Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.
The American Red Cross exists to provide compassionate care to those in need. Our network of generous donors, volunteers and employees share a mission of preventing and relieving suffering, here at home and around the world, through five key service areas:
The Red Cross responds to approximately 70,000 disasters in the United States every year, ranging from home fires that affect a single family to hurricanes that affect tens of thousands, to earthquakes that impact millions. In these events, the Red Cross provides shelter, food, health and mental health services to help families and entire communities get back on their feet. Although the Red Cross is not a government agency, it is an essential part of the response when disaster strikes. We work in partnership with other agencies and organizations that provide services to disaster victims.
To learn more about the latest work of the American Red Cross, visit the Current News section of RedCross.org (http://www.redcross.org/about-us/news-and-events/latest-news).
Supporting America's Military Families
The Red Cross helps military members, veterans and their families prepare for, cope with, and respond to the challenges of military service. Emergency communications, training, support to wounded warriors and veterans, and access to community resources help an average of 150,000 military families and veterans annually.
Your donations of blood are what make the American Red Cross the largest single supplier of blood and blood products in the U.S. Each year, nearly 4 million people donate blood through the Red Cross, helping to provide more than 40% of America's blood supply.
Health and Safety Services
The Red Cross is the nation's leading provider of health and safety courses, such as CPR, First Aid and Lifeguard training. Each year, more than 9 million Americans participate in our training programs, including first responders, educators, babysitters, and people who want to be prepared to help others in an emergency.
The American Red Cross is part of the world's largest humanitarian network with 13 million volunteers in 187 countries. Working together, we help respond to disasters, build safer communities, and teach the rules of war. Each year, we reach an average of more than 100 million people across the globe.
The American Red Cross is undergoing a transformation in pursuit of one goal: to become a strong, dynamic, financially stable organization that our country can rely on for generations to come. After eliminating a $209 million deficit in fiscal year 2010, the Red Cross continues to operate in a cost-conscious manner to make the best use of donor dollars and to serve the public better. One change made to do that was consolidation of back-office functions such as finance, payroll and accounting, instead of each of our more than 500 chapters having separate operations. In addition, we are currently working to identify predictable, sustainable sources of revenue that align with our mission. While the Red Cross will always raise funds during times of disaster, we recognize that in order to remain viable in the future, we have to fundraise differently and be effective, year-round fundraisers. To improve results, we are working to expand our fundraising capacity, strengthen systems, further engage local boards and expand the types of fundraising channels. One of our strategies is to become a 21st century brand that builds upon our 130-year-old mission and history. The Red Cross has done a great job of showing how a historic institution can be effective with social media and new forms of communication, and we want to remain at the forefront of this movement. American Red Cross IT initiatives include creating a centralized fundraising database and replacing multiple data management systems with one system in Biomedical Services, which will streamline blood collection. We also have implemented a uniform learning management system to manage and track all Red Cross training courses, students, instructors and certification data system-wide. To increase enrollment in our health and safety courses, we are working to expand course offerings across the country and include more web-based learning opportunities.In regards to our blood collection services, donor and patient safety will always be our highest priority. Our goal is to provide the safest blood supply possible for those in need. Going forward, the Red Cross aims to provide more hospitals and other facilities with blood products, and we also intend to explore developing technologies that will provide opportunities for future growth.
To get updates on our strategies for specific programs, review our updates in the Publications section of RedCross.org (http://www.redcross.org/about-us/news-and-events/publications).
The American Red Cross has numerous resources to rely on to both deliver on our mission and to achieve this transformation, including more than half a million volunteers, 31,000 employees; more than 500 local chapters across the U.S.; 36 blood services regions; and 58 stations around the world that support U.S. service members and their families. The Red Cross depends on the generosity of the American public to fulfill our mission. This includes the many financial supporters, as well as the approximately 3.5 million people who donate blood to the Red Cross each year. Central to meeting our goal and being able to deliver on our mission is engage and thank those who support us with donations of their time, blood and money and to also engage new supporters. In fiscal year 2012, we had approximately 75,000 trained disaster workers. In addition, chapters throughout the country train thousands more each year to prepare for and respond to disasters within their communities. Through the Red Cross chapter network, we participate in federal, state and local government agency disaster planning exercises and response efforts. The Red Cross works closely with FEMA as co-leaders of the mass care portion of Emergency Support Function #6 of the National Response Framework. We also partner with community organizations and corporate supporters to provide emergency shelter, food and health and mental health services as well as resources and referrals to aid in recovery. The Red Cross is seeking to make its health and safety course offerings even more accessible to the public, with more courses and materials available online. We are working to strengthen the Red Cross brand, especially with younger people. We are implementing nationwide marketing and brand standards to ensure the Red Cross has a consistent voice, sound and look across the country, which will increase the public's understanding of what we do. In addition, we are using a variety of platforms (e.g., www.redcross.org, our blog, Facebook and Twitter, as well as more traditional media such as newspapers, radio and TV) to communicate with the public, illustrate our services and garner support in the form of additional volunteers, blood donors and financial donations. Our reputation as one of the oldest, and most trusted, nonprofit organizations in the country also helps us as we work to become a stronger Red Cross. The progress that we make is also due in great part to the strength of our partnerships—from those we collaborate with and the thousands of volunteers who deliver our services, to those whose financial investment puts our mission into action.
Our progress is indicated in multiple ways: continued operations without a financial deficit; our year-round fundraising results; the results of individual marketing campaigns; the number of positive and negative media impressions we make around the country; measures of public trust; the number of enrollees in health and safety courses; and the amount of regulatory issues in our blood services regions. Progress on diversity can be assessed by the percentage of women- or minority-owned suppliers, greater diversity among employees and volunteers, and an increase in partnerships with diverse organizations. Numbers of meals served or shelter stays provided can vary significantly year to year because they are dependent on outside factors such as the number and severity of hurricanes, floods, wildfires, tornadoes and other disasters. We also can assess progress through client and volunteer satisfaction levels.
While significant strides have been made in many areas, more work remains in the following areas: Financial stability - Although the Red Cross made a remarkable turnaround by eliminating a $209 million operating deficit that we had in 2008, we still face significant budgetary challenges. In the next five years, we need to develop and execute even greater efficiencies, more innovative fundraising methods, and consistent, sustainable sources of revenue. Fundraising - One of our efforts to improve fundraising in non-disaster times is the Holiday Giving Campaign. This campaign, first launched in 2009, featured national television advertising, aggressive media outreach and a new online catalog that enabled people to give gifts to the Red Cross in the names of others. This campaign enabled us to actively seek donations during one of the biggest times of the year for giving. We also learned many valuable lessons about which issues touch Americans the most. We found widespread support for gifts in support of members of the military, for vaccinations for children overseas, and for people affected by disaster. We have expanded the number of members of our Annual Disaster Giving Program, in which corporations and foundations pledge donations each year for disaster response, which helps the Red Cross have funding available when disasters strike. Finally, we continue to strive to find improved ways to articulate the range of our mission - disaster work in the U.S. and internationally, life-saving courses, support for military members and their families and blood services - to show the breadth of our work and how contributions from donors really make a difference.Blood services - The Red Cross is fully committed to meeting all FDA standards, and we have made significant progress in improving our regulatory compliance by implementing system-wide changes to our operations. We are proud of our progress, but are continuing to do even more to improve compliance and protect the safety of the blood supply. IT - Making sure the Red Cross has up-to-date computer infrastructure and technology is critical for our operations. Three years ago, much of our computer infrastructure was made up of older and incompatible legacy systems. We needed to get some of these systems into the 21st century, determine which programs should be outsourced, cut costs and increase the use of current technologies. We are currently consolidating and replacing our outdated systems, and intend to complete this overhaul as quickly as possible.