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Nonprofit Law Column

Making Student Internships Work for Your Organization

Understand the differences between interns, student learners, and volunteers

Since the economic downturn of 2008, many career counselors have suggested that recent young college graduates get a foot in the door at prospective employers by offering to work for free as unpaid interns. This may sound like a win-win situation, in that it gives the graduate and his or her potential employer time to assess whether they are a good match for each other while simultaneously allowing the organization to derive some benefit from the intern’s unpaid labor. … more

What You Need to Know about Concealed Carry Gun Laws

Make sure to review liability issues, employer options

In July of 2013, Illinois became the 50th state to allow concealed handguns to be carried by its citizens. (1) I live and work in Illinois, and the issue of gun violence is personal to me. So I have been closely watching conceal-carry laws as they are implemented. (2) … more

Don’t Let New Board Members Feel Lost at Sea

Nonprofit law expert’s experiences show necessity of orienting board members

In 1981, I joined the board of directors of a child welfare agency with historical ties to my church. After hearing its executive director preach a sermon, I expressed interest in his work and was immediately asked to join the organization’s board. I have since been told that this story is familiar to many other board members. … more

How to Avoid Pregnancy Discrimination

Tips for navigating complex set of issues

In a clear response to a concern that pregnancy discrimination deprives women of the means to support their families, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission spent a good part of 2012 sending out clear signals that it plans to make discouraging pregnancy discrimination a priority over the next few years.

Most employers know that they cannot discriminate against a pregnant woman based on her condition. However, the issues surrounding pregnancy are complex and confusing. … more

Embarking on Social Enterprise: Part Two

Business entities and hybrids

This is the second installment of a two-part series for nonprofit organizations looking to generate earned income from social enterprises. Here, I will offer advice for deciding what kind of entity is best suited for a particular organization’s needs. … more

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