Formation and Non-Profit Status

Choosing the right form of entity for your charitable mission is an important foundation for achieving your goals. BauerGriffith can provide advice regarding structure, complete your state filings and application for federal tax exempt status, as well as provide you with an ongoing compliance matrix to keep these required filings up to date.

Non-Profit Governance and Board Development

An engaged board with a committee structure properly aligned to support your organization’s mission is a critical element of success. BauerGriffith has worked extensively in the area of non-profit governance, helping our clients to differentiate between staff and volunteer roles, training board members regarding their legal responsibilities as directors, developing volunteer structures to support program, service and fundraising goals, and ensuring that your organizational documents accurately reflect your structure and goals.

Business Planning

Tax exempt organizations operate in an increasingly competitive environment. Having a responsive, thoughtful business plan for your tax exempt mission can provide significant advantages, allowing you to focus your resources for the greatest impact. A solid business plan is also a very powerful tool when talking to both foundation and individual supporters, helping you make a succinct and compelling case for support for your organization.

Non-Profit Tax Compliance

The IRS’s Form 990 has created the need for tax exempt organizations to consider and implement the same types of ethics policies that have been in place in the for-profit sector for many years. BauerGriffith’s unique combination of legal and fundraising experience allows us to provide practical solutions to issues relating to creation and implementation of these policies, as well as gift documentation, recording and accounting; endowment management compliance, including issues raised by Ohio’s Trust Act and UPMIFA statute; charitable deduction rules and compliance regarding all gift types, including gifts of personal property; and Form 990 issues.

Employment Law Issues

We provide legal consultation on all HR matters, and counsel our clients to take a proactive approach to their human resource function.  We train staff and upper management on various employment topics, such as FMLA, workplace harassment, performance evaluations, calibration, diversity, collective bargaining agreements, terms, precedent and negotiations, and more.  We are available to draft, standardize or update your HR manual, employer policies and procedures, and even help in the hiring and firing processes.  We provide legal updates on employment laws, respond to EEOC charges, ULPs, and draft employer position statements.  We conduct internal investigations, and plan management and staff retreats.


Your business is built on the relationships you create with your employees, donors, vendors and other service providers. BauerGriffith can help you document these relationships through appropriate contracts and agreements that protect your interests and simply and accurately reflect your tax exempt organization’s goals and objectives. To simplify your mission, we can also create form documents to meet your needs.

Fundraising and Charitable Gift Planning

By ensuring that your donors and their advisors receive timely, accurate and complete answers to their questions, your organization can reap the benefit of gifts other non-profits might turn away. BauerGriffith’s extensive experience in sophisticated charitable planning can help your organization structure complex gifts that help your donors achieve their philanthropic goals while also protecting your organization’s interests.

Strategic Alliances and Joint Ventures

The current economic environment is putting the same stress to consolidate and reorganize on the tax exempt sector as it is on the for-profit sector. BauerGriffith’s significant business law experience can help clients take a proactive approach to identifying and capitalizing on strategic business alliances, such as joint ventures, partnerships and other business combinations.

Real Estate

Real estate expenses often comprise one of the largest line items in a tax exempt organization’s budget. We can help negotiate lease, purchase or sale terms for real property, and provide counsel on alternative property choices that can generate significant cost savings for your organization. Our industry relationships give us direct access to current market conditions and availability, and the tools to help our clients with the purchase, sale or lease of real estate.