Nonprofit and Philanthropy Law

Class Unique: 28700
This course will consider the laws, policies, and ideals affecting the creation and governance of non-profit organizations. These organizations include medical and health-related institutions, educational institutions, cultural institutions, social clubs, service delivery organizations, religious (or "faith-based") institutions, advocacy organizations and private foundations. We will consider how such organizations contribute to civil society and social pluralism, how they cooperate with or rival for-profit entities, and how they should be governed. The readings will include relevant laws, regulations, and cases, pertinent historical and theoretical materials, and case studies. The course will employ guest speakers as well as cinematic productions. Enrollment is limited. An application is required. This course will be concerned with the legal treatment, under federal and state law, of the world of non-profit organizations, charitable and otherwise. Initially the lawyer's role in organizing, incorporating, obtaining tax exemption for, and providing continuing care to nonprofit organizations will be explained. These sessions will include an overview of tax and non-tax regulation of the non-profit sector. The class will then examine in greater detail a number of issues relating to the financing and governance of non-profits, including a review of the theory and practice of tax "subsidization" and several modes of government control over such matters as fund raising, mergers, salary levels, self-dealing, investment standards, international operations, and policies toward minority groups, women, and low-income populations. Along the way, the class will consider various law-related policy and management dilemmas that confront the non-profit sector, relating to the expansion or reduction of its mission (should non-profits operate railroads, prisons, daily newspapers?); its accountability (pecuniary and programmatic); its search for revenue; and its quest for impact. There will be a 24-hr. floating final examination.

Class Details

Meeting Days Time Location
Tuesday, Wednesday 2:15 - 3:30 pm TNH 3.115
Evaluation Method Date Time Alpha Range Room

Additional Information

Course Type
Grading Method
Pass/Fail Not Allowed


  • Nonprofit Organizations - Cases and Materials - Fishman and Schwarz
      Foundation , edition: Latest
  • Selected Sections Nonprofit Orgs. - Statutes, Regs, etc. - Fishman and Schwarz
      Foundation , edition: Latest


Carson, Loftus Carson, Loftus