Preemptive Love founders Jeremy and Jessica Courtney will no longer work with the popular foreign aid group, according to an announcement from the Preemptive Love board. The announcement came following a third-party investigation commissioned after numerous current and former Preemptive Love employees spoke up about toxic leadership practices and misleading fundraising practices.
The Courtneys were placed on leave last summer following a letter to the board of directors signed by more than two dozen former employees. That letter raised concerns about an abusive work environment, and spurred an investigation by consulting firm Guidepost Solutions. In December, Preemptive Love’s former Head of Communication s Ben Irwin published a Medium post laying out more accusations of toxic leadership and alleging deceptive fundraising practices. Now, the Courtneys have been cut from the organization they founded.
“The Board cannot ask staff members to serve others with excellence in the name of peacemaking if the organizational culture itself is not healthy and vibrant,” the Board’s statement read. “We must invest in our own community with the same heart and compassion that we invest in vulnerable communities around the world.”
The Board pledged to improve Preemptive Love’s work environment and promised forthcoming details about a strategy for change, “asking for the trust of staff, of partners, of supporters and our broader community dedicated to the important peacemaking and humanitarian work accomplished every day by this organization.”
The Courtneys founded Preemptive Love in 2007 and built it into a trusted group providing relief to people in Iraq, Syria and other parts of the world. The organization has attracted endorsements from well-liked Christian influencers like Nichole Nordeman, Jen Hatmaker and Ann Voskamp. (One of Voskamp’s blogs raised over a million dollars for the group in 2015, but she removed the blog in 2017, citing skepticism about the amount of actual work being done). Courtney has appeared in RELEVANT and on the RELEVANT Podcast numerous times.
Preemptive Love brought in $12 million in 2017, according to available documents.
The Board pledged to continue to carry out Preemptive Love’s original mission, writing that “we remain focused on the mission. We remain focused on the people. We remain focused on peacemaking.”