Social Enterprises

Serving Private and Public Interests? Advantages and Limitations of Benefit Corporations

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Is it possible for a business to both maximize value for its owners and prioritize social improvement? Traditionally, business founders have been forced to choose one or other. Taxable limited liability companies (LLCs), partnerships, and corporations typically exist to maximize shareholder or other owners’ value through their commercial enterprises. Nonprofits, on the other hand, have typically addressed non-commercial purposes in various entity forms.

Nonprofit Holiday Highlights

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

The year 2021 is quickly winding up, and 2022 is just across the horizon! Our law firm’s attorneys and paralegals deeply value the honor and opportunity to assist so many amazing nonprofit organizations and their incredible leaders, and to help advance their compelling and worthwhile missions. Thank you for this opportunity to serve as trusted legal advisors providing client-focused solutions, creative approaches to advance clients’ interests, and vibrant community engagement to help the nonprofit sector flourish. As a parting gift for this year, we’d like to share some holiday cheer – and what better way than through providing links to some key W&O blog articles across our nonprofit practice groups? We hope the W&O blog will continue to be a valuable resource for you!

New York A.G. vs. NRA: Partisan Politics or Political Duty?

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

New York Attorney General Letitia James is aiming to dissolve the National Rifle Association of America (NRA) as a nonprofit tax-exempt organization. As this conflict proceeds, questions continue to surface about whether this effort is a bullseye, a misfire, or something in between. If successful, it will undoubtedly have a lasting impact on the nonprofit sector.

Anti-Harassment Training Resource – Telios Teaches

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

2018 may have been the year of #MeToo, but sexual and other harassment is a perennial issue for churches, other ministries, and employers. Wagenmaker & Oberly is pleased to recommend Telios Teaches as an excellent resource for these critical areas. 

Reflections on Serving Nonprofits

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

At year’s end, we often reflect on lessons learned and experiences shared, and also on those people and the things for which we are grateful. In a break from our usual fare, what follows is a more personal reflection from our law firm’s attorney Jonathan Hwang on some aspects of the unique nature and culture of Wagenmaker & Oberly.

Social Enterprises

Our firm guides social enterprise leaders in developing legal structures to achieve their goals – whether as a nonprofit, a business, or a hybrid entity like the L3C.  

Creative Nonprofit Collaboration: Four Basic Principles

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Collaborative nonprofit projects are on the rise, such as through new joint venture opportunities, partnering with social enterprises, and even strategically engaging with business to further mutual interests.   But Section 501(c)(3) organizations may not simply give their money or other assets without restrictions.  After all, their resources are charitable:  they held in trust for the “public” benefit and subject to high levels of legal accountability. So, what questions should these nonprofits ask themselves before engaging in these ventures?  

4 Guiding Principles for Cause-Related Marketing and Commercial Co-Ventures

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Partnering with commercial businesses can be a great way for nonprofit organizations to fundraise.  Over the past decade, cause-marketing relationships between nonprofit and commercial businesses have grown exponentially in popularity.   Campaigns like Yoplait Save Lids to Save Lives, Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty, American Express’ The Members Project, Nike’s Livestrong Bracelets, and The Gap’s Product Red are all great examples of long-term cause marketing relationships that have helped generate millions of dollars for their respective charities.

Nonprofit Bike Shop: Can I Do That?

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Yesterday, AL.com reported that Marcus Fetch, a former nomadic traveler was opening Redemptive Cycles, a nonprofit bike shop.  The article explains, "The [shop's] nonprofit status allows the business to serve a charitable function, rebuilding, fixing and reselling used bikes at the cheapest price possible." 

How is it possible that a retail store, which provides goods and services in the selling and repair of bicycles, can be a nonprofit organization?  It seems so… commercial. 

Beginning with the End in Mind: Legal Entity Selection for Social Ventures

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

It can be daunting to decide whether to organize a new venture as a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization or as a for-profit, business entity. Sometime an organization could be organized and operated both in a manner that qualifies for tax-exemption under Internal Revenue Code Section 501 or as a taxable business entity.  Toss in a number of recently developed “hybrid” legal entities like the L3C and the social benefit corporation, and it is easy to quickly become misguided and/or confused in the options.  Founders should thus heed Stephen Covey’s wisdom and begin with the end in mind. 

Subscribe to RSS - Social Enterprises