Looking for a Speaker?

Our customized speaker series is ideal for conferences, monthly nonprofit professional meetings, in-house staff trainings, or even as an add-on to your next board retreat.




What You Get

Each participant receives a Nonprofit Planning for Excellence Workbook with assessment tools and planning documents to set your nonprofit on the road to success. This workbook helps busy leaders prioritize the most impactful steps for their nonprofit. Programs can be customized for individuals and small groups of new and seasoned staff, board members, and volunteers, and can be conducted online or in person.


How We Help

The nonprofit sector boasts over 1.5 million organizations nationwide, but did you know that an estimated 16% of nonprofits fail every year? Even more face the challenges of dysfunctional boards, budget crises, or lawsuits by former employees. Justine Cowan offers a practical approach to ensuring that your organization has the tools to avoid trouble and build for success! She doesn't just tell you what to do, but how to do it.    

Below is a sample of the programs that we offer. Pick from the following or have a program customized to meet your needs.

The Path to Success: Three Steps to Avoiding a Legal Headache

Our Signature Program provides nonprofit leaders with a proven comprehensive and systematic approach to managing risk, avoiding legal problems, and building for success. Participants will come away with an in-depth understanding of all the legal and regulatory issues facing nonprofits including fundraising, employment, corporate filings, board oversight, financial policies and more. Participants will learn how to:

  • Identify warning signs that your nonprofit may be headed for trouble;
  • Keep the government from knocking at your door;
  • Define clear board roles and responsibilities in today’s complex regulatory environment;
  • Establish policies and procedures every nonprofit should have;
  • Avoid employment lawsuits;
  • Protect your IRS tax exempt status;
  • Manage risk with limited resources;
  • Run a fundraising program that meets state and federal guidelines;
  • And more!

I Followed my Dream and Started a Nonprofit – Now What!?

Getting approved by the IRS is just the first step. Protecting the tax exempt status of your organization is an ongoing commitment. Learn how to set up your nonprofit the right way to ensure that your tax exempt status is never in jeopardy. This program offers participants a step by step guide to:

  • Creating an effective governance structure;
  • Adopting key policies and procedures;
  • Setting up a fundraising program that meets state and federal guidelines;
  • Meeting annual government filing deadlines;
  • Hiring your first employee;
  • And more!

Keep the Government from Knocking at Your Door: Key Steps Every Nonprofit Should Take to Protect Its Tax Exempt Status

This seminar is ideal for the busy nonprofit leader who wants a practical approach to complying with the law. Topics include government filings, IRS hot button issues, how to reduce risk, essential board functions, and more.

Fundraising Legal Checkup: How to Impress Donors and Stay Out of Trouble

Donors expect the nonprofits they support to be well-run, and nothing can jeopardize an organization’s credibility with its supporters more than mishandling donations or failing to understand the basics of fundraising laws. Learn how to run a fundraising program that impresses donor and keeps you from making common legal mistakes that can land your nonprofit in hot water.

Participants will learn about Florida’s fundraising laws, what your gift policy should contain, accepting restricted or unusual gifts, emerging legal issues in online fundraising, IRS guidelines on acknowledging gifts, running a legal raffle, and pitfalls related to Unrelated Business Income Tax (UBIT).

Employment for Nonprofits: Key Employment Policies that will Keep Your Organization out of Court

Learn about the steps every nonprofit manager should take to create a professional employment program that reduces the risk of lawsuits. This seminar is ideal for nonprofit professionals and board members who want to learn more about how their nonprofit can adopt best practices and stay in compliance with state and federal employment laws.

Topics include recent developments in employment laws, how to minimize the risk of disputes and litigation, essential workplace policies, independent contractors, exempt v. non-exempt workers, how to hire and terminate employees, the proper use of volunteers, and more.

The Board’s Role in Reducing Nonprofit Risk: What Every Board Should Know to Avoid Liability

This seminar is a deep dive into key oversight issues that all board members should master. Topics include essential policies, exercising proper legal and financial oversight, and effective board management. This seminar is perfect for executive directors and board members alike. Great as a stand-alone program or as an add-on to your next board retreat.

Event Management: Reduce the Risk But not the Fun

Learn how your nonprofit can reduce the risks associated with running an event. Topics include government disclosures, permitting, gaming activities, contracts, managing people and more.

Request a Speaker for your Nonprofit

Testimonial for Nonprofit Lawyer Cowan Consulting

Client Testimonials

Justine and I recently worked together on reviewing our operations which was no easy task. As a result, we are operating according to best practices in every aspect of our operations. I highly recommend Justine's services. Start with her legal check-up!
Susan Omoto – The Historical Society of Central Florida