Philanthropy & Charity Law at Work

Philanthropy & Charity Law covers a wide gamut of potential engagements. We’ve found that it’s often easier to show examples of what we do, beyond just listing our skill sets. Some recent examples of engagements that we have successfully helped our clients with are as follows:

Complex Transaction
with Mutual Benefit Corp

Seton & Associates helped negotiate the reimbursement and buyout of a member-run mutual benefit corporation, including drafting all of the underlying ancillary agreements in a $10 million raise to advance capital via an exclusive management agreement.

Major Foundation Gift

In tandem with counsel partner, successfully re-structured a multi-million dollar foundation gift by conceptualizing an innovative quasi-escrow-like control system to ensure charitable funds are received and accounted for in the manner in which intended.

Board of Director
Governance Documents

Helped a Board of Directors restructure their governance documents, including providing security for the founder-class of board members through a complex power of appointment process as well as other governance upgrades.

Fiscal Sponsorships and More

Nearly a decade ago, Seton & Associates established a charitable umbrella — the Edward Charles Foundation. This highly successful foundation provides umbrella 501c3 services for our clients. Edward Charles Foundation is a multi-million dollar entity running over 80 charitable initiatives around the world.

Social Entrepreneurs
Fixing the Water

Recently, a social entrepreneur wanted to setup a 501c3 organization to help solve Detroit’s water crisis. The entrepreneur called us, and we immediately began a series of interviews to understand the way in which they wanted to solve this massive problem.

Typically, in a case like this we’ll hear that they want to give millions of dollars. We also often hear that they have developed or contracted technology. And furthermore, there is almost always a partner in this endeavor…and many other organizations potentially involved.

In a typical case, we will walk the social entrepreneur through all of the legalities to setup the 501c3, as well as structure the relationships to assure they are in compliance with federal law, city law, and state law.

Venture Fund…for Good

Successfully helped create a venture fund underneath a charitable arm of a $60 million plus venture-funded technology company. This subsidiary venture fund (underneath a 501c3) may legally invest in for-profit and nonprofit start ups.

Chapter Splits from Parent

Successfully helped a large chapter of a nationally-known brand of nonprofit disaffiliate from National with very little repercussions, while also securing its assets, retaining a good relationship with National, and properly establishing its own legal existence separate and apart from National.

Merger of Equals

Advised a major chapter of a well-known charity to structure a merger of the national organization and our client. In this “merger of equals,” we assured the safeguarding of our client’s employees, and maintenance of the Vision and IP, in a way that was beneficial for all parties involved.

Saving a Failing Charity

Successfully helped founders of a charitable entity re-acquire the assets of a failing charity. This required Attorney General approval to potentially salvage the programs and activities of the enterprise through an asset purchase.