Practice Areas

Nonprofits/Head Start/Community Action

Hull & Chandler Legal Services for Nonprofits (Especially Head Start/Early Head Start Grantees and Community Action Agencies)

Fractional General Counsel Services for Nonprofits (Especially Head Start/Early Head Start and Community Action Agencies)

What are Fractional General Counsel Services?

If you are a 501c3 public charity (especially a Head Start/Early Head Start Grantee or a Community Action Agency), you really should consider utilizing fractional general counsel services to help manage your organization's legal needs!  As a starting point, do not get fractional general counsel confused with in-house counsel.  An in-house counsel is a licensed attorney that is a full-time employee (typically salaried with fringes and benefits) of your Nonprofit.  A fractional general counsel is a part time licensed attorney (treated as an independent contractor) who provides on-going legal services to your nonprofit at a flat-rate or fixed price structure.  For a set fee, you have access to this attorney for a legal emergency or for general legal advice.  If you need additional services beyond the set number of hours per month, you typically pay an agreed upon hourly rate or set fee for specific services.

The benefits of using a fractiona general counsel from Hull & Chandler is that your attorney has extensive experience with both representing as counsel and managing at a senior level tax exempt public charities (especially Head Start/Early Head Start and Community Action Agencies).  Some benefits your nonprofit will enjoy if it retains a fractional general counsel from Hull & Chandler, include but are not limited to:

             1.         Custom sized legal services at an affordable price.  

            2.         With a set fee for fractional general counsel, your Nonprofit can budget for professional services more accurately.

            3.         Ongoing legal advice and review to ensure compliance with various federal, state, and local laws.  (For Head Start/Early Head Start and Community Action Programs, please scroll down for our programs designed especially for you!)

            4.         Allows your Nonprofit to immediately add a new member to its senior management team on day one.  

            5.         While the fractional general counsel has fixed price for services, there is always the potential for the Nonprofit to receive discounted legal services for additional work (such as litigation as either a Plaintiff or a Defendant). 

            6.         Having fractional general counsel allows the Nonprofit to focus more on operations and mission instead of worrying about compliance and legal matters.

            7.         Your nonprofit will have timely access to an attorney team member when needed for answers to pressing questions (especially helpful when there are employment law questions that are not routine for your HR department).

            8.         If your fractional general counsel practices with a law firm, your Nonprofit will get more access to legal service in areas including employment benefits, civil litigation, and intellectual property matters.

            9.         Having a fractional general counsel can help you with grant applications that require lots of corporate governance training or monitoring/compliance.  

            10.       With fractional general counsel, your Nonprofit is taking a proactive approach to risk management rather than a reactive approach.   

What sort of legal services does my nonprofit get with a Fractional General Counsel?

- 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;

You said Head Start/Early Head Start Programs can benefit from Fractional General Counsel. How??

As Head Start/Early Head Start Grantee, you know that legal compliance is key to maintaining your grant and avoiding the designation renewal system (DRS).  With Hull & Chandler's Fractional General Counsel program, you'll get assistance from Attorney Rocky Cabagnot who not only will serve as your legal consultant/counsel, but he has run a Head Start/Early Head Start program and survived DRS and lived to tell the tale.  If you have a program that may be facing DRS, getting your legal compliance to meet Head Start Act and Head Start Program Performance Standards is key!

As your fractional general counsel, Attorney Cabagnot will help your agency with:

1.  ACF review

2.  Interpretation of regulations

3.  Compliance with Head Start Act and Head Start Program Performance Standards

4. Can serve as legal consultant to the grantee’s board of directors as licensed attorney familiar with issues related to Head Start/Early Head Start (Satisfies 642(c)(1)(b) of the Head Start Act)

5.  Review, revise or draft a conflict-of interest policy for use by governing board (Satisfies 642(c)(1)(E) of the Head Start Act)

6.  Review, revise or draft impasse policy between governing board and policy council (Satisfies 642(c)(1)(E) of the Head Start Act)

7.  Can provide advice and counsel to governing board to ensure program compliance with federal laws and regulations, applicable state, tribal and local laws and regulations (Satisfies 642(c)(1)(E) of the Head Start Act) (Note – Only North Carolina and Florida available for advice regarding state law regulations but may be able to register with your state as 'corporate counsel')

8.  Review all relevant board, committee and policy council meeting minutes to ensure all bodies are documenting actions related to review of : monthly financial statements, monthly program info summaries, monthly report of meals (USDA/CACFP), Financial Audit/Single Audit, Annual Budget, Annual Self-Assessment, Community Needs Assessment, Communications from ACF/Regional Office, Program Information Reports (PIR) (Satisfies 642(c)(1)(E) of the Head Start Act and 1301.3(3) Head Start Program Performance Standards)

9.   Review and revise grantee’s HR personnel policies and advise governing body and policy council regarding adoption (will affirm review for grantees subject to Community Service Block Grant requirements) (Satisfies 642(c)(1)(E) of the Head Start Act)

10. Review, revise and draft whistleblower policy for grantee (Satisfies 642(c)(1)(E) of the Head Start Act)

11.  Assist governing board with performing compensation review of CEO (Satisfies 642(c)(1)(E) of the Head Start Act)

12.  Review, revise and draft bylaws for Policy Council (Satisfies 642(c)(2)(D) of the Head Start Act)

13. Provide agency with legal assistance regarding negotiation and drafting agreements with potential delegate agencies, including providing assistance with monitoring delegate agency’s compliance with such agreement

Do you only provide Fractional General Counsel Services to Nonprofits?  No, there's more!

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

Custom Designed Training for your Board and Staff

Hull & Chandler can custom design and present a training for you, your staff and board members on a variety of legal topics. These trainings are quite helpful for new boards of directors, new executive leaders, organizations that are looking to grow or expand, or for a group that has experienced conflict between staff and board members.

Our firm can provide custom designed training to founders and boards of new organizations, as well as speaking at your annual conference, board meetings, or staff training on topics including:

  • Setting up a nonprofit, foundation, social enterprise, association or other tax-exempt status
  • Regulation and compliance issues
  • Roles of the ED vs. the board
  • Financial oversight, compliance, planning, budgeting, financial reporting
  • Staff and volunteer management
  • Program development, evaluation, and outcome reporting
  • Legal reporting requirements on state and federal levels
  • Fundraising legally: issues and requirements, including donation acknowledgments
  • Leadership succession issues
  • Conflicts of interest and due diligence issues