The University of Iowa

Nonprofit Law: A Practical Guide to Legal Issues for Nonprofit Organizations

Willard L. Boyd III, Editor

2017 American Bar Association; 144 pp.

ISBN 9781634259507

Willard L. Boyd III has developed a useful guide to nonprofit basics that focuses on legal issues that commonly arise in the nonprofit world but which many attorneys might not deal with in the course of their daily practice.

The book is based on a series of webinars sponsored by the Nonprofit Organizations Committee of the ABA Business Law Section called “Nonprofit Law for the ‘Non’ Nonprofit Attorney.”

Like the webinars, Nonprofit Law anticipates the fundamental questions that come up for the nonprofit client in the areas of nonprofit formation, issues related to tax-exempt status, and governance. What are the limits on political activity and lobbying? What constitutes conflict of interest? What are the types of 990 tax forms, and which one is appropriate for a particular nonprofit client? What are the fiduciary duties of board members? Answers to these and many other questions are clearly laid out.

The book starts by addressing the most basic questions surrounding nonprofits and concludes with a chapter on other matters that arise in representing nonprofits such as subsidiaries, mergers, and dissolution.

The appendices are also practical resources. One is an Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws checklist, another is a chart of tax-exempt organizations that outlines the many types of nonprofit organizations and the general nature of their activities, and the third lists publications, periodicals, and websites with more information on the various aspects of the nonprofit sector.

While attorneys will find the book a quick and handy reference, non-attorneys who are experienced in nonprofit work will see its value as well. At 144 pages, Nonprofit Law is straightforward and readable. Nonprofit veterans who have relied upon the Iowa Principles and Practices for Charitable Nonprofit Excellence as their go-to guide will find Nonprofit Law to be an informative supplement that takes them a few steps farther into basic legal questions they may frequently encounter.

Nonprofit Law is available at with pricing tiered for ABA members, non-members, and business law section members.

Diane DeBok
Editor & Content Manager