About Us

Family Foundations

Schneider Smeltz Spieth Bell LLP has a long history of assisting and representing family foundations. The foundations we represent have made substantial charitable gifts, often leveraged as matching gifts, for the benefit of educational institutions, museums, economic development, environmental protection and social service organizations in Greater Cleveland and Northeastern Ohio.

We organize, administer and act as counsel for private family foundations. We incorporate foundations and obtain tax-exempt status from the IRS. We also advise trustees and foundation managers on issues such as "disqualified persons" and "self-dealing" and advise on tax and fiduciary considerations in grant-making. We also prepare foundation tax returns, attend foundation meetings, and assist on corporate governance matters.

Members of the firm help families prepare foundation mission statements and investment and spending policies. We review and initiate grant proposals and prepare information for foundation trustees to use in making decisions on grant applications.

Tax-exempt organizations face special legal issues in addition to the legal issues all businesses face. These issues relate to their status as nonprofit corporations and organizations that are exempt from taxation. We are experienced in recognizing these issues and how an organization’s operations are affected by its exempt status. Our clients include health care facilities, social service organizations, charitable entities, trade associations, social clubs and family foundations. We assist clients in forming the organization and obtaining tax-exempt status. Once an exempt organization is operating, we also assist our clients on matters such as private inurement, property tax exemption, unrelated business income, and board governance. We also counsel many of our tax-exempt clients in commercial, real estate and employment law matters.

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