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70 Reviews
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March 24, 2013
1 person found this review helpful

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Review from CharityNavigator
March 24, 2013
1 person found this review helpful

I'm an employee at the national headquarters. I want people to know that everyone at ARC is very careful to stretch every dollar as far as possible, to keep expenses down to a bare minimum, to not spend money on any administrative overhead unless absolutely necessary. Most of us (me included) took a pay cut to work here. If you donate, you can be certain not a single penny of your money will be wasted.

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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

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

October 21, 2012
9 people found this review helpful

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October 21, 2012
9 people found this review helpful

I worked with the Red Cross up to this year--and I left on good terms. In my field, I consistently gained recognition for being one of their best. I tell you this to give you some sense that my critique is valid. It is my single hope that this very important organization turns things around because as it stands, the Red Cross is hands down the most unorganized, ill-managed nonprofit I have ever worked with. I have read in other reviews how the Red Cross made service men pay them back, that's not all, the services themselves pay for the military related programs. So yes, the Red Cross is getting paid for that work twice--and it's suppose to be free of charge. The blood program is a for-profit; with the Red Cross Board as shareholders (Did you ever wonder why the CEO and other executives are on the National Board?). The current CEO has been very open that she wants to reorganize in a manner similar to AT&T--and we know how that went in the 90's. I don't want them to close, fail or fall apart. I just want them to open their eyes to what their lack of organization and strategy are doing.

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

Badly

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

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

No

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

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.

November 15, 2011
2 people found this review helpful

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November 15, 2011
2 people found this review helpful

I have worked for the ARC for over 11 years now as both a volunteer and a paid staff member. The organization is very top heavy with mostly overpaid executives at the National Headquarters in Washington DC. Generally the volunteers and staff "in the field" are the ones who go to great lengths to serve clients. Many positions in the field have been eliminated in recent years as the executives in the "ivory tower" protect their own salaries and positions. Our Service Members and their families are now served mostly by call centers empoyees who are inexperienced instead of caring employees working alongside our military throughout the world.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

As a client, I have been treated very unprofessionally and had to call several times to find a worker that was knowledgeable, professional and helpful.

Ways to make it better...

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

Hire, train and pay appropriate salaries to experienced staff in the field. Reduce executive salaries and staff. Decentralize to understand and service individual communities better.

October 18, 2011
2 people found this review helpful

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October 18, 2011
2 people found this review helpful

I have spent over 25 years with the American Red Cross (both volunteer and paid staff) and much of that time has been spent working to ensure that our local chapters are trained, prepared and ready to respond to disasters, both large and small. ARC is an often misunderstood entity because the organization is so large and so active that the "behind the scenes" activities and negotiations may not be obvious to the general public or to all observers. As an example, someone wrote that ARC took people on buses, during Katrina, and then "just left them" when, in reality, Red Cross is not a transporting entity. ARC volunteers may have been on the buses that either FEMA or local governments utilized to evacuate or transport, but ARC was not in charge of those operations, only there to support the clients. Also noted that someone felt that ARC "spent thousands of dollars on thank you parties for their staff" after Katrina when, in reality, those types of celebrations are usually sponsored by grateful corporate entities or municipalities who want to thank the volunteer who left their homes for weeks to come and help. I was a volunteer for over 11 years before becoming a paid staff person for 15 years. I am now retired, but still (after 67 + disaster operation responses) am proud of the work of the organization and of its dedicated paid and volunteer staff. The paid staff of the organization could take those same skills into the open market and make far larger salaries with far fewer challenges. But they don't be cause, like me, they believe in the mission of the Red Cross. Are we always perfect? Goodness, no! But then, is any entity always able to be perfect in time of disaster? No, disaster is, by its very nature, chaotic and your best hope is to have a good plan and to execute it with skill and expertise. Even then, there will be variables that keep things from being perfect but, please know, the paid and volunteer staff of the Red Cross working on disaster relief operations are focused on success...and that means serving the disaster related / disaster caused needs of the community and its people. Yes, we do ask for funds because, as you can only imagine, everything from putting gas in the vehicles to purchasing food for feeding sites and support items for sheltering still costs money, even when disaster strikes. in fact, often, in the face of disaster, those costs mount unbelievably! I am always sad when I see someone put something out that is negative about the organizations disaster relief efforts because I know it is out of a lack of the "big picture" knowledge that they have made judgement.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

From 1986 until 2010, I was a volunteer or a paid staff member, and was a part of chapter, regional, and national activities so I saw all sides of the efforts

Ways to make it better...

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

our mission is a strong and solid mission. If I had to change something about the organization I would remind the senior leaders to not be so reactive when criticized. Again, not everyone has all the facts and because of that we have sometimes "apologized" when, in reality, we should have stood up straight, shoulders back, and said 'we did everything we could humanly do and did it with honesty and compassion"

January 20, 2010
2 people found this review helpful

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January 20, 2010
2 people found this review helpful

The American Red Cross is one of the oldest, largest, most experienced, and most transparent disaster relief organizations in the world. Donations for domestic or foreign disasters are sure to be handled and used properly.

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The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

highly dedicated and professional.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

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