DIRECT LEGAL SERVICES FOR NONPROFITS

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

ELIGIBLE LEGAL MATTERS INCLUDE:

  • 501(c)(3) Incorporation – Incorporation and application for tax exemption status under IRS Code Section 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

WE DO NOT HANDLE:

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

FOR EXISTING NONPROFITS
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
  • Be seeking legal assistance on a business or organizational matter, but not on any legal issue related to current or expected litigation

FOR START-UP ORGANIZATIONS
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

If you would like to schedule a time to discuss your nonprofit idea and see if it qualifies for assistance, please email legal@mi-community.org or leave us a voicemail at (313) 962-3171 (x101) with your name, organization name, and a brief description of the to-be-formed organization.

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.

PROCESS FOR REQUESTING LEGAL ASSISTANCE

Legal Services for Nonprofits

STEP ONE: Initial Consultation
Reach out to our Legal Team see if your legal concern qualifies for assistance. Contact us at legal@mi-community.org or leave a voicemail at (313) 962-3171 (x101) with your name, organization name, and a brief description of the organization.

Please note: Because of limited staff capacity, we are not able to accommodate walk-ins. Please call or email us for answers to your questions or to set up an appointment.

STEP TWO: Complete the Request for Legal Assistance Form
After MCR has confirmed the eligibility of your legal matter, you will be asked to complete a Request for Legal Assistance (RFA) Form.

STEP THREE: Submit Completed RFA Form
Please submit completed forms via email to legal@mi-community.org with “Request for Legal Assistance” in the subject line. The completed form can also be submitted by mail to:

Michigan Community Resources
Attn: Maureen Krasner
615 Griswold St, Suite 805
Detroit, MI 48226

Please include any required documents with your submission by mail or email.

WE ALSO OFFER:

Office Hours

You can schedule a one-hour Office Hours appointment for Nonprofit Start-up Legal Assistance or for support with completing the Request for Legal Assistance (RFA) Form.

Legal Resources & Publications

We offer a collection of legal resources and publications to provide nonprofits with in-depth information on a variety of legal and organizational topics.

Workshops

We host periodic workshops that offer new and established nonprofits with an opportunity to learn more about a particular topic and ask questions.

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