Law 363 - Nonprofit Organizations
Taimie L. Bryant
M.A. Anthropology, UCLA, 1978
Ph.D. UCLA, 1984
J.D. Harvard, 1987
The nonprofit sector is a vibrant part of our economy, providing multiple types of paid employment opportunities, including legal work in for-profit organizations that have associated charitable activities and legal work in not-for-profit organizations operating for the public good. The nonprofit sector also furthers the goals of a participatory democracy through unpaid volunteer opportunities designed to bring people together for recreation, service to others, and moving previously controversial ideas into the mainstream of society. The sector includes organizations as diverse as neighborhood associations, opera companies, hiking clubs and other recreational associations, environmental protection organizations, disaster relief charities, universities, religious organizations, and health care providers. This course focuses on legal issues pertaining to various aspects of nonprofit organizations. These include establishment of a nonprofit organization, the obligations of board members in directing the activities of the organization, legal rules associated with different types of fundraising (including solicitation of donations and the use of commercial activities to bring in revenue), participation in legislative activism and political campaigns, and dissolution of an organization. State, local, and federal legal rules are all important, but this course focuses primarily on federal rules. Some of those rules pertain to taxes nonprofits must pay, but there are no tax course prerequisites for this course, and mathematical calculations play a minimal role in the course. Students should be prepared to write short assignments in preparation for class participation. In addition to those writing assignments, grades are based on class attendance and participation, a short oral presentation, and a closed-book final exam.
Understanding of characteristics of the nonprofit sector and political and economic rationales for its existence.
Familiarity with basic state and federal laws pertaining to nonprofit organizations.
Facility with Form 990, which is the required annual IRS information filing for nonprofit organizations and provides important information to donors, regulators, and beneficiaries of nonprofit organizations.
Application of nonprofit rules to specific organizations, including an organization selected by each student for the student to follow during the semester.