Nonprofit Chronicles

Journalism about foundations, nonprofits and their impact

What, exactly, does it take to lose a plum seat on the board of a national nonprofit?

A lot, it seems, at least in the case of Tessie Guillermo, the former chief executive of ZeroDivide, a $50m foundation based in San Francisco that collapsed abruptly in 2016, leaving troubling questions in its wake.

Missing money? A failure to file tax returns? Unpaid staff? The stonewalling of former partners and funders? All this and more are part of Guillermo’s legacy at ZeroDivide. ZeroDivide is being investigated by the attorney general of California, which regulates nonprofits.

Yet Ms. Guillermo remains chair of the board of CommonSpirit, a nonprofit hospital chain with $29bn in revenues and 150,000 workers, and a board member at the Marguerite Casey Foundation, a social-justice grant-maker. Together, the two board seats pay her more than $120k per year.

The problem is not that Ms. Guillermo made mistakes. We all do. The problem is, she has steadfastly refused to take responsibility for her actions. And, as best as I can tell, neither CommonSpirit nor the Marguerite Casey Foundation have held her accountable. This is curious, to say the least.

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You can read the rest of this story on Medium.

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