Ryan S. Kasdin

Kasdin Ryan

Ryan Kasdin advises tax-exempt organizations on a range of corporate, tax, and governance matters, political activities regulatory compliance, and commercial transactions.  In addition to providing general counsel services, Ryan helps clients navigate the intersecting tax and campaign finance laws applicable to tax-exempt organizations engaging in issue advocacy and political activities. Ryan works with a variety of tax-exempt organizations, including public charities, private foundations, political committees, advocacy organizations, and professional associations. Clients appreciate his accessible, solution-oriented approach to lawyering and his understanding of their individual challenges and goals.

Ryan has broad experience advising clients on structural and operational matters, including formation, corporate governance, tax exemption, fiscal sponsorships, mergers and reorganizations, alliances and joint ventures, contract negotiation, grant-making, copyright and trademark protection and licensing, fundraising regulation, and other issues relevant to tax-exempt organizations. He works with clients on complex tax, transactional, and regulatory compliance questions, as well as day-to-day problem solving. 

For clients involved in issue advocacy and political activity, Ryan advises on federal and state campaign finance compliance, election laws, gifts and ethics rules, formation of PACs, and overall legal and regulatory compliance. He advises clients on permissible uses of tax-exempt dollars for issue advocacy, lobbying, and political activities, and helps clients achieve desired outcomes within the legal framework. He vets political advertisements and issue advocacy campaigns for compliance with the tax code, grant restrictions, and campaign finance restrictions.  

Ryan’s specific areas of experience include:

Tax-exempt Organizations 

  • Formation and ongoing representation of 501(c)(3), 501(c)(4), 501(c)(6), and 527 organizations
  • Corporate governance
  • Grant-making and grant compliance
  • Conflicts of interest
  • IRS restrictions on lobbying and political activities
  • Unrelated business income tax (UBIT)
  • Form 990 reporting
  • Private benefit and private inurement
  • State and local tax exemption and reporting
  • Affiliate and subsidiary relationships
    • Related 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) organizations
    • For-profit and not-for-profit subsidiaries
    • National and state/local chapters
  • Mergers and acquisitions, asset transfers, dissolutions
  • Fundraising regulation

Political Law

  • Campaign finance (federal, state, local)
    • PACs and super PACs
    • Candidates and campaigns
    • Independent expenditures 
    • Anti-coordination firewalls
  • Political advertising
  • Paid and earned media
  • Government ethics and gift rules (federal, state, local)
  • State voter file and voter registration regulations
  • Internal compliance systems and training

General Counseling

  • Start-up counseling
  • Contract drafting and negotiation 
  • Intellectual property (trademark and copyright)
  • Insurance coverage
  • Employee/independent contractor classification
  • Privacy and data security counseling


Representative Matters

  • Represented The Common Application, Inc. in its acquisition of Former First Lady Michelle Obama’s Reach Higher campaign
  • Provided counsel to the Carnegie Hall Corporation on corporate governance, contract negotiation, corporate sponsorship, licensing, UBIT, and other matters
  • Advised fiscal sponsor of innovative nonprofit advocacy projects engaged in fast-paced, high-profile grassroots campaigns to influence public policy and elections ($30+ million in 2017–2018)
  • Formed and advised a super PAC that made multi-million-dollar independent expenditures in multiple states during the 2018 U.S. midterm elections
  • Advised a congressionally chartered federal instrumentality on a variety of tax exemption, funding, and operational questions 




  • J.D. Columbia University School of Law 2014
    • Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar
    • Legal intern, United States Senate, Office of Senator Chris Coons (D-DE), Senate Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on Bankruptcy and the Courts
  • B.A. Columbia University 2009
    • Dean's List

Bar Admissions

  • New York
  • California
  • District of Columbia

Professional Memberships and Activities

  • Member, American Bar Association
  • Member, District of Columbia Bar 
  • Member, New York State Bar Association
  • Member, National LGBT Bar Association