Nonprofit & Tax-Exempt Organizations

Nonprofit and tax-exempt organizations face legal issues affecting all enterprises but they also face legal and tax issues unique to their status as nonprofit and tax-exempt organizations. Due to their special legal and tax attributes, and in light of increasing regulation and scrutiny, their need for lawyers who regularly represent nonprofit and tax-exempt organizations is increasingly paramount. For years, nonprofit and tax-exempt organizations have turned to Cozen O’Connor for help with their most daunting challenges. Our attorneys are committed to providing clients the advice and counsel necessary to meet these challenges both effectively and efficiently.

Our attorneys represent nonprofit and tax-exempt organizations such as charities, hospitals and hospital systems, religious organizations, educational institutions, trusts, foundations, trade associations, and others in general legal and tax matters and in matters unique to their status as nonprofit and tax-exempt organizations. Our interdisciplinary nonprofit and tax-exempt organizations team — with attorneys based in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, New York, and Washington, D.C. — has decades of experience in areas including nonprofit corporate law, mergers and acquisitions, contracts, employment law, patents, trademarks and licensing, real estate, tax, public and project finance, regulatory compliance, health law, wealth management, wealth transfer, and philanthropy.

We routinely represent nonprofit and tax-exempt organizations in all legal and tax matters, including:

  • formation and applying for tax-exempt status;
  • organization and reorganization;
  • affiliations, mergers, and joint ventures;
  • charity care and collection policies;
  • management agreements;
  • corporate governance and compliance with corporate formalities, and director and officer guidance;
  • supporting organizations;
  • regulatory compliance;
  • tax-exempt finance and other transactions;
  • risk management, asset protection, and financial and legal controls;
  • organizational efficiency;
  • in-kind donation policies;
  • UBTI issues;
  • cause-related marketing;
  • UPMIFA structuring and compliance;
  • fundraising structure and compliance;
  • structuring “Friends Of” organizations;
  • social media policies;
  • employment guidelines and policies;
  • patents, trademarks, and licensing; and
  • litigation.

We also provide a variety of tax-exempt organizations with government relations services, such as lobbying for government funding and advising on compliance with the encumbrances attached to the use of those funds, as well as for land use and sale of air rights. Our attorneys also assist high net worth individuals and families in forming private foundations and charitable trusts. Additionally, we serve as outside general counsel for a number of our clients, providing a seamless solution to their day-to-day legal needs.

Our nonprofit and tax-exempt organization clients know they can count on us to understand not only the issues they face by virtue of their nonprofit/tax-exempt status, but also to understand their mission, culture, goals, and challenges. Our team’s mission is to help our clients navigate the increasingly complicated set of rules that govern mission-driven organizations. We manage the thickets and thorns so that our clients can cultivate the forest.



IRS Issues Proposed Regulations for Tax on Nonprofit Executive Compensation [Alert]

June 10, 2020

Robert Kaplan and Jay Dorsch discuss the IRS's proposed rules regarding the 21 percent excise tax on compensation over $1 million and excess parachute payments paid by tax-exempt organizations to certain covered employees.

In The News

Cozen O’Connor Continues Corporate Practice Expansion in Pittsburgh with the Addition of Benjamin W. Milleville

March 25, 2021

Milleville brings a strong history of advising businesses and nonprofit organizations on corporate and transactional matters, including mergers and acquisitions, the negotiation of commercial agreements, governance, and real estate matters.

Cozen O’Connor Deepens its Corporate Practice Group Bench With Addition of Veteran Tax Attorney Christopher W. Compton

September 10, 2019

Cozen O’Connor welcomed Christopher W. Compton — a seasoned tax attorney who has served as legal counsel on a range of tax-exempt bond transactions worth (cumulatively) in excess of $2 billion — to its Corporate Practice Group.


David Tiger


(202) 912-4899


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