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What Directors Need to Know About the Duty of Obedience
Christopher Wilkes
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Issue Area
Leadership
Lawsuit Prevention
Corporate Governance
501(c)(3) Status
Tax Compliance
Format
Blog
Blog
Compared to the more common fiduciary duties of care and loyalty, the duty of obedience to mission is often forgotten. Unlike directors in the for-profit sector who seek to maximize profit for shareholders, non-profit directors must consider their organizational purposes and mission statements when making decisions.
Perspective
Impact Investing: Nonprofits and the Parable of the Talents
Linda A. Burrows
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Issue Area
501(c)(3) Status
Starting a Nonprofit
Corporate Governance
Tax Compliance
Format
Blog
Blog
The Parable of the Talents is often referenced when the topic of investing arises. The story aims to teach us that talents (our money, resources, tools, or gifts) are to be placed out in the world and put into action where they can benefit others, grow, and then come back multiplied. The principle applies to faith-based nonprofits, as well as individuals and for-profit businesses. When a faith-based organization finds itself with extra cash, the organization should consider whether investing these extra funds prudently would be in the organization’s best interest.
Perspective
The Big Tech Scorecard
Napa Legal Staff
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Issue Area
Big Tech
Religious Liberty
Religious Identity
Starting a Nonprofit
Risk Management
Format
Policy Report
Policy Report
Napa Legal analyzed the user agreements of over 50 major Big Tech platforms and found that 65% of them pose risks for religious freedom and free speech. This report sets forth our findings and how you can protect your organization and advocate for just policies. Read this report if you are: (1) a nonprofit or for-profit leader who values freedom of religion and free speech and relies on technology services to pursue your mission or conduct your business, (2) a policymaker seeking to understand how Big Tech treats religious freedom and free speech on their platforms, or (3) a supporter of freedom of speech and religion.
Perspective
Working Remotely
Lee Cotugno
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Issue Area
Starting a Nonprofit
Corporate Governance
Tax Compliance
Lawsuit Prevention
Employment
Format
Blog
Blog
One side-effect of COVID-19 has been the acceleration of remote working. Whether provided as an accommodation to a disability, or in response to a demand from (among others) Millennial employees, many companies and organizations will need to adapt to this new working environment. This adaptation includes providing for remote working in a way that is done fairly and avoids litigation.
Perspective
Compliance Alert: IRS Form 990 Filing Deadline Approaches
Napa Legal Staff
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Issue Area
501(c)(3) Status
Starting a Nonprofit
Corporate Governance
Tax Compliance
Format
Blog
Blog
Most organizations must file the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) Form 990 or request an extension by May 15. Many organizations also have state tax filings, charitable registration forms, corporate annual reports, or some combination of these due on the same date.
Perspective
Napa Legal Content: Where to Begin?
Napa Legal Staff
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Issue Area
Starting a Nonprofit
Format
Navigators
Navigators
Welcome to Napa Legal's Nonprofit Library! Not sure where to start? Let us help! If you are just starting out with your faith-based nonprofit, our resources can give you clarity and confidence about the key legal issues you might face, so you can work effectively with your attorney. If your faith-based nonprofit is already operating with sophistication, our resources provide important analysis on strategic questions related to legal and religious liberty developments and the concrete steps your organization should consider.
Perspective
Federal Rulemaking: What It Is and Why Your Organization's Participation Matters
Rachel N. Morrison and Maggie Beecher
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Issue Area
Religious Liberty
Healthcare
Lawsuit Prevention
K-12 Education
Risk Management
Format
Toolkit
Toolkit
Groups of federal employees called agencies make rules that often impact daily life for faith-based organizations. During the rulemaking process, the public is invited to review and provide comment on a proposed rule, including any questions and concerns. The attached question-and-answer document will help your organization participate in this important process to ensure that agencies understand and respond to the perspectives of faith-based organizations in their rulemaking.
Perspective
2022 Self-Assessments
Napa Legal Staff
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Issue Area
Religious Liberty
Religious Identity
Corporate Governance
Starting a Nonprofit
Employment
Format
Self-Assessment
Self-Assessment
Take stock of your nonprofit’s strengths and weaknesses with this easy-to-use checklist. Broad topics such as “how well does your organization live out its religious identity” and “how strong are our corporate governance practices” are broken down into actionable “yes” or “no” questions that help you assess your vulnerabilities and strengths. For each section, the assessment provides links to Napa Legal resources that will help your organization address your weaknesses and identify opportunities for growth.
Perspective
Religious Liberty Alert: Faith-Based Nonprofits and Forthcoming HHS Rules
Rachel N. Morrison and Maggie Beecher
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Issue Area
501(c)(3) Status
Starting a Nonprofit
Corporate Governance
Tax Compliance
Format
Blog
Blog
Perspective
Example Board Resolution Approving Conflicted Transaction
Napa Legal Staff
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Issue Area
501(c)(3) Status
Corporate Governance
Lawsuit Prevention
Tax Compliance
K-12 Education
Format
Template
Template
From time to time, your organization may have the opportunity to buy products or services from a director, officer, or other interested person. Because such arrangements are conflicted transactions, special diligence and board pre-approval are necessary. This example document shows the best practices for board approval of a conflicted transaction. Work with an attorney to customize this resource to reflect your organization's needs and applicable law. Also see the companion article to this resource, Conflicts of Interest: Avoiding Common Mistakes.
Perspective
Conflicts of Interest: Avoiding Common Mistakes
Napa Legal Staff
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Issue Area
501(c)(3) Status
Lawsuit Prevention
Corporate Governance
Tax Compliance
K-12 Education
Format
Blog
Blog
A director who is also a technology executive offers to sell technology from his company to a nonprofit school at cost. A director who runs an interior design firm offers to consult for a nonprofit women’s center at a steep discount. The organizations will be getting the best deal on the market. Must the board review and approve these transactions before the organization can take advantage of the great opportunities?
Perspective
Napa Legal's 2021 Annual Report
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Issue Area
No items found.
Format
Perspective
Greatness of Soul—On the Launch of The Good Counselor Project
Josh Holdenried
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Issue Area
Leadership
Corporate Governance
The Good Counselor Project™
Format
Blog
Blog
The legal profession is suffering a deep existential crisis. To many who live and practice the law, this is a self-evident truth. To those who do not, but who nonetheless rely on legal professionals, the idea of “good counsel” has been reduced to a mere transaction between client and attorney, with the former often viewing the latter as little more than an expensive technocrat who exists to solve their problems.
Perspective
Why The Good Counselor Project?
John C. Peiffer II
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Issue Area
Leadership
The Good Counselor Project™
Format
Blog
Blog
This essay is adapted from remarks given by Napa Legal's President and General Counsel, John C. Peiffer II, at the launch of the Good Counselor Project in Washington, D.C.
Perspective
The Things of the Spirit: What a Good Counselor Should Know
Luke Macik
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Issue Area
Leadership
The Good Counselor Project™
Format
Blog
Blog
This essay is adopted and edited from remarks delivered by Luke Macik at the launch of The Good Counselor Project, which took place in Washington, D.C. on October 14, 2021. Mr. Macik serves as The Good Counselor Project’s seminar leader.
Perspective
Faith, Family, and Charitable Giving: Draft a Plan
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Issue Area
Religious Liberty
Leadership
Tax Compliance
Planned & Charitable Giving
Format
Template
Template
Donors seeking to support faith-based organizations should use this self-assessment. The assessment helps users give in a way that both aligns with their faith and responsibly stewards their financial resources. Faith-based organizations can also use this tool to work with interested donors, so the two can identify mutually beneficial giving options.
Perspective
Gratitude, Service, and the Vocation of a Good Counselor
Alan Sears and John C. Peiffer II*
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Issue Area
Leadership
Spiritual Entrepreneurship
The Good Counselor Project™
Format
Blog
Blog
After many recent months of excess stress and anxiety, attorneys can find solace and healing in a return to gratitude and the call to serve as a “good counselor.” Even pre-pandemic, many attorneys experienced dangerously high rates of mental suffering, with sadness and stress escalating into anxiety and depression.
Perspective
Protecting Donors and Charities: What Nonprofit Leaders Should Know about the Supreme Court’s Decision in AFPF v. Bonta
Napa Legal Staff
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Issue Area
Supreme Court
Lawsuit Prevention
Starting a Nonprofit
Corporate Governance
Spiritual Entrepreneurship
Format
Blog
Blog
Charitable organizations can now provide their donors with additional privacy and protection, thanks to a recent Supreme Court ruling. Effective July 1, 2021, state charitable regulators can no longer force charitable organizations to disclose their donor names...
Perspective
User Agreements and the Enforcement of Corporate Values
Napa Legal Staff
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Issue Area
Big Tech
Religious Liberty
Religious Identity
Format
Policy Report
Policy Report
A tech company's “community guidelines” can be used to justify cutting off service to faith-based organizations whose values do not align with secular liberalism. This report surveys the user agreements employed by tech vendors and catalogues the scope of power these vendors reserve to enforce their corporate values through their user agreements.
Perspective
Fulton v. City of Philadelphia: What Nonprofit Leaders Need to Know
Andrea Picciotti-Bayer
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Issue Area
Religious Liberty
Religious Identity
Supreme Court
Lawsuit Prevention
Leadership
Format
Whitepaper
Whitepaper
At the end of its 2020-2021 Term, on June 17, the Supreme Court issued a much-anticipated judgment in favor of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s foster care placement agency. The judgment in Fulton v. City of Philadelphia was unanimous, with the Court’s majority opinion authored by Chief Justice John Roberts. Two concurring opinions, written by Justices Samuel Alito and Amy Coney Barrett, signaled interest among a majority of the justices to revisit the Court’s precedent so far as it relates to religious objections to generally applicable laws.
Perspective
Checklist for Onboarding Directors
Napa Legal Staff
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Issue Area
501(c)(3) Status
Lawsuit Prevention
Record Keeping
Starting a Nonprofit
Leadership
Format
Blog
Blog
Faith-based nonprofits should provide their directors with an onboarding package containing key documents related to the organization and its operations. This onboarding package will help directors understand the organization so that they can provide accurate and helpful guidance
Perspective
After Fulton: Seven Steps Nonprofit Leaders Should Take
Napa Legal Staff
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Issue Area
Supreme Court
Lawsuit Prevention
Religious Liberty
Leadership
Risk Management
Format
Blog
Blog
The case Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania made headlines last week as an important victory for faith-based organizations. Leaders of faith-based nonprofits must take concrete steps to adjust to this new development in religious liberty law.
Perspective
Choosing the Right Vendor
Napa Legal Staff
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Issue Area
Religious Liberty
Starting a Nonprofit
Financial Health & Solvency
Leadership
Corporate Governance
Format
Blog
Blog
Those who lead or support a faith-based nonprofit should endeavor to choose vendors whose business philosophy aligns with the nonprofit’s mission and values or at least does not actively contradict them. Failing to do so can harm...
Perspective
Trademark Basics
Bryan Harrison
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Issue Area
Starting a Nonprofit
Lawsuit Prevention
Risk Management
Corporate Governance
Format
Blog
Blog
Nonprofits, just like commercial corporations, have names, symbols and designs that identify the nonprofit as the source of a good or service. These identifying words, phrases, logos, and designs are trademarks. Simply put, a trademark identifies to the public
Perspective
Financial Opportunities and Challenges During Times of Change
Napa Legal Staff
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Issue Area
Financial Health & Solvency
Format
Navigators
Navigators
Economic uncertainty and financial pressures can make pursuing a religious, charitable, or educational mission difficult. However, a number of legal solutions are available to help an organization turn these challenges into opportunities to serve and to pursue the organization's mission with more dedication and efficiency. Learn about joint ventures, mergers, consolidations, shared services and facilities agreements, dissolutions, and bankruptcy.
Perspective
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