Ilona Bray


Ilona Bray, J.D. is an award-winning author and legal editor at Nolo, specializing in real estate, immigration law and nonprofit fundraising. 

Educational background. Ilona received her law degree and a Master's degree in East Asian (Chinese) Studies from the University of Washington. She is a member of the Washington State Bar. Her undergraduate degree is from Bryn Mawr College, where she majored in philosophy. She actually viewed law school as an extension of her philosophy studies, with its focus on ethics, fundamental rights, and how people can get along in society—of particular concern to her as the daughter of a WWII refugee. 

Working background. Ilona has practiced law in corporate and nonprofit settings as well as in solo practice, where she represented immigrant clients seeking asylum, family-based visas, and more. She has also volunteered extensively, including a six-month fellowship at Northwest Immigrant Rights Project in Seattle and a six-month internship at Amnesty International in London. She is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers' Association (AILA), the National Association of Real Estate Editors (NAREE), and the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP). 

Working at Nolo. Ilona started at Nolo in 2000 as a legal editor. Since then, she has not only continued to edit other writers' books and online articles, but also has taken an active role in planning and authoring new Nolo books. Many of these have become consistent Nolo bestsellers and award-winners, among them Effective Fundraising for NonprofitsNolo's Essential Guide to Buying Your First Home, and Selling Your House.  Ilona particularly enjoys interviewing people and weaving their stories into her books. She also won the 2012 "Best Blog" award from the National Association of Real Estate Editors (NAREE). 

Spare time. (What spare time?) Ilona enjoys swimming, gardening (though she's still looking for a vegetable the squirrels won't eat every last morsel of), cooking gluten- and sugar-free meals, and writing children's books.

Articles By Ilona Bray

Afghan Nationals in the U.S. Protected From Deportation With Grant of Temporary Protected Status (TPS)
May 20, 2022 The country of Afghanistan has been designated for Temporary Protected Status (TPS), allowing Afghan nationals who were in the U.S. on the day this was announced to lawfully remain for 18 months.
How to Find Foundation Grant Funding for Your Charitable Nonprofit Organization
If you are part of a nonprofit's fundraising efforts, then chances are you will, at some point, seek out grant funding from a foundation. Learn what types of foundations are out there, and how to best locate them.
Nonprofit Fundraising Methods: An Overview
A look at your options: soliciting individual donors, holding events, applying for grants, and more.
Do Charitable Deductions Help Lower My State Tax Bill?
For the vast majority of U.S. taxpayers, itemizing deductions simply isn’t worth it on their federal return. With no itemization, there's no sense tallying up gifts to charity of over $300—which could lead to a drop in donations. A few states have offset the impact within their own tax codes, however.
FAQs About Hiring an Attorney to Help Our Charitable Nonprofit
Nonprofit organizations often bypass much-needed legal services because they're operating on a limited budget. But it's often cheaper to pay a lawyer to help your nonprofit avoid problems than to fix them.
How to Hold an Online Auction for Your Nonprofit
Steps for fundraising via online bidding sites.
What’s a Crime of Moral Turpitude According to U.S. Immigration Law?
One of the most important definitions for anyone who wants to obtain or keep a U.S. green card (lawful permanent residence) but who has had run-ins with law enforcement is that of “crime of moral turpitude” (CMT).
Inadmissibility: When the U.S. Can Keep You Out
Learn why you may be denied entry to the United States and how to avoid being turned away.
Options for National of Ukraine Seeking Asylum, TPS, or Other Protection in the United States
May 10, 2022 Ukrainians looking for protection from the Russian military invasion have some possibilities in the United States, but the matter is still in flux.
How Long Will It Take to Get a U Visa?
Understanding "normal" processing times and common sources of delay in getting a U visa.