Starting a nonprofit firm will drown you in a sea of paperwork. You’ll need to hire a San Diego nonprofit attorney to make everything easier for you. You’ll need someone to draft documents and file forms for you. You’ll also need someone to help you with your legal questions.
Below are five tips that can help you in hiring the best San Diego nonprofit attorney.
- Ask Around. It’s difficult to find an attorney with nonprofit experience. The easiest way to find one is to ask other nonprofit executives. Ask them who their lawyers are and how they found them. And while you’re at it, check if the local law firms have pro-bono work for nonprofits.
You can also find one online. Make sure to scan for an attorney that works with nonprofits and charities. If you end up finding multiple attorneys, consult your network if they have worked with them. Ask for inputs about them to help you decide.
- Meet with the Potential Attorneys. Many attorneys provide free consultations. You should take advantage of those. When you do, make sure to bring at least one person with you. Doing that can help you get another opinion about the attorney.
You can also prepare a questionnaire for them. It’s important for you to find out more about them. What are their experiences working with nonprofits? Do they require a retainer? What other services does their firm offer? What are the fees involved? These are just a few of the questions that can help you find the right San Diego nonprofit attorney.
- Search Outside Your Board. There are nonprofit firms who ask attorneys to be on the board of directors because of their experience and expertise as an attorney. But this shouldn’t be your only method when finding an attorney. Having one on your board can be advantageous. That’s because they have a legal background that can help with board decisions.
By doing this, you can’t expect your attorney to defend you in the court to perform legal actions. That would create a conflict of interest. This can also put your attorney at risk of lawsuits.
- Review the Performance of the Attorney. After taking care of the paperwork, stay in touch with the attorney. Make time to review his or her performance yearly. Doing this will help you make sure that the attorney meets your needs. If he or she doesn’t, then you should look for another one. Working with an attorney should be beneficial to you and to the attorney. If he or she doesn’t treat you as a valuable client, then you should move on.
Legal issues will never stop. Make sure that you ask the attorney about other issues that may arise. It may be about conflict of interest issues, or IRS rules and regulations. It may also be about dealing with the removal of volunteers or for recordkeeping. When questions like these arise, go to your attorney.
- Look for Referral Sources. There are different services that you can use to find a San Diego nonprofit attorney. Use these services to jump-start your search.
- Bar Associations. Start at the national level. Check out the American Bar Association’s website.
- Attorney Lawyer Referral Service (ARS). Only use an IRS if it isn’t operated by an independent group of attorneys. An ARS gives the names of the attorneys who are selected to be listed under charity or nonprofit. Make sure to use an ARS that is run by the local bar association.
- Law Schools. Check if they have a clinic or if there are other programs that can help you.
- Nonprofit organizations. Consult with the regional or local chapter to see if they have referral services for attorneys.
- Martindale-Hubbell. Use this directory to help you with your search for a good nonprofit attorney in San Diego.
Why Choose Ortega Business Law
If you’re looking for a team with nonprofit corporate law experience, Ortega Business Law is the best choice. They deal with the formation and administration of nonprofit entities and corporations. But why Ortega Business Law?
Ortega Business Law offers different services to cater to everyone’s needs. They provide legal counseling on the feasibility of structuring a nonprofit entity. We all know how challenging it is for nonprofit organizations and entities. But despite the challenges, Ortega Business Law can customize the work for each organization. They take their clients’ mission, vision, and needs into account.
Services Offered by Ortega Business Law
- Preparing or reviewing IRS form 1023 and/or form 1024
- Preparing or reviewing Franchise Tax Board Form 3500
- Preparing or reviewing bylaws for the organization
- Preparation of other nonprofit filings including 501(c ) (4), 501 (c)(6), etc.
- Reinstatement of revoked 501 (c) (3) and 501(c)(4) status
- Formation of the nonprofit profit business entity, including:
- Articles of Incorporation
- Organization/Board Policies
- Board of Directors Resolutions
- Conflicts of Interest Policies and Code of Ethics
Benefits with Ortega Business Law
- Nonprofit mergers. Mergers are complicated. It’s important for a nonprofit organization to have the expertise of a qualified attorney before merging with another entity. Ortega Business Law will help you by educating you with everything that involves a merger. This includes negotiations and drafting documents and agreements. This also includes reporting and board counseling.
- Board and Staff Training. Staff training can make a difference for a nonprofit organization. Board members are busy volunteers. Therefore, it’s challenging for them to acquire the information needed to manage the organization. With Ortega Business Law, you can gain knowledge and experience in this area.
Corporate Compliance Review. It’s important for nonprofit organizations to examine their internal policies and bylaws. This is to make sure that they are aligned with the acts of the board of directors, and with the new federal and state laws and regulations. You can work with Ortega Business Law closely to make sure you get the necessary resources. Doing this will make sure your organization is viable.
There are over a million charities in the United States, all vying for your attention and donations. But unfortunately, not every charity is legitimate and some are actively trying to steal your money.
Charity fraud is as common as it is despicable, but that doesn’t mean you should stop giving money altogether.
Read on to learn the four most effective ways to avoid fraud and ensure your money is actually going to the causes you believe in.
Never Donate Money over the Phone
Many scam charities will make cold calls directly to your house. They’ll tell some sob story that will pull at your heartstrings and make you want to open up your wallet and donate. Don’t do it.
A lot of charity fraud is conducted over the phone because it’s an easy way to take advantage of your emotions and gullibility.
And even if the charity isn’t a scam, it’s probably still a waste of money. Charities that solicit money over the phone usually pay third-party telemarketers who will receive as much as 95% of all donated money.
If you’re genuinely enticed by a charity cold call, take a deep breath, politely hang up the phone, and do your own research before you donate.
Protect Yourself Against Scammers
In the worst case, a phone scammer could steal your credit card information and leave you broke and unable to pay your loans. If this happens, consider hiring a bankruptcy lawyer.
It may also be in your interest to seek out a payday loan consolidation company. Payday loans are small loans that help borrowers pay off unanticipated expenses.
Scammers could put you into debt, unable to pay your bills. In this case, calling a payday loan consolidation company, such as Real PDL Help, could be a viable option. Real PDL Help team of financial advisers can help victims of fraud pay off their debt with little interest rates. If you choose to donate online be sure to do your research and find a reputable donation website.
Research the Organization Before Donating
You should always research an organization before donating to it. Start by going to their website and making sure it looks legitimate and ends in “.org” instead of “.com”.
Then, head over to a third-party organization to read reviews and make sure the charity is verified.
Finally, if you really want to go in-depth, ask for the charity’s Form 990. They are required by law to give it to you (unless they’re a religious organization) and it will provide you with all of their relevant financial information.
Make sure they’re spending no more than 35% of donations on administration. You want your donation to go to the people that need it.
If everything checks out, go ahead and donate with confidence.
Be Careful of Similar Name Fraud
This is a surprisingly common charity fraud tactic, and it’s really simple. The scammers will set up a fake charity with a name similar to that of a well-known charity.
For example, you might see a charity called the National Heart Association instead of the American Heart Association.
This one’s easy to avoid. Always double check the name.
Charity Fraud Is Extra Common Right After Disasters
Charity scammers love playing on your goodwill. And your goodwill is never as high as right after a disaster.
If there’s been a recent terrorist attack or natural disaster, put your guard up because the scammers are on their way.
In 2005, as many as 4,000 charity sites with Hurricane Katrina in their name had been set up before the hurricane even made landfall. And scammers stole as much as $4 million dollars from well-meaning donors in the weeks after September 11.
The best way to avoid this type of scam is to donate to big, well-known charities right after a disaster. They’re usually the ones with the infrastructure to make a difference on the ground, and you know they’re not scamming you.
Don’t Fall Victim to Charity Fraud
Fraud is a crime. And unfortunately, fraud does exist in our world, and any person is susceptible to it.
But by following these simple rules, you’ll never be scammed by a fake charity.
If you’re already the victim of fraud, don’t panic. Contact us today! We can help you find the best restitution lawyer.