Letter to the Editor of the Washington Post

Letter to the Editor of the Washington Post

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Dear Editor,

The Washington Post’s lead story in this Sunday’s paper, “Inside the hidden world of thefts, scams and phantom purchases at the nation’s nonprofits,” does an extraordinary disservice to nonprofits, the communities they serve, and the people who support them.

All the article does is punish nonprofits that have done the right thing. An examination of the disclosures of those nonprofits listed shows that most were victims of improper actions, not the perpetrators. Furthermore, it demonstrates how those nonprofits’ internal controls identified and dealt with the issues caused by others. Stories such as this undercut public trust when in fact nonprofits have been open and transparent.

Nonprofits take pride in the degree of transparency that made the data behind this article readily available. In fact, many nonprofits participate in Principles and Practices or Standards for Excellence programs administered by state associations of nonprofits to go above and beyond what is legally required. Charitable nonprofits should be commended for this transparency, not attacked for it.

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