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Founding a nonprofit is an effective way for recording artists and other entertainers to support causes they believe in. Launching a charity or foundation, however, can be a complicated undertaking. Legal mistakes, in particular, can be costly, both to the charity itself and to the artist’s reputation and brand. The Dickinson Wright team works closely with leading entertainers and our Non-Profit Practice Group to ensure that clients get the best advice with regard to the nonprofits that they are involved with, fund or operate.

Our firm has a wealth of experience representing a wide variety of nonprofits started by recording artists and others in the music industry. From founding the organization and making long-term strategic plans, to ensuring legal compliance and managing day-to-day issues, we offer the support of a full-service law firm along with the experience of industry insiders. We are also a go-to resource for practical advice on financing, fundraising, governance, political involvement, tax matters, and more. Through it all, we support an artist’s vision for their nonprofit and ensure that the investment they make not only of time and money, but also of their valuable reputation, is protected.

Our work in this area includes:

• Assisting with the founding and initial start-up of nonprofits, including drafting articles of incorporation and bylaws, compensation agreements, leases, licenses, and forms for recognition of tax-exempt status.

• Counseling on a range of legal matters, including financing, fundraising, governance, intellectual property, political involvement, recordkeeping, tax issues, and regulatory compliance.

• Advising on day-to-day management issues, including labor and employment matters.

• Assisting with celebrity specifications and live show requirements for fundraising events

• Long-term work with the T.J. Martell Foundation that has raised over $275 million for cutting-edge Leukemia, Cancer and AIDS research through the music and entertainment industry. The Foundation helped to fund some of the initial research related to Gleevec, which has been found to extend the life of Leukemia patients from years to decades.
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