Eleanor Evans

Eleanor A. Evans


  • 617-557-9711
  • 617-227-0781
  • 75 State Street
  • Boston, MA 02109

Eleanor A. Evans


  • 617-557-9711
  • 617-227-0781
  • 75 State Street
  • Boston, MA 02109

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

Activities and Publications

  • Co-Chair, Public Policy Committee (2020-2021); Member Steering Committee (2010-2021); and Co-Chair, Tax Exempt Organizations Section (2013-2015), Boston Bar Association
  • Co-Author, “Being a Player: A Guide to the IRS Lobbying Regulations for Advocacy Charities,” published by Alliance for Justice
  • Panelist, “In-House Counsel―What Keeps You Up at Night?” MCLE 20th Annual Nonprofit Law Conference 2019
  • Frequent presenter at national, state and local conferences on a range of topics including:
    • Nonprofit governance
    • Nonprofit mergers and shared services
    • Tax-exempt organization and fundraising law
    • Lobbying and political campaign activity rules for 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) organizations
    • Social enterprises and earned income ventures
    • Employment and employee benefits law
    • Privacy and confidentiality requirements
    • Creating a culture of compliance and high ethical standards
    • Government grant rules
    • Legal considerations in working with volunteers
  • PODCAST: Articles, Bylaws and Corporate Law: The ABCs of Nonprofit Membership Corporations 

Community Involvement

  • President and Director, Smith [College] Students’ Aid Society
  • Vice President, Needham Housing Authority Board of Commissioners

Eleanor Evans’s Comments on Working with Nonprofits

“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

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