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Non-profits and Service Organizations

Your non-profit is your passion. Your passion is our business.

We know the immeasurable contributions that non-profit and service organizations make to our communities, and we are privileged to represent non-profits of all sizes and at all stages in their development.

Maybe you have an idea for a non-profit.  Maybe your established organization has grown and needs employee agreements and handbooks.  Maybe you’re wondering if FMLA or Worker’s Comp laws apply to your organization.  We’re happy to help, and we are pleased to offer significantly discounted rates to qualified non-profit clients.


Some of our non-profit clients have included:

  • youth sports organizations
  • churches
  • hospitals
  • service-based organizations
  • cultural exchange groups
  • cancer-awareness and fundraising charities
  • parent-teacher organizations
  • neighborhood associations
  • youth leadership organizations
  • an NCAA athletic conference
  • a regional liberal arts college
  • homeless assistance and crisis-related organizations
  • a retreat and conference center

We also are proud to serve the Nashville non-profit community through our volunteer efforts. In the last two years alone, our attorneys have volunteered for or served on the boards or committees of 21 different non-profit organizations, community groups, schools, and government commissions.

Frequently Asked Questions
We’re happy to share some basic information with you here. If you want legal advice, please schedule a consultation.

No. There are many types of taxes—both state and federal. Usually, “501(c)3” organizations are exempt from federal income tax and state sales tax. But, this is not always the case. Whether an organization must pay unemployment tax, worker’s comp, property, or other taxes, can be a complicated question, and answering that question needs to involve your legal counsel and your tax advisor.
Section 501(c)3 of U.S.C.A. Title 26 is a federal code provision. The federal government recognizes certain not-for-profit corporations as having this status, and the designation usually means that the organization gets certain tax exemptions. Not all non-profits are “501(c)3,” and it is important to get advice on which structure is the best for your business goals.
Actually, you will probably first need to establish a non-profit corporation under state laws, which usually involves making some filings, establishing a board of directors and officers, and creating bylaws. Then comes the federal process. Finally, you will probably go back to the state to take certain steps to obtain any available tax exemptions. It’s not usually complicated, but it can be confusing if you’ve never done it before. That’s why it is generally best to make sure you are working with a professional who can answer your questions.
Most states have laws about who can solicit donations. These state laws apply whether or not an organization is a 501(c)3 group. In Tennessee, the permission you need is a “Charitable Solicitations Permit.”
Public charity, private foundation, fiscal sponsorship, B-Corps…there’s a lot of information out there. Each structure has benefits and drawbacks that depend on the goals and resources of the organization. It’s important to make sure you have an adviser who can answer your questions.
Yes. Board Members of non-profits have fiduciary obligations and can be legally liable for their actions as a board member. It’s important to make sure you understand your role and your duties.

Recognition





U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers® included the firm on their 2018 “Best Firms” list for the Metro Nashville area, including a Top Tier designation for Non-Profit.


Dodson Parker Behm and Capparella PC
1310 Sixth Avenue North
Nashville,TN 37208

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