Tag Archives: nonprofit organizations

Cameron2head

Cameron Carter Named Partner at Rose Law Group

Cameron CarterArizona’s largest female owned law firm is proud to announce the appointment of Real Estate and Transactional Attorney Cameron Carter as the firm’s new partner at Rose Law Group pc (RLG).

Carter, who specializes in Real Estate Transactions, Acquisition, Due Diligence, Real Estate Finance, Development/Redevelopment, Land Use/Entitlements and Development Agreements, first joined RLG as a law clerk in 2006 while finishing law degree at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University.

After passing the Arizona State Bar, Carter began practicing Real Estate law assisting clients with numerous acquisitions and depositions of the purchase and sale of land, multifamily and commercial properties.

Since 2007, Carter has also been advising clients on Development Impact Fees, Commercial Leasing, Closings, Investments, Landlord/Tenant, Tax Liens, Trustee’s Sale/Foreclosure, Construction, Municipal Law, Renewable Energy, Business Transactions and Community Associations.

He’s represented farmers, investors, developers, local and national home builders, REITs, charter schools, landlords and non-profit corporations in a variety of real estate transactions and other real estate and business matters.

“This has been a long time goal of mine to be a partner at Rose Law Group,” said Carter. “I enjoy helping clients add value by tackling complex real estate and development issues.  I’m thrilled to continue helping founder Jordan Rose implement her vision for providing exceptional service to our clients.”

While at Rose Law, Carter has worked to solve a number of issues involving development impact fees, building permits, eminent domain, right of way acquisition, rezoning cases, and use permits. Carter also works on a variety of election law matters including initiative and referendum, political committees, candidate qualification and campaign finance issues.

Jordan Rose founded Rose Law Group in 2000 and the firm quickly developed the reputation as being of one Arizona’s most innovative firms in the state.  Since its inception, Attorneys Court Rich and Ryan Hurley have also become partners.

Rose said Carter’s unique background of serving as a commercial construction manager at Jokake Construction, and holding a real estate broker’s license allows him to provide solid legal advice and makes great real estate business sense.

“I have seen a lot of great real estate attorneys, but never have I met one with the extensive real life real estate business background of Cameron Carter,” said RLG founder Jordan Rose.  “Cameron lives real estate and has a rare gift. He is both precise in transactional work, and a great land use and zoning attorney.  From the moment he walked in our doors 7 ½ years ago, I knew he was the future of Rose Law Group.  We are really blessed to have Cameron as a partner.”

As part of the new appointment, Carter will also head the Transactional Real Estate Department and with the upturn in the economy, Carter welcomes the challenge.

“The economy is rebounding, and we have to continue helping clients increase values, getting deals closed, recognizing risk, mitigating risks, and just exceeding their expectations on every acquisition,” said Carter.

Carter is a Cactus High School graduate and a fifth generation Arizonan. He feels strongly about serving the community. He has worked as a volunteer leader with the Boy Scouts of America and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the McCormick Ranch Property Owner’s Association, but his most important job is serving as a husband and father of four children.

 

Photo: GivingTuesday.org

The Gift Of Giving Tuesday: Come Together For A Day Of Philanthropy

On Thanksgiving we feasted! It was then followed by Black Friday and Cyber Monday, where shoppers crowd stores and the Internet for the best deals on all their favorite items. This year sparks a new tradition, one that’s giving these post-Thanksgiving holidays a run for their money. For the first time, nonprofits are creating a movement that reminds us that holidays aren’t just about good deals and lots of eating, but are also about community and giving back — challenging us to think beyond Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

This Tuesday November 27, families, business and organizations will come together for a day of philanthropy known as Giving Tuesday. Instead of the traditional shopping sprees, they will spread a different message: one of generosity.

In this, the first year of Giving Tuesday, DrugFreeAZ.org will join nearly 2,000 other organizations looking to make a difference this holiday season in the lives of children and families all across the United States. By logging on to DrugFreeAZ.org, individuals can make individual donations and learn more about how they can get involved in bettering their local communities in Arizona.

Looking to get involved? Here are a view ways to support participating charity and nonprofit organizations:

Make a Donation
Give back to your community this year by logging on to GivingTuesday.org and finding a participating nonprofit organization or charity near you. From monetary donations to providing items of clothing to those in need, the site offers options on ways to donate to the organizations of your choice. At DrugFreeAZ.org, individuals can give back by making monetary donations that go directly back to the organization to help educate parents and children on healthy living.

Give Time
If you didn’t plan ahead for Giving Tuesday and have no money to spare, don’t worry; you can still participate. GivingTuesday.org is full of suggestions for kicking off the giving season with service. Volunteer at your favorite nonprofit or help a neighbor as ways to get involved and teach others the importance of giving back to their community.

Spread the Word
This national holiday has taken the Internet by storm, quickly becoming a digital phenomenon. Through social media promotion efforts, you, too, can get involved. People can follow both on Facebook and on Twitter to find out about events and actions that are occurring near them. Check out Twitter and follow the #GivingTuesday hashtag to learn about the importance of giving, celebrate a season of giving with other participants and share how you plan to give back this year.

No one person acting alone can solve the issues of tomorrow, but acting together, people can make a real difference in the lives of others and support nonprofit organizations and causes all over the United States. With Giving Tuesday upon us, individuals can turn the focus this holiday season from material things to giving back and continuing the great tradition of philanthropy and volunteerism in our communities.

For more information about Giving Tuesday and DrugFreeAZ.org, visit givingtuesday.org and drugfreeaz.org, respectively.

humana

Humana Invites Nonprofits To Apply For $100,000 Grant

An opportunity for Maricopa County charities to secure significant funding to improve the health and wellness of community residents has just opened up thanks to Humana. Non-profit organizations are now invited to apply for the $100,000 Humana Communities Benefit-Arizona charitable grant, sponsored by health benefits provider Humana Inc.

For the sixth consecutive year, the Humana Communities Benefit program will award a one-time, $100,000 grant to a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in Maricopa County focused on improving health experiences or building healthy communities. Applications from nonprofit organizations in Maricopa County are being accepted now through June 29. Organizations will be considered in the operational areas of childhood health and education, health literacy and services or intergenerational health. Following a selection process by a panel of local judges, the 2012 grant winner will be announced at a celebratory event on Oct. 25.

“The Humana Communities Benefit-Arizona grant has helped several deserving organizations positively impact community health in ways they may not otherwise have been able to accomplish, and we are delighted to continue this program in 2012,” said Michael Franks, Regional President of Senior Products for Humana’s West Region and co-chairperson of the awards program.  “We encourage all eligible non-profit organizations to apply.”

The Humana Communities Benefit program in Arizona awarded the 2011 grant to Arizona Bridge to Independent Living (ABIL), which provides independent living services to people with disabilities throughout Maricopa County. The organization used the funds to purchase adaptive exercise and fitness equipment – specifically designed for the physically disabled – for its Virginia G. Piper Sports & Fitness Center for Persons with Disabilities. The facility, one of only two nationwide to provide this type of service, had its grand opening in February 2012.

“Since 2007, we have contributed more than $700,000 to Phoenix-area community health initiatives led by some of the area’s most innovative nonprofits,” said Curt Howell, president of commercial operations for Humana in Arizona and co-chairperson of this year’s charitable-awards program. “Humana believes strongly in supporting the local communities in which we operate by helping deserving nonprofits in Arizona, and we look forward to continuing the tradition this year.”

More information on the application and the grant are available at www.Humana.com/HCB. Questions can also be directed to Humana by e-mail to ArizonaBenefits@Humana.com.

Nonprofits Need To Be Prepared When Asking Law Firms For Pro Bono Assistance

In these tough economic times, nonprofit organizations are increasingly being relied upon for services, even as contributions continue to drop. Doing more with less has become the norm. In this lean environment, what happens if a nonprofit organization hits a legal road bump that could require hours of work from an attorney or law firm?

If they are lucky, nonprofit directors have planned for this contingency. In reality, however, legal issues sometimes catch nonprofit managers off guard, unprepared and lacking sufficient funds to cover legal expenses. And, finding an attorney or a law firm that provides pro bono legal work can be a challenge. Here are some steps nonprofits can take when seeking pro bono counsel.

Research is key

Ellis Carter, an attorney with Fennemore Craig, suggests doing research.

“The nonprofit should find out whether the firm has a policy regarding accepting pro bono work,” says Carter, whose practice focuses on advising nonprofits, charities and other tax-exempt organizations with respect to corporate, tax and regulatory issues.

Many times, larger firms have policies, liaisons or committees that screen pro bono projects, she adds. The screening ensures that the firm has the appropriate resources and expertise within its practice to provide the legal work required for the project.

“Be cautious about asking a lawyer or a firm to give pro bono advice in an area that they do not ordinarily practice in,” Carter says.

It might be rewarding for an attorney to give back to the community through pro bono assistance, but in complex matters facing nonprofit organizations, such as federal tax laws or state law constraints, it is important that the attorney providing assistance understands these laws, Carter notes.

Be prepared
While some firms have pro bono committees, other firms work through established programs such as the Volunteer Lawyers Program or other community organizations, says Rachel Lewis, marketing coordinator for Bryan Cave.

Demand for pro bono services has increased during this economic downturn, making it especially important for nonprofits to be prepared when seeking pro bono representation, Lewis adds.

“Bryan Cave has seen an even greater need for pro bono and has encouraged its lawyers to expand their commitment,” she says.

That means attorneys providing pro bono services will need to have a clear picture of what types of pro bono services organizations need and how best to allocate resources in order to meet those needs.

Carter recommends that if a nonprofit organization is planning to approach a law firm to request pro bono legal services, it should be prepared to provide articles of incorporation, bylaws, financial statements, the organization’s IRS determination letter, the organization’s most recently filed Form 990, and a compelling story regarding how pro bono services will help the organization impact the community.

“Obtaining pro bono counsel directly from a law firm to which the organization has no prior connection can be a challenge,” Carter says. “Frequently, law firms take on pro bono cases for nonprofits because one of the firm’s lawyers or clients has a connection to the organization.”

She suggests contacting community programs such as the Volunteer Lawyers Program as a first step toward finding pro bono legal assistance.

Volunteering is encouraged

Don’t be discouraged when seeking pro bono legal counsel. Law firms and even sole practitioners are committed to helping when they can. It is even encouraged.

“We have a special obligation to make our professional skills and other resources available to those who cannot afford to pay for legal services,” Lewis says.

Both Fennemore Craig and Bryan Cave encourage their attorneys to give back to the community through pro bono work.

In Arizona, philanthropic training starts in law school through service learning. The Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University encourages students to help those who cannot afford legal services, says Kristine Reich, director of pro bono programs and student life at the law school. Reich coordinates more than two dozen pro bono programs and facilitates community outreach efforts.

Programs such the Advocacy Program Against Domestic Violence (APADV) and Wills for Heroes are just two of the pro bono efforts at the law school.

Students volunteering for APADV visit women in domestic violence shelters and, on an informal basis, answer any legal questions they may have, says Michelle Guina, a second-year law student at ASU and one of the program coordinators.

“The chance to have a legal education is such a privilege,” Guina says. “Pro bono opportunities in law school give you the chance to use what you’ve been given to give back to the community early in your legal career.”

www.fclaw.com | www.bryancave.com | www.law.asu.edu | www.vlpmaricopa.org


Arizona Business Magazine

February 2010

Nonprofits struggling to provide services for those in need

The Charitable Challenge

The construction industry has faced more difficulties than any other in this recession. The industry lost 45,800 jobs year-over-year in September, the most of any sector in Arizona. Despite that grim number, many construction companies still are trying to give back to the community in any way they can. Hunt Construction is one of them.

When the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving the poor, needed new vehicles to help with day-to-day operations, Hunt didn’t hesitate. The company essentially donated vehicles to the nonprofit by selling it two trucks for a mere $2.

“The construction industry, like so many industries in Arizona today, is facing a number of challenges. Having said that, I am just amazed at how generous they have been to us,” says Steve Zabilski, executive director of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. “The vehicles are pickup trucks that are in great shape and we use them almost daily in our various operations”

Hunt wasn’t the only one to step up to the philanthropy plate and help the charity during these difficult economic times. Another contractor, Gilbane Building Company, made St. Vincent de Paul a beneficiary of its golf tournament this past year, resulting in a $10,000 gift.

This generosity is just one example of companies’ ongoing commitment to philanthropic efforts despite a recession that has left the world reeling from its impact.

Recession reductions
The Arizona Alliance of Nonprofits conducted a survey of member nonprofit organizations in February 2009 about the effects of the economy from the beginning of 2008. The survey also included projections for 2009. The results found that “one-half of nonprofits reported that their revenues declined in 2008, and two-thirds said they expect revenues to be down further in 2009.” This equates to about 75 percent of nonprofits working with reduced budgets this year.

“The largest decrease in donations was from foundations, which decreased an average of 26 percent. That was followed by corporate donations, which declined an average 24 percent,” says Patrick McWhortor, president of the Arizona Alliance of Nonprofits. Individual contributions decreased approximately 14 percent.

Elaine Fogel, communications chair of the Arizona chapter of fundraising professionals, echoes these sentiments.

“I think that based on both anecdotal (evidence) and statistics, we are definitely seeing a downturn in charitable giving across the board. Locally, regionally, nationally, absolutely,” Fogel says.

According to the survey, on average, revenues decreased 19 percent in 2008, and nonprofits expect that number to decrease another 18 percent this year.

Organizations such as the Sojourner Center that receive funding from the government also have seen revenues shrink.

“Our losses really came from receiving a severe cut in our government contracts,” says Connie Phillips, executive director of the Sojourner Center, which helps families in crisis. “I anticipate in the state of Arizona we will continue to see funding from the government decrease. … If we lose even more of our government funding and have to pick even more from the philanthropic community, how do we retool?”

The Piper Notebook, a magazine published three times a year by the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust states: “If life as a nonprofit has always been difficult in Arizona, the economic recession has further strained capacity. Nonprofits face lower revenues as government shrinks, fund endowments decline and individual contributions dip.”

Increased needs
With fewer resources but an amplified need for services, nonprofits are forced to make do with less. The recession has caused an increase in demand for a variety of services, with vital basic needs such as food and shelter high on the list.

“More than 80 percent of organizations saw demand for services grow in 2008 and 2009,” McWhortor says. “Of course, this issue is most concentrated with nonprofits who serve our most vulnerable populations — workers who have lost their jobs, homeowners facing foreclosure, homeless families and youth, people who are hungry. These issues will become more urgent in the coming months as further reductions in state funding for programs undercut the ability of nonprofits to serve the elderly, disabled and economically stressed populations.”

Merl Waschler, president and CEO of Valley of the Sun United Way (VSUW), says thousands of individuals and families are turning to VSUW and the nonprofit network for assistance. The organization’s partner agencies also are citing an increased demand in several areas, particularly food and shelter.
The nonprofits face a wrenching conundrum: Demand is higher than ever due to the poor economy, but since the economy is bad, philanthropic organizations can’t get additional funding to meet their goals and provide the community with the services it requires.

Philanthropic struggles
Just as different industries were affected by the recession in various ways, so too were philanthropic organizations. While basic-needs organizations struggle to keep up, arts organizations face their own set of challenges during this exceptionally tough year.

“We were hit as aggressively as anyone. A lot of what you see at the foundation level and/or the corporate level, some of the emergency social service needs are kind of the priority, and rightfully so,” says Seth Sulka, director of development at the Valley Youth Theatre.

Sulka says the Valley Youth Theatre saw significant drops in both ticket sales and contributions and stresses that it’s important to remember about all types of nonprofits.

“We can’t forget about the arts and expect every organization to have the resiliency to weather such a storm,” she says.

As a private nonprofit contracted by the city of Scottsdale to administer city arts and cultural projects, the Scottsdale Cultural Council also was hit by the realities of the recession. The council encompasses the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art and the Scottsdale Public Art Program. It saw an approximate 22 percent year-over-year decrease of contributed revenue (from individuals, corporations and foundations).

“Like almost every arts organization, we experienced a loss of contributed and earned revenue as a result of the recession, which also happened to coincide with the renovation of the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts. Because our main theater was closed for more than a year, we had already planned to operate on a reduced budget,” says William H. Banchs, president and CEO of the Scottsdale Cultural Council.

The center continues to move forward and is implementing necessary changes to weather the economic storm.

“Throughout the season, we tightened our belts and focused on our mission and programming,” he says. “We made very personal, one-on-one efforts to engage our donors, as well.”


Photos from left to right:
Intel employees serve as e-Mentors to students at Scales Technology Academy in Tempe. They help youngsters build computer and communication skills. Photo Intel Corp.

NASCAR legend Richard Petty auctioned off one of his cars for charity at last year’s Barrett-Jackson Auto Auction in Scottsdale. Photo: Barrett-Jackson Auction Company.