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Nonprofit Law

Nonprofit Law

Since our inception in 1958, we have represented a wide array of nonprofit entities, including:

  • Charities (public charities, private foundations, and private operating foundations)
  • Social welfare organizations
  • Civic leagues, trade associations, and chambers of commerce
  • Social clubs
  • Fraternal orders
  • Fraternal benefit organizations
  • Title-holding companies
  • Public/private partnerships and joint ventures
  • Agricultural cooperatives
  • Housing cooperatives 

We routinely advise our clients throughout their life cycle, from formation to dissolution. Our typical advice includes:

  • Incorporation
  • Choice of entity (corporation/trust/unincorporated association)
  • Choice of corporation (nonprofit public benefit, mutual benefit, religious)
  • Donor advised funds
  • California Nonprofit Integrity Act
  • Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act
  • Corporate governance best practices
  • Public support tests and related tax planning 
  • Private foundation compliance, including excise tax issues
  • Planned giving; charitable remainder trusts
  • Unrelated business income
  • Private benefit
  • Private inurement
  • Intermediate sanctions
  • Affiliations with other nonprofit entities
  • Joint ventures (for profit and nonprofit, public and private)
  • Charitable trust doctrine
  • Attorney General oversight and approvals
  • Downsizing
  • Consolidation
  • Loans (tax-exempt and taxable, private and bond financed)
  • Mergers
  • Conversions (e.g., C corporation to nonprofit public benefit corporation)
  • Changes in purpose
  • Sales (including bargain sales)
  • Leases
  • License agreements
  • Risk management, litigation
  • Bankruptcy
  • Dissolution


We consider it our responsibility to be practical. This includes using plain English, arriving at simple, elegant solutions, and giving direct answers. Our mission is to help keep the independent sector vibrant and viable.

Public Advocacy

We remain on the cutting edge of legal developments and routinely speak on current nonprofit issues at ABA meetings and meetings of various nonprofit trade associations. We have also contributed articles on corporate governance, executive compensation, and intermediate sanctions to scholarly journals including The Journal on Taxation, Taxation of Exempts, and The Exempt Organization Tax Review.

Our practice leader is a co-author of the annual edition of the California Continuing Education of the Bar treatise, Advising California Nonprofit Corporations, and a past Chair of the Tax-Exempt Organizations Committee of the Taxation Section of the State Bar. A recognized authority on nonprofit and tax-exempt issues, she testified before the IRS on intermediate sanctions issues and regularly advocates on behalf of the charitable sector.

Representative Clients

  • By the Bay Health
  • Franciscan Friars of California 
  • On Lok
  • The PG&E Corporation Foundation
  • Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
  • San Francisco Performing Arts Center Foundation
  • Steinberg Institute
  • LeadingAge California
  • California Assisted Living Association 
  • SFMade
  • Saint Francis Foundation
  • Jewish Family and Children's Services
  • Little Sisters of the Poor of Los Angeles
  • Keiro Services
  • Native American Health Center
  • Retirement Housing Foundation
  • HumanGood
  • Front Porch
  • Sequoia Living
  • Saban Community Clinic
  • Peninsula Volunteer Properties
  • Numerous family foundations


Key Contacts

Pamela Kaufmann
Pamela Kaufmann
San Francisco, CA

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