About Michele

Michele Wasson is passionate about supporting, vocation for and partnering with nonprofits and community members. Those looking for assistance with non-profit law rely on Michele’s experience and guidance. Michele assists a variety of non-profit organizations including public charities, schools, colleges and universities, private foundations, trade associations, clubs and other nonprofits to successfully further their missions while navigating complex laws and regulations. Clients rely on her advice and counsel in all aspects of federal tax compliance, advocacy and political activity unrelated business income tax, planned giving, governance, endowment, and investment matters and appreciate her perspective from both her legal and her non-profit board experience.

Additionally, Michele provides estate planning advice to individuals with significant philanthropic interests.

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Significant Matters

  • Lead retreat and training for public charity board of directors and executives.
  • Represent religious organization in corporate governance overhaul.
  • Advised university through tax-exempt and bond financing.
  • Advised nonprofit through Department of Justice investigation.
  • Established employee assistance program for publicly traded corporation.
  • Worked with private foundation to mobilize PRI capital providing legal services to make the process as easy as possible.

Areas of counsel

  • Serve as tax counsel in assisting clients with implementing tax-exempt loans and bonds and post-issuance compliance procedures.
  • Advise public charities on governance, advocacy, fiduciary compliance, endowment management, charitable gift planning, planned giving and charitable solicitation matters.
  • Advise trade associations and business organizations on governance, unrelated business income tax and membership and compliance issues.
  • Advise charities, business associations, and social welfare organizations on lobbying, political activity and related advocacy matters.
  • Advise private foundations and private operating foundations on endowment management, grant-making activities, tax and compliance issues.
  • Advise corporate foundations and businesses with corporate giving programs on tax and compliance matters.
  • Advise all types of tax-exempt organizations on formation and compliance for joint ventures, parent-subsidiary structures and other matters involving relationships between non-profit and for-profit entities.
  • Advise individuals, and families on private philanthropy strategies and structures.
  • Represent Section 501(c) organizations before the Internal Revenue Service and the Oregon Department of Justice.
  • Advise on unrelated business income tax issues, including debt-financed income and gift shop sales.
  • Legal, tax and governance work for higher education and private foundations.
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Honors & Activities

Professional Honors and Activities

  • Chair-Elect, Executive Committee, Nonprofit Law Section, Oregon State Bar
  • Past Editor, Estate Planning Newsletter
  • Chair, Estate Planning Council, Seminar Planning Committee
  • Member, Northwest Planned Giving Roundtable
  • Member, Taxation Section, American Bar Association
  • Adjunct Faculty Member at Lewis & Clark Law School

Civic Activities

  • Past Member, Board of Directors, Business for Culture and the Arts
  • Past Chair, Board of Directors, Wordstock
  • Past Member, Board of Directors, Oregon Humanities
  • Member, Providence Brain & Spine
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Insights & Presentations

Insights & Presentations

Michele has given several presentations on topics related to tax-exempt organizations and non-profit law.

Related News & Publications

Related News & Publications

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