Red Cross Response to Recent Media Reports about Spending Practices

We firmly stand by the fact that an average of 91 cents of every dollar the American Red Cross spends is invested in humanitarian services and programs. In a wide range of our materials- including donor stewardship reports and publicly available financial statements, the Red Cross has used the wording that an average of 91 cents of every dollar the Red Cross spends is invested in humanitarian services and programs. This has been a long term practice for the Red Cross.

There are some instances where the language used has not been as clear as it could have been, and we are clarifying that language. Asserting that this is an attempt to mislead the public is absolutely and unequivocally untrue.

We arrive at the 91 cents figure by comparing our overall spending each year to our overall spending on management, general and fundraising. The Red Cross receives contributions from many sources, including financial contributions, donations of blood or an in-kind donation of other goods and an average of 91 cents of those donations are invested in our humanitarian programs and services. All of these are important donations to the Red Cross and we do not track management, general and fundraising to each separately.

Our financial statements are clear in this regard. Our costs are listed in those statements and have long been available on our website for transparency. They are audited each year by an independent auditor. The American Red Cross is also an accredited charity by the Better Business Bureau.

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.