I'm glad I gave to the Salvation Army after reading this!!!
Better Business Bureau faults Red Cross Sept. 11 fund
By Shannon Mccaffrey, Associated Press, 8/15/2002 13:55
WASHINGTON (AP) A national charity watchdog faulted the American Red Cross' Sept. 11
fund raising, saying solicitations it used to raise hundreds of million of dollars for victims of the
terrorist attacks were misleading.
In a report issued Thursday, the Better Business Bureau's Wise Giving Alliance said early Red
Cross solicitations for the Sept. 11 Liberty Fund omitted the fact that the charity planned to use
some of the donations for broad relief efforts. Later appeals that did disclose the Red Cross' plans
for the money ''did not do so in a clear and conspicuous manner that would be reasonably
understood by potential donors given the circumstances of 9/11,'' the report found.
''In the Alliance's opinion, these deficiencies in Red Cross 9/11 appeals resulted in misleading
solicitations,'' the report said.
Responding to public criticism, the Red Cross announced in June it would change the way it solicits
contributions so that it would no longer raise money to deal with a specific calamity. Instead, the
charity would make clear that it would use the money for many purposes over time. The charity
also put new safeguards in place designed to ensure that donors' intent is honored.
Red Cross president Marty Evans said the events of Sept. 11 ''were an unprecedented challenge to
our organization and all other charities that responded to these attacks.''
''They pointed the way to new and improved practices,'' Evans said.
Art Taylor, president of the Wise Giving Alliance, also praised the charity's moves to correct the
problems. He said the group would examine the issues again at the beginning of next year to
determine if its findings could be amended.
The report by the Arlington, Va.-based watchdog determined that the Red Cross did not meet two
of Wise Giving Alliance's 23 accountability standards. One requires that solicitations be accurate,
truthful and not misleading. The other said that solicitations should identify the organization to benefit
from the donations.
The Liberty Fund has distributed $590 million of the $988 million it raised following the attacks.
The charity drew fire last fall for its Liberty Fund, set up as a special account to aid the victims of
the attacks at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Donors were upset to learn the charity
planned to use contributions for things unrelated to the attacks, such as a blood reserve and an
upgrade to the charity's telecommunications system.
Officials reversed course in November and said they would donate all the money raised by the fund
to those directly affected by the attacks.
The controversy helped prompt then-Red Cross head Bernadine Healy who set up the special relief
fund and was featured prominently in television ads seeking donations for it to resign.
On The Net:
American Red Cross: http://www.redcross.org/
Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance: http://www.give.org/
Aug 20, '02
Unfortunately the Red Cross has repeatedly shot itself (and its donors) in the foot. It has the structure of an organization that could do a lot of good, but has repeatedly so mismanaged its funds and its donated blood that the public has had about enough.
I usually wind up giving my stuff to Sally Ann as well as some of you do, even though I disagree with their discriminating policies. They are usually the only ones who will take mattresses, and they will pick the stuff up in a reasonable amount of time.
Last edit by sjoe on Sep 3, '02