Archer has earned a reputation throughout New Jersey and the Delaware Valley region for its dedication in representing nonprofit organizations, particularly healthcare and educational organizations. With nearly 80 years of experience in the nonprofit sector, we offer a special sensitivity to the nature of nonprofit activities, and a commitment to provide legal services of the highest quality on a cost-efficient basis.
Archer attorneys are thoroughly involved in the nonprofit community, serving as legal counsel and as volunteer board members and fundraisers. We also write and speak regularly on a variety of topics to both nonprofit groups and professional organizations. Our active client base includes more than 300 organizations, including major hospitals, nursing homes, colleges and universities, private schools, churches, social service agencies, scientific research institutes, museums, business leagues, arts organizations, historic preservation associations, symphony orchestras, community development corporations, private and community foundations and trade associations. They range in size from internationally-known universities and medical research institutions with multi-million dollar budgets to start-up volunteer community organizations with budgets of only a few hundred dollars.
While the missions and budgets of our clients may vary, the legal principles affecting their governance and operations are often the same. Our firm’s philosophy is to provide the trustee of a nonprofit with the maximum flexibility in making policy decisions.
We advise on the status of the law, the alternatives available, and the risks attendant to each alternative. While attorneys are not always able to give the desired answer, our lawyers work with our clients in an attempt to find legally acceptable and practical approaches to overcome the many problems nonprofits face. We counsel regularly on business, tax, tax-exempt finance and planned giving, and other charitable giving law.
We have advised our clients on projects such as:
- Establishing a federal income tax-exempt political action committee under Section 527 of the Code;
- The merger of two nonprofit corporations to achieve economies of scale and maximize grant and contract dollars;
- Reorganizing the corporate structure of a multi-entity educational institution;
- Obtaining reductions in real estate tax assessments for property owned and used in tax exempt activities;
- Securing tax-exempt bond financing for a performing arts university;
- Franchising a charitable, religious social service program for services to inner-city residents, on a national and international basis, consistent with United States trademark and tax law; and
- Creating pooled life income funds and charitable remainder annuity trusts.
To assure that our nonprofit clients reap all the benefits of being served by a full-service law firm, we maintain an “Exempt Organizations Group” comprised of more than a dozen experienced attorneys from several of our other practice groups: business counseling, health care group, education group, tax and employee benefits, estates and trusts, labor and employment law, land use and environmental permitting and compliance, real estate, computer and high technology, and of course, general litigation.
We call on them regularly for assistance in areas such as:
- Tax-exempt bonds;
- Unrelated trade or business issues;
- Planned charitable giving;
- Employee retirement and “cafeteria” flexible benefits plans;
- Solicitation and disclosure of permitted deductibility of charitable contributions;
- Excess benefit rules and intermediate sanctions;
- Conflict of interest issues applicable to the Board of Directors;
- Labor negotiations and personnel policies; and
- Corporate sponsorship and naming projects.
We have advised on issues of accreditation, labor relations and union issues, construction and tax exempt financing, environmental issues, student and faculty policies, faculty tenure, student rights and student discipline issues, classification and placement issues, high technology contracts, and student scholarship and employee educational loan policies.
We help nonprofit organizations structure their activities for maximum efficiency based on applicable tax and corporate laws. We counsel clients regularly on creative financing vehicles that may be available to them, the requirements for tax exempt status, defense of an audit by the IRS or other governmental organizations, lobbying and electioneering, unrelated business income, and charitable giving and planned giving issues. We frequently prepare on behalf of our clients applications for sales tax exemption, charitable registration and IRS private letter ruling requests and respond to all inquiries related to these filings. We advise foundations and community development financing institutions on their responsibilities in grant and loan making. We have also worked with economic and housing development projects, including the federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credit, New Markets Tax Credit and Historic Tax Credit.
Our attorneys have spoken on Private/Public Partnerships for the ABA’s Forum on Affordable Housing and several of our partners are listed in The Bond Buyer’s Annual Directory of Bond Counsel. Numerous attorneys are currently serving and have served as board members or officers of community organizations in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.