Rocky M. Cabagnot, Nonprofit & Public Charity Lawyer
Licensed to Practice Law in North Carolina and Florida
Bachelor of Arts- University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Juris Doctor with Honors – University of Florida Levin College of Law
Who is Rocky Cabagnot?
For over fifteen years, I’ve been of service to the nonprofit sector. First, I served as an Equal Justice Works Fellow/Staff Attorney at a nonprofit legal services program, where I learned the importance of practicing law in the public interest and advocating for the poor. Second, I served as Directing Attorney of a community economic development legal unit, where I honed my craft of practicing law representing not for profit developers and community development corporations dedicated to building affordable housing. Later, I went into legal academia where I taught the only nonprofit legal clinic – the Community Economic Development Clinic. For five years, law students under my supervision, provided direct legal services to Charlotte, NC area nonprofit organizations. From to time, I teach as an adjunct professor at a graduate nonprofit management program at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. In addition to practicing law with Howard Law, I also serve in the nonprofit sector! I am currently the Executive Director at a multi-million dollar budgeted community action agency, which provides Head Start/Early Head Start, affordable childcare, and family self-sufficiency programs. Much like the old advertisement, which boasted “I’m not just the president, I’m also a client,” having the experience of running a large nonprofit helps me understand what any nonprofit is going through, in addition to bringing my legal experience to bear upon your issues and problems.
I also run a website and podcast called Nonprofit Grind (www.nonprofitgrind.com), where I post links to helpful legal blogs about the nonprofit sector and interview local area nonprofits to help them share their missions. If you are interested in being a guest of Nonprofit Grind, go to that website and contact me there!
The Nonprofit and Public Charity Lawyer and His Client
Who are my clients?
Public charities, Private Foundations, Trade/Professional/Employer associations, Social clubs, Advocacy organizations, Religious organizations
What legal services do I provide to nonprofits?
- Formation matters
- Obtaining federal income tax-exempt status (IRS Form 1023)
- Federal state and local filings
- Governance, appropriate structuring and policy drafting
- Development of organization’s governance structure (board designated by third party, elected by membership or self-perpetuating)
- Board functioning and operations
- Fiduciary duties of board and officers
- Membership termination procedures
- Corporate policies, including conflict of interest, document retention, whistleblower, gift acceptance
- Drafting board, committee and member resolutions
- Risk management, including advice on insurance needs, personnel policies and other internal procedures
- Conducting a compliance review with laws and best practice, including rating level of compliance
- Conduct regular board trainings and orientations for new board members
- Fundraising, Development and Solicitation Registration
- Advice and support on state registration and compliance with fundraising laws
- Lobbying, drafting legislation, work with advocacy groups
- Shared Services and Sponsorship
- Represent entities that act as fiscal sponsors to other entities
- Represent organizations seeking fiscal sponsorship or spinning out of fiscal sponsorship into independent tax-exempt entities
As to billing, I don’t work for a firm that demands a certain amount of billable hours. More to the fact, I’m not a fan of hourly billing. I only work with ‘flat fees’ and ‘value billing.’ You and I will review your organization, its 990s, current financial situation, and come up with a cost for legal services that works for both of us.
If you are interested in learning more about how I can serve you and your nonprofit, shoot me an email at email@example.com or call me at 704-672-4708.