Non-Profit Organizations

Davis|Kuelthau attorneys understand the constant legal and business challenges faced by non-profit and tax-exempt organizations. We have extensively advised and counseled many types of organizations throughout their life cycles. We regularly represent the following types of tax-exempt organizations:

  • Health care institutions
  • Colleges and technical colleges
  • Sectarian and non-sectarian schools and CESAs
  • Religious organizations
  • Private foundations
  • Charitable foundations
  • Performing arts organizations
  • Museums

Entity Formation and Organization

  • From the drafting of Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws to the development of internal governance policies and procedures (including conflict of interest policies and codes of conduct), our attorneys assist clients in laying the groundwork for an efficient and effective operational model. Such guidance includes the development of the internal framework for implementation of conflict of interest policies, establishment of endowment or related support funds, and development of investment, spending and operational policies.

Obtaining and maintaining tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code

  • We advise and prepare all documentation necessary to obtain recognition of tax-exempt status from the Internal Revenue Service and assist clients in navigating the various requirements necessary to maintain such status. This includes advice on the requirements applicable to grants, scholarship programs, relationships with for-profit entities, lobbying expenditures, and the avoidance of the various excise taxes that can be imposed for self-dealing, excess business holdings, jeopardizing investments, and excess benefit transactions.

Strategies for unrelated business income tax (UBIT)

  • Even though a tax exempt organization is generally exempt from income tax, it still may be liable for tax on its unrelated business income. Our attorneys are experienced in management of UBIT activities, the strategic use of affiliated for-profit subsidiaries, and the application of debt financing limitations.

Tax-exempt financing

  • Our attorneys regularly serve as borrower’s counsel in tax-exempt financings such as Wisconsin Health and Educational Facilities Authority (WHEFA) transactions.

Wisconsin rules and regulations applicable to non-profits including property tax exemption

  • In addition to federal concerns, non-profit organizations must also adhere to the rules and regulations set forth under state law. We help clients address the various state and local regulatory requirements imposed on non-profits regarding fundraising, annual reports, taxes, and qualification for state property tax exemptions.

Our services described above are just the start. Our Non-Profit and Tax-Exempt Entities Practice Team works regularly with creative attorneys from our labor and employment, business transactions, real estate, employee benefits, intellectual property and other practice teams to provide clients with access to comprehensive and coordinated resources that address the full spectrum of their organization’s needs.

Practice Chair

News & Events

More News & Events


More Publications