Staff Counsel

Location: DC Metro Area

Type: Full-Time

Industry: Non-Profit

Our client, Council on Foundations (“Council”), is a leader in helping philanthropic non-profit organizations do their best to advance their mission.  The Council is searching for a Staff Counsel to join their team. The Staff Counsel serves primarily external constituencies by providing legal information in response to member inquiries (RFIs), legal research and consultation on tax, legislative, and regulatory issues. This position also provides education, training, and other services in support of the client’s Legal Resources function and assists in fulfilling the day-to-day corporate counsel requirements typical of a national, nonprofit membership organization.

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed within are a representative of the knowledge, skills, minimum education, training, licensure, experience, and/or ability required.

Primary Job Duties and Responsibilities

  • Respond to requests for information from the Council’s members, potential members, and other constituents on all areas of foundation operations including but not limited to tax compliance, governance, legislative, and regulatory issues.
  • Assist members and staff in understanding emerging issues from the IRS and Treasury that affect Section 501(c)(3) organizations and foundations
  • Maintain expertise on issues of exempt organization law, foundation governance, and state and federal regulations applicable to the Council’s member organizations and charitable giving.
  • Prepare and present webinars, in-person workshops and other educational sessions on behalf of the Legal Resources team and in connection with other internal departments.
  • Speak on legal topics at internal and external meetings convened by the Council, regional grantmaker associations, and professional groups.
  • Conduct review of applicant submissions for accreditation/reaccreditation through the National Standards program.
  • Research legal topics and drafts materials for Council publications, newsletters, and website.
  • Assist public policy staff with research and preparation of comments related to legislative proposals and changes in tax policy and regulations.
  • Track Legal Resources engagement and activities, including member RFIs, in Salesforce.
  • Stay informed about activities and work of colleagues to ensure legal issues are addressed as appropriate in curricula and other written materials.
  • Assist and consult Council management and staff on internal legal matters, public policy matters, and transactional matters.
  • Assist with trends analysis and content design of the annual Grantmakers Salary and Benefits Report.
  • Contribute to overarching organization goals by participating in cross-functional working groups.

Role Requirements

  • Advanced degree
  • 3-5 years’ experience preferably in the exempt organization field
  • Law degree and admission to practice law in at least one jurisdiction

General Skills and Competencies

  • Knowledge of tax law, exempt organization law, charitable giving and estate planning.
  • Understanding of finance, investments and accounting as related to nonprofit organizations.
  • Excellent project management skills with ability to meet deadlines.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, ability to listen well and positively represent the organization and its mission.
  • Experience drafting and reviewing contracts and other complicated and detailed documents.
  • The ability to effectively communicate legal issues verbally and in writing.
  • Discretion and independent judgment in the responsibilities associated with legal services.
  • Excellent customer service skills.
  • Member recruitment and retentio
  • Strong presenation skills.
  • Strong attention to detail and accuracy.
  • Ability to identify and solve problems efficiently and quickly.
  • Ability to manage many and/or differing tasks and maintain productivity.
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a diverse team.
  • Ability to work effectively and positively with a range of individuals and working styles, and with people at all organization levels including staff, board members, foundation officers, donors, and vendors.
  • Experience with CRM database software, preferably Salesforce.
  • Proficient skill in Microsoft Office 365 applications.

Work Environment and Physical Demands

The work environment and physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • This position operates in a professional office environment and routinely uses standard office equipment.
  • The ability to sit, stand or walk for long periods of time (8+ hours/day).
  • The ability to lift up to 20 lbs. (with or without assistance).
  • The ability to push, pull, bend, kneel, reach, stoop, and crouch.
  • Specific vision abilities required by this job includes near, far, peripheral and depth and ability to adjust focus (with or without the use of corrective lenses).

Travel Requirements

  • Ability to travel up to 10% domestically, including overnight trips.

Please note, this job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this position. Activities, duties, or responsibilities may change at any time with or without notice. The requirements listed above are representative of the knowledge, skill and/or ability required.

Salary and Benefits

  • The salary is competitive and is commensurate with experience.
  • The Council offers a generous benefits package, including health, dental, vision, life, and disability insurance and a 403(b) plan with a 7% employer contribution.
  • The Council also offers 13 paid holidays, 2 floating holidays per year, 20 vacation days per year, paid time off the week between December 25th and January 1st, and 10 sick days per year.

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