Eleanor Evans has over 20 years’ experience representing nonprofit and for-profit organizations in a diverse range of legal, governance and compliance matters.

Practice Focus

Eleanor Evans has over 20 years’ experience representing nonprofit and for-profit organizations in a diverse range of legal, governance and compliance matters. She provides practical advice to private foundations, public charities and other tax-exempt organizations on strategic initiatives and day-to-day operations.

Having served nonprofit organizations in senior legal and management positions, Eleanor understands the opportunities and challenges her clients face. She works collaboratively with clients to help them achieve their objectives, with an eye to managing risk and assuring compliance.

Prior to joining Hemenway & Barnes, Eleanor served as General Counsel of Action for Boston Community Development, Inc. (ABCD), one of the largest nonprofit human services providers in New England. She also served as Executive Director/General Counsel of Community Action Program Legal Services, Inc. (CAPLAW), a nonprofit providing legal assistance and training to a national network of approximately 1,000 human services providers known as Community Action Agencies. Previously, she represented for-profit and nonprofit entities in corporate, tax, employee benefits and executive compensation matters at a prominent Boston law firm.

Representative Experience

  • Forming nonprofit entities and obtaining their tax-exempt status.
  • Handling corporate matters and transactions for 501(c)(3), 501(c)(4) and 501(c)(2) organizations, including reviewing and revising articles of organization and bylaws and overseeing corporate filings, mergers, dissolutions and other transactions.
  • Advising boards of directors and committees on governance matters including: board roles and responsibilities, fulfillment of fiduciary duties, board member recruitment and engagement, navigating the board-staff relationship, and compliance with conflict of interest and other board policies.
  • Counseling nonprofit organizations on tax-exempt organizations law, including the unrelated business income tax (UBIT), intermediate sanctions and private foundation self-dealing rules, fiscal sponsorship and federal and state reporting (IRS Form 990 and Massachusetts Form PC).
  • Reviewing, drafting and negotiating contracts and leases.
  • Developing and updating conflicts of interest, procurement, financial, personnel and other organizational policies.
  • Counseling management on individual personnel matters, personnel policies and employment law compliance.
  • Advising on information privacy and security matters and on responding to subpoenas and other record requests.
  • Helping clients comply with state and federal grant and contract requirements – including the OMB Uniform Guidance and rules for specific programs, such as Head Start, the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) and the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA).
  • Preparing clients for monitoring and audits by government agencies, and responding to monitoring and audit findings, disallowances, funding reductions and terminations.
  • Drafting legislation and comments on proposed regulations.
“Not only must nonprofits mind the bottom line, they must also demonstrate their impact, satisfy expectations of various stakeholders and comply with a range of regulatory requirements. In working with nonprofit clients, I draw on my legal experience and understanding of their operations, finances and governance – as well as the context in which they work – to help them navigate these responsibilities and achieve their goals.”
— Eleanor Evans’s Comments on Working with Nonprofits

Related News & Resources

Planned Giving Group of New England (PGGNE) Annual All-Day Conference 2024
Brad Bedingfield and Eleanor Evans to Present an MNN Webinar “Gift Acceptance Policies: Why, When and How to Look a Gift Horse in the Mouth”
Eleanor Evans and Rob Leahy to Present at MCLE Webcast: Application & Approval Process for 501(c)3 Status