POSTPONED - - LINC 2020: A Four-Session CLE Program

Event Description

The LINC 2020 series has been postponed.

Leaders Impacting the Nonprofit Community (LINC) CLE Series

When:  4 Sessions - March 12, March 26, April 2 and April 23
Time:  2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. for each session
Where:  HCBA, 600 Nicollet Mall, Suite 390, Minneapolis

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 may 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 a Nonprofit 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 on a nonprofit board. Participants who attend all four sessions will earn a total of 10 (9 Standard, 1 Ethics) MBCLE credits.


SESSION 1:  Thursday, March 12 | 2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Nonprofit Corporate Governance/Role of a Board Member
1.5 Standard Credits /
Speaker: Ann Novacheck, Shareholder, Nilan Johnson Lewis

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 Credit /
Speaker: Jess Birken, Birken Law Office

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 26 | 2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Overview of the Law of Tax Exempt Organizations
1.5 Standard Credits / Speaker: Emmett Robertson, Partner, 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 the main exemption section of the Internal Revenue Code (Section 501), 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.

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

4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Restricted Gifts and Endowments
1.0 Standard Credit / Speaker: Heidi Christianson, Shareholder and Firm President, Nilan Johnson Lewis, PA

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.

SESSION 3:  Thursday, April 2 | 2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

2:00 p.m. – 3:30 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.

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

4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Election Year Issues
1.0 Standard Credit / Speaker: Marie Ellis, Public Policy Director, Minnesota Council of Nonprofit

In presidential election years, many nonprofit organizations become more active in activities that are loosely referred to as "political activity". Some nonprofits use this opportunity to encourage people to participate in the electoral process. Others increase their advocacy activities to take advantage of the increased attention on many issues during the course of a campaign. This advocacy activity may be to raise public awareness of particular issues, to influence the passage of legislation concerning particular issues (lobbying), or to elect candidates based upon their position on particular issues (electioneering). Depending on which kind of activity is being conducted, nonprofits have varying limitations and reporting responsibilities.

SESSION 4:  Thursday, April 23 | 2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Employment Law for Nonprofits
1.0 Standard Credit / Speaker: Sarah Riskin, Shareholder, Nilan Johnson Lewis, PA
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 Credit / Speaker: Greg Larson, Partner, Lathrop GPM

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 a Nonprofit Laywer
1.0 Standard Credit / 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

*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.

*Remote participaton is not available.

Thanks to the 2020 LINC Program Co-Chairs:
Ann Novacheck , Nilan Johnson Lewis PA
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 5, 2020

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.


Register for this Event

This event has been cancelled.

Pre-Registration is Closed

Thursday, March 12, 2020

2:00 PM to 5:00 PM

Hennepin County Bar Association Minneapolis, MN United States