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70 Reviews
12.52857345
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October 1, 2012
7 people found this review helpful

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Review from CharityNavigator
October 1, 2012
7 people found this review helpful

One thing a lot of people may not know, when the Red Cross helps a service member get a flight home for an emergency, they make the service member pay them back for the cost of the plane ticket. In fact, they take payments directly out of the service members pay check. They have easy access working with the DOD I guess.

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How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Some

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Likely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Okay

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

1998

September 23, 2012
3 people found this review helpful

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Review from CharityNavigator
September 23, 2012
3 people found this review helpful

Fortunately, I have never had to make use of Red Cross services. They certainly get publicity for their work. I have been giving to them for years. I am pleased to find out that 92% of my donation goes to program costs, but was dismayed when I saw the CEO earns over $500,000.

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Was your donation impactful?

Likely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Unsure

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Likely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

September 20, 2012
2 people found this review helpful

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September 20, 2012
2 people found this review helpful

I have worked, volunteered, and donated to the Red Cross at the local and National levels. The organization has area for improvement (as does every org I have ever been associated with). The bottom line is: Nobody does it better than the Red Cross. In fact, nobody does what the Red Cross does. Others do it in different areas & at smaller scales. However, The size and scope of this org is absolutely necessary to provide nationwide citizen response to humanitarian emergencies.

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How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

What is unique about this organization?

Size, Scope, Culture, Volunteer Responsibilities, & Congressional Charter.

August 28, 2012
5 people found this review helpful

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Review from CharityNavigator
August 28, 2012
5 people found this review helpful

When the flood of '97 hit Grand Forks, ND the Red Cross was there for photo ops and not much more. Of all the people I've spoken with the only thing they did was hand out a few gas and hotel vouchers. The main work was done, to my surprise, by the Salvation Army. My mother went to the aid office that they had set up to see what assistance they could get. She was met with form after form and no end in sight. A woman she met there with her kids in tow had been there for two days filling out forms. After each one she had been handed a new one and sent to another line. The woman was at wits end since she desperately needed some form of help but was at the point of leaving. My mother left, not having the time to waste. At the end the Red Cross tried to walk away with half the the money that had been donated for the Red River valley flood. When caught they decided to spend that cash or at least some of it on airing commercials in the area letting everyone know how great they were. One of our state senators called for an audit which to my surprise takes an act of congress. His motion failed so who knows how much money this "charity" pocketed. I certainly hope they are better in other places of the world but after this heart breaking experience I'd rather not give to them

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Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

No

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A little

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

1997

August 20, 2012
5 people found this review helpful

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Review from CharityNavigator
August 20, 2012
5 people found this review helpful

The salaried staff of the Red Cross has drawn a very distinct line between the paid staff and volunteers. Volunteers are generally treated as 2nd class workers, they get lesser accomodations than paid staff when deployed on disasters along with the attitudes that yes they are volunteers and are not entitled to the perks of paid staff. They get treated as though volunteers are a dime a dozen and are expendable and replaceable. The salaries are exorbitant and when perks can give them an effective double raise. There is nothing that can justify the salaries of the paid staff nationwide, especially the salaries of the National Staff. The CEO, Gail McGovern is making almost 1,000,000.00 annual salary and that is unthinkable for a non profit organization whose funds come solely from donated dollars. I will never donate another penny to the Red Cross and will encourage everyone I know to refrain as well. This organization was an excellent one several years back but lost their mission of being led by volunteers for humanitarian purposes. It now an organization which is led by well paid staff wanting volunteers to do their jobs for them.

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Would you volunteer for this group again?

Unsure

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A little

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Badly

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

No

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

July 10, 2012
3 people found this review helpful

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July 10, 2012
3 people found this review helpful

I have supported three national disaster responses, (Hurricanes in Florida, as well as Hurricane Katrina, and Alabama Tornadoes.) The Red Cross does make a profound difference for people that I've witnessed directly and even when the Red Cross doesn't have services to help, people all over have been very grateful just for their presence. Providing aid in these situations is extremely challenging on many levels, and there are few organizations that are capable of helping the way the Red Cross is. As a volunteer, you work nearly every day a week on up to 12 hour days and while the days are long they can be very rewarding. In spite of some amazing results, I do have some conflicts with the way they staff their operations and have had more than a few poor managers who are lacking the appropriate skills for their roles. This can lead to significant waste of donor funds and is really ineffective. Red Cross is good, but they could do just so much more with the right people. If you make a donation to the Red Cross, I would recommend you do so to your local chapter as in my experience the local chapters are far more efficient with their donor dollars. This is also a good organization to volunteer in particularly for recent college graduates as it can give you a new perspective on life, meet some great friends, and do a little travel. As to several of the poor ratings on this site from clients, a lot of these seem to be asking for services that the Red Cross does not perform. (I.E. Clothing donations are provided through Salvation Army among others in a disaster, Red Cross does not provide this service and if they accept any of these donations, it requires someone from the Red Cross to deliver to other agencies taking time away from their mission of immediate disaster relief services such as food, shelter, and medical needs a simple task but one that quickly grows out of hand in larger emergencies)

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Decentralize the organization giving more power to the local chapters, invest in some improved scheduling/staffing systems, review training methods and the time it takes to train vs effectiveness of on the job training, act immediately

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Would you volunteer for this group again?

Unsure

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Some

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Somewhat badly

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Likely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

What one change could this group make that would improve your volunteer experience?

There's not a simple change, but a greater focus on the donor dollar and be efficient with it, would make everyone feel better about their experience. Within the same context, the organization needs to improve its staffing strategies.

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

Life-changing, made me a better person, made long term friends, provided career opportunities

June 27, 2012
1 person found this review helpful

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Review from CharityNavigator
June 27, 2012
1 person found this review helpful

I have voluteered with the ARC for 25 years and have served on my local board and on National Committees. The dedication and actions of the volunteers and staff of this organization represent the best that a non-profit can give. They are on the scene of National and Local Disasters with care and resources for those in need. I will continue to give and volunteer with this MOST worthy organization all my life.

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Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

June 27, 2012
3 people found this review helpful

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June 27, 2012
3 people found this review helpful

In reviewing the latest Form 990 regarding ARC on Guidestar, Gail McGovern's total compensation was $561,210, rather than the $995,718 claimed by Joyce D. While $561,718 is almost twice as high as the average compensation for a CEO of a non profit, it is far from the highest, and there are CEO's at far smaller non profits (the Levy brothers of YAI, who each had packages of over $3/4 million come to mind) that earn more. As for how the organization is run, I feel that National should have left far more to the local and regional levels as far as decision making and protocol, as ARC is far too large an organization to micromanage, and there are vastly different needs depending on the area of the country and whether it's a rural or city chapter. The jury is still out regarding ARC's reorganization, but Health and Safety Services continue to be a disaster since National took over. Will Disaster Services be the next disaster? America and the world are watching...

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Likely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Some

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Okay

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Likely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

April 23, 2012
3 people found this review helpful

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April 23, 2012
3 people found this review helpful

American Red Cross does not subscribe good board governance for an organization of this size. The CEO should not be a member of the board.

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Was your donation impactful?

Unlikely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

No

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

No

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

March 5, 2012

I used to give monthly to the American Red Cross until I found out that their CEO, Gail J. McGovern, makes $995,718 a year. She may do a good job, but nobody should be able to profit excessively from a charitable organization. It's a shame than one person spoils it for the rest, especially those that are in REAL need. Gail, why don't you lower your pay to $300,000. Although, I still think that's too much, it would convince me to start giving again especially if reports show that the Red Cross is doing a good job.

More feedback...

Was your donation impactful?

Likely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

No

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Unlikely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

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