July 12, 2012 - 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM ET

Nonprofit Chapters and Affiliates: Key Legal Issues, Pitfalls and Successful Strategies

This event has already occurred.
Venable LLP
575 7th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20004

Nonprofit Chapters and Affiliates: Key Legal Issues, Pitfalls and Successful Strategies

Update: This event has already occurred. Please visit our Venable LLP Nonprofit YouTube channel to listen to and view the recorded webinar, and click here to view presentation materials from the event.

Whether your organization is a national trade or professional association, a public charity, or an issue-based advocacy group, it is more the norm than the exception to have relationships with state, local and international chapters and affiliates. While some are organized in a federated model, some are barely affiliated at all, or some have structures everywhere in between, so many nonprofits are interconnected with these components in critical – and often frustrating – ways.

In addition to all of the non-legal issues and challenges presented by chapters and affiliates, the legal ones can sometimes be the most critical. Some key areas of legal concern involve the following:

  • Is there a written affiliation agreement with your affiliates, and, if so, does it provide all of the necessary protections for your organization?
  • Are there common membership requirements and common dues-paying mechanisms, and/or common or overlapping nomination, election and governance structures?
  • Is the parent’s intellectual property used by affiliates in a manner that can create legal risk for the parent?
  • Is there a group tax exemption in place and do your affiliates understand their critical obligation nonetheless to file an annual information return with the IRS?
  • Can defamatory comments, copyright or trademark infringement, privacy violations, anticompetitive practices, or any other problematic acts or omissions of your affiliate create liability for your organization?

Drawing on years of experience in counseling hundreds of nonprofits through these and many other affiliate-related scenarios, these are some of the topics that will be covered by our speakers. But as importantly as identifying these areas of legal concern and common pitfalls, we will focus on offering up practical, workable, proven solutions to mitigate these risks, protect your organization, and foster amicable affiliate relations.

George E. Constantine, Partner and Co-Chair of the Regulatory Practice Group, Venable LLP
Janice M. Ryan, Attorney and Member of the Nonprofit Organizations Practice, Venable LLP