The nonprofit foundation the North Eastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council set up to train police officers spent just 27 percent of the $89,210 it raised in 2012 — the last year for which figures are available — on that mission.
The rest paid for a golf outing, a comedy night, staff salaries, non-itemized donations and miscellaneous expenses, its federal tax forms show.
By contrast, nine of every 10 nonprofit organizations monitored by charitynavigator.org, which rates charities worldwide, spend at least 65 percent of their budgets directly on the programs they exist to support.
The website says nonprofits that spend anything less than a third of their budgets directly on their programs “are simply not living up to their missions.” The NEMLEC Police Foundation fell short of even that unambitious minimum, its tax forms show.
Together, the foundation’s 2012 golf tournament and comedy night cost $29,926 to stage. After the two events were paid for, just $17,256 was left from the proceeds to train police.
Richard Raymond, the chief executive officer of Armstrong Ambulance of Arlington, who chairs the foundation’s board, did not respond to phone calls or emails from The Salem News’ sister newspaper The Eagle-Tribune last week seeking comment on the foundation’s spending. The newspaper also sought the foundation’s 2013 tax form, which is not yet posted online.
The NEMLEC Foundation’s 2012 tax forms do not indicate who received the $13,950 donation it reported making in 2012. The flier for this year’s golf tournament, held May 19 at the Four Oaks Country Club in Dracut, said some of the proceeds would go to Cops for Kids with Cancer, a Braintree organization.
If the donation to the cancer organization is added to the $23,989 the foundation spent directly on police programs, the $37,937 total still would equal just 42 percent of the foundation’s revenues for the year.
The foundation’s 2012 tax form also does not report who received the $11,400 in salaries the foundation reported paying in 2012. The line on the form requiring that disclosure is blank.
The NEMLEC Police Foundation was established in 2005 “to promote and pursue training and education, research, studies and programs to assist and improve” the police departments north and west of Boston that are members, its tax form says. It now has 58 member departments and agencies.