Karen Wu

Karen I. Wu




Karen counsels the firm’s nonprofit clients through every stage of their corporate life cycle, from incorporating and obtaining tax-exemption, to key corporate transactions, including mergers, acquisitions, major asset transfers, and dissolution.  She advises nonprofits on a variety of issues relating to federal tax-exemption, corporate governance, and state charitable solicitation regulation. Karen represents a variety of nonprofits, including organizations addressing various issues including anti-poverty/economic development, the environment, animal welfare, health, and education, as well as churches and other religious organizations and ministries.

Karen also counsels a broad range of for-profit businesses, including Fortune 500 and start-up companies, on traditional and emerging issues involving corporate philanthropy and cause marketing, including corporate foundations, corporate sponsorships, commercial co-ventures, crowd-sourced fundraising, and social media campaigns. She is a frequent author, blogger, and speaker on legal issues affecting the philanthropic sector.

Representative Work
  • Lead outside counsel for Subaru of America’s award-winning Share the Love campaign (Golden Halo Award, Cause Marketing Forum). Provided guidance in developing a framework and process to manage the contract and regulatory compliance across one of the most complex, large-scale campaigns in the history of cause marketing. Share the Love has raised over $65 million for several national charities and hundreds of local charities.
  • Representation of a nationally-recognized nonprofit organization serving the poorest region of the country, including review of the tax-exemption implications of establishing a new economic development program to provide job training and employment to individuals undergoing rehabilitation.
  • Representation of the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF) and its internationally recognized Stand Up To Cancer program including work on major sponsorships, a broad variety of consumer cause marketing campaigns, including in-store, mobile, and social media promotions, and public service campaigns for television, print, radio, and digital media.
  • Representation of the Hebrew Technical Institute, a 150-year old institution, in dissolving, requiring obtaining approval from the New York State Court and the New York State Attorney General’s Charities Bureau over the distribution of its remaining assets, and seeking cy pres relief with respect to numerous restricted gifts received over one hundred years ago.
  • Collaborative representation of a university in petitioning the New York State court for cy pres relief to modify the restrictions on $8.4 million within a $70 million endowment fund.
  • Advisement to a variety of online fundraising platforms supporting charitable organizations to raise funds and awareness, including guidance on charitable fundraising regulation and tax-exempt compliance with respect to the collection of donations.
Professional & Nonprofit Affiliations

American Bar Association, Nonprofit Organizations Committee, Member

Asian American Bar Association of New York, Member

Christian Legal Society, Member

Open Hands Legal Services, Board Chair

National Collegiate Table Tennis Association, Pro Bono Counsel

Taiwan Mission Foundation, Advisory Board Member


Brooklyn Law School, J.D.

Wellesley College, B.A. cum laude

Bar Admissions

New York State

United States District Court for the Southern District of New York

District of Columbia

Recent Speaking Engagements & Publications

Speaking Engagements

Accounting Liabilities of State Reporting Forms: Regulatory Enforcement Issues
AICPA, Not-For-Profit Industry Conference, June 2018

A Roadmap to Navigate UBIT and Legal Considerations
Engage for Good, Nonprofit Leadership Summit, 2018

Nonprofit Law Basics – ABA Business Section, Spring Conference

Recent Publications

Click to Donate:Which States Have Jurisdiction over My Online Fundraising?  Nonprofit Quarterly, Spring 2018

Operation(s): 5 Things That Are Making Regulators Buzz  Nonprofit Times, March 2017

A Moving Target: The Regulation of Online Fundraising Platforms NonProfit Times, March 2015

Bigger and Bolder: The Architecture of Cause Marketing Campaigns in 2015  NonProfit Times, May 2015

Revenue-Generating Activities of Tax-Exempt Nonprofits Advising Nonprofits, 5th Edition, Lawyers Alliance of New York

Recent Blog Posts