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The past year, with major hurricanes in Puerto Rico, Florida, and Texas, has once again cast light on the activities of the American Red Cross. As in the past, there are questions one needs to know about the Red Cross that are hard to answer. Is the organization doing a good job? How could the Red Cross do a better job? Should donors feel confident that their gifts are being used effectively?
Surely everyone who gives to that organization, regardless of their politics, wants their donations to be used effectively and that their money to help victims, not pay high salaries for bureaucrats in Red Cross headquarters or expensive public relations campaigns.
In addition, the American Red Cross is not a completely private organization. It is quasi-governmental. I think the term of art is that the group is “a congressionally chartered instrumentality of the United States.” I’m willing to accept that the nonprofit is 85-90 percent private. But because it is quasi-governmental, and the only nonprofit that has a place at the table in national disaster planning, it deserves as much scrutiny as any other government agency.
Read the source article about the Red Cross by Martin Morse Wooster at Philanthropy Daily