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It's not a matter of if, but when, federal or state government investigations or controversies will arise for nonprofit organizations. As many nonprofits can attest, it is far from just the bad actors that get investigated. Whether it comes in the form of a congressional inquiry, a regulatory review, or an agency investigation, it is important to have plans in place that will allow you to respond in a way that protects the interests and reputation of your organization and mitigates your downside risk.
Often, there may be more than one investigation or controversy going on at a time, and they can frequently spawn follow-on private litigation. They can lead to large fines and penalties, disclosure of embarrassing and sensitive information, expensive legal fees, distractions of staff time, and the crippling of a nonprofit’s reputation, relevance, and ability to carry out its mission.
A panel of seasoned legal and crisis communication professionals who have spent decades working in and around these types of high-stakes matters will share their insights and experiences to help your nonprofit prepare and respond effectively. They will discuss the many ways nonprofits can plan ahead—from setting up a core response team to outlining a decision-making process that incorporates legal, communications, executive, and other stakeholders in the organization.
They also will speak to:
- Conducting internal investigations and the role the organization's board of directors should play
- Managing the traditional and ever-changing social media landscapes when bad news breaks
- Identifying and prioritizing your key audiences (internally and externally) and how to tailor communications strategies for each of them
- Finding validators and supporters to help in times of need
- How to practice effective outreach to government to mitigate risks
- The importance of strong internal controls and good document and information management
- Proven strategies for interacting with investigators
- The art of negotiating the scope of the inquiry and preparing documents and information to be produced
- How to manage the challenges of parallel federal and state investigations
- Preserving the attorney client privilege and properly utilizing it
- Special considerations when federal or state funds are involved
- Required disclosure on IRS information returns
This is a program you will want to attend before your nonprofit becomes the target of a government investigation or controversy, not after.
12:00 p.m. - 12:30 p.m. ET - Networking Luncheon
12:30 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. ET - Program/Video Webinar
Erik Jones, Esq., Partner, Congressional Investigations Practice, Venable LLP
Alexandra Megaris, Esq., Counsel, Congressional Investigations Practice, Venable LLP
Tracy Schmaler, Managing Director, Crisis Communications, Litigation, and Issues Management Practices, Kivvit