Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Not a good sign: Internal Survey Shows the Red Cross’ Own Employees Doubt the Charity’s Ethics

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When those in a position to know the most about what’s going on strongly doubt the ethics of Red Cross management, I feel much more justified in my decision to discontinue contributions to that organization. It has betrayed its mission. Justin Elliott reports at ProPublica:

A survey of American Red Cross employees shows a crisis of trust in the charity’s leadership and deep internal doubts about the Red Cross’ commitment to ethical conduct.

A summary of the survey results, obtained by ProPublica and NPR, was released internally in September. The survey was completed by a bit more than half of the Red Cross’ roughly 25,000 employees.

In response to the statement, “I trust the senior leadership of the American Red Cross,” just 39 percent responded favorably.

In response to the statement, “The American Red Cross shows a commitment to ethical business decisions and conduct,” 61 percent responded favorably. That means about 4 in 10 respondents doubt the ethics of the venerable charity.

“Candidly, the results could have been stronger,” Chief Executive Gail McGovern acknowledged in an email to employees. She also called the Red Cross’ score on ethics “very high” and identified ethics as one of “our strengths.”

During McGovern’s six-year tenure, the charity has faced periodic budget deficits and is in the midst of the latest in a series of layoffs. The Red Cross has seen shrinking revenue from its blood business and rising pension costs. In the last year, the charity’s fundraising efforts have dwindled without a large national disaster to help bring in donations. The charity finished its last fiscal year with a $70 million deficit and 1,200 workers are expected to lose their jobs over the next year.

Also, ProPublica and NPR reported last month that officials who helped lead the charity’s response to Superstorm Sandy and Hurricane Isaac believed they were undermined by senior leadership. Resources were diverted for public relations purposes by national headquarters, hurting the relief efforts. Internal assessments concluded the charity wasn’t prepared to effectively respond to a large storm.

Current and former officials said the Red Cross’ relief efforts also suffered from attrition in its ranks of experienced volunteer disaster responders, many driven away by a series of reorganizations by McGovern, who has moved to centralize decision-making.

The employee survey, which was conducted by IBM, notes that other companies scored better on the questions about trust. About 20 percent of respondents at other companies expressed concern about their organization’s ethics, compared with nearly 40 percent for the Red Cross survey.

Asked about the survey, Red Cross spokeswoman Suzy DeFrancis said it was the first of its kind for the charity. . .

Continue reading. Reading between the lines, it sounds like some of the problem is the mindset of the new CEO, who seems to view the Red Cross as a normal profit-oriented corporation with similar goals.

Written by LeisureGuy

13 November 2014 at 9:02 am

Posted in Philanthropy

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