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Council defends nonprofits in Globe letter

We were disappointed late last month to read a front-page Boston Globe article maligning the work done by nonprofits. The Globe claimed in a headline on the front page of its Sunday newspaper that "Theft at nonprofits 'shockingly common,'" an assertion that greatly disappointed us.

While the Globe ran other letters to the editor on the topic, they neglected to include the response that the Providers' Council sent them on Monday, January 29. We wanted to share it with our members so they know the Council will not let this type of misleading hyperbole go unchallenged. We will continue to advance a fair and balanced view of the work you do.

TO THE EDITOR:

Nonprofits throughout Massachusetts have missions that include caring for individuals with disabilities, feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless and providing protection to women and children. They also educate our youth, protect the environment, provide critical health care and fill lives with religious enrichment.

So, understandably, we are disappointed to see nonprofits' experience fraud - but we are more disappointed to see The Boston Globe undermining the work nonprofits do by claiming that the misappropriation of funds at these organizations is a routine occurrence ("Theft at nonprofits 'shockingly common,' Page A1, Jan. 28).

The Globe asserts that more than 1,100 nonprofits reported employee theft "over the past seven years" - but this is out of 1.4 million tax-exempt organizations across the country. What the Globe refers to as "shockingly common" fraud only happened at fewer than .08 percent of nonprofits across the country.

To somehow infer that the misappropriation of funds is a "common" occurrence at nonprofits is both irresponsible and incorrect. Readers of The Boston Globe deserve the full picture when discussing these organizations that do so much good for so many in and around Massachusetts.

Michael Weekes
President/CEO
Providers' Council

We appreciate the incredible work done by our members in ensuring a stronger Commonwealth for all. Any questions about the article or our response can be directed to Bill Yelenak.