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General Counsel

Job Description

The office of the General Counsel combines responsibility for internal and external legal matters with new business outreach to potential donors and their professional advisors about the operations and advantages of The New York Community Trust and Community Funds, Inc. The position reports directly to the President.

The New York Community Trust (NYCT) is a public charity seeking to make New York a healthy, equitable, and thriving community for all. It has a nearly 100-year history of tackling complex, entrenched problems and taking on controversial issues. Through its competitive grants, NYCT is the first line of philanthropic response to many endemic problems in New York, such as homelessness, poverty, hunger, joblessness, incarceration, environmental degradation, and the needs of children and the elderly. In addition, its donor advised funds make grants in all 50 states.

NYCT is one of the country’s largest community foundations with $3 billion in assets held in more than 2,000 charitable funds or trusts. It operates as two entities—one in trust form and another a New York not-for-profit corporation. It also has two operating divisions that cover Nassau and Suffolk Counties on Long Island and Westchester County.

Key Responsibilities

  • Corporate secretary; corporate governance matters.
  • General legal matters, including drafting resolutions, preparing minutes, reviewing contracts, and preparing materials for various board subcommittees.
  • Working with prospective donors and their professional advisors in connection with gifts and bequests; draft fund agreements; review and/or draft relevant language; and track estates in which The Trust has an interest.
  • Develop opportunities for outreach to prospective donors and/or professional advisors.
  • Complex negotiations on various matters, including sale of unusual assets or acceptance of complicated gifts.
  • Advising on broad range of federal and state legal issues, including board governance, charitable contributions, donor-advised funds, unrelated business income tax, lobbying, and fiduciary duties of trusts and charitable corporations.
  • Writing or editing three columns each year directed to tax and trusts and estates bar.
  • Supervising outside counsel, including litigation.
  • Reviewing all fund purposes to ensure that NYCT is spending the money according to the donor’s wishes.
  • Reviewing, recommending, and implementing various institutional policies, including document retention, conflict of interest, serving as a trustee, gift acceptance, and implementation of various rules and regulations.

Ideal Experience & Qualifications

  • JD degree; admitted to practice in New York
  • Minimum 6 years’ experience in a transactional practice, with preference for experience in tax law
  • Familiarity with a broad range of federal and state legal issues in the exempt organization field, including board governance, charitable contributions, donor-advised funds, unrelated business income tax, lobbying, and fiduciary duties of trusts and charitable corporations
  • Detail oriented with strong follow through
  • Excellent communications skills, both verbal and written
  • Comfortable with public speaking and working one-on-one with prospective donors and their advisors

Salary & Benefits

Excellent benefits; salary commensurate with experience.

Please submit your resume and cover letter to Joan Reedy, Human Resources, The New York Community Trust by email at jmr@nyct-cfi.org or by mail to 909 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10022.

The New York Community Trust is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate based on race, color, sex, age, national origin, religion, sexuality or gender identity, status as a veteran, or disability or on any other federal, state or local protected class.