Jennifer A. Gniady

Co-Chair, Nonprofit & Religious Organizations

Jennifer A. Gniady


Jennifer Gniady co-chairs Stradley Ronon’s nonprofit & religious organizations practice group, bringing together more than two dozen lawyers across a broad range of legal disciplines to serve these unique clients. She has spent more than 15 years counseling nonprofit organizations on how to respond to threats, solve problems and plan for the future. Her clients include charities, religious organizations, associations, schools and organizations promoting the arts, media, science and technology. She routinely advises nonprofits on governance issues related to articles, bylaws, and board actions, as well as compliance with lobbying and fundraising laws. She represents clients responding to inquiries from federal, state, and local charitable regulators and manages litigation.

Her combination of tax and corporate law experience lets her accompany organizations through significant and complex restructuring projects. This frequently involves developing or refining corporate structures to best preserve operations and assets while managing liabilities, such as litigation claims and debt. When assisting religious organizations, she creates civil structures that reflect the mission of the organization and ensure their singular status under constitutional law is respected.

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Representative Matters

  • represented the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary with a redevelopment project in Stone Harbor, New Jersey
  • safeguarded assets in support of retirement, healthcare, and charitable mission purposes by developing complex trust structures to protect nonprofit religious organization funds
  • facilitated the repurposing of existing religious organization property for future use consistent with charitable purposes by navigating tax code, charitable regulations and canonical requirements
  • accomplished significant changes to governance and membership to reflect current structural trends for a national association with more than 40,000 members
  • secured settlement and avoided over $1.4 million in fines in exchange for improvements in governance and compliance systems for a program providing school meals compatible with religious dietary restrictions under state investigation
  • developed civil structure and governance for a unified school system across multiple states for a religious institution
  • responded to a complex investigation of a nonprofit organization by the Federal Trade Commission
  • effectively worked across multiple religious denominations to draft and submit comments on proposed rulemaking by the IRS on group rulings for tax exemption
  • advised dozens of nonprofits specifically on COVID PPP program loan eligibility, compliance and loan forgiveness processes, as well as provided free webinars on program details for hundreds of nonprofit attendees within days of legislation passage
  • strengthened intellectual property rights and increased incentives for researchers by assisting the university research foundation with royalty and licensing structures across national and international higher education partner organizations
  • navigated legal and political issues to negotiate high-profile government contracts and draft subcontracts for an interfaith nonprofit providing emergency services in response to disasters and humanitarian crises
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Bar Admissions
  • Virginia
  • District of Columbia
Court Admissions
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • Supreme Court of Virginia
  • District of Columbia Court of Appeals
  • J.D., cum laude, Fordham University School of Law
  • B.S., Syracuse University

  • TEGE Exempt Organizations Council
  • District of Columbia Bar Association
  • John Carroll Society of Washington, D.C.
  • National Diocesan Attorneys Association 
  • The Saint Thomas More Guild


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Speaking Engagements

  • “A Post-SCOTUS Reality: Analysis and Dialogue About Race-Conscious Admissions,” Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities Annual Meeting
  • “Employers on the Upswing,” Resource Center for Religious Institutes’ Annual Conference
  • “Charity at Home: When Parishioners Are Also Employees,” National Association of Church Personnel Administrators Annual Conference
  • “Employees in Ministry: Making Sense of Administrative Rules and Judicial Cases in Practice,” Resource Center for Religious Institutes Annual Conference
  • “Lessons From a Pandemic: A Look at Governance and Administration,” Resource Center for Religious Institutes Annual Conference
  • “A Legal Perspective on Building a Culture That Is Sensitive, Aware and Anticipates,” Convocation: The Spirit of Collaboration
  • “The Ministerial Exception, Religious Exemptions and Employees in 2022,” National Association of Church Personnel Administrators
  • "Virtual Nonprofit Council," Chamber of Commerce of Southern New Jersey 
  • "Tax Planning: Reporting and Regulation for New Ventures, Collaborations, and Innovations," Resource Center for Religious Institutes National Conference
  • “Estate and Tax Planning Series: Planning with Philanthropy - How to Discuss Charitable Giving with Your Clients,” The District of Columbia Bar
  • “How to Avoid Conflicts of Interest in Not-for-Profit Organizations,” Lorman Education CLE
  • “New Governance Challenges and Opportunities,” Resource Center for Religious Institutes
  • “The CARES Act and the PPP: What Catholic Parishes Need to Know,” Ascension Press
  • “Conscience Protections in Healthcare: Current Legal Issues,” Pennsylvania Bar Institute’s Health Law Institute
  • "Making an Impact: Philanthropy, Charitable Giving & Social Justice," Hedge Fund Association
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  • Virginia Access to Justice Commission, Pro Bono Services Honor Roll
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In The Community

Jennifer serves on the board of the St. John Vianney Center, acts as pro bono counsel to the Alexandria Economic Development Partnership, and chairs the personnel committee for ALIVE!, an interfaith nonprofit fighting poverty and hunger. She has taught undergraduate interns from around the country about the nonprofit sector through The Washington Center, mentors law school students and participates in DC-based alumnae programs for high school students. In addition, she is an active volunteer at her family’s schools, church parish and Cub Scout pack.
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