pay practices. This workshop will explore the many factors that should be considered in setting and maintaining legally compliant pay practices, including new laws on equal pay, federal and state laws about disclosure of pay, EO 38, the NYC law on applicant non-disclosure of current salary, NYS law on deductions from pay, Wage Theft Prevention Act, and what to do if you can't meet payroll.

Learning Objectives: Participants will become familiar with legal requirements that underlie compensation best practices.

For Executive Directors and Human Resources professionals.

Presenter: Judith Moldover, Senior Staff Attorney