Zach Jones is an attorney with the firm of Stites & Harbison. Zach is an attorney with the firm of Stites & Harbison with offices serving Kentucky, Indiana, Tennessee, Georgia, greater Cincinnati, and the metropolis of Washington DC. Zach has experience representing nonprofits and government contractors. Prior to becoming a lawyer, Zach served in the United States Army and worked for a government contractor where he spent a considerable amount of time responding to government solicitations. Zach joined Stites & Harbison in 2013. Stites & Harbison traces its origins to 1832 and its members have included a United States Attorney General, State Supreme Court Justice, a Master Commissioner of the United States Supreme Court, and Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and state Attorney General. Stites & Harbison is a full service law firm with attorneys with specific experience in any number of industry and practice groups, including attorneys who serve as outside general counsel for national nonprofit organizations. Zach is a highly sought after author and speaker on a wide variety of legal topics. Zach is regularly asked to speak at national conferences and devotes a considerable amount of his spare time to educating and training non-lawyers on how to manage and avoid legal risk. When not practicing law, Zach can usually be found navigating the rivers and streams with his son and daughter somewhere in the southern states—most recently the Elk River below Tims Ford dam.
Election seasons seem to get closer and closer each cycle. With more than twenty candidates on both sides of the aisle already announced as candidates in the 2016 Presidential Election, political activity is in full swing. Often, fundraising is a critical part of the election campaign process, especially during the early parts of the cycle. With candidates under the gun to raise money to make their candidacy look viable and grassroots organization bare bones at best, nonprofits are an easy target, especially nonprofits who share a mission with one of the candidate's platforms. Faith-based and social welfare nonprofits are particular susceptible to being dragged into what can, at times, look inseparable from a candidate with a shared mindset's organization. And here lies the danger for the nonprofit!
In 2013, it became public that the IRS had selected certain nonprofit organizations who had applied for tax exempt status for intensive scrutiny. That information led to several investigations and much political rhetoric. On its face, it appears that most of the nonprofits selected for the intensive scrutiny were conservative groups and may have been deemed as such due simply to their names. In the wake of what became known as the IRS targeting scandal, new regulations were put in motion and additional agency policies were put forward. In the end, few, if any, substantive changes have yet to result.
In the summer of 2015, videos involving Planned Parenthood surfaced which appear to show the nonprofit negotiating the price of unborn fetal tissue. Since those videos have been made public, lawmakers at many states and the federal level have introduced laws to strip the nonprofit of its public grant and contract funding. Both the IRS targeting scandal and the Planned Parenthood video scandal reveal that nonprofits must walk carefully in the politically charged world we live. As the 2016 election season moves into full swing, it is imperative that board members, trustees, directors, employees, and volunteers at nonprofits are careful to not cross the legal lines in the sand. The problem remains that, those lines are never as clearly drawn as you'd like them to be.
This presentation by expert speaker Zach Jones seeks to point out some areas of the law which affect nonprofits and of which nonprofits must remain aware. The session will talk about the legal minefield for nonprofits, as they are related to political activity, and how to respond to the requests which come close/cross over the lines. At the end of the session you will be equipped with the information and strategies to drive your organization's mission.
Who Should Attend
Board members, trustees, directors, employees, and volunteers at charitable, faith-based, social welfare, and other nonprofit organizations including both 501(c)(3) and (c)(4).