Bruce R. Hopkins has authored more than 40 books about nonprofit law, published by Wiley, a leading provider of
content-enabled solutions to improve outcomes in research, education and professional practice.  The books featured here are the top-selling editions.  

Go to Wiley's web site to order copies.
Hopkins also has published books with other publishers, featured here. In addition to his Wiley titles, Hopkins has written two memoirs (see below) and two books of poetry, featured on the Poetry page.   See Hopkins' full list of titles below.

The Law of Tax-Exempt Organizations,
12th Edition

The authoritative reference for nonprofit law, The Law of Tax-Exempt Organizations 12th edition details the complex set of statutes, regulations that govern this diverse category of organizations, IRS rulings, and court opinions. This new edition includes the most up-to-date coverage of subjects such as: nonprofit governance, and new rules for donor advised funds and supporting organizations, updates on unrelated business activities.

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The Tax Law of Charitable Giving,
5th Edition

This fully updated Fifth Edition of The Tax Law of Charitable Giving is the definitive resource for nonprofit lawyers, accountants, and fundraising professionals charged with navigating the increasingly complex maze of charitable giving regulations.

The Tax Law of Charitable Giving, Fifth Edition,
The Law of Fundraising, 5th Edition

The Law of Fundraising, Fifth Edition is the definitive guide to demystifying federal and state fundraising regulations. This guide is supplemented annually to keep nonprofit professionals on top of the latest fundraising legal developments.

The Law of Fundraising, 5th Edition, ISBN: 978-1-118-65063-9
Bruce R. Hopkins' Nonprofit
Law Dictionary

The Bruce R. Hopkins Nonprofit Law Dictionary is a thorough professional reference for the terminology and definitions surrounding the law of tax-exempt organizations. The book's terminology and definitions are derived from constantly changing statutes, government agency regulations and rulings, court opinions, and government forms.

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Hopkins is the author or co-author of these
additional books: 


  • Bruce R. Hopkins Nonprofit Law Library (e-book) (2013)

  • The Law of Tax-Exempt Healthcare Organizations
    (4th ed. 2013) [with Thomas K. Hyatt]

  • Nonprofit Law for Colleges and Universities:
    Essential Questions and Answers for Officers, Directors,
    and Advisors
    (2011) [with Virginia C. Gross and Thomas J. Schenckelberg]

  • Nonprofit Governance: Law, Practices and Trends
    (2009) [with Virginia C. Gross]

  • The New Form 990: Law, Policy and Preparation (2009)
    [with Douglas K. Anning, Virginia C. Gross, Thomas J. Schenkelberg]

  • Fundraising Law Made Easy (2009)

  • Legal Responsibilities for Nonprofit Boards
    (2nd ed. 2009)

  • IRS Audits of Tax-Exempt Organizations: Policies,
    Practices and Procedures

  • Nonprofit Law for Religious Organizations: Essential Questions and Answers (2008) [with David O. Middlebrook]

  • Private Foundation Law Made Easy (2008)

  • Charitable Giving Law Made Easy (2007)

  • The Tax Law of Associations (2006)

  • The Tax Law of Unrelated Business for Nonprofit Organizations (2005)

  • Nonprofit Law Made Easy (2005)

  • 650 Essential Nonprofit Law Questions Answered (2005)

  • The Nonprofits’ Guide to Internet Communications Law (2003)

  • The Law of Intermediate Sanctions: A Guide for

  • The Legal Answer Book for Private Foundations
    (2002) [with Jody Blazek]

  • The First Legal Answer Book for Fund-Raisers (2000)

  • The Second Legal Answer Book for Fund-Raisers (2000)

  • The Legal Answer Book for Nonprofit Organizations (1996)

  • The Second Legal Answer Book for Nonprofit

  • Author of the monthly newsletter, Bruce R. Hopkins’
    Nonprofit Counsel
    (now in its 35th year)

You want to be a philanthropist. You have the money. You have the drive. You have a cause in mind. What more could there be than that? Giving money away is easy, right? Anyone who has done any large amount of charitable giving knows how naïve, and potentially economically disastrous, that mindset really is. The laws and IRS rulings that regulate charitable giving can, and do, fill volumes.

If a budding philanthropist isn’t careful, he or she can wind up paying as much (or more) in penalties and legal fees as they did to their charity of choice. Just think how much good that money could have done if it were applied correctly.  Should you give to an established charity or start one of your own? What’s the difference between a public charity, a foundation, and a donor-advised fund? Can you work for your own charity and earn a paycheck? Can your kids?

Bruce R. Hopkins has the answers to all of these questions, plus several dozen more that you didn’t even know to ask.

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How to Be A
Successful Philanthropist
Avoiding the Legal Pitfalls

How to Be a Successful Philanthropist

is available for purchase through Dorrance Publishing Company.
Click on the link 
below to order
your copy.

Dorrance Publishing Company

ISBN number (print): 


Published by: 
Talbot Publishing
(an imprint of The Lawbook Exchange,
Ltd.) xii,  296 pp.
Hardcover 2017

Read more about the book on this PDF.

Ultra Vires
Why the IRS Lacks the Jurisdiction and Authority to Regulate Nonprofit Governance

Without warning, the IRS began, in 2007, to regulate in the realm of nonprofit governance. Ultra Vires offers an explanation as to why, as a matter of law, the IRS does not have the jurisdiction or the authority to regulate the governance affairs of the nation’s public charities and other categories of
tax-exempt organizations. Ultra Vires reviews the federal law concerning government agencies’ jurisdiction and authority.

The book evaluates IRS policymaking and demonstrates that the IRS’s policies are arbitrary and capricious. Ultra Vires concludes that the IRS lacks both the jurisdiction and authority in connection with nonprofit governance. Ultra Vires provides a solid legal underpinning for those who are concerned about the IRS’s expansion of its authority into the realm of nonprofit governance, particularly when the IRS has a lengthy record of getting the underlying law wrong and imposing detrimental policies and practices on these organizations. It will be a necessary read for nonprofit directors, trustees, officers and senior executive staff and their lawyers.

  New Edition
Starting and Managing a Nonprofit Organization: A Legal Guide, 7th Edition

Nonprofits must comply with stringent federal and state laws due to their special tax-exempt status. Written in plain English, not "legalese," Starting and Managing a Nonprofit Organization: A Legal Guide, Seventh Edition, provides essential guidance for those interested in starting nonprofits, as well as valuable advice for leaders of established organizations.

Starting and Managing a Nonprofit Organization, 6th Edition, ISBN: 978-1-118-41345-6
Tax-Exempt Organizations and
Constitutional Law

Although the U.S. Constitution does not make any reference to nonprofit organizations, the Supreme Court has effusively shaped nonprofit law. Tax-Exempt Organizations and Constitutional Law: Nonprofit Law as Shaped by the U.S. Supreme Court discusses how tax-exempt organizations, including educational, religious, and healthcare institutions, are directly affected by constitutional law decisions and other pronouncements from the U.S. Supreme Court.

Tax Exempt Organizations and Constitutional Law, ISBN: 978-1-118-37072-8
  New Edition
The Tax Law of Private Foundations,
5th Edition

Annual changes to IRS rules and increased scrutiny by regulators mean it's necessary for you to keep abreast of myriad changes that come into existence each year. From authors Bruce R. Hopkins and Jody Blazek comes The Tax Law of Private Foundations, the definitive guide for those responsible for guiding the financial and tax filing operations of private foundations.

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Hopkins' Memoirs

Fulfilling A Dream
The Ultimate Law Degree

At age 72, Bruce Hopkins decided to return to law school to earn the SJD degree (Doctor of Juridical Science). While this had been his lifetime dream, Mr. Hopkins knew this was a big decision and life change to return to law school to obtain this degree. Once he enrolled, Mr. Hopkins began to chronicle his experiences of going through the 'third degree' at his advanced age. 

This memoir opens with a brief analysis of the SJD degree, and describes the angst Mr. Hopkins dealt with in making this decision. When returning to law school at age 72, it had been a few decades since Mr. Hopkins had earned his last degree. Once enrolled, the reader goes to class with Mr. Hopkins, meeting fellow students (decades younger), law professors (also younger), and suffering along through the struggles with studying and taking law examinations again.  The story shares his romp through tax, banking, constitutional, and other law subjects. 

Discover how returning to law school invigorated Mr. Hopkins' law practice and enhanced his professional writing. The book tells his story through the dissertation process, delayed due to some personal tribulations, and then shares the excitement of his law school graduation. Read memories shared during the graduation after-party from partygoers who told their own stories about him.Learn how this experience changed Bruce Hopkins' life and his hopes that others will find the courage to pursue a life dream.

Read reviews of this book.

This book is an updated version of the previously published SJD: What’s the Point of Three (Law Degrees).

Fulfilling a Dream:
The Ultimate Law Degree

is available for purchase through these booksellers. Click on one of the links below to order your copy.


Dorrance Publishing Company

ISBN numbers: 
Print edition: 

E-book edition: 

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A Nonprofit Lawyer

"You're a what?"  As a nonprofit lawyer, Bruce Hopkins has heard that reaction more than a few times, but it still makes him smile. A practicing lawyer for more than five decades, Hopkins is a nationally recognized leader concerning the statutes, regulations, other rules and case law pertaining to nonprofit organizations. These organizations face a dizzying number of requirements both for gaining recognition of tax exemption from the IRS and filing annual information returns to continue to justify that status. Luckily for them, lawyers like Hopkins are there to help.

A Nonprofit Lawyer is one part crash course in nonprofit law --
(Chapter 6 is "150 Bodies of Law Readers Might Want to Know")
and one part memoir/autobiography telling the story of how Hopkins initially stumbled into nonprofit law and how he has become a prolific lawyer and speaker on the subject, while also maintaining a busy practice. Anyone interested in specific applications of nonprofit law or just looking for an interesting read about a passionate specialist will find plenty to like on these pages.

A Nonprofit Lawyer

is available for purchase through these booksellers. Click on one of the links below to order your copy.


Dorrance Publishing Company

ISBN numbers: 
Print edition:


Ebook edition:

Check out Bruce R. Hopkins'
Poetry books, too.


Learn more about these books here.