Maintaining Your Nonprofit's 501(c)(3) Tax-Exempt Status

A nonprofit’s 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status is one of its most precious assets; it encourages giving by allowing donors to make tax-deductible donations; maximizes funds available to support the mission by exempting most income from taxes; facilitates grants from foundations and government funders; and enhances credibility with the public and donors. Make sure your nonprofit doesn’t inadvertently lose its (c)(3) status by not following the rules.

This session will explain in plain English (not legalese!) some of the core responsibilities, including: filing annual IRS returns; ensuring that activities further your tax-exempt purposes and benefit the public rather than private interests; avoiding impermissible financial benefits to insiders; limiting lobbying activities; avoiding political campaign activities; limiting, and paying taxes on, unrelated business income; recordkeeping; and maintaining public charity status.


  • Clear understanding of your basic responsibilities as a (c)(3)
  • Tips on setting up systems and controls to ensure compliance
  • Resources for more information on specific issues

About the presenter: Anita Lichtblau is a partner in the Nonprofit Organizations Law practice of Casner & Edwards. Ms. Lichtblau advises on issues including: nonprofit corporations and governance; grants and contracts; and employment law.

Ms. Lichtblau served for fifteen years as both the General Counsel for Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD), a large nonprofit human services organization and Community Action Agency (CAA) that provides Head Start and other services to low-income people, and Executive Director of Community Action Program Legal Services (CAPLAW), a nonprofit providing legal training and technical assistance to the approximately 1000 CAAs across the country. In those positions, she advised, provided training, and wrote numerous articles and publications on many issues including those described above. She presented hundreds of in-person workshops and webinars across the national Community Action network.

Prior to holding those positions, she was a senior trial attorney with the United States Department of Justice handling white collar criminal cases in federal courts in New England and practiced with the Boston firm Hill & Barlow and the Washington D.C. firm Steptoe & Johnson.

Casner & Edwards is a Boston law firm that provides comprehensive legal advice to tax exempt organizations and businesses and individuals involved in nonprofit matters.

Link to webinar


Keywords: irs, form 990, exemption, compliance, 501(c)(3), legal, Nonprofit Webinars