American Red Cross: The Red Cross has long been recognized as a universal symbol of humanitarian services, and it’s an enormous operation. The American Red Cross has about 230 chapters nationwide, with almost 18,000 employees and more than 1/4 of a million volunteers responding to more than 60,000 disasters every year. It’s really the preeminent organization in the wake of domestic national disasters like floods, hurricanes, wildfires.
In 2022, the American Red Cross had net assets of about $2.7 billion and spent just over $3 billion in operating expenses the same year. When you look at. Charities in the United States, Most are quite small. 0 to $5 million is where the vast majority of American nonprofits sit today. So the American Red Cross really is at a different size percentage than just about everyone else.
When the White House starts raising money, when big corporations, the NFL, Hollywood, A Listers are, when they’re raising money, they. Map of the disaster. It’s most likely targeted towards the American Red Cross, but the sheer size of their budget has also raised concerns over the years. There is controversy swirling around one of the biggest charities of all, the Red Cross. There are critics raising questions about transparency and about how the money you give is spent. They’re the. This player, they’re receiving the lion share of the funds and so of course the focus is going to be on what they’re doing with that money.
So how does the American Red Cross make and spend its billions?
In 1863, the International Red Cross movement first began in Geneva, Switzerland, to help protect the sick and wounded during combat. A nurse by the name of Clara Barton later brought the idea to the US in 1881 and established the American Association of the Red Cross. Today, it’s one of the few selected congressionally chartered nonprofits in America, frequently collaborating with federal institutions like FEMA and the US military. The American Red Cross is a large and established and very well funded organization and so it’s really able to have its hand and a lot of different programs, they’re most well known efforts are arguably in disaster relief.
This can range from responding to small house fires to multi state natural disasters such as hurricanes, floods and wildfires. One of the primary things it does is that it mobilizes volunteers to provide foods on the ground to aid in the wake of domestic national disasters and so it helps to transport and distribute. Aid to people in emergency situations can often do this before some of the other nonprofits can come in and and do what they do best, such as, you know, medical professionals But the organization’s biggest operation is actually in blood supply. The American Red Cross is essentially responsible for about 40% of the blood supply in the United States.
Central to the supply chain for blood transfusions so it collects and tests volunteer blood donations, and then it’s responsible for distributing these blood donations to about 2500 facilities and hospitals across the country. The American Red Cross also performs other lesser known services such as providing training and certification. Assistance for military families and international aid and support.
When you’ve been around for over 100 years, you start growing into the areas that you really can contribute, and the American Red Cross has clearly done that in a very effective way.