How does the Red Cross spend donor money? It’s a “trade secret”

posted at 9:31 am on July 6, 2014 by Jazz Shaw

The American Red Cross is such a long established and internationally acknowledged charitable institution, showing up to help people at the scene of every major disaster, that it’s hard to imagine anything nefarious about them. But as long, painful experience has shown us, whenever large sums of money are amassed in the vicinity of human beings all bets are off. With that in mind, an article from Sharyl Attkisson this week is worth a look as she examines The Secretive American Red Cross. In it, she highlights an article from ProPublica who have asked some uncomfortable questions about donations taken in following Hurricane Sandy and the possibly even more disturbing answers.

“Just how badly does the American Red Cross want to keep secret how it raised and spent over $300 million after Hurricane Sandy? The charity has hired a fancy law firm to fight a public request we filed with New York state, arguing that information about its Sandy activities is a ‘trade secret’…As we’ve reported, the Red Cross releases few details about how it spends money after big disasters. That makes it difficult to figure out whether donor dollars are well spent. The Red Cross did give some information about Sandy spending to New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who had been investigating the charity. But the Red Cross declined our request to disclose the details.”

This is hardly Attkisson’s first run-in with the Red Cross.

On May 12, 2010 I reported for CBS News on how 5 major nonprofits, including the American Red Cross, had spent funds intended for Haiti earthquake victims four months after the disaster. I noted that enough aid had been raised to give each displaced family a check for $37,000 but thousands of Haitians were still going hungry and living under flimsy shelters. I learned that, to a large degree, the charities can’t tell anyone with specificity where exactly all the money goes. They can give general figures such as, ‘we’ve given out 10,000 meals’ or ‘we’ve distributed 10,000 bottles of water,’ but I wondered why there wasn’t a spreadsheet that explains how many bottles or meals were shipped to which refugee camp and when. It seems pretty basic. After all, somebody has to know. A lot of the funds that donors intended for “emergency relief” were, in fact, still sitting in funds unspent. Some charity officials privately acknowledged that many charities receiving a giant influx of donations in the wake of a giant disaster are ill-equipped to produce long term recovery programs. They sometimes find themselves frantically trying to figure out how to spend all the money in a responsible way that serves the mission.

The Red Cross has faced plenty of questions in the past, may centering on their handling of blood donations from generous citizens. The blood, given for free, winds up being discarded from slow or inefficient handling up to 14% of the time according to one investigative report from Forbes. And while you give the blood out of the goodness of your heart (sorry for the pun), the Red Cross sells it for anywhere from $210 a pint in Wisconsin to $265 in New Jersey And where does that money go, specifically? Apparently that’s a “trade secret” as well.

It was Attkisson herself who reported in 2012 that one New Jersey duo alone skimmed over a million dollars in funds which never reached the needy. And that was only one of many examples she uncovered in her award winning series. But when pressed for answers, the Red Cross refers you to their lawyers rather than discussing the details of where these hundreds of millions of dollars are going. There is no question that the American Red Cross does a lot of good work and many, many people do indeed receive relief thanks to their efforts. But that doesn’t mean that they are free from any questions and don’t owe some measure of accountability. It’s a disquieting story to be sure, and somewhat shocking when you realize that a charitable institution should be far more interested in portraying a clean profile and complete transparency when they rely entirely on the good will of the public for their existence.


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You should not give to a charity that does not have full transparentry on where its donations go.

Evi L. Bloggerlady on July 6, 2014 at 9:38 AM

No money to Red Cross. No money to UNICEF.

Sherman1864 on July 6, 2014 at 9:38 AM

I haven’t donated to the Red Cross since it was found that instead of giving donated money to the victims of a disaster — I don’t recall if it was the Oklahoma bombing or 911 — that they had squirreled away a good chunk of it for later use. Once an organization fudges the truth (since they had advertized that all the money was going to the victims) I never trust them again. I don’t donate to the Red Cross or UNICEF, or any other charity that I don’t know well. My money goes to the Salvation Army.

hachiban on July 6, 2014 at 9:43 AM

The Red Cross has done a lot of good especially in the last few years. All the disasters they have had to attend to require huge amounts of money. I don’t think they are members of the marxist club in which case they have to keep things secret. Maybe I’m wrong but that’s the impression I have. They have to get their money where they can. There has been trouble in the past with people who gave money for a certain crisis and found out they were using it for something else. But when something happens the local Red Cross is always there right away.

crankyoldlady on July 6, 2014 at 9:45 AM

That’s why I donate to Shriner’s Hospitals…

Khun Joe on July 6, 2014 at 9:45 AM

No question about it upfront and full disclosure or nothing. Luxury vacation suites in resort locations should not be paid for under the guise of charity.

jaywemm on July 6, 2014 at 9:45 AM

Well, we do know from the pictures that they give a lot of blankets to illegal alien children. We also know that Haiti has not been rebuilt after all the money BJ Clinton begged for. The Red Cross used to charge the soldiers for the donuts and cigarettes they handed out during WW2. Nothing ever changes with these big entities, the same as with the govt.

Kissmygrits on July 6, 2014 at 9:45 AM

Give? To charity? ME? Never!

Tard on July 6, 2014 at 9:46 AM

This is why I don’t donate to anything. Ever.

When I read stories like this, I just sit back and chuckle when anyone complains about “where their money went”.

BobMbx on July 6, 2014 at 9:48 AM

Ask any GI who had to BORROW money from the Red Cross for an emergency flight home, and how much interest he had to pay back on that loan.
If you are a ‘Charity’, your books are open to public scrutiny.
If your books aren’t open, you are a Business or a Racket.
The Red Cross is a Racket.

thelastminstrel on July 6, 2014 at 9:50 AM

Trade secret? Is there that level of competition amongst charities?

Bif Malibu on July 6, 2014 at 9:52 AM

I don’t donate to the Red Cross or UNICEF, or any other charity that I don’t know well. My money goes to the Salvation Army.

hachiban on July 6, 2014 at 9:43 AM

Same here. When I got a look at the obscene salaries the Red Cross administrators were pulling in, I washed my hands of them.

TKindred on July 6, 2014 at 9:54 AM

The bit on how much they sell that blood for is kinda disturbing…

JohnGalt23 on July 6, 2014 at 9:55 AM

Well, we do know from the pictures that they give a lot of blankets to illegal alien children. We also know that Haiti has not been rebuilt after all the money BJ Clinton begged for. The Red Cross used to charge the soldiers for the donuts and cigarettes they handed out during WW2. Nothing ever changes with these big entities, the same as with the govt.

Kissmygrits on July 6, 2014 at 9:45 AM

Having been inside….

Red Cross is a big bureaucracy with all of the “features” of that sort of lifeform.

The actual work is done by “volunteers” the paid staff is just like the paid staff in any government bureaucracy or big company, worthless.

Bureaucracies are true parasites. They keep eating and growing until they kill the host.

CrazyGene on July 6, 2014 at 9:56 AM

The Red Cross used to charge the soldiers for the donuts and cigarettes they handed out during WW2.
Kissmygrits on July 6, 2014 at 9:45 AM

Yes, which is why no member of my family gives them a dime. Salvation Army is our charity.

katy the mean old lady on July 6, 2014 at 9:59 AM

hachiban on July 6, 2014 at 9:43 AM

It was 911 for me.

MistyLane on July 6, 2014 at 10:01 AM

My Dad always hated the Red Cross and passed it on to me. I give to the Salvation Army and local charities.

Cindy Munford on July 6, 2014 at 10:02 AM

I am pretty sure most of my donations after Katrina went to Alabama. I made it clear that none of my money was to go to New Orleans. Other than that, I think they should make it available to the public where the money comes from (not individual names) and goes. As a charity it is ridiculous that they would argue trade secrets. “We want to help people as much as possible, that is why we keep the ways we help them secret so no one else can emulate us!” Well, if that is your philosophy, then count money from me in the future out.

astonerii on July 6, 2014 at 10:03 AM

Trade secret? Is there that level of competition amongst charities?

Bif Malibu on July 6, 2014 at 9:52 AM

Nothing brings the cash like a video of a fly crawling up a childs nose.

BobMbx on July 6, 2014 at 10:08 AM

The Red Cross has been a mildly nefarious organization since at least WW2. I am old enough to remember each new “shocking” exposure of the lavish salaries and benefits of staffers, misspent funds, charging recipients for their “charity” and outright lies after every major disaster since the 70s.

And the whole donated-blood-for-sale scheme is of long-standing stench.

If you want to donate to disaster relief, look at who is first on the ground after every tornado, hurricane and flood; it ain’t the Red Cross.
But those dang Christians- Salvation Army and many other church-affiliated groups are there before the last piece of debris has settled.

I’m sure any large charitable organization misspends funds occasionally, but for the Red Cross, charity is simply not their first priority.

Dolce Far Niente on July 6, 2014 at 10:08 AM

Wasn’t that long ago the head of the Red Cross in San Diego got canned after it was disclosed how much she was being paid each year (almost $1 MILLION) – that and her frequent and expensive 1st Class trips and dining experiences. In addition, local donations to the Red Cross took a nose dive. Evidently that’s what it takes to pry “trade secrets” from them.

GarandFan on July 6, 2014 at 10:09 AM

I quit giving to these “charities” years and years ago. Now I give my money to my church. What my church does with it (mission work, charity, or the pastor’s vacation) is between them and God. He’ll figure it out in the end.

leftamark on July 6, 2014 at 10:12 AM

dining experiences.

GarandFan on July 6, 2014 at 10:09 AMGod, I hate that term! WTF is a dining experience?

katy the mean old lady on July 6, 2014 at 10:17 AM

With a few exceptions (Hospitals) – I never give money to “organizations”.

Contribute directly to the needing recipient – only.

jake-the-goose on July 6, 2014 at 10:18 AM

…guess I’ll quit giving blood!
…have to talk to my kids too!

JugEarsButtHurt on July 6, 2014 at 10:19 AM

Instead of giving to any charity…take the time and find someone or some local organization in need and give to them direct. Same goes for your favorite political candidate…do not give to the republican party, ever!

trs on July 6, 2014 at 10:20 AM

My Dad always hated the Red Cross and passed it on to me. I give to the Salvation Army and local charities.

Cindy Munford on July 6, 2014 at 10:02 AM

My father did the exact same thing with me. There aren’t enough obscene words on the english language to describe how he truly felt about The Red Cross. They should be investigated under the RICO statutes.

MrsGsBoyTommy on July 6, 2014 at 10:28 AM

Years ago, my dad told me about the Red Cross, the Mennonites and a town in Kansas that got hit with a tornado. The Mennonites did all their stuff there free and the Red Cross wanted paid back for their “charity”. My dad did not trust the Red Cross since then, and once he told me about it, neither have I. This article just reinforces that.

sadatoni on July 6, 2014 at 10:30 AM

Think of it as giving money to the RNC , RNSC , RNCC .
Give to Mercury One , Shriners or St Jude’s .
On politics , give directly to your preferred canadate .
Closed books my butt , they’re hiding something .
I forgot the Salvation Army , the good guys .

Lucano on July 6, 2014 at 10:36 AM

I well remember the hubbub with the Red Cross after 9-11. Millions and millions of dollars were donated to help the families affected. Where the Red Cross put there foot in it was that their fund raising pitch specifically stated that the funds were going to the 9-11 families. Months later the vast bulk of that money was still languishing in Red Cross accounts and funding their day to day op’s. BOR held their feet to the fire on his show pretty much every night until the public relations damage became so great that the Red Cross finally started to move money to whom it was intended for. I haven’t donated to the Red Cross since. The Salvation Army is now my charity of choice

I have no doubts that the Red Cross does great things and I also have no doubt that funding an operation of their scope isn’t cheap, but be honest in your fund raising pitches.

bruntdog on July 6, 2014 at 10:38 AM

Last time I donated to the Red Cross was after 9/11, but I vowed NEVER to do so again after the reports on them sitting on tens of millions of dollars, wasting it on stuff not at all related to helping the 9/11 victims, etc. Seems they repeated the same behavior after Sandy, but thankfully not one dollar of mine went into it.

The Red Cross once upon a time was a great charity. Now it’s amongst the worst, the amount of money that gets wasted in bureaucracy is similar to the government’s rate of waste.

ConstantineXI on July 6, 2014 at 10:38 AM

I quit giving to these “charities” years and years ago. Now I give my money to my church. What my church does with it (mission work, charity, or the pastor’s vacation) is between them and God. He’ll figure it out in the end.

leftamark on July 6, 2014 at 10:12 AM

FYI charitable givers: The Salvation Army is a church. Methodist in theology, with a particular highlight on charitable giving. They are the good guys, since one could reasonably assume they are doing it for the right reasons.

gryphon202 on July 6, 2014 at 10:39 AM

Closed books my butt , they’re hiding something .

Lucano on July 6, 2014 at 10:36 AM

If they were any other organization they’d have been audited out the ass and shut down by RICO decades ago.

ConstantineXI on July 6, 2014 at 10:40 AM

I no longer give to the big ones.When they call I tell them to call Obama.

docflash on July 6, 2014 at 10:40 AM

FYI charitable givers: The Salvation Army is a church. Methodist in theology, with a particular highlight on charitable giving. They are the good guys, since one could reasonably assume they are doing it for the right reasons.

gryphon202 on July 6, 2014 at 10:39 AM

The Salvation Army is a good charity. I also give to Catholic charities which are also very good.

ConstantineXI on July 6, 2014 at 10:40 AM

Salvation Army.

When a storm hit us a few years ago, Salvation was first on the scene and stayed here for weeks until folks were ok. Red Cross showed up days later and did a drive-by.

Have you seen the Red Cross HQS building in DC? That and the lard butt bureaucrats in it would buy a lot of blankets.

Dingbat63 on July 6, 2014 at 10:43 AM

I no longer give to the big ones.When they call I tell them to call Obama.

docflash on July 6, 2014 at 10:40 AM

We have a cute 25 year old girl on our accounting staff who still hasn’t given up the Obama Kook-Aid yet. The other day she challenged me as to why I don’t give much money to charity. I pulled a check stub out of my desk drawer and counted up over $200 a week (out of ~$600 gross) that is taken by government and told her that if Obama would do with less I could afford to give more.

ConstantineXI on July 6, 2014 at 10:43 AM

The Salvation Army is a good charity. I also give to Catholic charities which are also very good.

ConstantineXI on July 6, 2014 at 10:40 AM

I have my own reasons for not giving to Catholic charities, but it’s not because of how the money is spent. The Salvation Army is the only charity I go out of my way to donate to on a yearly basis.

gryphon202 on July 6, 2014 at 10:43 AM

have my own reasons for not giving to Catholic charities, but it’s not because of how the money is spent. The Salvation Army is the only charity I go out of my way to donate to on a yearly basis.

gryphon202 on July 6, 2014 at 10:43 AM

Well, in my case I am Catholic. (but looking).

ConstantineXI on July 6, 2014 at 10:44 AM

We have a cute 25 year old girl on our accounting staff who still hasn’t given up the Obama Kook-Aid yet. The other day she challenged me as to why I don’t give much money to charity. I pulled a check stub out of my desk drawer and counted up over $200 a week (out of ~$600 gross) that is taken by government and told her that if Obama would do with less I could afford to give more.

ConstantineXI on July 6, 2014 at 10:43 AM

Beautiful. Absolutely beautiful. I would have loved to be a fly on that wall. ;)

gryphon202 on July 6, 2014 at 10:45 AM

This is nothing new but a good refresher or update for those that don’t know. My mother told me over 40 years ago about the Red Cross. She was a wise woman.

BierManVA on July 6, 2014 at 10:46 AM

Well, in my case I am Catholic. (but looking).

ConstantineXI on July 6, 2014 at 10:44 AM

I consider myself a reformed Catholic. But that’s getting beyond the scope of this thread. There is absolutely no denying, by any objective measure, that the RCC does a lot of good for the poor.

gryphon202 on July 6, 2014 at 10:46 AM

I consider myself a reformed Catholic. But that’s getting beyond the scope of this thread. There is absolutely no denying, by any objective measure, that the RCC does a lot of good for the poor.

gryphon202 on July 6, 2014 at 10:46 AM

Absolutely, which is why I support Catholic Charities.

I am Catholic, nothing about that or what I believe in has changed (nor will it). My problem is that with this Pope the Church may no longer be Catholic…

ConstantineXI on July 6, 2014 at 10:47 AM

After the 2010 Nashville flood a Red Cross van drove through our neighborhood where most homes had been flooded. As people were dragging their ruined belongings to the curbsides and starting the demo process, the Red Cross volunteers handed out sack lunches from their van as they drove along the street. They came one time. Who knows how much money was donated to “help” that never got to those who needed it?

During the months of work that followed, a man and his wife from a well-to-do neighborhood set up a tent at the end of our street. They happened to be Christians in a quiet, non-pushy way. They came every day from May until October with food, drinks, cleaning products, OTC medications, first aid supplies, and most importantly, their compassion and ability to listen and seek help for those in need. They used their own resources and brought assistance directly to the people who needed it on a daily basis. Others showed up with tools and jumped right in to do tear out and cleanup.

Based on my experience, I will directly help someone who is in a situation like we were, but I will not give to a nonprofit organization.

tnxplant on July 6, 2014 at 10:48 AM

Same here. When I got a look at the obscene salaries the Red Cross administrators were pulling in, I washed my hands of them.

TKindred on July 6, 2014 at 9:54 AM

Exactly. The Red Cross brings in bazillions in donations, most of the actual WORK is done by volunteers, but the bosses and the bureaucracy have salaries and benefits that resemble those of the top government bureaucracies in DC.

That is not a charity.

ConstantineXI on July 6, 2014 at 10:49 AM

If they’re hiding it, you can be sure the money is being earmarked for abortions illegals and other Democratic Holy Grail quests.. If you ask for audits you can be sure of multiple hard drive crashes and a spate of missing records reports. And maybe a couple of rogue employees in Cincinnati.

MaiDee on July 6, 2014 at 10:49 AM

Absolutely, which is why I support Catholic Charities.

I am Catholic, nothing about that or what I believe in has changed (nor will it). My problem is that with this Pope the Church may no longer be Catholic…

ConstantineXI on July 6, 2014 at 10:47 AM

I will say this: My reluctance to support Catholic charities mainly stems from learning how the Pope and Cardinals live in the Vatican, and especially the parts of the Vatican that tourists don’t get to see. Being preached to by people sitting on vast stores of wealth irritates me beyond words, and it didn’t start with Pope Francis.

gryphon202 on July 6, 2014 at 10:50 AM

This atheist gives to the Salvation Army, I trust Christians a whole lot more than leftists. Wouldn’t be surprised if a bunch of red cross donations go right to dem candidates.

traye on July 6, 2014 at 10:51 AM

This atheist gives to the Salvation Army, I trust Christians a whole lot more than leftists. Wouldn’t be surprised if a bunch of red cross donations go right to dem candidates.

traye on July 6, 2014 at 10:51 AM

Good on ya. ;)

gryphon202 on July 6, 2014 at 10:52 AM

This atheist gives to the Salvation Army, I trust Christians a whole lot more than leftists. Wouldn’t be surprised if a bunch of red cross donations go right to dem candidates.

traye on July 6, 2014 at 10:51 AM

Out of curiosity, why do you choose to be atheist rather than Christian then? It is a LOT more difficult for an individual to invent their own moral code from scratch than it is to follow a well established and good one.

ConstantineXI on July 6, 2014 at 10:52 AM

The American Red Cross regularly publishes audited financials. It is not a ‘trade secret’ how they spend their donations.

Look it up yourselves.

lexhamfox on July 6, 2014 at 10:57 AM

Yes, Salvation Army. And I donate to my local no kill animal shelter, which I visit yearly and where I got Sparky. They coughed up money for him as a puppy when he needed a rod inserted in his only front leg.

Look to see who is actually doing good deeds.

rbj on July 6, 2014 at 10:58 AM

I donated what I consider a large amount of money to the Red Cross a few days after 911. After reading some months later the shenanigans that the Red Cross pulled, I’ve made it a point to never ever give them another dime.

Wallythedog on July 6, 2014 at 11:00 AM

The American Red Cross regularly publishes audited financials. It is not a ‘trade secret’ how they spend their donations.

Look it up yourselves.

lexhamfox on July 6, 2014 at 10:57 AM

A good charity is 85% efficient AT A MINIMUM (meaning that 85% of each dollar gets to people). Actually I think that standard should be 90%, but I digress.

The American Red Cross is one of the bad ones. They claim that .91 cents of every dollar goes to charity, but that’s like saying that Obama makes only $300K a year as President while $1.4 BILLION is actually spent on his lifestyle by the taxpayers… Same kind of accounting.

ConstantineXI on July 6, 2014 at 11:01 AM

Ask any GI who had to BORROW money from the Red Cross for an emergency flight home, and how much interest he had to pay back on that loan.
If you are a ‘Charity’, your books are open to public scrutiny.
If your books aren’t open, you are a Business or a Racket.
The Red Cross is a Racket.

thelastminstrel on July 6, 2014 at 9:50 AM

Truth!!!

WhirledPeas on July 6, 2014 at 11:05 AM

The so-called non-profit sector deserves a good hard look. There need to be disclosure requirements imposed on the large ones, much like publicly held corporations must prepare annual reports and prospectuses. The gift tax deduction and the tax exempt status should not come without some strings. What’s most important is how much is being spent on G&A (for the most part compensation). Some of these “charities” are being run primarily for the benefit of the insiders who control them. Another significant issue is huge endowments being held for decades (Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation) that give out only small amounts of money. These accumulations of wealth were not meant to be horded over centuries, but disbursed for eleemosynary purposes. They should be required to spend 5% of their endowments each year, or face a tax on that wealth. And don’t even get me started on our universities.

Esaus Message on July 6, 2014 at 11:08 AM

…The Red Cross used to charge the soldiers for the donuts and cigarettes they handed out during WW2…

Kissmygrits on July 6, 2014 at 9:45 AM

My uncle, a WWII B-17 pilot, told the same story — but even worse. They had been getting free coffee and donuts from the Salvation Army, then the Red Cross had the SA kicked out so they could take over — and started charging for the coffee and donuts.

I give ALL my donations — cash, clothes, etc. — to the Salvation Army.

fred5678 on July 6, 2014 at 11:10 AM

from snopes.com

Nov 2012 data

The American Red Cross
President and CEO Marsha J. Evans’ salary for the year was $651,957 plus expenses

MARCH OF DIMES
It is called the March of Dimes because only a dime for every 1 dollar is given to the needy.

The United Way
President Brian Gallagher receives a $375,000 base salary along with numerous expense benefits.

UNICEF
CEO Caryl M. Stern receives $1,200,000 per year (100k per month) plus all expenses including a ROLLS ROYCE.
Less than 5 cents of your donated dollar goes to the cause.

GOODWILL CEO and owner Mark Curran profits $2.3 million a year.
Goodwill is a very catchy name for his business.
You donate to his business and then he sells the items for PROFIT.
He pays nothing for his products and pays his workers minimum wage! Nice Guy.
$0.00 goes to help anyone! Stop giving to this man.

Read more at http://www.snopes.com/politics/business/charities.asp#gtUxjba12Bg1LrK7.99

Wallythedog on July 6, 2014 at 11:11 AM

theres also a difference between local/state red cross and the international red cross.
the international has been known to be dirty for years.
had not really looked into the US/local ones

dmacleo on July 6, 2014 at 11:12 AM

Sharyl should investigate One Fund Boston, and Girl Scouts of America next

faraway on July 6, 2014 at 11:13 AM

From Snopes.com

The Salvation Army
Commissioner, Todd Bassett receives a small salary of only $13,000 per year (plus housing) for managing this $2 billion dollar organization.
96 percent of donated dollars go to the cause.

The American Legion
National Commander receives a $0.00 zero salary.
Your donations go to help Veterans and their families and youth!

The Veterans of Foreign Wars
National Commander receives a $0.00 zero salary.
Your donations go to help Veterans and their families and youth!

The Disabled American Veterans
National Commander receives a $0.00 zero salary.
Your donations go to help Veterans and their families and youth!

The Military Order of Purple Hearts
National Commander receives a $0.00 zero salary.
Your donations go to help Veterans and their families and youth!

The Vietnam Veterans Association
National Commander receives a $0.00 zero salary.
Your donations go to help Veterans and their families and youth!

Make a Wish: For children’s last wishes.
100% goes to funding trips or special wishes for a dying child.

St. Jude Research Hospital
100% goes towards funding and helping Children with Cancer who have no insurance and can not afford to pay.

Ronald McDonald Houses
All monies go to running the houses for parents who have critical Children in the hospital.
100% goes to housing, and feeding the families.

Lions Club International
100% OF DONATIONS GO TO HELP THE BLIND, BUY HEARING AIDES, SUPPORT MEDICAL MISSIONS AROUND THE WORLD. THEIR LATEST UNDERTAKING IS MEASLES VACCINATIONS (ONLY $1.00 PER SHOT).

Read more at http://www.snopes.com/politics/business/charities.asp#gtUxjba12Bg1LrK7.99

Wallythedog on July 6, 2014 at 11:15 AM

I stopped giving to the Red Cross when they wouldn’t allow the red Star of David as an official symbol (but accepted the red crescent) and when they wouldn’t condemn the Pali-terrorists using ambulances to attack Israel.

The_Livewire on July 6, 2014 at 11:16 AM

Read more at http://www.snopes.com/politics/business/charities.asp#gtUxjba12Bg1LrK7.99

Wallythedog on July 6, 2014 at 11:11 AM

Good stuff, and here are the good guys.

The Salvation Army
Commissioner, Todd Bassett receives a small salary of only $13,000 per year (plus housing) for managing this $2 billion dollar organization.
96 percent of donated dollars go to the cause.

The American Legion
National Commander receives a $0.00 zero salary.
Your donations go to help Veterans and their families and youth!

The Veterans of Foreign Wars
National Commander receives a $0.00 zero salary.
Your donations go to help Veterans and their families and youth!

The Disabled American Veterans
National Commander receives a $0.00 zero salary.
Your donations go to help Veterans and their families and youth!

The Military Order of Purple Hearts
National Commander receives a $0.00 zero salary.
Your donations go to help Veterans and their families and youth!

The Vietnam Veterans Association
National Commander receives a $0.00 zero salary.
Your donations go to help Veterans and their families and youth!

Make a Wish: For children’s last wishes.
100% goes to funding trips or special wishes for a dying child.

St. Jude Research Hospital
100% goes towards funding and helping Children with Cancer who have no insurance and can not afford to pay.

Ronald McDonald Houses
All monies go to running the houses for parents who have critical Children in the hospital.
100% goes to housing, and feeding the families.

Lions Club International
100% OF DONATIONS GO TO HELP THE BLIND, BUY HEARING AIDES, SUPPORT MEDICAL MISSIONS AROUND THE WORLD. THEIR LATEST UNDERTAKING IS MEASLES VACCINATIONS (ONLY $1.00 PER SHOT).

faraway on July 6, 2014 at 11:17 AM

They’re so good, they’re worth mentioning twice :)

faraway on July 6, 2014 at 11:18 AM

the red cross does a lot of good…and then bills you for it.

last year a friend was burned out of her apartment..the red cross gave her a blanket and a voucher for a hotel.

the hotel itself said they donated the room, so the cost to the red cross for that was zero.

a year later she got a bill for the blanket and the hotel room…both far exceeded the actual costs…something like $300 for a wool army blanket and $120 for a $60 hotel room.

warhorse_03826 on July 6, 2014 at 11:25 AM

I’ve never given them a dime and never would. I’m more than familiar with charities that take in huge sums of money and rarely spent it in the way donors think they do.

BillCarson on July 6, 2014 at 11:33 AM

My mother was a Red Cross nurse even into her 70′s before she died, and I know she did good work. She’d be sent to disaster areas, and perform triage and other functions to help sort out people and their problems.

Nevertheless, I would not and never will donate to the Red Cross. Their attitude towards contributions is that the money is used to support their overall budget, on the theory that people mostly give when they hear about a big disaster and skimp the rest of the time, so the money needs to be spread out. It doesn’t matter if the donors are specifically targeting their contributions for the disaster victims, and even say that the contributions should be restricted for that purpose. The Red Cross thinks it’s somehow unfair if disaster victims get more than the minimum amount required, because that could drain money from other needy recipients throughout the year who aren’t suffering from highly-publicized disasters.

In other words, the Red Cross knows best, and the wishes of the donors aren’t important; their only function is to keep supplying the Red Cross with money. Hence the Red Cross deliberately obscures its finances, and since money is fungible it moves the money wherever it wants. And it relies on its reputation to keep the funds coming in, disaster after disaster.

The solution is simple: Only donate to charitable organizations whose financial records are open, and use the money as the donor specifically instructs. Or bypass organizations altogether and help individuals directly.

My wife has always been partial to the Salvation Army. They helped her family at times when she was growing up and her widowed mother was in real need. And most of the money donated to them goes to truly help others rather than into administration.

dpwiener on July 6, 2014 at 11:38 AM

Stay away from United Way. Every year at work we got envelopes asking for direct payroll deductions. Then it was found the head of the organization had a girlfriend and a european chalet. That ended that scheme.

jaywemm on July 6, 2014 at 11:47 AM

In the wake of 9/11/01, I made a substantial donation to the Red Cross to help in the efforts in lower Manhattan. After making the donation, I touched base with some acquaintances who were working with the Red Cross in IT.

The Red Cross had received record setting donations from millions to provide support for the families and first-responders / those working on the pile. Yet, according to those who I knew, the Red Cross was looking and acting as if it had Christmas early – with major spending initiatives directed not at assisting those in need, but directed at building it’s infrastructure, remodeling offices, and increasing salaries / benefits.

That was the last time I’ve donated money to the Red Cross. I’ll still do the local blood drives, but I’ll never donate cash to the Red Cross.

Oh, and in NJ, after Sandy, I’ve heard that the Red Cross hasn’t improved very much either in terms of their priorities in allocating their donations from so many.

What’s worst about this is that this mentality and direction starts at the top. It’s repairable – if there is a complete change in management and a will to focus on what the mission is supposed to be. Unfortunately, like too many other ‘charities’ there is neither the will or the desire to change or take a pay cut.

Athos on July 6, 2014 at 11:47 AM

In the aftermath of Sandy, I saw with some pretty serious disgust the level of corruption, mismanagement and lack of caring from groups like the Red Cross. Family members have volunteered for the local Red Cross for years but we saw outright theft on the part of many members that would turn your head. They great at doing the PR releases during natural disasters but somewhat slow or inadequate at following through with real help.

But tbh problems are not limited to organizations like the Red Cross even the Sierra Club has its own share of issues like using their lobbyists to force the sale of public land to them ostensibly to keep it safe from private development at an extremely cheap price only to turn around and sell that very same property to private developers for profit.

All one has to do if see the level of extravagance displayed at any of these charitable orgs HQ’s. Follow the money as greed is indeed good regardless if your a liberal or conservative charity nowadays.

terlizzi99 on July 6, 2014 at 11:50 AM

The same red cross who allows the Muslims to use a red crescent but the Jews to use a diamond instead of the 6 pointed star. The same red cross who gave not to whits about the holocaust even thought they knew exactly what was transpiring, that red cross?

Pegcity on July 6, 2014 at 11:53 AM

I have veterans/friends from WWII that were charged for the Care Packages that the Red Cross sent them while POWs. I should also say the Red Cross tried to charge them. The guys told them to pound sand. Also, have heard that the RC also charges the DOD an insane amount for blood when it is needed. Shriners, Salvation Army and local charities are teh way to go..

retiredeagle on July 6, 2014 at 11:54 AM

There is no question that the American Red Cross does has done a lot of good work

FIFY, Jazz. Like so many organizations that develop a huge reputation, they begin to “rest on their laurels”. They rely solely on the reputation to keep them going while they morph into something else.

As to them advertising for donations related to a big disaster, I don’t mind so much them keeping any overage for future disaster efforts. There aren’t always a lot of stirring pictures to gen up sympathy for small catastrophes. But, they should be open about it. I want to say that a disaster soon after Katrina they did make a point of it (because of what happened with “Katrina funds”), telling folks that just because you give during relief efforts for one disaster doesn’t mean your donations will go to that disaster. But, it needs to be really transparent. And, it certainly hasn’t always been that way.

GWB on July 6, 2014 at 11:59 AM

The Red Cross used to charge the soldiers for the donuts and cigarettes they handed out during WW2.

My father told me that, and I wrote it off to his innate cynicism. Then in the 60′s, one of my Navy ship-mates had to take emergency leave. Turns out, RC was still doing the same thing then. Same thing happened with United Way some years back in the Richmond VA area. The Director was crying that the organization was broke, but they had enough money to pay him a salary of $350K-400K/year.

No transparency/accountability = no donations from me.

oldleprechaun on July 6, 2014 at 12:09 PM

You Idiots, faraway and Wallythedog.

You just posted “emails” that “snopes.com” was DEBUNKING. Try reading to the end.

Your worse than the charities.

jbe on July 6, 2014 at 12:20 PM

How about this?

Schadenfreude on July 6, 2014 at 12:22 PM

On topic, I figured out how charities are the biggest charlatans, right after politicians, years ago.

If it’s not direct giving, I don’t give.

Schadenfreude on July 6, 2014 at 12:23 PM

Every organization is vulnerable to corruption, especially the larger ones (includes churches, service clubs, PACS, and so on). Just the way we people are I guess.

Dr. ZhivBlago on July 6, 2014 at 12:25 PM

Every organization is vulnerable to corruption, especially the larger ones (includes churches, service clubs, PACS, and so on). Just the way we people are I guess.

Dr. ZhivBlago on July 6, 2014 at 12:25 PM

Jerry Pournelle’s Iron Law of Bureaucracy:

Iron Law of Bureaucracy

In any bureaucracy, the people devoted to the benefit of the bureaucracy itself always get in control and those dedicated to the goals the bureaucracy is supposed to accomplish have less and less influence, and sometimes are eliminated entirely.

Fallon on July 6, 2014 at 12:40 PM

Wounded Warrior Project:
http://www.veteranstoday.com/2013/12/08/wounded-warriors-project-a-legal-scam/
really?

Kenosha Kid on July 6, 2014 at 12:42 PM

I quit giving to the Red Cross and the United Way years ago.

I will add this one to the list of “good guys”:

Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund

EastofEden on July 6, 2014 at 12:45 PM

I checked out that snopes article in more detail. Read the whole thing. It goes on to discount those email claims with updated information.

TeaTrekkie on July 6, 2014 at 12:46 PM

Interestingly enough, I happened to have looked into non-profits last week writing a post about Hobby Lobby. You see, people, who work at non-profits and for the government, are altruistic, selfless, compassionate and make sacrifices for the ‘common goon’ while all corporations are evil, greedy, and don’t care if all of their customers die because of their negligence (‘cuz, like, um, ya know, right next to the Left’s Money Tree is a Customer Tree that corporations have that provides a continuous supply of customers regardless of how many they kill in pursuit of profit).

Anyhoo, these are some of the ‘lambs,’ who ‘sacrifice’ themselves upon the altar of the collective for the betterment of society:

* In 2010, the American Red Cross, which is a non-profit corporation, paid its Executive Director, Gail McGovern, $561,210, its Executive Vice-President for Biomedical Services, James Hrouda, $621,779, and its Biomedical Services President, Shaun Gilmore, $573,933. (The link has more of the salaries for the top management of the ARC – none is under $316,572.)

* The United Way is a non-profit corporation, but it pays its CEO $1,035,347 a year.

* The American Heart Association is a non-profit corporation, but it pays its CEO $843,779 a year.

* The American Cancer Society is a non-profit corporation, but it pays its CEO $832,355 a year.

* The United N*gro College Fund (can they please change the name? Redskins: ‘Antiquated and racist.’ N*gro: ‘Fine.’) is a non-profit corporation, but it pays its CEO $773,693 a year.

* The Wildlife Conservation Society is a non-profit corporation, but it pays its CEO $1,163,666 a year.

* Planned Parenthood is a non-profit corporation, which receives nearly $500 million in taxpayer money every year, but it pays its national CEO, Cecile Richards, nearly $400,000 in base compensation every year and ‘the average salary of a CEO at a Planned Parenthood affiliate is $158,275, thirty of the top executives receive salaries in excess of $200,000 (the top 2.67% of household income), while 18 of the executives rank in the top 1.5% with annual incomes in excess of $250,000.’

* The Southern Poverty Law Center is a non-profit corporation, but its founder, Morris Dees, is paid $297,559 a year and its CEO receives $231,036 annually while only 11% of its budget is spent on the actual provision of legal services to the indigent or aggrieved. A whopping 89% is devoted to ‘administrative costs’ and fundraising.

* The University of Chicago is a non-profit corporation, but its President receives $3,358,723 in annual compensation.

* The University of Pennsylvania is a non-profit corporation, but its President receives $2,091,764 in annual compensation.

* Yale University is a non-profit corporation, but its President receives $1,652,543 in annual compensation.

* Princeton University is a non-profit corporation, but its President receives $935,326 in annual compensation.

* Harvard University, which has a $30 billion endowment fund (which is run by people earning more than $5 million each annually), is a non-profit corporation, but, it pays its President $899,734 per year and its full-time professors $198,400 in base compensation.

* The AFL-CIO is a non-profit corporation, but pays Richard Trumka $301,952 every year.

* The American Federation of Teachers is a non-profit corporation, but its President, Randi Weingarten, has a base salary of $396,304 and receives more than $160,000 in additional ‘benefits and other compensation.’

* The International Brotherhood of Teamsters is a non-profit corporation, but James Hoffa is paid $362,869 in salary and benefits.

* In 2012, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation paid its founder and President, Mikey Weinstein, $273,355, which was approximately 47% of ALL OF THE MONEY MRFF raised through contributions and grants that year, according to the Foundation’s filings with the IRS.

Now, unlike what is claimed by many of the above and the Left, in general, I have no problem with profit or handsomely compensating employees, but my point is the idea that a non-profit corporation is, somehow, more moral, ethical, pristine, and sacred than one that actually provides a return on the investment made by its shareholders is so hypocritical and ridiculous. Under this line of reasoning, Hobby Lobby could become an educational non-profit and, instead of paying dividends to the Green family, it could just inflate their compensation packages.

The Hysterical Harridan’s Reaction To Hobby Lobby

Resist We Much on July 6, 2014 at 12:57 PM

This atheist gives to the Salvation Army, I trust Christians a whole lot more than leftists. Wouldn’t be surprised if a bunch of red cross donations go right to dem candidates.

traye on July 6, 2014 at 10:51 AM

Out of curiosity, why do you choose to be atheist rather than Christian then? It is a LOT more difficult for an individual to invent their own moral code from scratch than it is to follow a well established and good one.

ConstantineXI on July 6, 2014 at 10:52 AM

This non-theist also gives to the Salvation Army and we do Operation Christmas Child every year with our kids, also because we trust Christians a lot more than leftists.

I quoted this question because although it’s not directed at me, I found it interesting and wanted to answer it from my point of view. I personally may find most Christians to be good, charitable people, but it doesn’t necessarily follow that I want to live just like them just because they run decent charities. I know I didn’t invent my moral code from scratch either; the morals I follow can be found in many belief systems from around the world. I don’t know a single non-believer who invented their belief system from whole cloth, but admittedly I don’t know more than two dozen personally.

Thanks for letting me butt in on this. :)

Anna on July 6, 2014 at 12:58 PM

” non-profit ” is a funny term

Doyle Hargrave on July 6, 2014 at 1:07 PM

” non-profit ” is a funny term

Doyle Hargrave on July 6, 2014 at 1:07 PM

Non-Profit to who, certainly not the people running it in most cases.

jbe on July 6, 2014 at 1:15 PM

I used to work for the Red Cross as a fundraising exec and most donors would be SHOCKED to learn how their money is spent. I left the ARC for a couple of reasons, but donor $ schemes was the primary cause for my departure.

In a nutshell: When major disasters strike, the ARC receives 100′s of millions of dollars in immediate donations. Most donors assume that the monies are divided up and given to the victims (minus some expenses, etc). NOT TRUE. The ARC generally predetermines how much money each family receives and that number can be surprising small. It usually tallies at around 2000-3000 dollars, but circumstances vary depending on geography etc. The rest is funneled into a general disaster fund to support the other, less publicized relief work done by local chapters (ie: house fires, small floods, etc). These smaller disasters don’t usually generate press, but the victims deserve the same treatment, etc.. etc… (read the small print on your donor receipts and thank you notes… they spell it out for you in very formal language.)

Generally, I understand the principles involved (equality, fairness), but the donors don’t, and when a lady gives $500 for a hurricane or a church raises 5000 for an earthquake, they fully expect 90% that money to go to the victims. It rarely does. Since the ARC has failed to find a way to generate a consistent revenue stream for daily disaster relief, they are forced to divert funds from from big disasters to small ones that happen every day in every city across the country. If you want to call this the ARC’s dirty little secret, then so be it… but that is what they do, and it’s why they do it.

Also: The ARC is a non-profit, which means (like a govt) it doesn’t “make” money… it distributes it. It also has overhead costs and a lot of donations go to pay salaries, power bills, computer access, rent/mortgage, benefits, vehicle costs, etc. My chapter had a 300,000 dollar budget, and most of that money was spent on overhead.

And finally: those fancy press releases the ARC puts out saying how much food, water, and clean-up kits they distribute looks really impressive, but the reason they do it is to hide the lack of money they are handing out to victims. They purchase a lot of those supplies, but corporations also donate those kind of materials to big disasters, so some of it was free to the ARC. In other words, those stat sheets look more impressive than they really are.

As for the blood: I have to defend that part. The money they charge for blood is calculated as a cost-to-collect fee… and it is very costly to collect blood. The staff at a blood drive is paid (by law, no more volunteers), then once the blood is collected it has to be safely stored, tested for a host of diseases, and and then transported twice (first to a storage facility, then later to a hospital when needed). It’s incredibly expensive to do this work, and if the ARC did not collect fees for it, they would have to stop collecting blood tomorrow. Trust me on this one…. no fees, no blood.

Gartrip on July 6, 2014 at 1:31 PM

The San Diego chapter of the Red Cross was busted 12 years ago or so for massive fraud. They were stealing money collected for our massive wildfire losses. The woman in charge stepped down but she took with her huge bundles of cash. I ended up doing the woodwork production design for her top floor penthouse on San Diego Bay. A more despicable bitch you could never find. She pulled every trick in the book to cheat the tradesmen and contractors.

I wouldn’t give spit to the Red Cross under any circumstances.

rcl on July 6, 2014 at 2:12 PM

You Idiots, faraway and Wallythedog.

You just posted “emails” that “snopes.com” was DEBUNKING. Try reading to the end.

Your worse than the charities.

jbe on July 6, 2014 at 12:20 PM

oops, if true, then I have been a useful idiot. Thanks for pointing that out.

faraway on July 6, 2014 at 2:21 PM

and make sacrifices for the ‘common goon

Resist We Much on July 6, 2014 at 12:57 PM

Freudian slip? ;)

GWB on July 6, 2014 at 2:25 PM

You Idiots, faraway and Wallythedog.

You just posted “emails” that “snopes.com” was DEBUNKING. Try reading to the end.

Your worse than the charities.

jbe on July 6, 2014 at 12:20 PM

oops, if true, then I have been a useful idiot. Thanks for pointing that out.

faraway on July 6, 2014 at 2:21 PM

faraway, nah, a “useful idiot” never realizes or admits being used. You’re a class act!

Nana on July 6, 2014 at 3:09 PM

I quit giving to the Red Cross when my mother told me that, when my WWII Army Signal Corps father, who strung communication wire through Burma’s jungles, and saw buddies shot off of poles by Japanese snipers, went on R&R, the Red Cross charged him for doughnuts and coffee. Sc%!w ‘em.

mkenorthshore on July 6, 2014 at 3:14 PM

I first heard about this last week. I immediately called the Red Cross in my home state, and left a message for the director.

Any guesses??

Never called back. No more blood from me.

Lord Whorfin on July 6, 2014 at 3:19 PM

A week after Katrina, I went down with a disaster relief team for a week. After what I saw, I will never give one dime to the American Red Cross. In the week we were down there, we only saw two trucks (one abandoned in a parking lot, and one handing out hot meals in New Orleans) and one shelter (where we tried to drop off clothing to a family we knew were staying there… the staff was rude, and the conditions were bad). I will give blood, but not one dime.

For Katrina, it was the churches who were doing all the heavy lifting, from distribution to tree removal to washing/drying stations to taking supplies and check on people in the neighborhood to…

But when I got home, all I saw were commercials to donate to the Red Cross. It was DISGUSTING, because I saw first hand they were not actually conducting disaster relief… it was the churches. But they were soaking up all the donation money and keeping it from the organizations doing real work there.

If you give a damn about the people in a disaster, don’t give to the Red Cross, find a local church there and donate. They’re the ones that do all the real work.

God bless.

dominigan on July 6, 2014 at 3:31 PM

I will say this: My reluctance to support Catholic charities mainly stems from learning how the Pope and Cardinals live in the Vatican, and especially the parts of the Vatican that tourists don’t get to see. Being preached to by people sitting on vast stores of wealth irritates me beyond words, and it didn’t start with Pope Francis.

gryphon202 on July 6, 2014 at 10:50 AM

You mean like this? http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-YBTYMWAkO-8/US6qeQbw2iI/AAAAAAAAGIo/j5KyzokTO1Y/s1600/pope%27s+new+room.jpg

and this? http://www.womenofgrace.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Popes-study.jpg

Yep, that’s the lap of luxury right there.

The Pope owns none of that wealth, not even his twin bed. The people do, and (aside from the secured areas that are mainly used for head of state duties, as with the White House, for example)even you can go wander through all the good parts, (the best part, Saint Peter’s, free of charge) and enjoy all that The Church has preserved for posterity. If you plan ahead to be there on the last Sunday of each month, you can actually get into the museum for free. Sure, there are corrupt clergy, (and laity, too) lots of them among the billion members. I’m sure there are no hypocrites in your self styled church, though, so congratulations. Of course, even Jesus chose Judas, so….

pannw on July 6, 2014 at 3:48 PM

*continued due to too many links*

Back OT, I do hesitate to give to many Catholic charities, myself, but not for anti-Catholic reasons, of course. CCHD is the main one I will NEVER give to. But Catholic Relief Services is another I used to donate to but will not anymore. I’m leery of Catholic Charities as well. I don’t know if they are in bed with corruption like Catholic Relief Services, which has been caught red handed a number of times, but any hint of scandal gives me pause. It seems that once an organization grows that large, it is hard to be sure. I still like Good Counsel, though. I don’t give to the Red Cross, but I can’t give to The Salvation Army either, since they endorse the ‘right’ to abortion.

The more I learn, the more I think I’ll follow the lead of whoever said he gives to his church and lets them sort it out. I just discovered that the CEO of one of my favorite charities makes close to $400,000. Waaay more than my family makes, and I think we do pretty well. Sheesh… Who knew charity was such a lucrative business?

pannw on July 6, 2014 at 3:48 PM

I have happily and humbly donate something like 10 gallons of blood so far, but stopped after a nerve problem made it difficult. In the years since, I have become quite disturbed about the money involved and how it is handled. One Chicago-area blood joint invited me to donate and when I arrived at their gleaming new facility I was stunned at what my blood could buy.

Jaibones on July 6, 2014 at 4:11 PM

Apparently an old, ongoing policy.
My grandfather, a very generous man otherwise would not give to the Red Cross. He told the story of coming off the line after days of heavy combat in the France of WW1, standing in line for a cup of hot coffee, then being told it was a nickel a cup. He quietly handed the coffee back.. They never got a penny from him.

poteen on July 6, 2014 at 4:15 PM

I have been on the payroll of both the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army, although at different times. I have also been an 11 gallon blood donor.

I haven’t given a dime to the Red Cross in decades. I do still give to the Salvation Army. I prefer the Salvation Army because I have known Salvationist officers (ministers) who efficiently bring not only material comfort to people in need, but also spiritual comfort. They demonstrate the love of Jesus in practical, cost-efficient ways, and they aren’t embarrassed to introduce people to Him.

When the earthquake and tsunami hit Japan a few years ago, lots of organizations were collecting money for relief. I gave to the Salvation Army, because they have been sharing His love with the people of Japan since 1895. They knew exactly to do when the trouble hit, and how to do it in ways that pleased the victims, the donors, and the good Lord.

KyMouse on July 6, 2014 at 4:42 PM

Bmore

Schadenfreude on July 6, 2014 at 4:45 PM

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