Representative Projects

Scholz Nonprofit Law works with organizations of all sizes and types to assist with their legal compliance, operational needs, and business transactions. For some, we do the start-up work or guide them through a merger process. For others, we advise on a single agreement or large multi-year projects.

Below is a sampling of projects and the types of clients we serve:

Start-up Nonprofit, Tax-Exempt Organizations

Scholz Nonprofit Law has helped create hundreds of organizations. We advise on the best classification for tax-exempt status — usually, 501(c)(3) v. 501(c)(4) v. 501(c)(6) — help frame a business plan, prepare and file articles of incorporation, write bylaws, complete the application for tax-exemption (Form 1023 or 1024), address fundraising registration, create checklists and guidance for annual compliance, and advise on other issues common for new organizations, including employment questions and services agreements.

Recent projects include:

  • 501(c)(3) status for organization partnering with a city to develop a public market
  • 501(c)(3) supporting organization status for foundation affiliated with a 501(c)4
  • 501(c)(3) status for sustainable, affordable housing
  • Conversion from 501(c)(6) to 501(c)(3) status

See other recent projects:

501(c)(4) Advocacy Organizations
501(c)(3) Economic Development

General Business

We consult regularly with clients to provide advice on day-to-day management issues such as agreements with vendors and partners, employment, board governance and advisory committees, gift acceptance and grants, donor management, leases, intellectual property, and financial transactions, as well as frequent consultations on strategic issues. For example:

  • For Incourage Community Foundation in Wisconsin Rapids, in addition to day to day business and foundation management issues, we are integrally involved in Incourage’s development of the Tribune building, a downtown economic development project.

See project details here

  •  Scholz Nonprofit Law assists Forward Community Investments, a Community Development Financial Institution, with such matters as:
    • granting or receiving funding;
    • compliance as a CDFI and 501(c)(3) organization;
    • structuring of arrangements with investors and donors, including donor advised funds; and
    • Board governance and other organizational policies and real estate finance.

See project details here

  • For First American Capital Corporation, which is affiliated with the American Indian Chamber of Commerce, we created a Collaboration Agreement between First American Capital Corporation and the Hmong Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce to deploy a grant that funds joint employees from a national foundation.

See project details here

Economic and Real Estate Development

Through our real estate practice, Scholz Nonprofit Law assists nonprofits, businesses, and funding sources, including banks, private investors, and governments, with all of their real estate, land use and financing needs. Sample projects include:

  • Helping a client negotiate a public-private development agreement for redevelopment of a historic riverfront building.

See representative project here

  • Representing a nonprofit with its sponsorship of multiple low-income housing tax credit deals.
  • Helping nonprofit and for-profit clients access public financing thorough available bond placement and tax credit programs.

See representative project here

See representative project here

  • Drafting a development agreement, condominium declaration, and master condominium declaration for a large residential and commercial development.
  • Assisting a large Wisconsin home builder with land acquisition, annexation, and zoning issues, and with subdivision, mixed-use development, and financing issues.

Merger and Other Consolidations

We help evaluate options for and assist with the execution of a consolidation, including mergers and asset transfers. We meet with Boards of Directors, staff and other consultants to discuss potential issues and describe the process, review and advise on “due diligence” issues, create new governing documents, negotiate and prepare the merger and related documents, and complete steps for transfer of property.

See representative project here

Training and Workshops

In addition to speaking at conferences, community forums, and university classes, we provide training and resource materials for client Boards, staff, and volunteers. We attend Board of Directors meetings to provide:

  • an overview of Directors and officers’ responsibilities,
  • liability issues, and
  • best practices for maintaining a compliant, well-run organization such as up-to-date employment policies.

See representative project here

501(c)(4) Advocacy Organizations

We worked with a statewide advocacy organization to secure tax-exempt status. Because of the organization’s close association with a political movement, the application received significant scrutiny by the IRS. We continue to advise on compliance with state ethics and election laws, and seek guidance from campaign finance counsel on their behalf as needed.

Melissa Scholz has deep experience with these issues through her personal involvement with advocacy work, including March for Our Lives, the national gun violence prevention group, and Play Fair Wisconsin, a Wisconsin-based organization seeking fair political maps.

Incourage’s Tribune project

For Incourage’s Tribune project, we have assisted with such issues as:

  • the structure of the nonprofit and for-profit components;
  • agreements with development partners including the city;
  • advice on financing including support from state and federal sources as well as New Markets Tax Credits and other incentive programs;
  • guidance on the design and construction phases;
  • fundraising from national foundations; and
  • collaboration agreements with development partners.