Red Cross faulted by BBB

  1. 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:

    Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance:
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  3. by   Cathy Wilson, RN
    I told you all at the time, what my Daddy said about the Red Cross during WWII. He said that they gave the people he was with ONE HERSHEY BAR apiece, and that was all the help they offered. The Salvation Army provided food, snacks, chats, etc. He swore nhe would never give a dime to the Red Cross, because they didn't use the money right.
    Bless his heart, he was right again!
  4. by   prn nurse
    I donate all clothes, furniture, bikes, toys, books, appliances to the Salvation Army. They come out and carry it out to their truck. Then I give the men a Coke and a $20 donation check to the Salvation Army for gas, expenses for coming out and picking it up. They're always on time, and appreciative.

    AND they give me a paper for my tax deduction.
  5. by   sjoe
    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
  6. by   Hardknox
    Yes, the Sally is my favorite charity. Almost every cent donated goes to the people who need it.
  7. by   researchrabbit
    The Salvation Army has the lowest overhead of any charity operating. They are excellent, and my favorite charity also.
  8. by   Jamesdotter
    I'm glad your experience with the Salvation Army was better than ours--they took one look at the stuff (my late mil's furniture), said they couldn't use it (I've seen the stuff in the store and the quality of ours was as good or better), then RAN to the truck and left. Of course, it was about 4:30 pm--do you guess they wanted to get off on time? We found a 2nd hand dealer and sold it.
  9. by   rebelwaclause
    I imagine a "few dollars" get lost here and there. Overall, The Red Cross has been an honorable charity for years. They get my respect for that.
  10. by   caliotter3
    Concerning remarks about the Salvation Army: Had an acquaintance one time, talking about when he was down and out, living in his car w/wife, 3 kids. Went everywhere for help for his family as he tried, in vain, to find work and a place to live. He stated that the Salvation Army was the only orgn (including many churches) that did anything, at all, for his family. Having had my own troubles, this is something I always remember when it's time to support and give.