February 04, 2016 - 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM ET

Nonprof‎it Chapters and Affiliates: Finding Structures and Relationships that Address Your Challenges and Work Well for Everyone

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Venable LLP & Webinar
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Washington, DC 20004

Nonprofit Chapters and Affiliates

Update: This event has already occurred. Please click above to listen to and view the recorded webinar, click here to view presentation materials from the event, and visit our Venable LLP Nonprofit YouTube channel to listen to and view all of our recorded webinars on nonprofit legal topics.

Does your nonprofit have chapters and/or affiliates, or is it contemplating them, either domestically and/or overseas? If so, you are not alone. Whether your organization is a national trade or professional association, a public charity, an international NGO, 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 tight, federated model, some are loosely or barely affiliated at all, and some are somewhere in between, so many nonprofits are interconnected with these components in critical—and often frustrating—ways.

This program—led by one of the country's leading nonprofit attorneys and a long-time association CEO with extensive experience with association chapters and affiliates—will discuss the pros and cons of the leading chapter and affiliate structures, explore relationships between components that tend to be the most successful for everyone involved, examine how to effectively minimize legal and other risk to the parent organization, and outline tips and strategies to help resolve friction and tension in the component family. In addition, we will address questions such as:

  • What are the pros and cons of having your chapters structured as separate legal entities versus having them all part of a single legal entity with the parent? Is there any middle ground?
  • What strategies and approaches tend to work best in fostering healthy, amicable parent-chapter/affiliate relationships, and which tend not to?
  • What are the legal, tax and other benefits of forming both nonprofit and for-profit affiliates, and what are the key risks and pitfalls in doing so?
  • When do you know it is time to "cut the cord," abolish state or local chapters, and bring the functions in-house?
  • Is there a written affiliation agreement with your chapters and affiliates, and, if so, does it provide all of the necessary protections for the parent organization, while providing chapters and affiliates with enough breathing room?
  • For membership organizations, are there common membership requirements and dues-collection mechanisms that generally work well, as well as common nomination, election and governance structures?
  • Is the parent’s intellectual property used by chapters and affiliates in a manner that can create legal risk for the parent, and how can that risk—legal, reputational and otherwise—best be managed?
  • What is a group tax exemption, does it make sense for your chapters, and what are the biggest pitfalls in this area?
  • Can defamatory comments, copyright or trademark infringement, privacy violations, anticompetitive practices, or any other problematic acts or omissions of your chapters or affiliates create liability risk for the parent? If so, how can these best be mitigated?

George E. Constantine, Esq. Partner and Co-Chair of the Regulatory Practice Group, Venable LLP
Paul Stalknecht, President & CEO, Air Conditioning Contractors of America

12:00 p.m. - 12:30 p.m. ET - Networking Luncheon
12:30 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. ET - Program/Webinar