Law of Non-Profits – PLST 380

CG • Section • 01/03/2020 to 06/11/2020 • Modified 07/28/2020

Course Description

Consideration of the role of the nonprofit corporation vis-à-vis the business corporation as well as fiduciary relationships and regulatory issues faced by nonprofit corporations. The class will also cover the process for organization of a nonprofit corporation and obtaining tax exempt status.


PLAW 350 or PLST 350


Nonprofit organizations play an ever-increasing role in modern society. Further, nonprofit organizations hold a special meaning for Christians because most churches and other Christian organizations are organized as nonprofits. Nonprofit organizations have a host of special tax, corporate, and other rules that govern them and their operations. Therefore, it is critical that a Christian legal professional have a working understanding of the law governing nonprofit organizations.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Identify the basic principles of law governing nonprofit corporations.
  2. Describe the process for organization of a nonprofit corporation and obtaining tax exempt status.
  3. Draft documents related to the organization of a nonprofit corporation.
  4. Synthesize all of the preceding in light of the Christian worldview.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

Discussion Board Forums (2)

Discussion boards are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to create a thread in response to the provided prompt for each forum. Each thread must be at least 250 words and demonstrate course-related knowledge. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to at least 2 classmates’ threads. Each reply must be at least 150 words.

Organization Documents Assignment

The student will draft a set of organizational documents to form a nonprofit corporation.

Organize a Nonprofit Memorandum

The student will conduct research to determine the steps necessary to fully form a nonprofit organization. The steps will be presented in a memorandum in current Bluebook format. The memorandum must be at least 2,000 words and must contain sufficient citations to indicate where the student derived the steps and the applicable law that requires these steps.

Interview Assignment

The student will conduct an interview with an executive of a nonprofit organization, asking questions about the nonprofit, including its mission and challenges. The student will also ask about the legal issues and taxation-related issues that the nonprofit faces. The student will then prepare a 2,000-word memorandum in current Bluebook format discussing the interview and detailing what he or she learned. No references are required for this assignment unless appropriate.

Form 990 Assignment

The student will locate a Form 990, review the form, and answer a set of questions about the form. The answers to the questions will be submitted as a memorandum in current Bluebook format.

Tests (4)

Each test will cover the Reading & Study material for 2 modules/weeks. Each test will be open-book/open-notes, contain 22 multiple-choice and true/false questions and 3 short-answer questions, and have a time limit of 1 hour. For all essay or short answer questions, explain your answer.