Overview

Jeff Tenenbaum is one of the nation's leading nonprofit attorneys, and also is an accomplished author, lecturer, and commentator on nonprofit legal matters. As Senior Counsel in the Washington, DC office of the Lewis Baach Kaufmann Middlemiss PLLC law firm and head of the firm’s nonprofit law practice, Mr. Tenenbaum counsels his clients on the broad array of legal issues affecting charities, trade and professional associations, foundations, international NGOs, arts and cultural institutions, think tanks, and other nonprofit organizations, and regularly represents clients before Congress, federal and state regulatory agencies, and in connection with governmental investigations, enforcement actions, litigation, and in dealing with the media. He has extensive experience with a broad array of nonprofit legal issues, including tax and federal tax exemption, corporate governance, copyrights and trademarks, meeting, vendor, and other contracts, grants, fundraising regulation and commercial co-ventures, charitable gift restrictions, employment law and CEO employment contracts, antitrust, certification and standard-setting, mergers and joint ventures, chapters, subsidiaries, and affiliates, lobbying and political activity regulation, insurance, and international operations, among others. Mr. Tenenbaum is frequently called upon by major media outlets – in television, radio, print, and elsewhere – to provide commentary on news stories involving nonprofit legal issues and developments, and has served as an expert witness in several court cases on nonprofit legal matters. For 19 years, he practiced law at Venable LLP in Washington, DC; he was a partner and chaired its nonprofit practice for most of that time, served on the firm’s Board of Directors for many years, and co-chaired the firm's management review process in 2016. Mr. Tenenbaum started his career in the nonprofit community by serving as Legal Section manager at the American Society of Association Executives, following several years working on Capitol Hill as a legislative assistant.

Mr. Tenenbaum was the 2006 recipient of the American Bar Association's Outstanding Nonprofit Lawyer of the Year Award, and was an inaugural (2004) recipient of the Washington Business Journal's Top Washington Lawyers Award. He has and continues to be one of only a handful of "Leading Lawyers" in the prestigious U.S. Legal 500 Not-for-Profit rankings for the last seven years (2012-18) and is one of only four lawyers in the U.S. Legal 500 Not-for-Profit "Hall of Fame." Mr. Tenenbaum is listed in the 2012-19 editions of The Best Lawyers in America for Non-Profit/Charities Law, and was selected for inclusion in the 2014-18 editions of Washington, DC Super Lawyers in the Nonprofit Organizations category. He was the 2015 recipient of the New York Society of Association Executives' Outstanding Associate Member Award, the 2004 recipient of The Center for Association Leadership's Chairman's Award, and the 1997 recipient of the Greater Washington Society of Association Executives' Chairman's Award. Mr. Tenenbaum was recognized in 2013 as a Top Rated Lawyer in Tax Law by The American Lawyer and Corporate Counsel, and in 2011, was named as one of Washington, DC's "Legal Elite" by SmartCEO. He has been listed in the annual editions of Who's Who in American Law and Who's Who in America since 2005, was a 2008-09 Fellow of the Bar Association of the District of Columbia, and is AV® Peer-Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell.

Mr. Tenenbaum is the author of the book, Association Tax Compliance Guide, now in its second edition, published by the American Society of Association Executives. He also is a contributor to numerous ASAE books, including Professional Practices in Association Management, Association Law Compendium, The Power of Partnership, Essentials of the Profession Learning System, Generating and Managing Non-Dues Revenue in Associations, and several Information Background Kits. In addition, he is a contributor to Exposed: A Legal Field Guide for Nonprofit Executives, published by the Nonprofit Risk Management Center. Mr. Tenenbaum is a frequent author on nonprofit legal topics, having written or co-written more than 1,000 articles.

Mr. Tenenbaum is a frequent lecturer on nonprofit legal topics, having delivered or moderated over 850 speaking presentations. He served on the faculty of the ASAE Virtual Law School, and is a regular commentator on nonprofit legal issues for NBC News, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, The Washington Times, The Baltimore Sun, ESPN.com, Washington Business Journal, Legal Times, Association Trends, CEO Update, Forbes, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, The NonProfit Times, Politico, Bloomberg Business, Bloomberg BNA, EO Tax Journal, and other periodicals. He also has been interviewed on nonprofit legal topics on Washington, DC CBS-TV affiliate, the Washington, DC Fox-TV affiliate's morning new program, Voice of America Business Radio, Nonprofit Spark Radio, The Inner Loop Radio, and Through the Noise podcasts.

Books

Speaking Engagements

  • March 21, 2018, Association Law: What Every Association Professional Needs to Know…and then Some, California Society of Association Executives 2018 ELEVATE Annual Conference, Monterey, CA
  • May 7, 2018, Ask the Association Lawyer: Everything You Want to Know about Association Law, Council of Scientific Society Presidents Spring 2018 Semi-Annual Leadership Workshop, Washington, DC
  • May 17, 2018, Association Law: What Every Association Professional Needs to Know…and then Some, National Association of Elementary and Secondary School Principals State Executive Directors 2018 Annual Professional Development Conference, Burlington, VT
  • May 23, 2018, What Keeps Executive Leadership Up at Night? Ask the Experts (Panel), Finance & Administration Roundtable 2018 Annual Leadership Conference, Washington, DC
  • June 23, 2018, Legal Responsibilities for NCURA Officers, National Council of University Research Administrators, 2018 Regional Officers’ Management Workshop, Washington, DC
  • August 12, 2018, Advanced Association Law: What Every EO Needs to Know…and Then Some, and Beginner Association Law: What Every EO Needs to Know…and Then Some, National Association of Home Builders 2018 Association Management Conference, Long Beach, CA
  • August 21, 2018, Prioritize CEO Succession Planning (Panel), American Society of Association Executives 2018 Annual Meeting & Exposition, Chicago, IL
  • September 13, 2018, UBIT: What Every Nonprofit Needs to Know about Sponsorships, Advertising, Royalties, and Cause Marketing (Webinar), Association TRENDS
  • September 14, 2018, Board Transitions – Voluntary or Otherwise (Panel), American Bar Association Business Section Annual Meeting, Austin, TX
  • September 20, 2018, Policy and Regulatory Watch: Planning and Policy Considerations for Nonprofits in a Changing Landscape (Panel), J.P. Morgan Not-for-Profit Summit, Washington, DC
  • November 27, 2018, UBIT: What Every Nonprofit Needs to Know about Sponsorships, Advertising, Royalties, and Cause Marketing (Panel), Greater Washington Society of CPAs 30th Annual Nonprofit Finance & Accounting Symposium, Washington, DC

Professional Affiliations

  • 2018-Present, Chair, Trade and Professional Associations Subcommittee, American Bar Association's Nonprofit Organizations Committee
  • 2018-Present, Member, American Society of Association Executives' Legal Section Council
  • 2018-Present, Member, American Society of Association Executives' Public Policy Committee
  • 2018-Present, Member, American Bar Association's Nonprofit Organizations Committee
  • 2016-Present, Contributing Editor, The NonProfit Times
  • 2013-Present, Advisory Panel, Wiley/Jossey-Bass' Nonprofit Business Advisor
  • Past Member, Selection Panel, CEO Update's Association Leadership Awards
  • Past Member, American Society of Association Executives' Legal Section Council
  • Past Member, Editorial Advisory Board, American Society of Association Executives' Association Law & Policy
  • Past Member, American Society of Association Executives’ Association Management Company Accreditation Commission
  • Past Member, Board of Trustees, Greater Washington Society of Association Executives Foundation
  • Past Member, Government and Public Affairs Advisory Council, Greater Washington Society of Association Executives
  • Past Member, Editorial Advisory Board, Aspen's Nonprofit Tax & Financial Strategies

Experience

  • 2003-2017, Partner and Chair of the Nonprofit Organizations Practice, Venable LLP, Washington, DC
  • 1999-2002, Of Counsel, Nonprofit Organizations Practice, Venable LLP, Washington, DC
  • 1995-1999, Associate, Trade and Professional Associations Practice, Galland Kharasch & Garinkle, PC, Washington, DC
  • 1992-1995, Legal Section Manager, American Society of Association Executives, Washington, DC
  • 1990-1992, Legislative Assistant, Rep. Peter H. Kostmayer, U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, DC

Representative Matters

Representative Clients

Academy Health

Academy of Neurologic Physical Therapy

Air Conditioning Contractors of America

Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute

Air Force Association

American Association for State and Local History

American Council of Engineering Companies

The American Physiological Society

American String Teachers Association

American Traffic Safety Services Association

Association of Community Affiliated Plans

Association of Fundraising Professionals DC Metro Chapter

Association of Pathology Chairs

Association of Talent Development

BALANCE

California Dental Association

The Citizens Foundation, USA

Consortium for Local Ownership and Use of Data

Council for Better Business Bureaus

Disability Management Employer Coalition

Environmental Working Group

Farm Forward

First Responder Center for Excellence for Reducing Occupational Illness, Injuries and Deaths

Food Allergy Fund

Global Emergency Relief, Recovery & Reconstruction

Hope LoanPort

Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International – Global

HSMAI Foundation

Human Resource Certification Institute

IMO 2021

Independent Alumni Association of George Washington

The Institute of Navigation

International Association of Workforce Professionals

The International Center

Investment Company Institute Education Foundation

International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association

Ladies Professional Golf Association

ment’or

Mathematical Association of America

MCI USA

MED-Project

NASW Assurance Services

National Association of Corporate Directors

National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship

National Council of University Research Administrators

National Fallen Firefighters Foundation

National Fish and Wildlife Foundation

National Independent Automobile Dealers Association

NIGP: The Institute of Public Procurement 

Pact

Population Action International

Prabhuji Mission

The Quetzal Trust

Retail Industry Leaders Association

Risk and Insurance Management Society

Romance Writers of America

Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers

Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine

Stella & Dot

StreetShares Foundation

The Sunwater Institute

The Surety & Fidelity Association of America

Texas Association of School Boards

Unfoldment

USFN – America’s Mortgage Banking Attorneys

Washington Teachers Union Scholarship Fund

Women in Cable Telecommunications

The Younique Foundation

In the News

Education

  • J.D., Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law, 1996
  • B.A., Political Science, University of Pennsylvania, 1990

Bar Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • U.S. Tax Court