Allen is nationally recognized for his groundbreaking work on the development of “hybrid” legal structures that support the simultaneous pursuit of financial and social goals.
This work includes
- Advising charities on the type and scope of commercial activities they can conduct
- Spinning off nonprofit commercial enterprises into separate, related and unrelated businesses
- Advising social enterprises on startup, finance, growth, strategic partnerships, and exits
- Joint ventures, strategic partnerships and commercial co-ventures between businesses and nonprofits
- Structuring socially-responsible investments including program-related investments
Through his legal practice, as a published author, and a lecturer at graduate business programs, Allen has been at the forefront of the fourth sector and social enterprise movements that have risen to prominence in recent years .
Previous to joining Perlman & Perlman, Allen served as president of Power of Attorney, a New York City private operating foundation, and as executive director of Lawyers Alliance for New York, a public interest law firm for nonprofit and community development organizations.
- Development of a for-profit socially responsible business that partners with federal programs to hire up to 50% of its workforce from a population of former substance abusers and formerly incarcerated persons, giving a “second chance” to people who are otherwise largely unemployable. The business has been very successful and is now in its third round of financing.
- The successful spin-off of a for-profit enterprise by a nonprofit. The parent nonprofit developed medical equipment for use in rural clinics of developing countries. It began by selling equipment to foundations who placed the equipment in clinics they were supporting outside of the U.S. However, other markets and customers came forward, and the company needed freedom to grow independently. After separating from the parent nonprofit, the business has grown successfully and the profits are used to support the parent nonprofit’s mission.
- A services agreement between a for-profit fundraising platform that provides mobile applications, web sites, and other digital resources to facilitate charitable giving and a nonprofit dedicated to raising awareness and funds for charitable causes. We also advised the social enterprise on legal issues related to charitable solicitation and the correct way to handle the funds that were being raised.
Professional & Nonprofit Affiliations
The American Sustainable Business Council Board Member
Fourth Sector Network Director
Social Venture Network Special Counsel
Reynolds Program in Social Entrepreneurship, NYU Legal Advisor
University of California/Hastings College of Law, J.D.
University of California/Berkeley, B.A.