Cullinane Law Group serves philanthropists, foundations, and charitable organizations across the United States and abroad. Since our specialization is nonprofit law, we help our clients with diverse issues specific to nonprofits, including fundraising registration and compliance.
Nonprofit lawyer Mollie Cullinane provides guidance to charities and their professional fundraisers and development officers. She regularly teaches “Fundraising Law 101” and “Fundraising Legally” to the fundraising community.
What is fundraising law?
Fundraisers need to be aware of a variety of laws impacting their nonprofit organization. Development officers need to have strong development policies and procedures in place. The Cullinane Law Group helps charities, foundations, and fundraisers nationwide with some of the following issues:
- Fundraising Registration & Reporting. Fundraising activities are regulated by law in 39 states and the District of Columbia. In these jurisdictions, charities must register with the state before they start fundraising.
- Cause-Related Marketing, Royalty & Sponsor Contracts, Corporate Sponsorships
- Grant Agreements
- T-Shirt & Merchandise Sales: Rules on collecting sales tax
- Bake Sales & Dinners
- One-day Special Events: Fairs, Festivals, Bazaars, Sports Events, Galas
- Raffles, Give-aways, Poker, Bingo: Fun fundraising or illegal gambling? Can we hold a raffle? What can we give away?
- Third-party Fundraisers
- Thanking and Acknowledging Donors Legally
- Charitable gifts, contributions, and deductibility requirements
- Planned gifts and establishing and administering planned giving programs, including gift acceptance policies
- Major gifts, including naming opportunities and capital campaign gift structures
- Scholarships, grants, or awards to individuals
- Donor advised funds
- Social investments that produce financial returns to benefit the broader society.
You may enjoy nonprofit lawyer Mollie Cullinane’s article on Donor Acknowledgment Letters – What information do we need to include for tax purposes?
Gift Planning for Smart Charitable Gifts
- Donor intent policies
- Investment policies
- Structuring transactions to avoid both direct and indirect self-dealing
- Program-related investments
- Advocacy grantmaking
- Administrative policies and procedures
- Grants to individuals
Grants Management & Administration
- Establish foundation guidelines – including philanthropic focus, geographic boundaries, program criteria, and areas excluded from funding
- User-friendly contracts for recipients of the funds, so that your tax-exempt organization stays compliant
- Developing policy and setting asset allocation
For-Good Businesses: Corporate Foundations & Philanthropy
We counsel for-good, for-profit businesses. We help companies that are giving back to their communities. Common issues include corporate philanthropy, corporate foundations, and cause marketing (co-ventures, crowd-sourced fundraising).
- Help companies develop legal structures for their community benefit activities
- Corporate foundations
- Employee giving programs
- Corporate philanthropy planning
Practical Help For Your Nonprofit
Texas nonprofit attorney Mollie Cullinane previously worked directly in the nonprofit sector – in legal, development, and management roles – so she knows how nonprofits actually operate. Mollie was a former development officer and grant writer — so she understands the fundraising world. Mollie was a former member of Association of Fundraising Professionals (A.F.P.) and often teaches sessions to groups of professional fundraisers. She uses this insight to provide current nonprofit clients with tools and techniques for best practices in management, development, and board and staff issues.