Danika founded Mendrygal Law to build a law firm devoted exclusively to serving nonprofit and tax-exempt clients. Danika guides clients through the complexities of establishing, growing and managing a tax-exempt organization. She provides counsel, advice and representation in taxation, corporate governance and compliance issues. Danika is rooted in the local nonprofit community, both as a volunteer and a speaker. She was recognized by her peers in the legal community as a “Super Lawyer” in the area of Nonprofit Organizations from 2018-2022 (Texas Super Lawyers, a Thompson Reuters publication).
Before launching Mendrygal Law in 2015, Danika spent 12 years at a nationally recognized firm. This big firm background elevates her practice, allowing Danika to handle the most sophisticated matters for clients. Nonprofit organizations are subject to a highly complex series of regulations and requirements that impact all areas of operation. Danika has the detailed knowledge needed to put all the pieces together and meet the full range of legal, tax and compliance needs of her clients.
One recent project involved a very large family foundation addressing a generational transition. As the founders prepared to phase out of day-to-day management, Danika worked with the three generations of family members to carry out their succession plan and address the transition of foundation governance and grant-making procedures. Her work allowed the clients to successfully prioritize and cement the intent of the founders for future generations while also incorporating flexibility as the family evolved in size and geography.
Another example of the scope and complexity of Danika’s work is the recent restructure of a group of affiliated 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(6) organizations. Initially brought on to assist new leadership with the review and understanding of governance practices, Danika ultimately worked with the client over the course of three years to fully effect the transition of operations between entities and complete the acquisition and dissolution of two 501(c)(3) entities, resulting in a highly streamlined and sound structure for the client. As part of this process, Danika developed new bylaws and policies, and reorganized the relationship between membership, the Board of Directors, and the Advisory Board. Throughout the process, she addressed myriad issues such as Form 990 disclosures, appropriate interactions between 501(c)(3) and its affiliated 501(c)(6), lobbying, employee sharing, trademarks and licensing arrangements, parent/subsidiary relationship and structure, public support, joint fundraising, internal accounting practices as they relate to cost-sharing, and fiscal sponsorship.
Yet another example of the diversity of client resides in Danika’s work with corporate foundations. Over the last few years, she has worked with regional, national and international companies to establish foundations that focus their charitable endeavors, formulating purposes and focus, suggesting policies and procedures that are practical, effective and compliant. This work has included a number of scholarship programs and crisis or emergency relief programs for employees and their families.
Danika is regularly engaged by existing nonprofit organizations to conduct a review of tax, governance and compliance matters and assess areas of risk and potential for improvement. Although theses reviews sometimes result in little to no change, they may also lead to an overhaul of documentation or governance, realignment with purposes, or interactions with the IRS related to areas of non-compliance. Additional risk areas frequently identified are revenue generating activities and sponsorship agreements that may result in unrelated taxable income, or state property exemptions that may be at risk or not fully utilized.
Danika has been recognized by her peers in the legal community through selection to Texas Super Lawyers as a Nonprofit Organizations Lawyer from 2018 to 2021 and as one of the “Top Women Attorneys in Texas” in 2019. Prior to that, she was selected to Texas Rising Stars for Nonprofit Organizations from 2014 to 2017. Super Lawyers and Rising Stars are published by Thomas Reuters.
- J.D., with honors, University of Texas at Austin, School of Law, 2003
- B.B.A., cum laude, University of Miami, 1999
- Mendrygal Law, PLLC (2015-Present)
- Haynes and Boone, LLP, Dallas (2003-2015)
- Inclusion in Texas Super Lawyers for Nonprofit Organizations (2018-2022)
- Inclusion in Texas Super Lawyers Top Women Attorneys (2019)
- Inclusion in Texas Super Lawyers Rising Stars for Nonprofit Organizations (2014-2017)
- TEGE Exempt Organizations Council, Chair, Board of Directors (2018-Present)
- Gulf Coast Area TEGE (Tax Exempt/Government Entities) Council
o Chair, Joint Council Exempt Organizations Conference (2017)
o EO Coordinator (2014-2017), Councilmember (2011-2017)
- Planning Committee, University of Texas Nonprofit Organizations Institute (2016-Present)
- Dallas Council of Charitable Gift Planners (formerly the Partnership for Philanthropic Planning), North Texas Chapter
o President (2014), Board of Directors (2010-2015)
- MiGi Not-For-Profit Group, Texas Society of CPAs (2008-2019)
- Dallas Bar Nonprofit Study Group (2008-2020)
- Communities Foundation of Texas Advisory Council (2014-Present)
- The Dallas Foundation Advisory Council (2008-2022)
- Uptown Dallas, Inc.
o Education Subcommittee (2017-2019)
o Board of Directors and Executive Committee (2011-2014)
o Governance Chair and Nominating Committee Chair (2012)
- The Pro Bono College, State Bar of Texas (2013-2017)
- Montessori Children’s House and School, Board of Directors (2015-16) and Advisory Board (2019-Present)
- “Keeping Your Organization Safe and Sane in a Volatile Investment Environment,” 2022 State Bar of Texas Governance of Nonprofit Organizations
- “So, You Want to Set Up a Charity? .. Legal Structures and Tax Considerations,” 2022 TXCPA Summit
- “Endowments from a Legal Perspective: Structure, Rules and Development Considerations,” 2022 Dallas Chapter of Planned Giving Professionals
- “Fiscal Sponsorship: Doing it Right for the Right Reasons,” 2022 TXCPA Nonprofit Organizations Conference
- “Board Forum; Building Better Board Leaders,” 2022 Source America XForce National Conference
- “Master Class | Disaster Relief Funds: An overview of structures, related tax issues and practical considerations,” 2022 UT Law Nonprofit Organizations Institute
- “Disaster Relief Funds: An overview of structures, related tax issues and practical considerations,” 2021 UT Law Nonprofit Organizations Institute
- “The Essential Elements of a Fiduciary’s Duties in Managing a Charity’s Investment Portfolio and Advanced Considerations during Economically Challenging Times,” 2021 UT Law Nonprofit Organizations Institute
- “Texas State Tax and Regulatory Compliance for Nonprofits,” Governance of Nonprofits Organizations, State Bar of Texas, August 2020
- “Tax and Regulatory Compliance for Nonprofits: Legal Perspective,” 2020 Nonprofit Organizations Conference (TXCPA), May 2020
- “Fiduciary Duties of Directors,” Nonprofit Seminar, October 2019
- “Restricted Gifts and Endowment Funds Webinar,” TXCPA, June 2019
- “Compliance 101”, It’s Lonely at the Top, May 2019
- “Accounting for Endowments: What You Need to Know,” BKD Webinar, February 2019
- “Restricted Gifts and Endowments: Documentation and Financial Statement Disclosure,” 2019 UT Law Nonprofit Organizations Institute
- “Compliance 101: Policies & Procedures,” Nonprofit Seminar, July 2018
- “Nonprofit Compliance 101: Policies & Procedures,” 2017 Nonprofit Organizations Conference (Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants)
- “Legal Perspectives on Endowments,” Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants – Dallas Chapter MIGI, July 2017
- “Asked and Answered: Nonprofits,” Dallas Bar Nonprofit Group, June 201
- “Nonprofits 101,” 2017 UT Law Nonprofit Organizations Institute
- “Endowment Foundations, Supporting Organizations and Alternatives,” N. Texas Chapter, Partnership for Philanthropic Planning, December 2016
- “Update on Legislation and Regulation Affecting Charitable Planning,” 2016 National Conference on Philanthropic Planning
- “Endowment Funds: Separating Myth from Reality,” 2016 Nonprofit Organizations Conference (Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants)
- “Endowments: Revenue Recognition, Disclosure & Classifications,” 2014 Nonprofit Organizations Conference (TSCPA)
- "Endowments 102," North Texas Chapter, PPP, October 2013
- "Navigating the UBIT Waters," Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants – Dallas Chapter MiGi, September 2010
- "A Plain English Guide to FAS 117-1 and TUPMIFA," 2010 TSCPA Nonprofit Organizations Conference
“Danika's expert advice has been used for both our operating entity as well as our endowment. Her dedication to provide us results, often on very short notice, has been invaluable. Between her expertise and responsiveness, I couldn't ask for anything more in an attorney.”
-Adam Cox, Former Chief Financial Officer, The Dallas Opera; Current Chief Operating Officer, New York Philharmonic
“Danika and her team are THE go-to resource for all things related to nonprofit law and compliance. They have mastered the unique combination of technical acumen and realistic understanding of what nonprofits can manage. They are a pleasure to work with and I highly recommend them to anyone in the nonprofit field."
-Tanya McDonald, Vice-Chair, United to Learn, and Co-Founder, It’s Lonely at the Top!
"I greatly appreciate each opportunity I have to work with Danika and her team to support donors and nonprofits. They provide excellent counsel, thoughtful wisdom, and a depth of experience that is so important in our work."
- Carolyn A. Newham, JD, Senior Director of Donor Relations & Services, Communities Foundation of Texas
“Danika’s legal advice and overall expertise with endowment trusts has been essential in constructing our policies. She made sure that the policies conformed to all applicable Texas and federal law and complied with the provisions of our legal documents while meeting our objectives of supporting the endowment’s beneficiaries and growing value. We consider Danika to be a valuable partner as we continue to improve the management of our endowment.”
-Ray Maturi, Endowment Commission Chairman, Endowment Trust of Our Redeemer Lutheran Church
“The Mendrygal Law team deftly navigated us through the transition from for-profit to non-profit. Our 1023 application was detailed with extensive exhibits to address any IRS questions before asked. We received our 501(c)(3) status with no questions or challenges, which is a testament to the thoroughness and experience of Danika and her entire team."
-Peter Poulides, Executive Director, Dallas Center for Photography
“Danika is a superb counselor. She provided truly exceptional leadership in obtaining 501(c)(3) status for the faith-based charity that I chair. She simplified the difficult and complex application process and kept us updated on the status of the application throughout the review period. Danika is the epitome of professionalism and competence, and she was a pleasure to work with. I cannot recommend her more strongly.”
-Steven Bradford, Chair, Christ’s Family Clinic
“Danika did a fantastic job guiding our start-up organization through the difficult process of establishing itself as a 501(c)(3) non-profit. She is extremely knowledgeable in the area of non-profit law and was an invaluable resource to our board as we launched the organization! Did I mention it was also a pleasure to work with Danika? I always looked forward to her calls. Danika is a true professional.”
- Scott Milder, President and CEO, Friends of Texas Public Schools
“Danika was great to work with, and as a result of her efforts, Baal Dan has been able to help many impoverished children in India.”
- Tanya Pinto, Founder, Baal Dan Charities
"When the Student Housing Foundation realized the time had come for a transition, we reached out to Genevra and her team. Their approach in making sure we understood every step of the process was a welcome relief. Genevra’s professionalism, patience, and guidance is why our Board enjoyed working with her, Danika, and the rest of the team. Genevra made us feel like a top priority and cared about what was best for us. We really appreciated what she did in getting the job done."
- Brenda McDonald, President, CCCCDF Student Housing Foundation
"Danika and Genevra have been extremely helpful in guiding our PTA through a complex legal issue. They are clearly experts in the area of non-profit law. As an attorney myself, I really appreciate their excellent client service. Whenever we have a question, Genevra has been quick to respond with answers, suggestions, and meaningful legal advice."
- Christine Palmer, Executive Board member, McCulloch Intermediate School and Highland Park Middle School Parent Teacher Association