Guest Blog: More Free Legal Ed for Nonprofits in Ohio

On May 13, ACC Central Ohio Chapter (CO-ACC), United Way of Central Ohio (UWCO), CPBO, and Barnes & Thornburg* hosted another in its series of free legal education programs for nonprofits in Columbus, Ohio. The program, started in 2013, was originally inspired by the Clinic in a Box® program.

The presentation topics were Ohio’s laws on fundraising and the regulatory landscape for fundraising for nonprofits, as well as the business of fundraising for nonprofits. The speakers at this session were ImageVeronica Bennu, managing counsel at Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company** and Sera Koulabdara, the development officer at Make-a-Wish Foundation. The speakers each gave presentations, answered questions, and provided brief advice after the session. Topics covered included Ohio’s laws on fundraising, which organizations are qualified to fundraise in Ohio, what fundraising actions are allowed or prohibited in Ohio, and what is needed to begin fundraising events. This information is important for nonprofits because, according to Bennu, “when attorneys tell you all the things you have to do, it can seem scary, but you can manage it if you have the right tools.”

Koulabdara then provided information related to the business of fundraising. She talked about the different types of fundraising models, relationship-building, best practices and potential pitfalls. Acknowledging how important fundraising is to nonprofits, Koulabdara said “Fundraising gets a bad rap, but asking for money is necessary.”

Marti Ridley of UWCO, Bill Nolan of Barnes & Thornburg LLP, and Eric Henricks on behalf of CO-ACC introduced the speakers and the program. Ten representatives of nonprofit organizations that in turn assist more than 10,000 individuals and make Columbus, Ohio, so special attended the event and gave the experience high marks.

Nathan Holschuh is Associate General Counsel at Emerson Network Power and co-chair of CO-ACC’s pro bono program.

* denotes a Signatory to the Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge®
† denotes a Member of the Law Firm Pro Bono Project

** denotes a CPBO Challenge® signatory