Support for Nonprofit Organizations

Supporting Non-Profit Organizations

archway996269Ellen Lubell provides services that encompass the full lifecycle of charities and other nonprofit organizations. From establishing corporate entities and obtaining “501(c)(3)” tax exempt status, to advising on governance, intellectual property, regulatory compliance, fundraising, and dissolution, she has the depth of experience required to assist a wide range of nonprofit boards and managers. Whether your organization is a large educational or cultural institution or a small charity, Ellen can help.

Ellen also offers legal guidance to companies that do business with nonprofits and to individual employees of nonprofits, such as academic faculty, who provide consulting services to companies. In both cases, Ellen’s understanding of the regulatory and policy framework under which nonprofits operate greatly benefits her clients.


Nonprofit boards have demanding and multifaceted responsibilities. In recent years, high profile failures of governance at some notable organizations have resulted in increased media focus on boards and attention by federal and state regulators to strengthening the role of boards in oversight and legal compliance.

With years of experience both as in-house and outside counsel, Ellen is particularly skilled in providing practical advice and guidance on the rights and responsibilities of board members, board member liability, “whistleblower” policies, and overall risk management. She assists boards in developing bylaws and internal policies, and advises on practices to assure that organizations are expending their resources in a manner that preserves their tax status.

Ellen also assists nonprofit boards in performing their responsibilities of hiring, evaluating and appropriately compensating the executive director. She offers expert counsel to boards facing conflicts of interest and internal divisions.

Regulatory Compliance

To retain their tax-exempt status, nonprofits must comply with a myriad of state and federal regulations. Ellen offers knowledgeable, practical advice on compliance relating to private inurement, fundraising, reinstatement of tax-exempt “501(c)(3)” status, unrelated business income (“UBIT”), restrictions on lobbying, and Sarbanes-Oxley Act requirements.

For nonprofit clients funded under government grants and contracts, Ellen helps navigate the complex regulations that govern expenditure, reporting, and subcontracting arrangements.

Ellen is adept at handling information security challenges — protecting proprietary business information, addressing the theft of personal data. She advises clients on the types of data security policies frequently required by government agencies, including the new European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Business Transactions

Ellen assists non-profit clients in developing business strategies and negotiating transactions, many involving intellectual property protection and licensing. Her clients include universities, museums, libraries, academic journals, religious and environmental organizations, and scientific societies. Ellen utilizes her expansive knowledge in governance and regulatory compliance to protect clients from missteps that could jeopardize their tax-exempt status.

Ellen works with academics who consult with for-profit companies to assure that their consulting agreements are not only favorable from a business perspective, but also comply with the policies of their institutions relating to faculty consulting, intellectual property, publishing, non-compete agreements, and indemnification.

“Ellen, I felt such enormous relief and gratitude after we spoke. Thank you for being so competent and thinking of all the things I wasn’t thinking of. I felt tremendously supported by you and safer being protected by your careful attention to detail. You helped me make decisions that are in the best interest of my organization, that I couldn’t really articulate before we spoke. Thank you!”

Anne Hallward, M.D., Executive Director
Safe Space Radio, Inc.

“For the past few years, our global nonprofit organization has engaged Ellen Lubell as our counsel. Working with our board and management, she has provided us with excellent advice and ready assistance. Not only does she have a keen legal mind, but she also brings to her work a very good sense of human relations and social justice. Given the nature of our endeavors and the particular legal issues we encounter, it is difficult to imagine how we could be better served.”

Thomas A. Gee, President & CEO
FCD Educational Services

See Non-Profit Resources.