American Red Cross

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AmericanRed Cross

TheARC () is considered as an American premierhumanitarian charity in the US and throughout the world while workingwith other Red Cross networks (Connolly152). The organization got established on 21st March 1881 in WashingtonD.C by Clara Barton and her acquaintances (Connolly152).While visiting Europe after the Civil War, she came across the ideaof Swiss-inspired Red Cross that got networked globally. Shepioneered for the signing of Geneva Convention protecting the victimsof war. The US signed the Convention in the year 1882 (Connolly152).Traditionally, the purpose of the charity included offering reliefand acting as a channel for communication between American forces inwar and their families back home. Under her (Clara Barton) leadership(for twenty-three years), the Red Cross conducted their firstoverseas and domestic missions and also aided the US military duringthe Spanish-American War (Connolly152).During this time the organization was in a position to push forpeacetime relief work through the American Amendment. Additionally,the organization provides international disaster relief andmitigation.

Whetherit is the provision of aid to disaster victims, blood to patients athospitals, training services or emergency social services to theAmerican and allies’ military, the ARC shows compassion to peopleenabling their success in charity programs. The mission statementoutlines that ARC is mandated to alleviate and prevent humansuffering in the case of emergencies through mobilization of fundsfrom donors and workforce from its volunteers (Forsytheand Barbara 5).On the other hand, the vision purports that, through ARC’s activevolunteers, partners and donors network, they aspire to help peoplenationally and internationally (Forsytheand Barbara 5).This paper, therefore, gives a description of the operations,financial and programs of the since its inception.

Programsand Results

TheARC involvement in some historical events including World War I andII are significantly based on the impact they had on the generalpopulation. The programs proved critical based on their roles,significance, and benefits to the general population. During WWI(World War I), the ARC experienced increased development and offeredservices such as the first aid, public health nursing, and watersafety. During the period, the team grew in its membership from17,000 to 20 million adults (Connolly152).Consequently, the public contribution towards the mission of theorganization totaled 400 million dollars in material support andfunds. To support the American and Allied forces, the charityrecruited registered medical personnel at over 20,000 to providemilitary service to the troops. A notable involvement of the groupinvolved the combat of epidemic influenza virus in 1918. After thewar, Red Cross enhanced their safety training in accident prevention,safety training, and home care (Forsytheand Barbara 7).

DuringWorld War II, the organization provided support to the US and alliedforces and cared for war victims. About 104,000 nurses got recruitedfor military services and shipped about 30,000 tons of militarysupplies overseas (Forsytheand Barbara 3).The ARC was in a position to collect about thirteen million pints ofblood during this war for use by soldiers injured in the second worldwar. Through this initiative, currently, accounts for forty percentof blood in the US. The organization continued to support and offerrelief during the Vietnam, Korean and Gulf Wars. It established in aplatform to expand its services into CPR/AED training, HIV/AIDSeducation, civil defense and keep up during natural or human-madedisasters. In 2006, FEMA and the ARC liaising with the othergovernment agencies coordinated provision of shelter, feeding andfamily reunifications programs to people affected by the disaster.Today, employees, volunteers, and supporters of the organizationundertake actions to offer charity relief globally (Forsytheand Barbara 25).

On2015 April, an earthquake of magnitude 7.8 magnitude hit Nepalleading to a disaster where more than 8,800 lives got lost and morethan nine hundred thousand homes destroyed. Families found themselvesin need of the necessities including shelter, food, and clothing(AmericanRed Cross 1).The acted appropriately working side by side withthe Red Cross network partners to provide shelter materials, drinkingwater, blankets and hygiene kits. Additionally, it deployed forty-onedisaster specialists to Nepal. Additionally, the ARC spearheaded thefair distribution of cash grants that allowed families affected bythe earthquake to decide and buy those items they needed the most(AmericanRed Cross 1).The program was successful due to proper management skills that theorganization portrays. It shows that body became formed for the goodof everybody in the US and worldwide in any humanitarian crisis.


Primarily,ARC gets funded by voluntary donations and charges on services suchas the provision of blood and other blood products. It is inclusiveof the health and safety training courses they offer. The federal andstate government agencies usually contract the Red Cross in thefulfillment of Charter obligations hence providing materials for aidassistance. According to a recent report, the first half of 2016accounted for revenues of 2.9 billion dollars and expenses at 3billion dollars (AmericanRed Cross 4).Seventy-seven percent of the incomes were from contributions fromdonors, 13.2 percent from Federal campaigns and 6.8 percent fromgrants by the government. The remaining percentage got raised by thefundraising events (AmericanRed Cross 4).

Asmentioned earlier, ARC is a charitable, non-profit organization thismakes it tax-exempt. According to Charity Navigator, the spending ofwas 2.72 billion dollars. Of the contribution and spending, the groupspent approximately 280 million dollars of the expenses in managementand fundraising. This value accounts for about 10 percent of thebudget spending of the financial year. Therefore, ninety percent ofthe spending goes to humanitarian programs and services.Traditionally, the annual expenditure towards humanitarian programsand services account for 91 percent of the total budget (AmericanRed Cross 5).

TheARC receives donations from various including blood donors, financialdonors, in-kind donations and through fundraisers. The organizationgets classified under the Internal Revenue Services (501(C) (3)) as acharitable organization with one financial return and tax return. Theprogram ensures that the costs of fundraisers and management get to aminimal level to streamline and consolidate its operations whilereducing the expenses. Additionally, it uses volunteers to ensurethat labor costs are low. In America, about 314, 000 volunteers areregistered as members of the ARC. For financial integrity, anindependent firm audits the accounts after every business year.

Operationsof the Red Cross

The consists of 769 city based or regional chaptersthat get officially authorized by the BoG (Board of Governors). Theappointed directors to the respective branches have complete controland can determine the services and programs vital to some areas. Thefiscal budget of this charity organization gets distributednationally to these individual departments. This Board has exclusivepowers for controlling, governing, overseeing and directing theaffairs and business of the organization (AmericanRed Cross 12).According to corporate governing principals of the ARC, the decisionsof the charity agency should meet the organizational needs andreflect the best practices in the industry.

In2007, ARC started comprehensive governance reforms allowing forsignificant amendments to Congressional Charter (AmericanRed Cross 10).This change allowed for the modernization of the Board so as to focuson strategic governance and oversight. The governing documentsinclude the International Humanitarian Law (IHL). CongressionalCharter (CC), Geneva Conventions (GC) and ARBANRC (Amended andRestated Bylaws of the American National Red Cross). In addition tothe oversight and strategic roles of the Board, it includes membersranging from 12 to 20 (AmericanRed Cross 13).The requirement for new board members follows best practices ofcorporate boards for the selection process. The Board DevelopmentsCommittee makes a recommendation for approval by the directors’delegation of these chapters an annual meeting. Additionally,employees, vendors, and volunteers get required to report complaintsto the Concern Connection Line on issues about ethics, conduct andcompliance resources (Forsytheand Barbara 33).This hotline ensures that the operation of the organization becomesachieved as per the mission and vision statement.


AmericanRed Cross. “AnnualReport 2016.” (2015): 1-24.

Connolly,Cynthia. &quotThe : From Clara Barton to the NewDeal.&quot&nbspNursingHistory Review&nbsp23(2015): 152.

Forsythe,David P., and Barbara Ann Rieffer-Flanagan.&nbspTheInternational Committee of the Red Cross: a neutral humanitarianactor.Routledge, 2016. P.1-33.