American Red Cross Reviews

Updated October 21, 2014
Updated October 21, 2014
728 Reviews
2.8
728 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
American Red Cross President and CEO Gail McGovern
Gail McGovern
346 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Making a difference in recipient lives and promotes diversity (in 33 reviews)

  • Here you can work knowing that everything you do is helping people (in 36 reviews)


Cons
  • No work/life balance (it's required that you still check and respond to emails while on PTO) (in 16 reviews)

  • I understand they are "non-profit" etc, but that's still not an excuse (in 30 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. 6 people found this helpful  

    Run the other way

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at American Red Cross

    Pros

    Seeing and hearing from the people who have benefited from receiving blood products.

    Cons

    Everything else. Insane working hours (I once went an entire month without a single day off; regularly worked nights, too). No work/life balance (it's required that you still check and respond to emails while on PTO). Absolutely no management support. The Red Cross wants you to think it's a noble organization, but the blood services side is completely based off sales (the Red Cross makes money off of blood donations!). No consistency when it comes to company practices; local offices operate under the "don't ask for permission now rather forgiveness later" mentality. Completely resistant to change; no one like new ideas so no room to grow. Sales reps (Donor Recruitment reps) are bullies and get away with everything because they pass it off that they need to make goal. Of course, they are commission-based so it's not about helping others, it's about helping themselves.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Enforce rules consistently and for everyone. Demand respect from all levels. Don't lie to potential employees during the interview process.

    American Red Cross Response

    May 20, 2014Talent Acquisition Program Associate

    We appreciate your review, and are glad to hear you found it rewarding to interact directly with those who benefited from blood products. We are also sorry to hear your comments regarding work/life ... More

  2. 3 people found this helpful  

    How can humanitarians create such a toxic work environment?

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC

    I worked at American Red Cross full-time

    Pros

    The pros are that the compensation is better than you will get at most non-profit organizations.

    Cons

    Middle managers openly hostile to employees. Screaming and swearing at employees is accepted, and if you bring abusive behavior to superiors' attention it is made clear to you that you are free to leave (and maybe not so free to stay). On top of that the organization is poorly organized, there is a very high turnover and few opportunities to advance beyond entry-level positions.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The corporate culture is competitive and toxic due to lack of opportunities for career development at every level. Environment is full of suspicion as all are vying for few opportunities to advance. The attitide is that every person helped by an employee is an opportunity to shine that was lost for other employees. This needs to change.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    American Red Cross Response

    May 20, 2014Talent Acquisition Program Associate

    Thank you for your review; we are glad you found your compensation to be fair. We also thank you for bringing to our attention your concerns with workplace environment. Under no circumstances does ... More

  3. 3 people found this helpful  

    "re-engineered" after 12 years-and GRATEFUL!!!!!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Donor Recruitment Supervisor
    Former Employee - Donor Recruitment Supervisor

    I worked at American Red Cross full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    had wonderful boss and liked the people I worked with. Mission is part of us.

    Cons

    even though I liked the people I worked with, we were all so overworked all we did was complain. Highly stressful and never "got away from work" as you were expected to work normal business hours, then all of your blood drives, which could be two hours away and could last until 7-9 PM. If you didn't have at least one or two drives on most weekends, you almost considered yourself on vacation!! Slave to telephone and emails: expected to always answer your cell and your emails, even on your REAL vacation. People lost vacation hours every year due to just not having time to take it, and even when you did, felt like you were on call. Even though I worked 9 months before I was downsized, company refused to pro-rate year end bonus.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop telling us "people are one of the six major priorities." We are not. Our donors are not. Of all of the companies I have worked with over my career, the American Red Cross is the absolute worst. Maybe people who get to work in an office from 8-5 "feel the love", but Donor Recruitment and Collections are stressed beyond belief

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    American Red Cross Response

    May 20, 2014Talent Acquisition Program Associate

    Thank you for your review; we are pleased to hear you had strong relationships with your boss and fellow coworkers, and that you all felt a sense of dedication to our Mission. We also appreciate your ... More

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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Sucked

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - MUA II in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - MUA II in Washington, DC

    I worked at American Red Cross full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    NONE at all people are mostly challenged

    Cons

    Under Qualified Management and rude no patience

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Quit

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    American Red Cross Response

    Apr 7, 2014Talent Acquisition Program Associate

    We appreciate you taking the time to provide feedback; we will pass this along to our leadership team.

  6. 4 people found this helpful  

    Ask more but gives very little

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Plebotomist in Durham, NC
    Former Employee - Plebotomist in Durham, NC

    I worked at American Red Cross full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    The idea of the company is the only good thing about this job. Where you are saving lives. That's the only reason I can the star.

    Cons

    I have to say there isn't one employee there that likes their job. The only thing they like about the job is it actually saves lives after that every single worker would leave and love to leave.

    Where to start...... Work load, management, time wasting, constantly changing procedures, they don't listen to their employees, sexual harassment, keep you on the hook for promotions, they don't pay you for what you actually do, very cheap, lazy people that have worked there for so many years get passes on work load, the work load is not equal, no free time, scheduling, constant travel, zero turn around, no free time, if u have kids there is no way you can do this job, during horrible weather the people that are out working in it they don't care, they will literally use every inch of energy you have to give .... I mean the list can go on.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to ur employees and actually pay them for what they do. Also, stop promising advancement knowing you have to plan to do so.

    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    American Red Cross Response

    Apr 4, 2014Talent Acquisition Program Associate

    Thanks for taking the time to leave a review. We are glad to hear that you and your fellow employees believe in the Red Cross mission, and we also appreciate your bringing to our attention your ... More

  7. 3 people found this helpful  

    Good intentions; terrible, terrible organization

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Disaster Services Specialist
    Current Employee - Disaster Services Specialist

    I have been working at American Red Cross full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    The Mission is noble, and the people sometimes care and try hard (if they aren't broken by the bureaucracy and awful pay).

    Cons

    Red Cross has all of the bureaucracy and byzantine dysfunction of a major corporation, as well as all of the annoyances, pitfalls, and limitations of a generic small non-profit.

    Briefly put, major structural changes in the last five years (which were necessary, as before that the organization was simply spending itself into bankruptcy) have been sloppily executed, and as a result major miscommunication and resentment exists where before it was simply a small annoyance.
    Massive layoffs, no job security, bloated grandfathered-in executive salaries, nonexistent HR, laughably bad IT, and an overall let's-just-wing-it-and-trust-that-our-famous-brand-keeps-us-afloat makes for a terrible, terrible employee and volunteer experience.

    Below are some of the main points:
    - no investment in volunteers' training, recruitment, or recognition
    - consequently, awful, frustrated, low-quality volunteers who are just as confused as the staff
    - unrealistic hours (60/week for $25k/year? NOPE)
    - department silo-ing and infighting for funds
    - no HR. seriously, every department is expected to manage all of their volunteers and employees with no guidance from a specific HR-trained employee
    - IT that rarely works; outdated computers; slow, slow, slow response from centralized support
    - budgeting? what budgeting? just spend money and hope that donations cover it, and if they don't, a hurricane will bring in massive windfall and cover up the debt from the year before!
    - grandfathered-in higher-ups who have contracted pay increases and bloated salaries, versus temporary contractors, AmeriCorps, and new hires who get by on minimum wage (or less, when calculating hours)
    - gross disregard of grant stipulations and "stewardship of the donor dollar"
    - and of course, despite being the oldest and largest non-profit in America, completely horrendous pay, even for social work; unless, of course, you're an executive. then you take home $100k+ / year for badly running an org that happens to have a really famous brand

    Honestly, while the power of the brand has kept them afloat during years of instability, reckless spending, and corrupt management, I cannot honestly say that I believe this non-profit will either disappear or vastly diminish in size if they continue as they have.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    A few points:
    STOP HIRING FRIENDS AND UNQUALIFIED PEOPLE.
    Get a grip.
    You are disorganized. You do not communicate with each other, with your higher-ups, or with your subordinates. Working with you is a nightmare - both interpersonally and bureaucratically.
    Try to deal with having absent supervisors, incompetent supervisors, supervisors who micro-manage and then disappear when you need approvals...Red Cross middle management is the example of how NOT to run an organization.
    You are directly contributing to the exodus of volunteers and disintegration of the organization.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    American Red Cross Response

    Apr 4, 2014Talent Acquisition Program Associate

    Thank you for taking the time to leave a detailed review. We appreciate your praise for our Mission. It is true that our organization has recently undergone structural reorganization in response to ... More

  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    Terrible workplace that profits on blood, literally

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Donor Recruitment Representative in Worcester, MA
    Current Employee - Donor Recruitment Representative in Worcester, MA

    I have been working at American Red Cross full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    well known organization, looks good on resume.

    learn how to work in non-supportive work environment

    become familiar with territory where blood drives are coordinated

    meet a lot of active local people

    Cons

    working 60+ hours a week is considered norm and is expected b/c one is "salaried"

    rumors of blood being thrown away but encouraged to collect, collect, collect.

    profits on blood are questionable.

    all communication based on "talking points" that have no explanation.

    questions are discouraged.

    Racist and sexist comments in office - hostile environment

    little access to HR

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    American Red Cross Response

    Apr 4, 2014Talent Acquisition Program Associate

    Thank you for taking the time to leave a review. We appreciate your feedback regarding work/life balance and are bringing this to the attention of our leadership team. The Red Cross takes federal ... More

  9. 2 people found this helpful  

    Desperately needs administration changes

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at American Red Cross full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Red Cross principles are humanitarian...I think the "working" employees and volunteers have the good hearts to become involved with the Red Cross and to help needed people.

    Cons

    Seems like Red Cross turned into a big "corporation". Managers no longer listen to employees nor volunteers. They do not treat them with respect nor do they even act like they care whether you are there or not. Only seem to care about making money. Things changed tremendously in the 7 years I worked there. Started out as the best job EVER...but things changed drastically so I had to leave. I still stay so upset over the Red Cross as I really believed in them, but now know a lot of the hidden issues that the public is not aware of...I hope and pray that someday upper management will wake up and make changes so that the Red Cross goes back to their original good hearted humanitarian principles.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Open up your eyes and see what is happening inside the Red Cross...

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    American Red Cross Response

    Apr 4, 2014Talent Acquisition Program Associate

    Thank you for taking the time to leave a review. We agree that our employees and volunteers are amazing—we could not carry out our mission without them, and are disappointed to hear your feedback ... More

  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Disappointment continues

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Director in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Director in Washington, DC

    I worked at American Red Cross full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Field staff believe in a mission to help others. Dedication to the various services is great.

    Cons

    The level of ineptitude increases with each rung up the corporate ladder. Executives in DC will drive the organization in to the ground. The Board of "Bystanders" is invisible and clueless. No one in DC has ever successfully run a field operation. Most executives in DC live elsewhere, and charge commuting expenses to the organization, like absentee landlords. Gender and age discrimination continue under the thin guise of 'reorgs' and 're-engineering'.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Go back to the 'for profit' world if they will take you.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    American Red Cross Response

    Mar 14, 2014Talent Acquisition Program Associate

    Thank you for taking the time to leave your feedback. We are always thrilled to hear positive comments about the dedication of our employees to fulfilling the Red Cross mission.

    We also thank you
    ... More

  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Good People, Bad Upper Management and HR

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - QC Technician in Saint Paul, MN
    Current Employee - QC Technician in Saint Paul, MN

    I have been working at American Red Cross full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Good PTO for newly hire.
    QC lab supervisors are amazing people; the same can't be said for other supervisors or anyone higher than them.

    Cons

    No room for creativity due to FDA regulation and SOP.
    Not the best hours for newly hire.
    Horrible union.
    Low pay. Even when it's time to get an increase in wages, you will have to fight a war for it.
    Slow increase in wages.
    Egomaniac managers and directors who cannot take feedbacks and improve things.
    Too customer focus and treat employee like trash.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Fire all managers and directors. Hire new, younger, and fresh minded individual who can accept changes and feedbacks. All managements are idiots who can not accept criticism or feedbacks from anyone lower than them even when managements are clearly wrong. Have some common sense.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    American Red Cross Response

    Mar 14, 2014Talent Acquisition Program Associate

    Thank you for taking the time to leave a review. We glad you are pleased with the amount of paid time off (PTO) you receive and that you have strong working relationships with QC Lab Supervisors ... More

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