Reclaiming the Spirit of Vanguard

Note to the Community: Although members of the Vanguard Justice Community Council who have contributed to this website all have past connections with Vanguard Public Foundation, we were not members of the Board of Directors or in close association with Hari Dillon during the years that the Foundation was involved in the Mouli Cohen/Hari Dillon financial schemes.

nce a stellar
social justice public foundation
in the San Francisco Bay Area, Vanguard Public Foundation is now closed. Vanguard, founded in 1973, served as a reliable funding source for community organizing and policy advocacy for three decades. Its community-inclusive model sparked a movement in the 1970s and 1980s resulting in some 300 public and women’s funds adopting many of Vanguard’s progressive practices. 

We (the Vanguard Justice Community Council) regret to report that due to financial fraud and mismanagement, Vanguard is no longer operational. Vanguard's President, Hari J. Dillon, pleaded guilty to no less than $2.5 million in wire fraud and money laundering charges in an investment scheme that siphoned $43.5 million from scores of investors, who were mostly Vanguard donors. Despite this tragedy, many of Vanguard’s former board members, donors, grantees, staff, and allies have joined in a process to bring restitution, reconciliation, and healing to the social justice community. We offer this website for your reflection and response—and to ensure that this tragedy is not repeated in the future.

    To learn more about the demise of Vanguard, Read More... 

    To learn more about reconciliation and healing efforts,

For more details: 

        What’s New . . . Take Action:   

Vanguard Justice Community Fund Awards Grants
to 24 organizations that did not received funds promised by Vanguard Public Foundation. To see the list of grantees, click on the Grants tab on the top menu.

Hari Dillon has been sentenced to 40 months in prison
and three years probation for his role in bilking investors of millions of dollars in an investment scheme that purportedly was to benefit Vanguard. Judge Charles Breyer also noted that Dillon ruined lives and his conduct contributed to the destruction of Vanguard. Read More. . .
  • Watch Dealing in Deceit, an episode of CNBC's show American Greed, which profiles the story of Mouli Cohen and Hari Dillon, and how they cunningly swindled millions of dollars from investors. Along the way, they also dismantled the Vanguard Public Foundation.
  • Watch Determined to Rebuild and Help, a short clip plus a video on CNBC's American Greed website about the Vanguard Justice Community Council's work to help shortchanged grantees.

            Our Purpose: