Foundation Legal Help Desk

"Some of the best dollars we spend, hands down, every year."

Wendy Banks, Chief Financial Officer, Community Foundation of Northern Colorado

Easy to access attorneys experienced with foundations

The foundation world is a complex field requiring specialized legal knowledge. Foundation Legal Help Desk connects you to attorneys with expertise in foundation operations at an affordable rate.

Service Levels

  Cost Service
Entry $1,000 5 inquiries/year
Basic $1,700 10 inquiries/year
Premium $2,500 Unlimited


How to Subscribe

Contact our Help Desk Administrator at to request a registration form and subscription agreement.  

How it Works

Foundation Legal Help Desk operates through a secure web portal, allowing you to send questions to our on-call attorney. An attorney specialized in the topic area responds to you directly with a written answer or makes arrangements for a phone conversation. Details about this service are included below:

  • This service is designed to provide brief answers to questions and is limited to a maximum of one hour on any one question. The attorney will be able to advise the foundation if they need to engage counsel to assist them with a complex legal issue or gift. 
  • The attorney will engage directly with foundation staff or board members, and will not work independently with donors or professional advisors. 
  • The attorney can review documents but will not prepare any documents.
  • This service is for legal questions that relate to the operation of a foundation, not legal issues facing a foundation’s grantees.
  • Foundation Legal Help Desk reserves the right to decline a request that is clearly beyond the scope of a one-hour engagement.
  • Our goal is to respond within 24 hours (Monday-Friday during the business week); attorneys are not available on an immediate basis.

Meet Our Attorney

The attorney providing this service has specialized knowledge in grantmaking, scholarships, fund management, planned giving, nonprofit law, the Pension Protection Act, UPMIFA, and other laws that specifically affect the operations of a foundation. 

Phil Purcell, CFRE, MPA/JD
Director of Planned Giving, Central Territory of the Salvation Army

In his role as director, Phil is the directional leader of 39 planned giving officers in 11 states who close approximately $70 million in planned gifts each year. Formerly, he served as Senior Counsel for Philanthropy on behalf of the Fellowship of Catholic University Students where he assisted approximately twenty major gift officers engaged in a $250 million multi-year campaign with a $100 million goal for planned giving. 

Phil has consulted on behalf of over 300 charitable organizations of all types. His consulting focuses on state and federal legal issues (e.g., bylaws, tax exemption applications), philanthropy (e.g., fundraising, gift agreements, policies/procedures, endowments, planned giving) and nonprofit governance (e.g., strategic planning, duties of boards of directors). He has served as an expert witness in court cases and trials on topics related to the law of philanthropy, nonprofit organizations, endowments, scholarships and related issues. READ MORE.