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Nonprofit Advocates Program

We are looking for attorneys who are committed to helping community organizations, communities of color and/or low-income communities and who want to volunteer with Communities Rise to provide assistance to nonprofits and learn the nuts and bolts of nonprofit law.

The Nonprofits Advocates Program is a mentorship program that trains attorneys to help community organizations become 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit organizations and to help existing nonprofit organizations stay in compliance. The program consists of a cohort of 10-12 attorneys to counsel and perform the legal tasks of creating and maintaining a nonprofit. Attorneys will gain hands-on experience assisting Communities Rise clients with incorporation and obtaining their 501(c)(3) tax-exemption.

Communities Rise’s nonprofit clients are often grassroots organizations serving low-income communities or communities of color. Attorneys will build skills in cultural competency and working with small nonprofit clients. Attorneys will also learn to conduct a “legal health check-up” (issue-spotting on compliance) for an already established nonprofit.

Communities Rise’s clients need help with:

  • Determining if a nonprofit legal structure is the right structure for their work
  • Fiscal sponsorship arrangements
  • Incorporation (drafting or amending and filing articles of incorporation)
  • Drafting or amending nonprofit corporate bylaws
  • Applying for 501(c)(3) tax-exemption
  • Drafting a conflict of interest policy
  • “Legal health check-up,” issue-spotting on legal compliance (using Communities Rise’s Nonprofit Legal Checklist)

The in-depth training and resources for participating volunteer attorneys is free and comes with 14 CLE credits (a value of over $800), pending approval. We ask participating attorneys to commit to taking on two nonprofit matters and one legal health check-up matter over the course of 18 months. Communities Rise volunteer attorneys, Madhu Singh of the Foundry Law Group and Jeff Liang of Ling and Liang, will provide mentorship over the course of the program.

For questions about the program or to be added to our list of interested volunteers, email Brenda Tausch Lapora, brenda@communities-rise.org. Stay tuned for a call for applications later in 2020!