MCR provides a variety of legal and organizational development services to ensure the success of nonprofit and community-based organizations in carrying out their missions.

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Consulting for New and Established Nonprofits

Leaders of community-based organizations and other nonprofits can make appointments with MCR staff for one-on-one consultation to address a variety of legal and organizational needs. MCR’s Office Hours program provides leaders with opportunities for one-hour appointments with MCR staff and specialized volunteers to discuss individual legal needs or to carry out the intake process for a more complex issue to be handled over time.


  • Community Organizing & Resident Engagement
  • Youth Engagement
  • Volunteer Management & Recruitment
  • Fund Development, Grant Review & Budget
  • Program Evaluation
  • Program Planning & Transitional Leadership
  • Collaboration & Partnership Development
  • Marketing & Media Strategies
  • Nonprofit Start-Up Legal Assistance
  • Intake for Request for Legal Assistance


Office Hours take place monthly at rotating locations across the city. You can apply for an Office Hours appointment for your organization by completing this form.

Legal Services for Nonprofit Organizations

Michigan Community Resources provides legal services to ensure the success of Qualifying nonprofit organizations.

Each year, MCR staff and volunteer attorneys provide legal services to more than 100 nonprofit organizations. Working together, these attorneys provide a wide range of business and transactional legal services to nonprofit organizations.


Eligibility Criteria



To be eligible for pro bono legal referrals through MCR, existing nonprofits must:

  • Be located in the state of Michigan
  • Have a primarily charitable or community-based purpose
  • Serve low income communities or other needs
  • Be unable to pay for legal fees without significant impairment of program resources, AND
  • Be seeking legal assistance on a business or organizational matter, but not on any legal issue related to current or expected litigation



To be eligible for pro bono legal services, a start-up organization must demonstrate that it satisfies the above requirements for Existing Nonprofits, and has potential viability. Viability can be demonstrated by providing:

  • Mission statement
  • Board of directors roster
  • 3-year budget
  • Business plan
  • Clear description of program services or activities that the new organization will engage


Types of Legal Matters Addressed



  • 501(c)(3) Incorporation – Incorporation and application for tax exemption status under IRS Code sec. 501(c)(3)
  • Nonprofit Governance – Preparing and revising bylaws; creating articles of incorporation; creating conflict of interest policies; creating whistleblower policies, and creating other corporate documents and policies; and advising on good corporate governance
  • Maintenance and Compliance – Advice on maintaining 501(c)(3) status, including unrelated business income and compliance with lobbying restrictions
  • Taxes – Advice regarding federal, state, and local taxes
  • Contracts – Drafting and advising on business contracts
  • Employment – Preparing, reviewing and revising personnel policies, employment contracts, and confidentiality agreements
  • Real Estate – Help with property leases and purchase and sale agreements
  • Intellectual Property – Assistance with registering trademarks, and advising on copyright protection, license agreements, or website-related agreements
  • Risk and Liability Assessment – Assistance on risk and liability assessment including waiver and release forms, and advice on insurance coverage
  • Federal Tax-Exempt Status – Assistance in applying for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status



  • Litigation matters
  • Individual claims against nonprofits
  • Legal matters for individuals



Cost of Legal Services

Legal services provided by Michigan Community Resources are pro bono and free of charge. However, organizations will be responsible for all filing fees associated with their legal matter.



Requesting Legal Assistance

After referencing our criteria for eligible organizations, schedule a time to discuss your concern by emailing or leaving us a voicemail at (313) 962-3171 Ext. 101.

Please make sure to include your name, organization name, and a brief description of your organization. We will respond to your request within 2 business days.

Schedule a Time to Speak with Our Staff


Contact Us

For more information or questions about the above, please contact our legal team at or (313) 962-3171 Ext. 101.

Services for Nonprofits