Lawyers Specializing in Nonprofit Organizations

Nonprofit and charitable organizations offer significant benefits to local communities worldwide. The tax attorneys at Kirton McConkie support such efforts with legal and business counsel to ensure tax-exempt entities are adequately structured from the beginning to take advantage of all available benefits and to avoid governance or financial problems down the road.

Our attorneys work with clients from small groups just getting started to large multibillion-dollar institutions, including private foundations, universities and their affiliates, religious organizations, trade associations, healthcare organizations, membership organizations, and advocacy organizations. Our nonprofit clients have operations across the United States and many other countries.

The Kirton McConkie nonprofit attorneys work closely with tax-exempt organizations on start-up plans, entity formation, organization, governance, state and federal compliance, unrelated business income tax, fundraising, planned giving strategies, and other critical legal and business matters.

In addition to day-to-day advising, we have experience with structuring and negotiating various significant business deals on behalf of nonprofit clients and defending our clients’ interests in IRS examinations, private letter ruling requests, and similar matters.

Our attorneys have also amassed considerable practical experience in running nonprofits by serving as board members or in other roles for various nonprofit organizations. The attorneys who specialize in working with nonprofits offer these services:

  • Consulting and assisting clients with the initial stages of entity formation and issues surrounding qualification for tax exemption, as well as preparing applications to secure federal and state tax exemptions.
  • Preparing organizational documents such as articles of incorporation, bylaws, policies, and trusts.
  • Assisting with general business, operations and policy matters related to real estate, intellectual property, contracts, contributions, insurance, employment, employee benefits and other issues pertinent to the organization, including unrelated business income tax issues.
  • Advising on nonprofit involvement in complex structures involving commercial entities, including for-profit subsidiaries, partnerships, and joint ventures.
  • Advising private foundations, organizations maintaining donor-advised funds, and other grantmakers on sophisticated grantmaking programs, including expenditure responsibility grants, equivalency determinations, and program-related investments. 
  • Helping clients comply with the U.S. private foundation rules in their programmatic activities and investments, including private equity, and correcting previous violations.
  • Advising qualification as a publicly-supported public charity, supporting organization, or private operating foundation.
  • Advising U.S. charities on activities outside the U.S. (working with local counsel as necessary) and managing inbound and outbound flows of funds in a tax-effective manner.
  • Advising foreign organizations on their U.S. tax issues and establishing U.S. “friends of” fundraising organizations.
  • Advising on the laws governing fundraising and charitable solicitation, negotiating commercial sponsorships and product-related fundraising partnerships, and helping clients obtain necessary licenses and permits for their fundraising activities across the U.S.
  • Providing counsel on internal governance matters, including the selection and operation of boards of directors, fiduciary duties, conflicts of interest, and liability issues.
  • Counseling charities regarding planned giving, including gift acceptance policies, due diligence concerns, tax strategies, and negotiating large gifts.
  • Establishing charitable remainder trusts, charitable lead trusts, and charitable gift annuities.
  • Advising nonprofit advocacy groups on the restrictions on lobbying and political activity by tax-exempt organizations.
  • Reviewing executive compensation and other transactions to ensure compliance with IRS and state rules governing excess benefit transactions and private inurement.
  • Representing exempt organizations and related parties in tax disputes and IRS audits or seeking private letter rulings from the Internal Revenue Service.
  • Approaching legislative or executive branch policymakers about potential legislation or regulations and their impact on nonprofit clients

News & Events


  • 09.24.2015
  • Utah Valley University Business & Economic Forum, Utah Valley University, 05.14.2015
  • Charitable Planning For Liquidity Events
    Salt Lake Estate Planning Council Fall Forum, 11.06.2014
  • Introduction to Non-profits and Tax-Exempt Status
    Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce, 10.29.2014
  • Beneficiaries: Dealing with the Objects of Your Bounty – A Practical and Technical Guide
    National Planned Giving Council Seminar, 10.02.2014
  • Law and Order, New Laws for a New Order
    2014 Social Enterprise and Crowdfunding Conference, 09.26.2014
  • Vital Planning Considerations Regarding Utah’s Advance Medical Directive
    Utah State Bar, 12.03.2012
  • Top Ten Legal Pitfalls for Nonprofit Organizations
    Utah Nonprofits Association, 10.11.2012
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