Representing and collaborating with nonprofit and tax-exempt organizations and with nonprofit affiliates of for-profit clients in the fulfillment of their missions has been a focus of Perkins Thompson’s practice throughout its long presence in the Portland community.  Our clients include the full range of charitable and similar organizations and entities, such as providers of housing and services to older adults, educational institutions, health and social service providers, charitable trusts, and private foundations and private operating foundations.  We can act as outside “general counsel” to these organizations and entities, assisting them with all manner of issues arising in their formation, operations, governance and compliance, or if it better suits the organization and its budget, assist with particular issues when requested.  In all cases, we keep the organization’s mission at the forefront.


  • Forming nonprofit and tax-exempt corporations, charitable trusts, private foundations and private operating foundations;
  • Obtaining tax-exempt status under Federal and Maine law;
  • Obtaining property tax exemptions, sales and use tax exemptions and other tax benefits available to charitable organizations when available and appropriate;
  • Developing planned giving programs and development programs and advising with respect to the organization’s obligation to substantiate and report contributions and comply with state charitable solicitation registration and related requirements;
  • Assisting in the development and implementation of particular forms of charitable giving, such as all forms of charitable trusts, pooled income funds, and charitable annuities;
  • Advising private foundations and private operating foundations subject to special excise taxes and limitations on their activities;
  • Advising on unrelated business income tax;
  • Representing organizations in acquiring facilities necessary for their operations through purchase or leasing;
  • Assisting organizations with financing their operations and acquisition and construction of their facilities through traditional and other means, including tax-exempt bond financing transactions;
  • Advising organizations as to appropriate use of endowment and other institutional funds and handling cy pres actions or other modifications of such funds where appropriate;
  • Reviewing grant and services agreements and applicable regulations in the administration of programs.