Skip to main content

Nonprofit Organizations 2020: Governance, Reporting, and Compensation Issues

Speaker(s): Dahlia Doumar, Dana Brakman Reiser, David G. Samuels, Dennis J. Morrone, CPA, Farah N. Ansari, Karen I. Wu, Seth Perlman
Recorded on: Oct. 2, 2020
PLI Program #: 278268

Dahlia Doumar concentrates her practice in tax law. Her practice is broad and sophisticated including both domestic and foreign for-profit companies, exempt organizations and high net worth individuals.

Ms. Doumar works extensively in the exempt organizations area counseling clients on unrelated business income tax issues, investment structuring, rules governing the maintenance of donor advised funds, reporting regarding foreign investments and grants, self dealing, intermediate sanctions and excise tax issues generally.

In the corporate area, Ms. Doumar has advised clients on numerous matters, including corporate reorganizations and recapitalizations, restructuring of distressed companies, business acquisitions and dispositions, partnership and limited liability company investments.

Ms. Doumar also works with members of the employee benefit and executive compensation group on tax aspects of employee benefits. Further, Ms. Doumar has represented clients, both for-profit and not-for-profit, before the Internal Revenue Service, New York State and New York City involving audits and private letter ruling requests.

In addition, working with lawyers in the trusts and estates group, Mrs. Doumar has advised on the domestication of foreign trusts.

Dana Brakman Reiser is Professor of Law and former Vice Dean at Brooklyn Law School, where she teaches courses in Corporations, Nonprofit Law, Social Enterprise, Property, and Trusts and Estates.  Her recent scholarship focuses on law and finance for nonprofit organizations and social enterprises – businesses that pursue a social mission.  In 2017, she published SOCIAL ENTERPRISE LAW: TRUST, PUBLIC BENEFIT, AND CAPITAL MARKETS (Oxford University Press) (with Professor Steven A. Dean).  Her scholarship also has appeared in Boston College Law Review, Emory Law Journal, Notre Dame Law Review, and the Stanford Social Innovation Review, among others. 

Professor Brakman Reiser is a member of the American Law Institute and was an Associate Reporter for its project on the Principles of the Law of Nonprofit Organizations.  She is also a member of the American Association of Law Schools, a member of the executive committee of its Section on Business Associations and past-Chair of the Section on Nonprofit and Philanthropy Law. She is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard Law School.

David G. Samuels rejoined Perlman & Perlman as a partner in 2021, having previously been at the firm from 2001 to 2006.  Mr. Samuels has, since 2007, been named annually as one of the Best Lawyers and Super Lawyers in the New York metropolitan area in the category of Non-Profit/Charities Law.  He was named by Best Lawyers as its New York City Non-Profit/Charities Law Lawyer of the Year for 2016 and again for 2018.

Mr. Samuels has extensive experience representing numerous public charities and private foundations, including social service agencies, grant-making foundations, mental health facilities, educational organizations, and religious institutions.  His clients include New York University, Council for Economic Education, Atran Foundation, Board of National Missions, Interborough Consultation Center, Littauer Foundation, Pencils of Promise, Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, Workers Circle, and the YWCA of the City of New York. 

Mr. Samuels is a recognized expert on a wide range of issues involving charitable organizations, including compensation, governance, fiduciary duty, self-dealing and conflict of interest, prudent investments, and endowments and restricted funds.  He represents targets of investigations and inquiries from government agencies (including the New York Attorney General).  He frequently deals with the Attorney General on regulatory matters, including sales, mergers, dissolutions, and cy pres applications.  He teaches the course on Charitable Organizations as an adjunct professor at New York Law School.  Mr. Samuels is former chair and a member of the Nonprofit Organizations Committee of the New York City Bar Association.  He has chaired and participated in numerous continuing legal education and accounting education programs on nonprofit issues.  Mr. Samuels is the lead editor and co-author of a treatise, Nonprofit Compensation, Benefits, and Employment Law, and has written extensively on nonprofit issues with numerous articles published in the New York Law Journal and elsewhere.  He is also an experienced civil and appellate litigator and employment lawyer.

Mr. Samuels received an A.B. degree (cum laude) from Harvard College in 1974, a J.D. degree from Harvard Law School in 1978, and an LL.M. from NYU School of Law in 1985.  Mr. Samuels was Deputy Chief of the New York AG’s Charities Bureau from 1987 to 1995.  He was previously a partner at Duval & Stachenfeld and at Butler, Fitzgerald & Potter. Mr. Samuels is admitted to practice in the state and federal courts in New York.

Dennis is the National Managing Partner of Grant Thornton’s Not-for-Profit & Higher Education Practices.  Prior to joining Grant Thornton LLP in May of 2002, Dennis was previously part of Arthur Andersen LLP’s Metro New York Not-For-Profit Practice.

Dennis has served the full spectrum of not-for-profit organizations, including institutions of higher education, foundations, cultural institutions, religious organizations, associations, and social services organizations, many of which operate on a national and international scale.

Dennis received his B.S. degree, cum laude, in Accounting from Villanova University.  Dennis has been a frequent speaker at various not-for-profit and higher education industry forums, including the AICPA, NJCPA, Practicing Law Institute, state societies of CPAs, NACUBO, and EACUBO. He has led and created numerous training sessions on a full range of not-for-profit accounting and auditing topics as well as OMB Circular A-133 (now Uniform Guidance) for firm staff as well as the not-for-profit industry. Dennis is a member of the FASB’s Not-for-Profit Advisory Committee (NAC) and has represented Grant Thornton on the AICPA’s Center for Government Audit Quality (GAQC). Dennis is a member of Grant Thornton’s National Not-for-Profit Leadership Team. He has written extensively for Grant Thornton’s Not-for-Profit Industry letters, the Not-for-Profit Times and several other industry publications. 

He is a Certified Public Accountant in New Jersey, New York, and Washington D.C. and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants, and the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants. 

Farah N. Ansari is a partner with Schenck Price, where she is Co-Chair of the Nonprofit Practice Group and a member of the Tax Planning Practice Group.  Farah possesses significant experience counseling tax-exempt organizations including charities, foundations, educational organizations, arts organizations, hospitals and other nonprofit organizations in both New York and New Jersey.  Farah’s practice includes counseling on issues relating to the formation of public charities and private foundations, including those with foreign operations. Farah also assists organizations with their transactions and tax compliance.

Farah routinely provides guidance on the following nonprofit-related topics: supporting organization issues; the unrelated business income tax; private foundation excise taxes, including self-dealing; issues relating to private operating foundations; nonprofit governance; the Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act; and fundraising.

Farah is also well-versed in Federal and State tax laws, providing tax-related guidance to both businesses and individuals.  She is experienced in handling federal and state tax controversies in relation to income, withholding, and sales and use tax issues.  Farah represents clients before the taxing authorities, in audits and in negotiating settlements, and in New Jersey Tax Court.

Farah is a past Chair of the Taxation Section of the New Jersey State Bar Association and is currently Co-Chair of the Tax-Exempt Organizations Committee of the Taxation Section of the New Jersey State Bar Association.  She is currently serving on the New Jersey Supreme Court Committee on the Tax Court.  She is a member of the Legal, Wealth & Tax Advisory Committee of the Community Foundation of New Jersey.  Farah is also a member of the Government Relations Council of Nonprofit New York and the New York City Bar, Non-Profit Organizations Committee.  Farah is a Board Member of the Volunteer Center of Bergen County and the New York Phi Beta Kappa Association.

Farah has been recognized repeatedly as a leader in the legal profession, in Super Lawyers, Top Lawyers in Morris/Essex and as a “New Leader of the Bar” by The New Jersey Law Journal.  Farah lectures frequently on tax and nonprofit-related topics.

Farah received her LL.M. in Taxation from New York University, School of Law and her J.D. from Rutgers School of Law – Newark, where she was an editor of the Rutgers Law Review, a board member of the Rutgers Moot Court Board, and a teaching and research assistant for Legal Research & Writing.

Farah chairs Schenck Price's Diversity and Inclusion Committee.

Seth Perlman has been providing legal counsel to the philanthropic sector for more than thirty years. He works with large public charities, private foundations, fundraising professionals, and for-profit businesses engaged in philanthropy, international NGOs and social enterprises. 

Seth assists his clients to optimize their ability to achieve mission by advising on matters relating to organizational structure, governance, regulatory compliance and nonprofit commercial activities.

As an advisor to C-level executives and the boards of a broad range of U.S. nonprofits, Seth attends between fifty and seventy-five board sessions annually. He advises directors and officers on issues of board governance: board conflicts, parliamentary procedures, employment practices and strategies, and identifying and handling conflicts of interest.  His counsel on complex governance issues such as board oversight, decision-making power, and board member fiduciary duties helps boards achieve sustainability and effectiveness.

Seth’s proficiency in matters relating to fundraising, revenue generation and charitable solicitation compliance for nonprofit organizations, including cause-marketing campaigns, hybrid business structures, corporate alliances, joint ventures and state and federal regulatory compliance, has been invaluable in assisting organizations to reach their mission and financial goals.

Seth has litigated in several state and federal jurisdictions on issues relevant to the philanthropic community.  Matters include board disputes, action and investigations by state regulatory authorities and constitutional issues.

As an outspoken advocate for the nonprofit sector, he actively participates with nonprofit trade associations including the Association of Fundraising Professionals, the Association of Direct Response Fundraising Counsel, Independent Sector, and Nonprofit New York.  He is a founding board member of the Charity Defense Council in support of their mission “to change the way people think about changing the world”.

Professional & Nonprofit Affiliations

Practising Law Institute, Board Governance & Financial Controls, Chairman

Charity Defense Council, Founding Board Member

Association of Fundraising Professionals, Special Counsel,

Direct Marketing Fundraisers Association, Special Counsel

Nonprofit New York, Government Affairs Committee

Vaincre Alzheimer’s Fondation (France), Founder, Former Chair, and Director

Alzheimer’s Forchung International (Germany), Director

International Association of Medical Assistants to Travelers (Canada), Director


American Bar Association Nonprofit Attorney of the Year – 2009

Humanities Award – Communications Independence for the Neurologically Impaired

Super Lawyers – 2008 - 2020

Karen I. Wu is a partner at Perlman & Perlman, LLP, a nationally recognized law firm serving the philanthropic and social enterprise sector. Karen leads the firm’s Washington, DC office.  Karen advises nonprofit organizations on corporate governance, federal tax law compliance, fundraising regulation, contract negotiations, and intellectual property matters. She also counsels a broad range of for-profit businesses, including Fortune 500 and start-up companies, on emerging issues involving corporate philanthropy and cause marketing, including corporate sponsorships, commercial co-ventures, crowd-sourced fundraising, and social media campaigns. Karen is a frequent author, blogger, and speaker on legal issues affecting the philanthropic sector.  She received the Outstanding Young Lawyers Award from the New York State Bar Association in 2012, the Nonprofit Outstanding Young Lawyer Award from the American Bar Association in 2013, and the Best Lawyers Under 40 Award from the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) in 2015. These awards honor young attorneys who have a distinguished record of service within the legal profession and the community.