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Ep 10 - Managing a Nonprofit in California

“Some pro bono lawyers or lawyers on the board that practice in other areas of the law think if you comply with 501c3, that's the end of the game. You don't need to worry about state law because state law will mirror the federal tax law. And that's not true at all, right?" - Gene Takagi

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Today, on the Nonprofit Counsel Podcast, May is joined by Jacob Zerkle, a dedicated attorney in the nonprofit sector employed at Michael Best and Friedrich. He is also the brains behind Nonprofit Office Wisdom, a noteworthy feature on his LinkedIn profile. May and Jacob discuss the evolving landscape of nonprofit funding in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. They delve into the crucial topic of how nonprofit boards should navigate the process of selecting and hiring an attorney. Tune in today to gain insights into the potential drawbacks of choosing an attorney without nonprofit expertise.


[1:17] Jacob explains what led him to represent nonprofit organizations
[4:07] Jacob describes his role at Michael Best and Friedrich 
[7:23] The changes in the nonprofit atmosphere post-Covid
11:07] Advise regarding what a nonprofit should look for in legal counsel and how to obtain those services 
[13:38] Jacob explains how the Nonprofit Office Wisdom series on LinkedIn came to be  
[16:46] Jacob describes the differences between a nonprofit and a regular attorney


  • Gene emphasizes the critical role of governing documents and highlights the significance of adhering to the nuanced guidelines that nonprofits must navigate
  • ​If you meet the state requirements for the 501c3, you still need to meet the Federal requirement.
  • ​It is essential to spend money on administration to stay compliant.