Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Surprise (not): Red Cross Still Holding $110 Million of Sandy Money

by Gary Snyder

Readers of Nonprofit Imperative should not be surprised that the American Red Cross has a problem in effectively distributing hard sought after money in times of crisis.

Seven months after Superstorm Sandy, the Red Cross still hasn't spent more than a third of the $303 million it raised to assist victims of the storm, a strategy the organization says will help address needs that weren't immediately apparent in the disaster's wake. (Wall Street Journal)

The Red Cross was also the No. 1 recipient of donations after Sandy. The organization said it still had $110 million remaining from its pool of storm donations as of mid-April, which were the most recent figures available.
Red Cross officials pledged that all the money in its Sandy fund will eventually be spent on the storm recovery and not diverted to other disasters or used to support general Red Cross operations.
Over the next few months, the Red Cross expects to spend as much as $27 million of its remaining Sandy donations on a program providing "move-in assistance" grants of up to $10,000 to families displaced by the storm. About 2,000 households have been assisted by the program so far, with an additional 4,000 waiting for an eligibility determination.
As we reported last week, in the aftermath of 9-11 the American Red Cross created the Liberty Fund and received about $547 million that was ostensibly designed for relief for the victims of the terrorist attacks. However, when the fund was closed after reaching the goals only 30% was spent. The then president announced that the remainder (with collections having now grown to nearly $1 billion) of the money would be spent elsewhere on improved communications, blood supply and money for other attacks. There was a huge outcry and the president was forced to resign. She received a severance payment of $1,569,630.

Hopefully the money for Sandy will go to Sandy relief. Not the case in Oklahoma. In last weeks NewsOK article, a national spokeswoman at the Washington DC ARC headquarters said money donated by texting to the heavily-promoted “REDCROSS” to 90999 will not be going to Oklahoma but instead toward a national disaster recovery fund. "It is not designated to Oklahoma or any specific disaster relief,” she said.

Nonprofit Imperative gathers its information principally from public documents...some of which are directly quoted. Virtually all cited are in some phase of criminal proceedings; some have not been charged, however. Cites in various media: Featured in print, broadcast, and online media outlets, including: Vermont Public Radio, Miami Herald, National Public Radio, Huffington Post, The Sun News, Atlanta Journal Constitution, Wall Street Journal (Profile, News and Photos), FOX2, ABC Spotlight on the News, WWJ Radio, Ethics World, Aspen Philanthropy Newsletter, Harvard Business Review, Current Affairs, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, St. Petersburg Times, B, USA Today Topics, Newsweek.com, Responsive Philanthropy Magazine, New York Times...and many more Nonprofits: On the Brink (2006) Silence: The Impending Threat to the Charitable Sector (2011)
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