The Law (in Plain English) for Nonprofit Organizations

The Law (in Plain English) for Nonprofit Organizations

by Leonard D. DuBoff, Amanda Bryan


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“In easy to understand language, the book walks one through the many different foundational aspects of running a nonprofit—an important tool to have handy on one’s bookshelf!” —Michael Royce, Executive Director, New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA)

Navigating the legal complexities of running a nonprofit organization has never been easier than with the expert advice of authors Leonard DuBoff and Amanda Bryan. Managers, board members, advisers, consultants, contractors, employees, and even donors and volunteers will benefit from the invaluable information contained in The Law (in Plain English)® for Nonprofit Organizations. An approachable guide to planning and problem-solving, this handbook’s chapters cover important topics such as:

  • Organizing a nonprofit
  • Hiring and working with employees, contractors, and members
  • Filing taxes and applying for tax-exempt status
  • Fund-raising strategies
  • Liability and insurance
  • Protecting trademarks and intellectual property
  • Zoning and renting space

A comprehensive reference, The Law (in Plain English)® for Nonprofit Organizations, will help all nonprofit members to play their roles with authority and confidence.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781621536864
Publisher: Allworth
Publication date: 10/01/2019
Series: In Plain English Series
Pages: 264
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Leonard DuBoff is the founder of the DuBoff Law Group, PC. He graduated magna cum laude from Hofstra University with a degree in engineering and summa cum laude from Brooklyn Law School, where he was the research editor of the Brooklyn Law Review. He was a professor of law for almost a quarter of a century, teaching first at Stanford Law School and then at Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon. He resides in Portland, Oregon.

Amanda Bryan is a practicing lawyer representing clients from all over the world specializing in intellectual property including copyright, trademark and related subjects. She received her master’s degree in writing with an emphasis in book publishing from Portland State University. She graduated magna cum laude from Lewis and Clark Law School with a certificate in intellectual property law. She resides in Portland, Oregon.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xv

Introduction xvii

Chapter 1 Organizing Your Nonprofit 1

Legal Structure 2

Internal Structure of Charitable Trusts and Charitable Corporations 9

Trustees and Directors 10

Liability of Trustees and Directors 11

Co-Ops 12

Chapter 2 Nonprofit Organization Checklist 15

Accountant 15

Business Name 15

Structure 16

Chapter 3 Applying for Tax-Exempt Status 23

Federal Tax Exemption 23

Chapter 4 Developing Your Fund-raising Plan and Fund-raising 37

Charitable Auctions 39

Precious Metal Collection 41

Borrowing from Banks 43

Tax Shelters 43

Chapter 5 Liability of Members and Organizational Liability 45

Organizational Liability for the Wrongful Acts of Individuals 45

Issues to Consider 47

Agency 47

Liability Waivers 53

Conclusion 53

Chapter 6 Contracts 55

Contract Basics 55

Types of Contracts 56

Understanding Contract Principles 57

Proving an Agreement 58

When Written Contracts Are Necessary 59

Additional Terms 63

Contracting Online 64

Consumer Protection Laws 64

Mail-Order Sales 66

Chapter 7 Trademarks 67

Definition 69

Prohibited Trademarks 69

Certification Marks 70

Protecting a Trademark 71

Federal Registration 72

Infringement 78

International Protection 79

State Registration 80

Using an Attorney 80

Conclusion 80

Chapter 3 Copyrights 81

Copyright Law Foundation 81

Publication 82

Copyrightable Material 82

Scope of Protection 83

Ownership 84

Copyright Protection for Utilitarian Objects 87

Notice Requirement 88

Application Process 89

Delaying Registration 90

Period of Protection 91

Infringement 91

International Protection 94

Conclusion 95

Chapter 9 Advertising 97

Government Regulation 97

Comparative Advertising 98

Publicity and Privacy 99

Unauthorized Use of Trademark 100

Geographic Locations 100

Trade Dress 101

Insurance 102

Conclusion 103

Chapter 10 Licensing 105

General Consideration 106

Licensing Opportunities 106

Licensing Considerations 107

Trade Secrets 111

Misappropriating Trade Secrets 114

Chapter 11 The Internet 115

Protecting Organization Property 115

Protecting Consumer Information 116

Domain Names 116

Framing 119

Linking 119

Online Advertising 120

Keywords 120

Disclosures 120

Audits 121

Liability Insurance 121

International Concerns 121

Copyright Concerns 122

Permissions 122

Peer-to-Peer Problems 123

Server Protection 124

Email 124

Spam 125

Viruses, Worms, and Ransomware 125

Cyberterrorism 125

Security for Online Commerce 126

Chapter 12 Insurance 127

Basics of Insurance Law 127

Ascertaining Risk 129

Additional State Regulations 129

Expectations vs. Reality 129

Overinsuring and Underinsuring 130

Unintentional Undervaluing 131

Property Covered 132

Scheduling Property 132

Valuing Scheduled Property 133

When and How to Insure 133

Keeping the Cost Down 134

Chapter 13 Employees, Contractors, and Members 137

Employees 137

Independent Contractors 143

Volunteers 144

Discrimination 145

Harassment 146

Age Discrimination 147

Disabilities Discrimination 148

Employee Handbooks 149

Zero Tolerance Policies 149

The Family Medical Leave Act 150

Termination of Employment and Membership 150

Chapter 14 Taxes 153

Unrelated Business Income 153

Donations 155

Appraisals 157

Joint Ventures, Partnering, and Umbrella Organizations 159

Tax Shelters 159

Chapter 15 Zoning 165

Local Zoning Restrictions 165

Federal Regulations 166

Telecommuting and Web-Based Organizations 167

Chapter 16 Renting Space 169

Premises 169

Cost 170

Term 170

Restrictions 171

Remodeling 171

Americans with Disabilities Act 171

Environmental Laws 172

Utilities 172

Security and Zoning 173

Written Document 174

Donated Facilities 174

Chapter 17 Estate Planning 177

The Will 178

Payment of Testator's Debts 179

Disposition of Property Not Willed 179

Intestate Succession 180

Spouse's Elective Share 180

Advantages to Having a Will 181

Estate Taxes 182

Gross Estate 182

Valuation 183

The Taxable Estate 183

Distributing Property Outside the Will 185

Trusts 186

Probate 188

Chapter 18 Finding a Lawyer and an Accountant 191

Finding a Lawyer 192

Evaluating a Lawyer 193

Using a Lawyer 193

Finding an Accountant 194

Glossary 197

About the Authors 221

Index 223

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