A public charity in Massachusetts can seek exemption from paying property taxes.
Good governance characterizes strong, healthy nonprofit organizations. Good governance also helps avoid future leadership, regulatory, institutional, and reputational problems. Our attorneys have extensive experience helping nonprofit executives and boards navigate governance problems and implement good governance in the following areas:
Updating Corporate Documents. Every organization should review its Articles of Organization and Bylaws every five years to ensure that these documents represent current law, best practices for nonprofits, and the organization’s current mission and governance.
Compliance with state and federal regulatory agencies. The Secretary of the Commonwealth, Attorney General, and IRS each have their own registration and annual reporting requirements. It is not unusual for an organization to have its corporate or exempt status lapse for failure to file or for improperly filing its annual reports.
Navigating conflicts of interest. Board members are invited to serve on boards because they bring expertise, resources, and experience to help your organization. At times, directors can have financial or “duality of interest” conflicts given their professional position or director roles on other boards.
Implementing policies and procedures. Every nonprofit is required to have certain governance policies in place. Effective nonprofits also follow best practices to promote sound oversight in the key financial and risk areas of the organization. These include (but are not limited to) policies that address conflicts of interest, document retention, employment and compensation, whistleblowers, restricted giving, and investment practices.
Special rules for nonprofits with ties to state agencies. The work of nonprofit corporations often intersects with the work of government. Public employees serve on non-profit boards, executive directors and other staff of nonprofits serve on government boards or commissions, and non-profits routinely seek grants from the government. In Massachusetts, these relationships can trigger conflict of interest laws with significant consequences for your nonprofit. Learn more.
Lobbying rules and reporting requirements. If a non-profit corporation gets involved with any activities to promote, oppose or influence legislation or executive action in Massachusetts, the corporation and/or its staff may have filing and reporting obligations with the Secretary of the Commonwealth.
Ballot question rules and reporting requirements. Non-profit corporations that raise monies, or even just make expenditures, to support or oppose a state or municipal ballot question in Massachusetts must organize with and report to the Office of Campaign and Political Finance.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us to discuss your governance issues or questions.
385 Concord Avenue
Belmont, MA 02478 (617) 484-6610
Fax: (617) 484-0035