General Counsel

  • Full-time

Company Description

The Bainum Family Foundation is working to create a society where all children thrive. Centuries of racist policies and practices continue to disrupt every aspect of development and well-being for Black and brown children throughout the United States. At the Bainum Family Foundation, we aim to change these unjust conditions. That’s why our work revolves around supporting key partners. There is tremendous power, expertise and lived experience within every community. We seek to build on these strengths by working alongside communities experiencing racial and economic disparities to create lasting systems change for the well-being of children and families. Today, the foundation focuses on Early Childhood and what children need for a strong start in life. Our Legacy Programs support other issues important to the Bainum family. Visit us at  

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is who we are and what we do. It is not separate but at the heart of our work and a core part of our culture expectations. We are committed to driving change that centers communities and results in equitable societies, starting with a commitment to equity and inclusion for our staff. Specifically, we have committed to center racial equity and strive to become an antiracist organization. Our team is expected to demonstrate and uphold our core values, our culture expectations, and our commitment to DEI in every facet of their work. The Foundation strongly encourages and seeks applications from all qualified individuals whose racial, socioeconomic, ability status, and other individual dimensions allow them to bring unique and diverse perspectives to our work.      

The Children’s Equity Fund (CEF) is a 501(c)(4) organization that works to advance policy changes that combat the racial and economic inequities experienced by young children, families, early childhood educators, and communities. CEF believes effective, sustained policy change occurs when there is broad-based support from policymakers with diverse perspectives and different party affiliations. CEF collaborates with individuals and organizations that are aligned with the organization’s goals, regardless of political party, and builds grassroots support and the political will for policies that promote the well-being of all children, families, and communities.  

CEF focuses on five policy areas that support child and family well-being: early learning; mental health and well-being; health; family economic security; and housing stability. The organization also supports efforts to create a healthy democracy and robust civic engagement. The organization engages in direct lobbying and political/policy campaigns in support of more equitable policies in these areas and funds other 501(c)(4) organizations to advance these goals. CEF is seeking to build its internal capacity to more impactfully engage in its work and create positive change for those who have been systematically excluded from power, resources, and opportunities because of poverty and racism.  

The Bainum Family Foundation and the Children’s Equity Fund are affiliated independent legal entities, working in pursuit of common outcomes. The Children’s Equity Fund shares staff (as well as office space, equipment and other resources) with the Bainum Family Foundation. The General Counsel will support BFF and CEF by counseling on various legal issues. 

Job Description

Job Title:    General Counsel

FLSA Status:  Exempt

Supervisory Responsibilities: Paralegal

Reporting to Title:  VP, Operations

Hiring Salary Range: $200,000 - $225,000


The Legal team manages and oversees all legal work for BFF and CEF, advises the Boards and management of both entities, supports grantmaking and other organizational activities, manages legal risk, and ensures compliance with laws governing private foundations and affiliated 501(c)(4) organizations.    

The General Counsel leads a small legal team and is responsible for providing legal guidance and advice to the Bainum Family Foundation (including its single-member LLC the Bainum Foundation Farm) and the Children’s Equity Fund. Under the direction of the VP, Operations, this individual will manage and lead all legal matters related to grantmaking, contracts, risk management, compliance (with a particular focus on c3/c4 compliance), internal policy development or review, and analysis of the variety of legal issues that arise across the entities. This individual will also provide support for corporate governance, tax and investment matters as needed and will represent the Legal team in cross-departmental working groups and committees. The General Counsel works closely with other teams to oversee and manage the organizations’ legal and compliance needs. The individual in this role has deep knowledge of the legal requirements governing private foundations and 501(c)(4) entities, including IRS rules and federal, state and local lobbying and campaign finance regulations.  

This role requires excellent judgment, the ability to work across all levels and departments of the entities, the ability to evaluate and advise on risk, and the ability to make decisions and recommendations on complex matters.    


Legal, Compliance and Risk

  • Advise the board of directors, executive team and staff on legal, compliance, risk management and regulatory matters; make recommendations, taking into account BFF’s and CEF’s tax statuses, programmatic priorities, core values and operational effectiveness
  • Advise and assist other departments within the organizations on legal matters, including grants, contracts, intellectual property, tax, investments, data privacy, employment and employee benefits.
  • Provide legal research, analysis, recommendations, policy suggestions, and proposed implementation plans to address a broad range of business, legal, regulatory, risk and compliance matters.
  • Lead and manage compliance with state, federal, and local laws and regulations applicable to the entities
  • Develop and deliver staff training on legal, compliance and risk matters
  • Maintain expertise in private foundation and 501(c)(4) laws and best practices and help to integrate best practices into organizational operations
  • Support organizational responses to claims, lawsuits, subpoenas and government
  • inquiries
  • Oversee the organization’s corporate insurance program and other risk management efforts
  • Oversee and manage outside counsel


  • Advise the board and staff on matters of nonprofit governance
  • Oversee the management of Board and staff conflicts of interest policies, including serving as the chair of the conflict of interest committee
  • Serve as corporate secretary of the affiliated entities
  • Prepare or oversee the preparation of motions, resolutions, charters, minutes and other governance-related records and oversee the tracking and management of all corporate governance records.


  • Provide overall vision and strategic leadership to the Legal team
  • Oversee the efficiency and effectiveness of the Legal team:
    • Supervise legal staff (at present, a Corporate Paralegal)and consultants
    • Promote a culture of high performance and continuous improvement consistent with the foundation’s core values and cultural expectations
    • Mentor and develop staff using a supportive and collaborative approach on a consistent basis.
    • Establish and monitor staff performance and development goals assign accountabilities, set team objectives, establish priorities and conduct annual performance appraisals.
  • Train other team members and peers as appropriate.

Other responsibilities

  • Attend and participate in organizational leadership team meetings that inform strategy, shape our work and reinforce culture
  • Manage the legal budgets for all affiliated entities
  • Serve as the representative of the Legal team on internal committees and working groups as needed
  • Represent BFF and CEF in interactions with external individuals and organizations as needed


FUNCTIONAL/TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS: The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. Equivalent combinations of work experience and training that provide the required knowledge, skills and abilities will also be considered.

  • Juris Doctor from ABA-accredited school and current membership in good standing in a U.S. bar required
  • Experience providing legal guidance and advice to affiliated 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) organizations strongly preferred
  • Minimum 5 years of relevant legal practice
  • In-depth understanding of federal, state and local lobbying and campaign finance laws
  • Experience reviewing, monitoring and developing compliance programs involving contracts, grants, lobbying and political activities
  • General working knowledge of risk management
  • Ability to expeditiously identify and assess issues and provide legally sound recommendations consistent with laws governing 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) organizations
  • Ability to self-motivate, take initiative, work under minimal supervision, but know when to coordinate with management, and learn new substantive areas within and beyond 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) law
  • Ability to read and interpret contractual documents and grants, operating instructions, policies and procedures
  • Solid organizational skills and keen attention to detail in order to process detailed information accurately and efficiently
  • Experience identifying, recommending and supervising outside counsel is highly desirable
  • Experience creating internal training program materials and delivering training to professionals in other functional areas is highly desirable 

Additional Information


The physical demands described below are representative of the requirements by an employee for the successful performance of the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may occur to enable individuals with disabilities to perform essential functions. 

While performing the duties of this job, the employee may regularly be required to talk and listen. The employee is frequently required to sit and use their hands. The employee is occasionally required to stand and walk. The employee may be required to lift and/or move up to 25 pounds. 


This position will be performed in a hybrid workplace with a mix of in-office and remote work. The in-office work environment is typical of an office setting. The noise level is usually quiet. Remote work requires logging onto your computer at home during work hours, responding to emails, and participating in video calls and meetings throughout the day; therefore, access to high-speed, reliable internet is crucial. The Foundation provides all required equipment and supplies to undertake the tasks of the job at home, including laptop, monitors, and other accessories, which are shipped to the employee’s home. 

All your information will be kept confidential according to EEO guidelines.