Update on the Red Cross Controversy

Fellow blogger Eric Holdeman and I have been concerned with all of the criticism that Red Cross has received in recent months, primarily from Pro Publica. In an effort to get a more balanced account of what has occurred, he sought out Sr. Vice President Harvey Johnson to respond.

See: The Red Cross Responds to Disasters — and the Critics. Senior Vice President Harvey Johnson discusses the mission and the criticism.

Thanks to Eric for this citation.

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6 Responses to Update on the Red Cross Controversy

  1. Harry B Kellogg says:

    Most crisis management plans stess openness and honesty as one of the major points in recovering your brand. American Red Cross needs to heed this advice.

    The board should take public responsibility for their disastrous choices. Healy and Thompson failings were predictable.

    For -Profit trained, “hard charging” and aggressive individuals will rarely be able to make the transition to a non-profit mindset and be able to adapt. The bottom line for a voluntary organization is it’s Mission Statement and not it’s earnings.

    The board of directors set Healy and Thompson up for failure. In reality it was the board that failed and this should be the focus of any initial actions. Those responsible for twice hiring applicants with the exact opposite skills, training and temperament needed, should resign after donating very large amounts of money.

  2. Harry B Kellogg says:

    Most crisis management plans stess openness and honesty as one off the major points in recovering your brand. American Red Cross needs to heed this advice.

    The board should take public responsibility for their disastrous choices. Healy and Thompson failings were predictable.

    For -Profit trained, “hard charging” and aggressive individuals will rarely be able to make the transition to a non-profit mindset and be able to adapt. The bottom line for a voluntary organization is it’s Mission Statement and not it’s earnings.

    The board of directors set Healy and Thompson up for failure. In reality it was the board that failed and this should be the focus of any initial actions. Those responsible for twice hiring applicants with the exact opposite skills, training and temperament needed, should resign after donating very large amounts of money.

  3. Based on my experience here in South Carolina during Matthew, I’d say the situation is closer to ProPublica than Johnson. Our local high school had been designated as a shelter for evacuees from Savannah and the Low Country well before the storm. The day the evacuees started to arrive an urgent call went out for towels and toiletries. Kind of puts the lie to Johnson’s statement that they were trying to have supplies ready. People on the ground seemed to do a good job – back office: not so much.

  4. Joseph Martin III says:

    Having read the article cited, I think the title is misleading, unless I happened to miss something. Neither the questions asked of Mr. Johnson, nor his responses, directly address recent criticisms of ARC. I think the truth and reality of the situation lies somewhere between ProPublica’s scathing reports and ARC’s head-in-the-sand-everything-is-pretty-darned-good-and-look-at-all-the-great-things-we-do spin.

  5. RDale says:

    It’s unfortunate to see how this organization has fallen in recent years. They used to have such a stellar reputation – but maybe people were just taking them at their word and not doing a thorough investigation like PP?

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