Nonprofit Organizations
Though every nonprofit organization is unique, they also have certain common legal issues. Nonprofit and tax-exempt organizations require specialized legal services. In addition to navigating everyday business issues such as employment, intellectual property and contracts, they must comply with specific laws and issues related to being a nonprofit. In particular, the tax and compliance matters that nonprofits must adhere to can be a confusing maze for both large and small entities.

At Tonkon Torp, we understand that nonprofits have operational challenges similar to for profits, in addition to those unique to nonprofits. Our legal team is well-situated to provide a full array of legal services to nonprofit organizations and tax-exempt entities. We work with a diverse cross-section of industries and are proud of our long history of working with the region’s most respected private foundations, public charities and other tax-exempt entities.

Our nonprofit attorneys represent:
  • Public charities
  • Private operating foundations
  • Pass-through foundations
  • Corporate and family foundations
  • Social welfare organizations
  • Social clubs
  • Trade and professional organizations
  • Fraternal organizations

Legal Services

Tonkon Torp creates individualized, multi-disciplinary teams to meet the unique needs of our nonprofit clients. Because we are a full service business firm with nonprofit expertise, we are able to ensure that you have the comprehensive guidance and advice you need in the following areas:
  • Entity Formation – Selection of the appropriate structure, formation, and application to the IRS for recognition of exempt status.
  • Governance – Board development, fiduciaries responsibilities and risk management, including policy development (conflicts of interest, document retention).
  • Compliance – Private foundation special rules compliance, intermediate sanctions, lobbying, advocacy and political expenditures, and unrelated business income tax rules.
  • Strategic Alliances – Joint ventures, mergers and conversions.
  • Grant-Making – Program related investments, donor advised funds, expenditure responsibility and international grant-making.
  • Fiscal Management – Investment and endowment management and distribution policies, structuring planned gifts and planned giving programs.
  • Employment – Advice/counsel employment matters; education, training and proactive management practices; executive and employment contracts; employee benefits; executive compensation; volunteer issues.
  • Audit – IRS and Department of Justice audits and approvals, including private letter ruling requests.
  • Real Estate – Acquisition of real estate and office/equipment leases.

Albina Head Start Turns on First Solar-Powered Building with Assist from Tonkon Torp

When Albina Head Start learned it was awarded a Blue Sky Fund grant to install a rooftop solar array on one of its buildings, it turned to its long-time pro bono legal partner, Tonkon Torp. The nonprofit organization knew that it would need legal guidance to ensure that it could meet the terms laid out in the grant’s detailed and binding Memo of Understanding.

Tonkon Torp Helps World of Speed Keep Rolling

Tonkon Torp is proud to serve as the general counsel of The World of Speed, a nonprofit organization that provides a space where the Oregon community can gather, learn and preserve the motorsports culture of the Northwest. Find details and more featured cases here.

Tonkon Torp Helps Albina Head Start Stabilize Finances for Enhanced Programming

Albina Head Start, Inc. (AHS), which serves more than 1,000 low-income children and their families in North, Northeast and Southeast Portland, faces the future in a stronger financial position thanks to a significant pro bono effort by Tonkon Torp. Find details and more featured cases here.

Agreement with Portland Community College

Negotiated and documented a unique agreement with Portland Community College to provide on-campus Head Start Program.

Motorspots Museum and Education Center

General counsel for World of Speed, a motorsports museum with an automotive vocational program, ensuring that the nonprofit is legally compliant with governance, compliance, third-party contracts, and intellectual property.

Enhanced Whistleblower Protections for Nonprofit Employees

In the wake of Governor John Kitzhaber's resignation last year, the Oregon Legislature amended Oregon's "whistleblower" protection statute (ORS 659A.203) by expanding it to include Section 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations that receive public funds…
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