LINC 2022: A Four-Session CLE Program

Event Description

Leaders Impacting the Nonprofit Community (LINC) CLE Series

When:  4 Sessions - March 17, March 31, April 14 and April 28
Time:  2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. for each session
Where:   HCBA, 600 Nicollet Mall, Suite 390, Minneapolis, MN 55402. Remote participation option available. 

Lawyers are often called upon to serve on nonprofit boards, and while they bring strong skills in many areas and the desire to make a difference, they often lack the background and formal training needed to contribute effectively as nonprofit volunteer leaders.

The Hennepin County Bar Association has developed the LINC (Leaders Impacting the Nonprofit Community) program to provide volunteer lawyers with training in nonprofit governance and an introduction to legal issues commonly faced by nonprofits. The skills you acquire from LINC training will be applicable to positions of leadership on nonprofit boards and committees, including associations, faith communities, and community based nonprofits.  The training will not only provide information that every person serving on a nonprofit board should know to uphold his or her fiduciary duties, but also an opportunity to focus on issues that uniquely impact lawyers serving on nonprofit boards.

The program was originally created by the HCBA in 2005. It is offered every other year and over the last 15 years LINC has been honed into an engaging, thorough four-session program. This year we are trying something new and concluding the sessions with a 1-hour Ask the Lawyer session with a panel of our experts. Make sure to keep track of any questions that weren’t answered throughout the sessions, and bring any burning new ones!

This experience is meant for any attorneys that are curious to explore the potential of serving on a nonprofit board or for attorneys that already serve and would like to expand their understanding of the nuances that can be involved when serving as an attorney. Participants who attend all four sessions will earn a total of 10 (9 Standard, 1 Ethics) MBCLE credits.


SESSION 1:  Thursday, March 17

2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Nonprofit Corporate Governance/Role of a Board Member

1.5 Standard Credits | Speaker: Jess Birken, Birken Law Office, PLLC

Governing well is essential for strong nonprofits to work efficiently and effectively to address the needs of our communities.  Learn the basics of board structure and governance as well as current best practices and trends in effective nonprofit board leadership.  We will discuss the role of board members in governing an organization rather than managing the day-to-day affairs of the organization, delegation of authority and how the board should communicate with the organization’s managers.

3:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Networking Break

4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Ethics of Serving on a Nonprofit Board
1.0 Ethics Credits | Speaker: Mackenzie McNaughton, Dorsey & Whitney LLP

A lot is expected of lawyers serving on nonprofit boards – often much more than a lawyer can provide without running afoul of his/her commitment to professional ethics. This session explores the convergence of and conflicts arising from lawyers’ professional duties and the duties required of nonprofit board members.

Participants will be cued to revisit their professional duties – to safeguard client property, maintain confidences, avoid conflicts of interest, deal honestly, and refuse to take advantage of the client – in the context of a nonprofit director’s duties of care, loyalty, and obedience.  
Hypotheticals based on actual cases will be utilized to lead participants through potential situations they may encounter while serving on nonprofit boards and the pros and cons of various action steps that might be taken. The session will also explore the question of who the client really is, when a lawyer is assisting a nonprofit on whose board he/she serves, and what to consider when you are serving both as a director on a nonprofit board and as its counsel.

SESSION 2:  Thursday, March 31

2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Restricted Gifts and Endowments
1.0 Standard Credits | Speaker: Angela Fogt, Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP

Charities receiving charitable contributions have legal duties related to managing, investing and spending those contributions.  In this session you will learn about important issues to consider in receiving charitable contributions, especially contributions with restrictions such as gifts that are endowed by the grantor.  We will discuss the Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act and how it impacts a charity’s management and investment of all institutional funds as well as the limitations it places on the use of endowment funds.  We also will discuss the important distinctions between donor restricted funds and board restricted funds.   

3:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Networking Break

3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Overview of the Law of Tax Exempt Organizations
1.5 Standard Credits | Speaker: Emmett Robertson, Rubric Legal LLC

When most people think of nonprofit organizations, they think of 501(c)(3) organizations.  However, not all nonprofits are charities, or even tax exempt! There are currently 29 different types of organizations listed in Section 501 of the Internal Revenue Code, and numerous other exemptions that appear elsewhere.  Tax exempt organizations are subject to significant amounts of restrictions and proscriptions on their behavior, based on the type of organization, the relative amount of tax benefits that type of organization receives, and how much we “value” that benefit.  Greater amounts of tax benefits = greater amount of regulation on activities and operations.  This presentation will give an overview of the common characteristics of many types of tax exempt organizations, with a primary focus on 501(c)(3)s.

SESSION 3:  Thursday, April 14

2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Lobbying and Advocacy
1.0 Standard Credits | Speaker: Marie Ellis, Public Policy Director, Minnesota Council of Nonprofits

Due to the current social and political climate, many nonprofit boards are considering how they can best achieve their missions and support the communities they serve.   This presentation will provide an overview and specific examples on the types of issues most nonprofits need to consider in order to manage the risks that exist with engaging in advocacy activities, particularly during these times when organizations may be expanding their advocacy and lobbying work.

3:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Networking Break

3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Nonprofit Financial Literacy and Competency
1.5 Standard Credits | Speakers: Maria Schwingler, CPA, Audit Partner, Eide Bailly and Hannah Horn, CPA, Audit Manager, Eide Bailly

The core “duty of care” that is required of nonprofit board members assumes that board members will be good stewards of the nonprofit’s finances. Unfortunately, many lawyers will privately – and sometimes publicly – admit to a fundamental lack of understanding of nonprofit finance. Gaining comfort with the numbers side of nonprofit board service is essential for lawyers who aim to adhere to their duties under the law and who aspire to exemplary board service.  Topics include budgeting, and budget oversight, financial statements, restricted vs. unrestricted funds, and 990s.

SESSION 4:  Thursday, April 28

2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Employment Law for Nonprofits
1 Standard Credits | Speaker: Rebecca Bernhard, Dorsey & Whitney LLP

Not-for-profit corporations with employees must comply with the same federal, state and local laws to which all employers are subject.  And not-for-profits are subject to the same types of litigation, with the potential of jury verdicts granting substantial damage awards.  This session will consider a broad range of employment issues with the goal of providing an understanding of the most essential laws applicable to not for profit, tax exempt employers.

3:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Fundraising
0.5 Standard Credits | Speaker: Jess Birken, Birken Law Office, PLLC

Lawyers on nonprofit boards are quickly confronted with expectations related to making contributions to the nonprofit they serve and raising funds from other individuals and organizations. Lawyers can struggle with these expectations – both in reconciling them with professional ethics and business relationships, and in feeling comfortable in the fundraising realm.  Topics covered include multistate fundraising, commercial co-ventures, charitable gambling, sponsorships, and silent auctions.

3:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Networking Break

4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Ask the Lawyer
1.0 Standard Credits | Panel, TBD

Total CLE Credits for Series:

10 (9 Standard, 1 Ethics) MBCLE credits approved | Event Code: 292808


HCBA Member:  $249.00
Non-HCBA Member:  $399.00

Remote participation is available. Please indicate this option when registering. Remote instructions will be emailed to you the day prior to each session.

*Non-member cancellations must be received 7 days prior to the event in order to be eligible for a refund. The cost of materials will be deducted from total amount of the refund. Non-members registering for an event fewer than 7 days prior to the event will be ineligible for a refund.

Thanks to the 2022 LINC Program Co-Chairs:
Mackenzie McNaughton, Dorsey & Whitney LLP
Emmett Robertson, Rubric Legal LLC

To register with a check, please mail in this registration form.
Need to cancel? Please see our cancellation policy.
Questions? Contact Tram Nguyen | 612-278-6316

Deadline to Register: Thursday, March 10, 2022

The HCBA is committed to creating an inclusive environment in which all members can participate fully. If you need reasonable accommodations to participate in this event, please notify Tram Nguyen via 612-278-6316 or email:  Please provide notification at least 72 hours prior to the meeting to allow sufficient time to make arrangements for accommodations.

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Thursday, March 17, 2022

2:00 PM to 5:00 PM

Hennepin County Bar Association
600 Nicollet Mall #390
Minneapolis, MN 55402