Donahue Fitzgerald is constantly inspired by the amazing nonprofit organizations and community movements in the Bay Area.

We are surrounded by wonderful nonprofits working hard to create opportunities, facilitate growth, and bring together the Bay Area’s diverse communities.

Our nonprofit attorneys are also aware that nonprofit organizations must navigate unique legal challenges that apply only to nonprofit organizations, including unique legal needs relating to tax and governance regulations. Yet, they must also tackle legal issues that all organizations face, such as employment, intellectual property, real estate, and litigation issues.

Regardless of your organization’s size, whether a start-up, an educational institution, an arts collective, or a multimillion-dollar foundation, it is critical that your organization has the legal advice and know-how to ensure that it can further its meaningful and important purpose while also meeting its legal obligations and protecting itself.

The attorneys at Donahue Fitzgerald have the depth of knowledge and experience to provide your organization with that legal advice and know-how. Since 1883, the firm has formed and advised nonprofit organizations, including community and family foundations. Some of those organizations include the Great Wall of Oakland, the New Parkway Theater, Oakland Art Murmur, EBAYC/OASES, Oakland Chinatown Chamber of Commerce, the Asian Advisory Committee on Crime, and Carlos Santana’s Milagro Foundation.

Our attorneys also serve as directors for numerous nonprofit organizations including the Boys and Girls Club of Oakland, the Alta Bates/Summit Foundation, the Church Divinity School of the Pacific, Oakland Elizabeth House, Andre House, the Fred Finch Youth Center, Volunteers of America Bay Area, the AIDS Legal Referral Panel, and Girls Incorporated of Alameda County.

We draw on this wealth of experience to help nonprofit organizations from start to finish, including advice with forming a corporation, applying for tax exempt status, closing mergers and affiliations, maintaining compliance with state and federal regulations, and structuring dissolutions.

We can help your organization with any of the following:

  • Incorporation
  • Tax-exempt applications for 501(c) status / Form 1023
  • Charitable solicitation regulations
  • State and federal annual tax filings
  • Charitable gifts and fundraising
  • Unrelated business income tax
  • Internal governance and board composition
  • Employment and volunteer relations
  • Intellectual property, including trademarks and copyrights
  • Partnerships with for-profit organizations
  • Lobbying and political activities
  • Real estate
  • Donor relations

In addition to nonprofit organizations, our attorneys can also provide donors and investors with sound counsel when structuring gifts to meet their charitable objectives while, at the same time, maximizing the tax benefits. We can help donors form and administer planned giving vehicles such as charitable lead and remainder trusts, gift annuities, and bargain sales.