Kendi is a trusted advisor to tax-exempt organizations, including colleges, universities, cultural institutions, health care organizations, and corporate and family foundations. She is co-head of the firm’s colleges & universities practice. She has obtained tax-exempt status and IRS rulings for numerous clients and provides practical guidance on a wide range of issues these organizations encounter, from day-to-day questions about grant making, filing requirements, and charitable giving to highly sensitive matters involving conflicts of interest, corporate governance, executive compensation, and IRS audits. Kendi is often lead tax counsel in transactions that involve non-profit organizations, including affiliations, mergers, asset acquisitions and dissolutions, notably advising on tax exemption issues. She is also active in pro bono matters and is a member of the firm's Pro Bono Committee. Prior to attending law school, Kendi worked in fundraising for a major research university and earned a master’s degree in education, focused on higher education administration.


  • Tax counsel for multiple tax-exempt health care systems in affiliation transactions, with both non-profit and for-profit parties
  • Conducting in-depth analyses of restricted gift issues for tax-exempt organizations in connection with significant asset transfers, including securing court and Attorney General approvals
  • Securing abatements of multi-million dollars in penalties and interest from IRS and successfully concluding several IRS audits of universities and their affiliates with no taxes or penalties assessed
  • Working with state regulators and non-profit organization’s board of directors and officers to achieve successful resolution of internal investigation involving director conflict of interest, including implementing policies and internal controls to identify and manage conflicts
  • Forming and securing tax-exempt status for new parent entities in affiliations and reorganizations of health care systems
  • Advising boards of directors and compensation committees on compensation matters unique to tax-exempt organizations, including compliance with IRS “intermediate sanctions” rules
  • Working with employers to establish tax-efficient vehicles for philanthropy and to determine how to provide rapid relief to employees suffering from disasters and other crises. 
  • Counseling staff of grant-making organizations on navigating private foundation tax rules, including how these rules relate to international grants, advocacy activities and transactions with foundation donors
  • Providing informed review of drafts of publicly-disclosed IRS and state tax and information filings for non-profit organizations, with special emphasis on the Form 990
  • Assessing tax exemption and unrelated business income tax consequences associated with non-profit organizations participating in joint ventures with for-profit organizations, including through LLCs
  • Collaborating with charities and their donors to structure venture philanthropy and other giving arrangements

Areas of Practice