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Workshop Descriptions

Below is an alphabetical list of currently scheduled and frequently recurring workshops.

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National Network Webinar: When Immigration Officials Come Knocking at Work
October 18, 2017 - 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
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Lawyers Alliance is pleased to announce a complimentary webinar for nonprofit employers offered by Jackson Lewis P.C. and the National Network of Business Law Pro Bono Providers.

What you will Learn:
In the current environment of heightened enforcement, many nonprofit employers are asking: What do we do if immigration comes knocking? U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) inspections can come quickly and unexpectedly. This webinar will discuss steps to take now to have your organization's policies and procedures ready and how to respond if your organization is inspected.

Presenter: Amy L. Peck, Principal, Jackson Lewis P.C.

This webinar is geared towards executive directors, human resources professionals and board members of nonprofits.

Please click here to register for the webinar:

Save the Date: Strategic Legal Thinking Seminar: Understanding Risk Management for Nonprofit Organizations
November 1, 2017 - 12:30 PM to 3:30 PM
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Lawyers Alliance is pleased to offer this program as part of the Pfizer Strategic Legal Thinking Series in conjunction with the National Network of Business Law Pro Bono Providers, Pfizer Inc, and DLA Piper LLP (US).

This session will focus on three areas: identifying and assessing organizational risk, financial risk management, and data risk management. In particular, the training will discuss how to identify and understand common areas of risk such as governance and oversight, contract, financial, regulatory compliance, physical and other injuries, reputational risks, intellectual property, personnel management, and data security. It will also discuss what risks are transferable, through insurance or otherwise, and what risks are not, such as loss of funding. It will also explore how to mitigate risk by developing a mitigation and response plan, including prevention; training and emergency response; establishing reserves against loss; and the purchase of insurance. Finally, the session will delve into the emerging area of data security risk management.

The program will be live with networking at Pfizer Conference Center in New York City from 12:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. and available online via videocast to registrants outside of New York City from 1:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

The seminar is free, but space is limited and registration by October 23, 2017 is required. To reserve a New York City spot, please send an e-mail to with your name, organizational affiliation, and full contact information and put "November 1: Understanding Risk Management" in the subject line.

Webinars for Wise Nonprofits: Hitting Your Goals and Limiting Your Risk: Special Events Fundraising
Not Currently Scheduled
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Gala dinners, service days, concerts, conferences, and other special events can raise funds and increase awareness and excitement for your organization's work. Hosting a successful special event - one that meets your participation and financial goals - requires significant time, energy and planning, as well as a careful consideration of relevant legal issues.

This webinar will cover New York State requirements for soliciting donations, gaming activities such as raffles and casino nights, and hiring professional fundraisers. The webinar will also review IRS rules for nonprofits receiving cash or in-kind gifts made in connection with a special event, and when and how to recognize event sponsors without running afoul of IRS rules. It will discuss compensation, contract considerations, and other legal questions when dealing with employees, contractors, or special event volunteers to ensure that your organization limits its liability in the planning and execution of a special event.

Learning Objectives: Participants will be able to plan and execute a successful fundraising event based upon an understanding of state and federal fundraising rules for tax exempt organizations.

For nonprofit managers, development professionals, and others involved in nonprofit fundraising.

Webinars for Wise Nonprofits: Negotiating and Understanding Fiscal Sponsorship Agreements
December 6, 2017 - 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
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This webinar will provide an overview of fiscal sponsorship, which allows a non-tax-exempt organization to fundraise and operate under the umbrella of a tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) organization which acts as the fiscal sponsor. Topics covered will include fiscal sponsorship structuring options, the advantages and disadvantages of fiscal sponsorships, and common legal issues in such arrangements.

Learning Objectives: Participants will be able to understand the purpose of and possible structures for fiscal sponsorship arrangements. With this understanding, participants will be able to assess whether entering into a fiscal sponsorship—either as the fiscal sponsor or as the sponsored organization—is right for the organization.

For those interested in structuring a fiscal sponsorship, whether as the sponsor or sponsored organization.

Presenters: Mary Burner, Staff Attorney; and Ciarra Chavarria, Staff Attorney

Webinars for Wise Nonprofits: Obtaining and Maintaining Real Property Tax Exemption - 420a - The Charitable Exemption
October 27, 2017 - 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
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Webinar participants will learn how nonprofits may qualify for the real property tax exemption; how to apply for it; the renewal process and importance of being vigilant; the impact of leasing on the exemption; how to protect your organization from liability if it leases to a business; and common legal and practical issues that arise related to this charitable exemption.

Learning Objectives: Participants will learn how to apply for and maintain a real property tax exemption based on charitable use pursuant to Section 420a. Information will also be provided about how to obtain an exemption for housing organizations under Section 420a.

For executive directors, senior staff, and board members.

Presenter: Hedwig O'Hara, Senior Staff Attorney

Webinars for Wise Nonprofits: Safeguarding Client Information: Understanding the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
January 30, 2018 - 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
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Nonprofits play a key role in many of their clients' lives, and as a result, often collect or have access to sensitive health information. This workshop will focus on HIPAA regulations and compliance obligations and will cover some common HIPAA-related contractual requirements that are increasingly imposed on certain nonprofits. Answers to the following questions will be discussed: Is my organization a "covered entity" or a "business associate" under HIPAA? Under what circumstances is my organization permitted to share protected health information with "business associates" or other partners? We are a multi-service organization, how do we separate obligations of our "non-covered" programs? What are the consequences of non-compliance with the HIPAA regulations?

Learning objective: Participants will gain an understanding of the requirements imposed by HIPAA and how their organizations can ensure compliance.

For board members, senior management, and human resources professionals.

Presenters: Mary Burner, Staff Attorney; Roger A. Cohen, Partner, Goodwin Procter LLP; and Jason Madden, Associate, Proskauer Rose LLP

Webinars for Wise Nonprofits: Terminating Employees: It's an Art and a Science
November 16, 2017 - 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
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Ending the employment relationship is almost as traumatic for management as it is for the employee who is being let go. The "art" is managing employee relations to reduce the risk of legal action, while the "science" is minimizing the risk of legal liability if legal action is taken.

Learning objective: Participants will be able to strengthen procedures for addressing different types of terminations based on best practices so as to better manage these difficult situations.

For senior management, human resources professionals, and supervisory personnel.

Presenters: Judith Moldover, Senior Staff Attorney; and Vicky Minor, Director of Human Resources, Forestdale, Inc.

Becoming a Nonprofit: Incorporation and Tax Exemption
January 4, 2018 - 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM
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Getting a new nonprofit organization off to the right start can mean the difference between success and failure. This workshop will go step-by-step through the process of incorporating in New York State and applying for federal tax-exempt status. Attention will be given to the benefits and obligations of incorporation and tax-exempt status including reporting requirements, the role of board members, and the limitations on lobbying and political activities.

Learning Objectives: Participants will be able to evaluate the decision to form a nonprofit corporation and apply for federal tax exemption based upon an understanding of state and federal law.

For those interested in forming a nonprofit organization in New York.

Presenter: Mary Burner, Staff Attorney

Legal Aspects for Nonprofits in Neighborhood-based Placemaking
October 19, 2017 - 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM
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Nonprofits engaged in placemaking (also called place-based community development) confront an array of legal issues as they seek to utilize a community's unique assets, e.g., public plazas and parks, to enhance work, leisure, and quality of life opportunities in the community. This workshop will review common legal issues that may arise in placemaking in New York City. Topics to be discussed include contracting, operations and regulatory requirements, stakeholder participation, and lessons learned from case studies.

Learning Objectives: Participants will gain an understanding of common issues associated with improving, and providing community programming in, public spaces.

For managers, board members, and program officers of nonprofit organizations engaged in or considering activities in publicly-accessible spaces.

Presenter: Neil Stevenson, Senior Staff Attorney

Making Your Voice Heard: Lobbying Within Limits
December 12, 2017 - 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM
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Staff at many nonprofits engage in advocacy to protect their communities. They may seek government funds, urge legislative action regarding societal issues, or request government agencies to change their rules. They may also help community members communicate with government. Government regulators define some, but not all, of this activity as lobbying. This workshop will focuses on the rules that govern lobbying by nonprofits. It will identify the federal limits on the amount of lobbying nonprofits can undertake, and the federal, state, and local laws requiring the disclosure of lobbying activity. It addresses advocacy concerning legislative, budgeting, and agency rule-making processes. The workshop also explains the lobbying laws that apply to procurement of contract funding from New York City and New York State -- essential information for any nonprofit that relies on government funding to do its work.

Learning Objective: Participants will be able to evaluate how much lobbying their organization can do, whether their organization must register as a lobbyist, and how to report lobbying activity, based on an understanding of federal tax law and federal, state, and local lobbying disclosure laws.

For nonprofit managers, organizers, and others involved in the day-to-day operation of not-for-profit tax-exempt organizations.

Presenter: Laura Abel, Senior Policy Counsel

Structuring Earned Revenue and Business Venture Opportunities for Nonprofits
Not Currently Scheduled
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Nonprofits are under pressure to develop diverse and sustainable funding streams. Increasingly, this means engaging in revenue-generating activities which range from charging for a nonprofit's current services (e.g., on a "sliding scale" to existing clients and/or offering such services at "market rates" to persons not eligible as clients) to "social enterprises" harnessing market forces in support of a charitable mission or other "public benefit".

This workshop will focus on the tax, structuring, compliance, and regulatory issues that arise when nonprofits undertake such "monetization" of current services (including creation of, and relationships with, for-profit subsidiaries/affiliates). It will consider the legal issues in undertaking such activities (including the problems posed by the "commerciality" doctrine) and examine different legal structures through which nonprofit organizations can participate in them.

Learning Objectives: Participants will understand earned-revenue issues for 501(c)(3) public charities, and structuring options for earned-revenue activities.

For nonprofit managers, board members, and development professionals of organizations considering a business venture or currently engaged in a fee for service activity.

Presenter: Neil Stevenson, Senior Staff Attorney

Working Together: Legal Issues for Advocacy Coalitions
November 8, 2017 - 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM
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Working in coalition makes nonprofits' advocacy stronger. It can also raise significant legal issues. Advocacy coalitions in particular need to be aware of how lobbying and political activity restrictions and disclosure requirements affect individual members and the coalition itself. Coalition members can also incur legal responsibility for staff working on coalition issues. Conflicts can arise around who owns jointly created materials, conflicts of interest, confidentiality, fundraising, office occupancy, and more. This workshop will give you a working knowledge of the legal issues that coalitions and their members should consider and strategies for handling those issues.

Learning Objectives: Participants will gain a working knowledge of the legal issues that advocacy coalitions and their members should consider and strategies for handling those issues.

For nonprofit managers, policy staff, and community organizers.

Presenter: Laura Abel, Senior Policy Counsel