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Non-Profit Organizations and Charities

Davis Brown has an active practice focused on charities and other tax-exempt organizations. Davis Brown attorneys provide a depth of experience in a wide array of issues that tax-exempt organizations regularly face. Our lawyers not only practice within this area, but add to their knowledge and expertise through serving as active board members for a diverse group of charitable organizations.


Representative Clients

We work with a wide array of charitable/tax-exempt organizations from small private foundations to large, established public charities. Our clients include colleges and university-related organizations, hospitals and other healthcare organizations, social welfare organizations, low-income housing providers, amateur athletic and sports organizations, credit counseling agencies, and numerous other charitable organizations. We also have experience in working with non-profit insurance organizations such as Multiple Employer Welfare Arrangements, Voluntary Employee Beneficiary Associations, and self-insured plans.


Practice Areas 

  • Formation, Governance and General Corporate Matters

    Davis Brown values being actively involved in the formation of a charitable/tax-exempt organization. It is vital that an experienced attorney be involved in the beginning stages of the life cycle of a charitable/tax-exempt organization. In the formation phase, we draft the appropriate organizational documents and policies that are important in establishing and maintaining charitable/tax-exempt status. Once formation is complete, we represent the organization in applying for and securing tax-exempt status from the Internal Revenue Service. Thereafter, we act as general counsel and provide legal guidance on a wide array of issues that present themselves to a charitable/tax-exempt organization.
  • Tax Matters

    The tax issues that charitable/tax-exempt organizations face can be complex and time consuming. At Davis Brown we advise clients on issues ranging from obtaining exempt status with the Internal Revenue Service, representation in IRS and state tax audits, Unrelated Business Income Tax matters, payroll issues, obtaining private letter rulings, sales tax and property tax exemptions, and avoiding impermissible benefits and prohibited transactions.
  • Administrative and Regulatory Issues

    We regularly represent charitable/tax-exempt organizations before government agencies in compliance, regulatory, and accounting matters. We assist in the preparation and defense of governmental audits, representation in contested case matters, and provide governmental relations and lobbying services.

Client Testimonials


 Lutheran Services in Iowa 


 Easter Seals Iowa


Easter Seals Iowa has a longstanding partnership with the Davis Brown Law Firm.  The service we receive is excellent.  Certainly we are given sound legal advice from a highly professional team, but the reason we chose Davis Brown time and time again is because they know our business so well.  They understand the unique environment we operate within, including multiple accreditation and licensing regulations.   The firm assists us in weighing out risk and being strategic in our decisions and actions. Every risk mitigated increases the resources and energy we have to do what we do best, which is providing services and increasing independence for people with disabilities.

Sherri Nielsen, President and Chief Executive Officer


 I always feel like I’m being treated with the highest level of respect, being treated as an individual with my matter being of the highest priority when I am working with our attorney from the Davis Brown Law Firm.  The staff from Davis Brown seems to place a high priority on customer service, which includes responding quickly to my requests for assistance. I have always been pleased with the rapid response I receive each time I call.  Each time I work with an attorney from Davis Brown, I feel like every effort is made to honor my wishes and position in addressing my legal concern. I always feel I am directly involved and kept well informed when new information is available regarding my legal matters.  One of the main reasons I choose to work with Davis Brown is the knowledge and understanding and respect for the business environment we work in.  Working for a human services organization I am confident that when I contact our attorney I will not need to educate her about the nature of our business because she already understands and can effectively advise me to help her resolve my concern.

- Dan Dean, Vice President of Capacity and Strategy Development