Karen M. Donnelly

Karen M. Donnelly

Partner, Copilevitz Lam & Raney

Karen Donnelly is a partner at Copilevitz Law & Raney and president of the Kansas City Lawyers Chapter with the Federalist Society. Karen’s practice focuses on First Amendment litigation and regulatory law in the areas of charitable, political and commercial speech. She represents nonprofit and commercial entities within the fundraising, advertising and marketing communities, including state attorney general investigations, Federal Trade Commission investigations, IRS audits, multi-state investigations, civil rights litigation and appellate practice in federal and state courts.

In 2023, Karen argued before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit in a First Amendment case involving a statutory ban on charitable fundraising.

In 2021, Karen coordinated and filed an amicus brief before the U.S. Supreme Court in Americans for Prosperity v. Bonta on behalf of The Nonprofit Alliance (TNPA), People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) and 123 nonprofit organizations across the ideological spectrum in support of the petitioners. Our brief contributed to a victory for the entire philanthropic sector–SCOTUS facially invalidated California’s mandatory disclosure of major donors as a condition of soliciting charitable contributions in the State.

In 2018, Karen argued before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit in a case involving administrative law and First Amendment claims in the charitable speech context.

In 2019 and 2020, Karen successfully represented nonprofit and commercial organizations in federal trademark matters in federal district court and before the USPTO’s Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.

Karen also counsels on the formation, structuring and qualification of tax-exempt organizations. She advises clients on nonprofit governance issues, corporate law, regulatory compliance, tax-exempt organizations law, and constitutional law.

She has also worked in the areas of direct marketing and nonprofit fundraising in Washington, D.C.

Karen is the President of the Kansas City Lawyers Chapter of the Federalist Society. She also serves on the Board of Kansas City-based Non-Profit Connect and participates in the Government Affairs Committee of The Nonprofit Alliance based in Washington, D.C. Karen is Chair of the St. Anthony’s Pastoral Council, Lector and Pre-Cana Minister. In her spare time, she enjoys travel, running, and spending time with family.


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