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Workshop Descriptions

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

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Save the Date: Strategic Legal Thinking Seminar: Understanding Risk Management for Nonprofit Organizations
November 1, 2017 - 12:30 PM to 3:30 PM
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Lawyers Alliance is pleased to offer this program as part of the Pfizer Strategic Legal Thinking Series in conjunction with the National Network of Business Law Pro Bono Providers, Pfizer Inc, and DLA Piper LLP (US).

This session will focus on three areas: identifying and assessing organizational risk, financial risk management, and data risk management. In particular, the training will discuss how to identify and understand common areas of risk such as governance and oversight, contract, financial, regulatory compliance, physical and other injuries, reputational risks, intellectual property, personnel management, and data security. It will also discuss what risks are transferable, through insurance or otherwise, and what risks are not, such as loss of funding. It will also explore how to mitigate risk by developing a mitigation and response plan, including prevention; training and emergency response; establishing reserves against loss; and the purchase of insurance. Finally, the session will delve into the emerging area of data security risk management.

The program will be live with networking at Pfizer Conference Center in New York City from 12:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. and available online via videocast to registrants outside of New York City from 1:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

The seminar is free, but space is limited and registration by October 23, 2017 is required. To reserve a New York City spot, please send an e-mail to nfpseminar@lawyersalliance.org with your name, organizational affiliation, and full contact information and put "November 1: Understanding Risk Management" in the subject line.

 
Webinars for Wise Nonprofits: Hitting Your Goals and Limiting Your Risk: Special Events Fundraising
Not Currently Scheduled
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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.

 
Webinars for Wise Nonprofits: Keeping Up with Recent Governance Law Changes
October 3, 2017 - 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
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Even if you updated your organization's bylaws and corporate documents when New York's nonprofit law changed in 2014, recent additional changes to the law mean that you should be updating your bylaws and conflicts policies once again, and taking advantage of some newly clarified governance rules. After reviewing highlights of earlier changes to the nonprofit law, we will describe the latest amendments to the Nonprofit Revitalization Act that became effective in spring 2017. Particular attention will be given to the governance of nonprofit housing organizations, however the webinar will be useful for all nonprofits.

Learning Objectives: Participants will be able to make sure their bylaws and conflict of interest policy comply with the latest changes to New York's nonprofit law - including a few changes that will make it easier for the Board to operate.

For executive directors, senior staff, and board members.

Presenters: Hedwig O'Hara, Senior Staff Attorney; and Mary Burner, Staff Attorney

 
Webinars for Wise Nonprofits: Negotiating and Understanding Fiscal Sponsorship Agreements
December 6, 2017 - 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
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This webinar will provide an overview of fiscal sponsorship, which allows a non-tax-exempt organization to fundraise and operate under the umbrella of a tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) organization which acts as 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.

Learning Objectives: Participants will be able to understand the purpose of and possible structures for fiscal sponsorship arrangements. With this understanding, participants will be able to assess whether entering into a fiscal sponsorship—either as the fiscal sponsor or as the sponsored organization—is right for the organization.

For those interested in structuring a fiscal sponsorship, whether as the sponsor or sponsored organization.

Presenters: Mary Burner, Staff Attorney; and Ciarra Chavarria, Staff Attorney

 
Webinars for Wise Nonprofits: Obtaining and Maintaining Real Property Tax Exemption - 420a - The Charitable Exemption
October 27, 2017 - 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
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Webinar participants will learn how nonprofits may qualify for the real property tax exemption; how to apply for it; the renewal process and importance of being vigilant; the impact of leasing on the exemption; how to protect your organization from liability if it leases to a business; and common legal and practical issues that arise related to this charitable exemption.

Learning Objectives: Participants will learn how to apply for and maintain a real property tax exemption based on charitable use pursuant to Section 420a. Information will also be provided about how to obtain an exemption for housing organizations under Section 420a.

For executive directors, senior staff, and board members.

Presenter: Hedwig O'Hara, Senior Staff Attorney

 
Webinars for Wise Nonprofits: Terminating Employees: It's an Art and a Science
November 16, 2017 - 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.

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

 
Becoming a Nonprofit: Incorporation and Tax Exemption
September 19, 2017 - 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 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 Noah Sapse, Staff Attorney

 
Becoming a Nonprofit: Incorporation and Tax Exemption
January 4, 2018 - 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 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

 
Data Privacy Workshop
October 5, 2017 - 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM
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Lawyers Alliance for New York, in conjunction with volunteer attorneys from Bloomberg LP, is offering an educational workshop to help community based and other nonprofits understand basic data privacy law issues related to social media, cyber security and the responsibilities and risks of collecting, using, securing, sharing and disposing of personal information. Why should nonprofits care about data privacy and security? Learn more about these and other legal and practical issues at this upcoming workshop.

Learning Objectives: Participants will be better able to identify relevant data privacy law issues, available resources, and when to seek additional help.

For senior staff and board members.

Presenters: Ben Williams, Pamela Strauss, Dave Herman, Shea Wynn, Alicia Hornsby, and Jennifer Johnson- Bloomberg LP

 
Funding and Promoting Arts Organizations: Lobbying and Political Activity Guidelines
October 11, 2017 - 9:30 AM to 11:30 AM
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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 workshop 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

 
Legal Aspects for Nonprofits in Neighborhood-based Placemaking
October 19, 2017 - 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM
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Nonprofits engaged in placemaking (also called place-based community development) confront an array of legal issues as they seek to utilize a community's unique assets, e.g., public plazas and parks, to enhance work, leisure, and quality of life opportunities in the community. This workshop will review common legal issues that may arise in placemaking in New York City. Topics to be discussed include contracting, operations and regulatory requirements, stakeholder participation, and lessons learned from case studies.

Learning Objectives: Participants will gain an understanding of common issues associated with improving, and providing community programming in, public spaces.

For managers, board members, and program officers of nonprofit organizations engaged in or considering activities in publicly-accessible spaces.

Presenter: Neil Stevenson, Senior Staff Attorney

 
Making Your Voice Heard: Lobbying Within Limits
Not Currently Scheduled
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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.

Learning objective: Participants will be able to evaluate how much lobbying their organization can do, whether their organization must register as a lobbyist, and how to report lobbying activity, based on an understanding of federal tax law and federal, state, and local lobbying disclosure laws.

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

 
Managing Your Workforce: Practical Employment Law
September 7, 2017 - 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM
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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.

Presenter: Judith Moldover, Senior Staff Attorney

 
Structuring Earned Revenue and Business Venture Opportunities for Nonprofits
September 13, 2017 - 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM
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Nonprofits are under pressure to develop diverse and sustainable funding streams. Increasingly, this means engaging in revenue-generating activities which range from charging for a nonprofit's current services (e.g., on a "sliding scale" to existing clients and/or offering such services at "market rates" to persons not eligible as clients) to "social enterprises" harnessing market forces in support of a charitable mission or other "public benefit".

This workshop will focus on the tax, structuring, compliance, and regulatory issues that arise when nonprofits undertake such "monetization" of current services (including creation of, and relationships with, for-profit subsidiaries/affiliates). It will consider the legal issues in undertaking such activities (including the problems posed by the "commerciality" doctrine) and examine different legal structures through which nonprofit organizations can participate in them.

Learning Objectives: Participants will understand earned-revenue issues for 501(c)(3) public charities, and structuring options for earned-revenue activities.

For nonprofit managers, board members, and development professionals of organizations considering a business venture or currently engaged in a fee for service activity.

Presenter: Neil Stevenson, Senior Staff Attorney

 
Working Together: Legal Issues for Advocacy Coalitions
November 8, 2017 - 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM
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Working in coalition makes nonprofits' advocacy stronger. It can also raise significant legal issues. Advocacy coalitions in particular need to be aware of how lobbying and political activity restrictions and disclosure requirements affect individual members and the coalition itself. Coalition members can also incur legal responsibility for staff working on coalition issues. Conflicts can arise around who owns jointly created materials, conflicts of interest, confidentiality, fundraising, office occupancy, and more. This workshop will give you a working knowledge of the legal issues that coalitions and their members should consider and strategies for handling those issues.

Learning Objectives: Participants will gain a working knowledge of the legal issues that advocacy coalitions and their members should consider and strategies for handling those issues.

For nonprofit managers, policy staff, and community organizers.

Presenter: Laura Abel, Senior Policy Counsel