Brendan Wilson advises nonprofit organizations and philanthropists on tax and corporate law matters. Brendan’s clients include individual philanthropists, businesses, family offices, private foundations, charities, churches and religious organizations, trade associations, hybrid enterprises, health care organizations, and educational nonprofit organizations.

Nonprofit Organizations Focus

As outside counsel to numerous nonprofit organizations, Brendan advises on:

  • Corporate governance issues
  • Legal structuring
  • Mergers and combinations
  • Asset sales and purchases
  • The use of subsidiary and affiliated organizations
  • The creation of joint ventures and other collaborative initiatives among multiple stakeholders
  • Lobbying and advocacy activities

Brendan also advises nonprofit clients on tax law matters. He has experience counseling private foundations on excise tax matters and advising nonprofit clients on unrelated business income tax issues. He also has experience seeking rulings and determinations from tax authorities and resolving tax controversies with federal, state and local taxing authorities. Brendan helps nonprofit clients obtain exemption from state income and sales taxes, and comply with state-level charitable solicitation rules and regulations.

International Experience

Brendan works with clients engaged in international activities. He advises clients on international grantmaking issues, OFAC and FCPA compliance issues, the creation of foreign affiliates, and cross-border tax issues. Brendan also works with foreign nonprofit organizations operating in the United States, advising them on legal structuring issues, fundraising issues and the creation of “friends of” organizations.

Religious Organizations Experience

Brendan advises churches and religious organizations, including religiously affiliated schools. Brendan also works regularly with Catholic religious institutes and their sponsored ministries and has experience helping religious institutes create ministry corporations and charitable trusts, merge provinces, and restructure their operations.

Trade Associations Experience

Brendan serves as outside counsel to a number of nonprofit associations, including charitable associations and business leagues. Brendan advises associations on governance, tax, structuring and corporate transaction matters.

Faculty Positions

  • University of Notre Dame Law School – Adjunct Professor of Law

Related Policy, Advocacy & Consulting Services


Bar Admissions

District of Columbia


Georgetown University Law Center
LL.M. with distinction (2019)

Notre Dame Law School
J.D. magna cum laude, Notre Dame Law Review (2004)

University of Guelph
B.Sc. with honors (2001)

Insights & Events

Other Perspectives
  • Troubleshooting Restricted Gifts
    Minnesota CLE, Nonprofit Law Conference, March 20, 2019 
  • Protecting Your Sponsored Ministries in Changing Times
    Resource Center for Religious Institutes, Annual Conference, October 13, 2016
  • Lessons Learned From Exempt Organizations Litigation – Why Trouble Occurs, How to Minimize Risks and What to Do (and Not Do) When Litigation Happens
    ACC National Capital Region, Non-Profits and Associations Forum, July 15, 2015
  • Legal Nonprofit Planning for International Projects
    Radiology in Global Health: Strategies, Implementation and Applications, October 31, 2014
  • Observing Corporate Formalities – Tax and Corporate Law Implications
    Washington Metropolitan Area Corporate Counsel Association (WMACCA), Non-Profits and Associations Forum: Wearing Multiple Hats – Common Challenges for GCs Advising Related Organizations, October 1, 2014
  • Governance Structures for Religious Orders: Legal and Practical Strategies to Address Changing Demographics and Institutional Priorities
    The Resource Center for Religious Institutes (RCRI), September 19, 2014
  • Representing Social Enterprise Organizations
    Lecturer, Georgetown University Law School, Social Enterprise and Nonprofit Law Clinic, 2014 - 2016
  • Business Ethics
    Co-author, Handbook on the Economics of Reciprocity and Social Enterprise, January 1, 2013
  • Speculum Iustitiae Conference for Canon and Civil Lawyers
    Master of Ceremony, La Crosse, Wisconsin, 2012-2016
  • Planning for Co-Investments Between a Private Foundation and a Disqualified Person
    Journal of Taxation, Vol. 116, No. 1, January 1, 2012 
  • Using Subsidiaries to Hold and Manage Real Property
    Taxation of Exempts, July 1, 2010

Leadership & Community

Professional Associations

  • American Bar Association — Business Law Section; Nonprofit Organizations Committee; Religious Organizations Subcommittee (Past Chair); Trade Association and Professional Organizations Subcommittee (Past Chair)
  • District of Columbia Bar Association — Tax Section

Civic Activities

  • NFL Player Care Foundation – Scholarship Committee, 2016-21
  • Resource Center for Religious Institutes – Board Member, 2015-21
  • Resolve Uganda, Inc. — Board Member, 2007-14
The Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP website uses cookies to make your browsing experience as useful as possible. In order to have the full site experience, keep cookies enabled on your web browser. By browsing our site with cookies enabled, you are agreeing to their use. Review Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP's cookies information for more details.