Bob Saunders is a tax and business lawyer with extensive experience in the nonprofit sector. He counsels primarily tax-exempt organizations, both charitable and non-charitable, on a multitude of federal and state tax controversy matters, estate planning, and tax-exempt financing. 

My Practices

  • Bob helps all types of exempt organizations, including charities, religious organizations, educational organizations, trade associations, social welfare organizations and social clubs, in matters ranging from formation and operation to merger and dissolution. He serves as general counsel for exempt organizations and advises on tax and governance issues including intermediate sanctions, unrelated business income, and the use of for-profit subsidiaries and single member limited liability companies. He is also a skilled advisor regarding regulatory compliance regarding charitable solicitation laws and regulatory review of assets transfers by nonprofit organizations. He represents senior retirement living nonprofits, including those involved with assisted living, skilled nursing and continuing community retirement centers.

    Bob also represents exempt organizations in federal and state tax audits, and has significant experience as bond counsel, underwriter’s counsel, company counsel and authority counsel in tax-exempt financings. Recently he was certified as a nonprofit board governance consultant by Board Source.

    Recent representative clients include:

    • North Carolina Rural Center
    • Pisgah Health Foundation
    • The Recycling Partnership
    • CEO Roundtable on Cancer
    • miraclefeet
    • Chapel Hill Carrboro Chamber of Commerce
    "Another day, another chance to excel."
  • Bob has an active estate planning practice with an emphasis on charitable giving with private foundations and donor advised funds. He has experience with the formation, merger, and dissolution of private foundations, and is experienced in the reclassification of private foundations as public charities. He has also advised and participated in seminars sponsored by various community foundations.

  • Bob advises companies that are seeking to operate as social enterprises in the Fourth Sector on a variety of governance and tax-related issues. He has participated in activities involving such organizations as the North Carolina Fourth Sector Cluster Initiative and has attended the national conferences for the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (“BALLE”). Bob has advised a wide variety of nonprofits involved in this area, from community development financial institutions to farmers markets on entity formation and tax-exempt status issues.

    Recent representative Fourth Sector clients include:

    • CommunityWorx
    • Partnership for a Sustainable Community
    • The North Carolina Business Law Council
    • Greensboro Farmers Market
  • Bob represents the Firm's clients on national, state and local tax controversy issues. Having previously worked at the IRS Office of Chief Counsel, Bob has an in-depth understanding of tax disputes and how to best serve clients’ needs throughout the complex legal process. He is the co-author for the North Carolina Chapter of the ABA Property Tax Handbook and the ABA Sales and Use Tax Handbook.


Honors & Recognitions

Selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© in Litigation and Controversy-Tax, Non-Profit/Charities Law and Tax Law (2007-2024); Recognized as “Lawyer of the Year” in Greensboro for Non-Profit/Charities Law (2014, 2020, 2024) and Litigation and Controversy-Tax (2013, 2015, 2017, 2019, 2022)

Recognized by North Carolina Super Lawyers in Business/Corporate Law (2019-2020)


University of Virginia School of Law, J.D., 1987; Editor-in-Chief, Virginia Tax Review, 1986-87; Recipient, Daniel Caplin Tax Award

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, B.A., 1982


Certified as a nonprofit board governance consultant by Board Source


North Carolina

U.S. District Court for the Western, Middle, and Eastern Districts of North Carolina

U.S. Tax Court




Professional & Civic

Professional & Civic Activities

Member, Board of Visitors, University of North Carolina (2019-present)

Chair, Partnership for a Sustainable Community, Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce 

Chair, Board of Directors, Carol Woods Retirement Community

Adjunct Lecturer of Nonprofit Law, University of North Carolina at Greensboro (2006-present)

Chair, Partnership for a Sustainable Community 2016

Chair, Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce 2015

Chair, Nonprofit Organizations Committee of the North Carolina Business Law Council, North Carolina Bar Association (2011-present)

Member, Carrboro Economic Sustainability Commission (2010-2019)

Member, Carrboro Arts Commission (2009-2010)

Leadership North Carolina Class XVI (2008-2009)

United Arts Council Representative - The Sternberger Commission (2003-present)

Board Secretary, Greensboro Public Library Foundation (2002-present)

Member, North Carolina Rules Review Commission (2001-2007)

Frequent lecturer on nonprofit matters

  • 35
    35 years of counseling clients
  • 15
    15 years of teaching nonprofit law
  • 1
    1 life long passion for learning
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