Ethical Issues Within the American Red Cross Essay

760 Words Mar 21st, 2012 4 Pages
The American Red Cross (ARC) is an organization that was founded in 1881 by Clara Barton and established itself as the most well-known emergency relief organization devoted to the care of war victims, disaster victims, and the suffering worldwide. Unfortunately, the ARC has been plagued with a high executive turnover, slow response to disastrous events, and mismanagement of donation funds. These problems now have the ARC facing another problem, fixing their credibility for the future.
The Red Cross is built to aide in disaster relief, but to receive a phone call asking “Where is the Red Cross?” from the Pentagon to activate the specialized teams in response to 9/11 left scars on the ARC's permanent record that are hard to overcome
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Numerous accusations on the mismanagements of volunteers and donated funds didn't end with 9/11, but escalated following Hurricane’s Katrina and Rita. When the overwhelming numbers of donations specifically received for the relief efforts of 9/11, the executives made the wrong choice by going against donator’s wishes of how to use those funds. Also, the ARC didn’t update their donation system and was once again bogged down by the overpowering donations that poured in for Hurricane’s Katrina and Rita. On top of all that the ARC failed to get a grip on the financial disasters at its local chapters - unscreened volunteers walked away with ATM cards loaded with donated funds and some manager’s padded their own bank accounts with fundraiser donations (Holguin). For an organization that is supposed to help the country in disaster relief, the ARC has added monetary complications as the icing on the cake.
The organizational structure of the American Red Cross needs to be taught that ethical compliance is its first priority; otherwise issues will continue to present themselves when the ARC is needed most. Mandatory, in-person, ethical classes should be held every year for employees and volunteers to help reinforce the ARC’s claim that they are fixing their internal issues. Also, executive leadership needs to be held accountable for their actions and not given monetary compensation upon their

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