A Note from the Editor about the Newsletter

By Bruce R. HopkinsMarch 17, 2011 | Print

I started the Nonprofit Counsel, as a monthly newsletter, for the purpose of capturing important developments in nonprofit law, principally the federal tax law, and communicating them to professional advisors and others in a format and style that is as easy to read and understand as possible. I am acutely aware that nearly every day brings some addition to nonprofit law jurisprudence. My practice in the area of nonprofit law is on a fulltime basis, concentrating only on that subject; I find it a struggle to keep up with every IRS regulation project, ruling (public and private), announcement, press release, form, and sets of instructions, as well as court opinions and pronouncements from other government agencies. My heart goes out to those who attempt a practice in nonprofit law as only one aspect of their work!

Each month’s issue is written with this target audience in mind: Lawyers and accountants who toil in the nonprofit law field but not as the entirety of their practice. My perspective is on those topics I think are most important for those practitioners to know something about. I constantly think about what I would like to know, if nonprofit law practice occupied, say, one-third of my professional time. This type of practitioner simply lacks the time – and perhaps the resources and energy – to read all of the original law documents that come tumbling out each week. The task I have set for myself – and I wish I could communicate how much I enjoy doing it – is to distill from (and sometime translate) all of this material the information that I deem to be most meaningful, and send it out – sometimes with commentary – in the hope that it will help those who need some shoring up when it comes to nonprofit law.

I hasten to add that those who have fulltime nonprofit law practices are most welcome to also subscribe to the newsletter. Further, I do not consider the readership base to be confined to lawyers and accountants. I try to keep in mind that others are interested in nonprofit law developments and write for them as well. These include executives of nonprofit organizations, trustees and directors of these organizations, academics, management and fundraising consultants, investment advisors, and the like.

I maintain an inventory of articles in the newsletter since its inception in 1983. Also maintained is a subject matter index, as well as indexes of the court opinions, IRS revenue rulings and procedures, IRS technical advice memoranda, and IRS private letter rulings discussed in the newsletter. These listings are available at

I find nonprofit law to be fascinating and intellectually stimulating, from the most recent Supreme Court opinion to an IRS private letter ruling on some esoteric aspect of this field of law. Equally rewarding is the opportunity to write about all of these developments, helping to make sense of them and trying to fit them to the practicalities of real-world practices and other needs.

Over the years, readers have not been reticent to contact me with questions and comments. (Email is preferred.) This enriches my life and helps me in understanding what those who follow nonprofit law developments want and need. Often, these inquiries are manifested in a newsletter issue. So, let me hear from you, as I strive to send out each month what I think are summaries of the most significant – and interesting – developments in the wonderful realm of nonprofit law.

Bruce R. Hopkins

Read more about Bruce R. Hopkins or view the latest article from the Nonprofit Counsel.

For more on Bruce R. Hopkins and his work in nonprofit law, visit

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