American Red Cross HQ

We Are The American Red Cross - Sleeves Up. Hearts Open. All In.

aka American Red Cross   |   Washington, DC   |  www.redcross.org

Mission

The American Red Cross prevents and alleviates human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors.

Ruling year info

1938

Principal Officer

Gail J. McGovern

Main address

431 18th St NW

Washington, DC 20006 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

53-0196605

NTEE code info

Disaster Preparedness and Relief Services (M20)

International Development, Relief Services (Q30)

Military/Veterans' Organizations (W30)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2020, 2019 and 2018.
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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Since our founding by Clara Barton on May 21, 1881, the American Red Cross has been dedicated to serving people in need. We received our first congressional charter in 1900 and to this day we are tasked by the federal government with providing services to members of the American armed forces and their families as well as providing disaster relief in the United States and around the world. Red Cross volunteers and staff work to deliver vital services – from providing relief and support to those in crisis, to helping you be prepared to respond in emergencies.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Lifesaving Blood

Every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood. It is essential for surgeries, cancer treatment, chronic illnesses, and traumatic injuries. Whether a patient receives whole blood, red cells, platelets or plasma, this lifesaving care starts with one person making a generous donation. To learn about American Red Cross lifesaving blood work, please visit www.RedCrossBlood.org (http://www.redcrossblood.org/).

Population(s) Served
Adults

Your "Go-To" Source of Emergency and Safety Training for More Than a Century. With a wide array of Lifeguarding, Caregiving and Babysitting, and Swimming and Water Safety courses the Red Cross can provide you with the training and skills you need to prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies. To learn about American Red Cross training services, please visit www.RedCross.org/what-we-do/training-education(http://www.redcross.org/what-we-do/training-education) .

Population(s) Served
Adults

The Red Cross helps members of the military, veterans and their families prepare for, cope with, and respond to, the challenges of military service. To learn about American Red Cross support of military families, please visit www.RedCross.org/what-we-do/support-military-families(http://www.redcross.org/what-we-do/support-military-families) .

Population(s) Served
Military personnel
Families

No one else does this: not the government, not other charities. From small house fires to multi-state natural disasters, the American Red Cross goes wherever we’re needed, so people can have clean water, safe shelter and hot meals when they need them most.

We respond to an average of more than 60,000 disasters every year. 95% of our disaster relief workers are volunteers. 90% of disasters we respond to are home fires. To learn about American Red Cross Disaster Relief, including reports on recent work, please visit www.RedCross.org/what-we-do/disaster-relief(http://www.redcross.org/what-we-do/disaster-relief) .

Population(s) Served
Adults
Emergency responders

The American Red Cross helps save lives around the world. On average, more than 250 million people
outside the U.S. benefit each year from American
Red Cross disaster, recovery or disease prevention
activities. To learn about American Red Cross International Services, including reports on recent work, please visit www.RedCross.org/what-we-do/international-services(http://www.redcross.org/what-we-do/international-services) .

Population(s) Served
Emergency responders
Families
Economically disadvantaged people
Ethnic and racial groups

Where we work

Accreditations

Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance 2018

Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance 2020

External assessments

Evaluated via the Impact Genome Project (2019)

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of volunteers

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, Children and youth, Families, Military personnel

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

In FY20, more than 300,000 individuals volunteered their time to support the mission of the Red Cross.

Number of disaster responses

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, Children and youth, Families, Social and economic status

Related Program

Disaster Relief

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

The Red Cross responds to an average of more than 60,000 disasters every year.

Number of services provided to military members, veterans and civilians

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Families, Military personnel, Veterans

Related Program

Supporting America’s Military Families

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Each year on average, the Red Cross provides more than 513,000 services to service members, veterans and civilians.

Persons enrolled in all health and safety courses and number of times mobile apps downloaded

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, Families, Emergency responders

Related Program

Training Services

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

People attending courses or downloading one of American Red Cross' lifesaving apps. A decrease occurred in FY20 due to COVID.

People outside the U.S. benefiting from American Red Cross disaster, recovery or disease prevention activities

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, Families, People with diseases and illnesses

Related Program

International Services

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

On average the last three years, more than 250 million people outside the U.S. benefit each year from American Red Cross disease prevention activities and disaster services.

Number of blood and platelet donors

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

Lifesaving Blood

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Each year, the American Red Cross collects more than 4.5 million blood donations and nearly 1 million platelet donations from nearly 2.6 million volunteer donors on average.

Number of people made safer through disaster education presentations

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Families, Adults

Related Program

Disaster Relief

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

On average over the last three years, about 281,000 people a year attend Red Cross disaster education presentations in the U.S. FY20 decreased due to COVID.

Number of smoke alarms installed

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, Families

Related Program

Disaster Relief

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

The Red Cross with the help of partners installed nearly 290,000 smoke alarms in FY20 to help save lives.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four 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:

Disaster Relief
The Red Cross responds to an average of more than 60,000 disasters in the United States every year, ranging from home fires that affect single families to hurricanes and 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. But as no one organization can manage every aspect of disaster response, the Red Cross works 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 service members, veterans and their families prepare for, cope with, and respond to the challenges of military service. Each year, the Red Cross provides more than 513,000 services to service members, veterans and their families.

Lifesaving Blood
Each year, the Red Cross collects more than 4.5 million units of blood and nearly 1 million platelet donations from nearly 2.6 million volunteer donors. These donations are then processed into about 6.4 million blood products for transfusions to meet the needs of patients at about 2,500 hospitals and other facilities across the country.

Training Services
Every community is safer thanks to the on average about 2.4 million people who train each year in Red Cross first aid, CPR and AED classes. And, more than 4.5 million people a year receive Red Cross training in first aid, water safety and other skills that help save lives.

International Services
The American Red Cross is part of the world's largest humanitarian network. Working together, we help our Red Cross/Red Crescent partners respond to international disasters, build safer communities, and teach the rules of war. Each year, an average more than 250 million people outside the U.S. benefit from American Red Cross each year from American Red Cross disease prevention activities and disaster services.

Each day, thousands of people – people just like you – 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.

We roll up our sleeves and donate time, money and blood. We learn or teach life-saving skills so our communities can be better prepared when the need arises. We do this every day because the Red Cross is needed - every day.

Since our founding in 1881, Red Cross humanitarian support hasn’t wavered, but the way in which assistance is delivered continues to evolve.

Research shows the climate is changing, and the American Red Cross is witnessing first-hand the adverse impacts of more extreme weather events. Together with our partners, the Red Cross is changing how we plan for severe weather events, how we allocate and develop response material and human resources, and how we identify and prioritize services. This includes investments in technology that enable the Red Cross to better prepare in advance, visualize damage and destruction in real time, and develop targeted response plans to help people and communities faster. Addressing the threat of climate change will require collective efforts to build resiliency in communities and help alleviate human suffering. The Red Cross, through our strong network of volunteers, donors and partners, will do our part to ensure we can meet this challenge and continue to provide help and hope to those in need.

Information saves lives. It empowers people to make preparedness plans, donate blood and even find the help
they need in a crisis. That’s why the American Red Cross engages our more than 7 million social media followers in
conversation relevant to their daily lives. During emergencies, the Red Cross monitors social media conversation and offers practical advice to people looking for help—such as shelter locations and how to
stay safe during wildfires. Thanks to innovative geospacial technology and real-time monitoring tools, we also identify gaps and challenges on the ground and pass them along to operational teams who use the information to take quick and targeted action to address needs. As more and more people reach out through social media for support, the Red Cross brings our mission to individuals and communities in creative and lifesaving ways online.

In Fiscal Year 2020, the Red Cross introduced two new chatbots to guide blood donors, employees and volunteers on their search for information. Chatbots use artificial intelligence to simulate a “conversation” with a user in an efficient and friendly manner while continuously learning and improving as time goes by. These Red Cross chatbots are named Clara and Mabel to honor Clara Barton and Mabel Thorp Boardman, two of the organization’s earliest leaders.

The American Red Cross has numerous resources we rely on to deliver on our mission, including more than 300,000 volunteers and about 18,500 employees; through a network of 235 local chapters across the U.S.; 36 blood services regions; and 35 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. Central to meeting our goal and being able to deliver on our mission are those who support us with donations of their time, blood and money. This includes many financial supporters, as well as the nearly 2.6 million people who donate blood and platelets to the Red Cross each year.

Each year, the Red Cross responds to an average of more than 60,000 disasters, the vast majority of which are home fires. So we have set a goal to reduce fire-related deaths and injuries in the US by 25% through our Home Fire Campaign and our signature event, Sound the Alarm. So far we have installed more than 2 million smoke alarms to help make nearly 850,000 households safer. Through the Red Cross chapter network, we participate in federal, state and local government agency disaster planning exercises and response efforts. We work 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.

In addition, in fiscal year 2020, our chapters provided lifesaving training and information to approximately 2.1 million people in Red Cross first aid, CPR and AED classes, and more than 400 million weather alerts were issued to Red Cross mobile app users across the country. The Red Cross is making its training services offerings even more accessible to the public and more relevant, with courses such as First Aid for Opioid Overdoses.

We are working to strengthen the Red Cross brand. 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, Twitter and Instagram, 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.

Despite the significant challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, this past year dedicated Red Crossers responded to nearly 60,000 disasters, delivered lifesaving blood products to hospital patients in need, trained millions of Americans in critical health and safety skills, supported military families and our veterans with emergency services, and assisted the international community with ongoing disease prevention and disaster response efforts.

Here at home, the Red Cross responded to numerous and significant disaster events in FY 2020, including:
Hurricane Dorian; Tropical Storm Imelda; deadly wildfires in California; earthquakes in Puerto Rico; multiple tornadoes and flooding in the South and Midwest; dam failures in Michigan, and more. We took extraordinary
steps to ensure the continuation of our mission during the pandemic while safeguarding the health and wellbeing of our volunteers, employees and the people we serve. This past year, the Red Cross was also there to deliver
comfort and hope during periods of civil unrest. As always, we remain deeply committed to providing our lifesaving services with equity, compassion and respect for all people.

In addition to our response work, in FY 2020 the Red Cross worked to ensure individuals are prepared for everyday emergencies they may encounter by teaching more than 3 million people lifesaving skills, such as First Aid and CPR. At the onset of the pandemic, we quickly established new online courses to provide individuals and businesses with the information needed to keep themselves, their loved ones and their employees safe in the COVID-19 environment.

FY 2020 also saw the Red Cross continue our efforts to provide vital blood products to hospital patients in need, including antibody-rich convalescent plasma to help treat people struggling with COVID-19. Our Service to the Armed Forces mission remained a critical focus as well—with Red Cross workers distributing more than 780,000 care and comfort items at military hospitals and VA medical facilities. And, working with our global partners, we moved forward in our efforts to protect at-risk communities from measles and rubella while also helping to respond to the COVID-19 crisis around the globe. None of this lifesaving work would be possible without the commitment and generosity of compassionate supporters, like you.

Since our founding in 1881, Red Cross humanitarian support hasn’t wavered, but the way in which assistance is delivered continues to evolve. Though we're focusing now on some of these items, we will continue to focus more in coming years, too:
- Adapting to the Global Threats of Climate Change
- Identifying Needs through Social Media
- Utilizing Artificial Intelligence to Provide Timely Information; and
- Providing Blood Donors Health Insights During COVID-19

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    The American Red Cross, through its strong network of volunteers, donors and partners, is always there in times of need. We aspire to turn compassion into action so that... ...all people affected by disaster across the country and around the world receive care, shelter and hope; ...our communities are ready and prepared for disasters; ...everyone in our country has access to safe, lifesaving blood and blood products; ...all members of our armed services and their families find support and comfort whenever needed; and ...in an emergency, there are always trained individuals nearby, ready to use their Red Cross skills to save lives.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    SMS text surveys, Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Case management notes, Community meetings/Town halls, Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees, Suggestion box/email,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    Early on in COVID-19 we received important feedback around safety. Recently during the Black Lives Matter movement we garnered helpful feedback from employees, volunteers and partners that will improve our ongoing diversity measures. We have also implemented annual organization-wide surveys as well as regular "pulse" surveys.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback,

Financials

American Red Cross
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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American Red Cross

Board of directors
as of 6/29/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Bonnie McElveen-Hunter

CEO, Pace Communications

For current list of national board members visit: https://www.redcross.org/about-us/who-we-are/leadership/board-of-governors.html

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 03/11/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

Equity strategies

Last updated: 04/05/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.