Rocky M. Cabagnot

Fractional General Counsel Services for Nonprofits 

Governing and managing a nonprofit, while faithfully pursuing mission is a perpetual challenge.  Nonprofits must comply with a growing number of legal, regulatory and tax related compliance matters that change all of the time.  Your nonprofit needs client centered, problem solving legal counsel to ensure these matters are monitored while meeting your exempt purpose.  However, your nonprofit might not be willing or able to hire a full time attorney to handle these matters 'in house.'

Consider retaining Attorney Rocky Cabagnot as your nonprofit's Fractional General Counsel to gain cost-effective access to the strategic legal advice your nonprofit needs.  As Fractional General Counsel, Rocky can manage the legal aspects of your nonprofit in addition to providing value added, solution focused strategic advice to assist your nonprofit achieve its mission.  Rocky offers Fractional General Counsel services to nonprofit clients of all sizes and customizes each offering to each clients needs, including:

- Governance Matters (Board of Directors);

- General Contracts, including Nondisclosure, Employment and Operating Agreements;

- Executive Compensation Surveys, Compliance, and Advice;

- Compliance Filings & Reports;

- Amending Bylaws or Articles of Incorporation;

- Revision of Employment Policies & Procedures Manuals;

- Evaluation of Fundraising Plans (including compliance with charitable solicitation laws);

- Planned Giving Strategies and Legal Agreements;

- Organizational Risk Management;

- Use, and Risks of Social Media;

-Board of Directors and Staff Training;

With Rocky as your nonprofit's Fractional General Counsel, your nonprofit gains a trusted legal partner who knows your nonprofit and its mission intimately, and who will use his experience and extensive network of contacts and resources to help your nonprofit grow and succeed.

Legal Assistance Setting Up Strong and Compliant Nonprofits (501c3 Public Charities)

For over fifteen years, Rocky Cabagnot has helped hundreds of clients set up and manage strong and legally compliant nonprofits that have a foundation for long-term success. For those of you seeking to start up a nonprofit 'the right way,' Rocky offers a start up package for a fixed rate for those seeking to create 501(c)(3) public charity nonprofits:  For a reasonable fixed cost, Rocky will assist you with the following:

- Review of your nonprofit to determine feasibility of obtaining approval from the IRS as a tax exempt organization, i.e. 501(c)(3) public charity;

- Assistance with determining which legal entity to form to operate your nonprofit;

- Assistance with incorporating your nonprofit's legal entity and assistance obtaining an Employment ID from the Internal Revenue Service;

-Drafting custom made bylaws and other corporate governance documents (ex. conflict of interest policy) to reflect your organization's values;

- Developing your nonprofit's application for tax exempt status from the IRS (either Form 1023 or Form 1023-EZ);

- Providing your initial Board with Rocky's Corporate Governance 101 Training to ensure your first board knows its fiduciary duties to ensure the nonprofits moves toward achieving its exempt purpose and mission

About Rocky Cabagnot, Nonprofit Attorney and Social Sector Advocate:

Rocky grew up in Salisbury, North Carolina.  He is a proud graduate of the Class of 1992 of Salisbury High School (Go Hornets!).  He furthered his education in the 'Southern Part of Heaven' at the University of of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he received his Bachelors Degree (Go Heels!).  Following a call to become an attorney,  Rocky ventured down to sunny Gainesville, Florida and obtained a Juris Doctor degree (with Honors) from the University of Florida Levin College of Law where he served as Senior Research Editor of the Florida Law Review (Go Gators!). 

Spurning a career in corporate law after graduation, Rocky started his legal career at Three Rivers Legal Services in Gainesville, Florida - first, as an AmeriCorps Housing Attorney and later, as an Equal Justice Works Fellow, where he designed an innovative access to justice project to serve the legal needs of the low income community in rural north central Florida.  After his public interest law fellowship, he made his way to Florida's capitol, Tallahassee, where he started a Community Economic Development legal unit at Legal Services of North Florida where he provided direct legal services to affordable housing and community development related nonprofits throughout the Florida panhandle.  

In 2012, he returned home to North Carolina, where he was appointed as an Assistant Professor of Law at an ABA accredited law school in Charlotte, North Carolina.  During his tenure at the law school (2012-2017), Rocky developed and supervised a legal clinic (staffed by certified legal interns) that provided free legal services to Charlotte area nonprofit organizations.  Additionally, he has taught as an adjunct professor in the University of North Carolina at Charlotte's Master of Public Administration program teaching courses in public administration law and nonprofit capacity building.  From 2017 through 2019, Rocky spent two years running the Salisbury-Rowan Community Action Agency (a multi-million dollar federally funded nonprofit) as its Executive Director where he oversaw a Head Start program that served over 1000 children and families throughout five counties and a federally funded CSBG workforce development program in Rowan and Cabarrus Counties.  

In October 2019, Rocky decided to return to the full time practice of law and joined the law firm of Hull & Chandler P.A.  He is a Member in Good Standing with the North Carolina and Florida Bars.

Testimonials on Rocky's work:

Rocky worked with us through the legal and governance process to establish our 501(c)3 public charity.  He was extremely diligent in everything that he did, helped us through every step and answer every question we didn’t even know that we had!  His governance training was extremely informative and thorough, and we continue to refer to it often even without him there to guide us personally.  Rocky helped us through the process of establishing our Board of Directors and draft our Bylaws in a manner that was thoughtful and can stand the test of time.  He provided legal opinion and guidance throughout the process and followed up continuously to ensure that all was taken care of in a timely manner.   I would recommend Rocky to any non-profit!

Katie Church, President and Chair of the Board

David Moore Foundation

Southend ARTS is thrilled to recommend Rocky Cabagnot for all of your nonprofit charity needs. 

Rocky consistently made himself available from our first interview through the filing of NC nonprofit incorporation.  He expedited our 501(c)(3) nonprofit status in record time. Rocky was brilliant in customizing SEA ByLaws to satisfy our unique needs. He helped our organization get off the ground by officiating at our 1st BOD election of officers, suggesting the Secretary’s Report format and completing governance training... all of which officially established our organization in record time. 

He was extremely thorough in everything that he did. He provided legal opinion and guidance throughout the process and followed up continuously to ensure that all was taken care of in a timely manner.   We have developed an ongoing friendship. 

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