American Red Cross Reviews

Updated April 23, 2015
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2.8
97 Reviews
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American Red Cross President and CEO Gail McGovern
Gail McGovern
50 Ratings

97 Employee Reviews

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  1. Training Developer

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC

    I worked at American Red Cross (Less than a year)

    Recommends
    Recommends

    Pros

    Great team collaboration and excellent training.

    Cons

    Sometimes short deadlines and long hours

  2. Helpful (4)

    Serious Growing Pains

    • 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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Strongly regulated and self effacing. This is an organization with a long standing humanitarian mission

    Cons

    Huge bureaucracy. Getting any new ideas through to implementation is an ordeal. Simple changes can take up to two years to implement

    Advice to Management

    Value your employees. They really put in a very strong effort because they value the humanitarian mission of the organization. Make careful and logical decisions on your implementations. It appears that they are often ill thought through and at great expense simply because its someones pet project and marketed in a very biased fashion

  3. Helpful (4)

    100% reputation-driven, no longer recognizable as a humanitarian organization

    • 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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Volunteers and a few employees still genuinely driven by the humanitarian mission.

    Cons

    The primary mission of the American Red Cross for the last few decades has been to dupe and fool the American public into donating massive amounts of money for causes which don't require them - such as collecting blood and the Japanese tsunami. Hospitals need blood far less these days due to technological advances in plasma substitutes, but ARC likes the revenue stream so pretends blood is still needed in massive quantities. Then there is the Japanese tsunami - the Japanese Red Cross told ARC they didn't need or want any financial assistance, yet ARC continued fundraising for them. Why? ARC wanted to look like it was doing something when CNN started calling.

    On the flip side, ARC does not do anything for causes that actually need help, such as Hurricane Sandy (read the ProPublica article on ARC, available online) or the Haitian earthquake (ask anyone in the international community exactly how much effort and risk ARC has put into reconstruction - the answer you will get is close to zero).

    Having worked for over half a decade for the charlatans, scoundrels, rogues, and con-men/women that compose the current leadership/management structure of the Red Cross, I tell you they are only driven by three things: (1) minimizing ARC media scandals (hard to do these days); (2) avoiding doing any actual relief work (they outsource) due to their fear of scandal/liability; and (3) their salaries.

    Advice to Management

    Quit. You have transformed a once great humanitarian organization into an unethical, risk-averse, stagnant, corporate Frankenstein which would horrify Clara Barton. And you know it.

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  5. Helpful (4)

    Long time employee. I worked in a variety or roles from Chapter, to NHQ, and international.

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

    I worked at American Red Cross

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Ability to serve an important mission.
    Opportunities to interact with volunteers, whether at the ground level, or with community leaders.

    Cons

    Starvation of leadership. Too often those with experience working in non-profits, and those with experience within the organization are let go and replaced by individuals with no experience working in a complex non-profit environment. There is a sense that bringing in people with for-profit experience will solve the problem.

    Conversely, there is a culture of hiring "like" minded people in the area of disaster. If you worked in City or County disaster, then you must be a good fit in the ARC. This results in a lot of persons with on the ground experience, but little management, leadership or supervisory experience.
    Boards are uneducated in their roles and flounder in their attempts to understand what they should and should not focus on.

    Advice to Management

    Rethink who the organization wants to be. Yes, there is a need for Reach and Revenue, but that comes from hiring competent middle and upper management. Hire leadership that you can teach the business too. Do not hire people with experience but no leadership.

  6. Great Overall

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

    I have been working at American Red Cross

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    diversity, everyone cares, great people, decent benefits

    Cons

    not paid as much i would like

    Advice to Management

    increase pay, more recognition

  7. Helpful (1)

    Good company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    Former Employee - Finance Manager in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Finance Manager in Washington, DC

    I worked at American Red Cross

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    friendly atmosphere, reasonable hours, good benefits

    Cons

    constant change in senior management

    Advice to Management

    N/A

  8. Constant change

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

    I have been working at American Red Cross

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    The mission is great and fuels progress

    Cons

    constant change makes working here difficult

  9. Helpful (9)

    Disaster Services, The Real Disaster...

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

    I worked at American Red Cross full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Disaster volunteers are wonderful to work with. Great opportunities to assist disaster clients locally and work alongside others who believe in the mission.

    Cons

    Staff is under appreciated and constantly on edge due to organizational changes every 10-16 months. Decisions made at the national level do not take into account geopolitical issues at the local level and are therefore creating problems between regional staff and local partners. I heard too many complaints about Red Cross closing offices and eliminating local staff, creating an impression that Red Cross is no longer there for the COMMUNITY. Very poor work/life balance, and with the hours you are expected to put in during normal day to day operations, you would expect a reasonable salary. Yes, it's a non profit so you can't expect to make it big, but managing disaster operations in 8+ counties and making less than half what a single counties emergency manager makes is ridiculous.

    Advice to Management

    Stop changing, focus on the mission and the clients, return to a local COMMUNITY DRIVEN organization, not a giant corporate structure. Gail McGovern does not have community interests in mind, and the community IS the Red Cross's main focus.

  10. Helpful (4)

    Great Cause, Challenging Workspace

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

    I worked at American Red Cross full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    You feel great at the end of the day when you work for a global cause like the Red Cross. There is never a dull day (if you are doing your job right), and compared to many government or private sector institutions, you can make a difference quickly and get projects rolling without the usual red tape (don't get me wrong - there is still some).

    Cons

    The best and brightest employees tend to obtain high proft (i.e for profit / competitive jobs). My personal experience was that a lot of staff and big hearts, and even awesome ideas, but often lacked the skill, confidence and work ethic to get the job done. I was also slightly concerned about the overly social portion of the office - chatter doesn't always lead to results. You will be living on a smaller salary when working for a non-profit (which is understandable) - so make sure that you love your job and remind yourself of the great cause behind each project.

    Advice to Management

    Have a backup plan. With recent budget cuts, there is a certain instability within the organization which leads to a "territorial" atmosphere with the inability to solve or settle on project solutions. Also - meetings - these were the most ineffective meetings I ever attended. If you are in a management or influential role, I suggest taking the opportunity to minimize meetings and promote productivity.

  11. Helpful (3)

    Happy with my position, but uncertainty about the future makes work life challenging.

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

    I have been working at American Red Cross full-time (More than 5 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    The feeling that you are contributing an organization that makes a difference in people's lives.
    The importance of the goal of providing safe and available blood for patients.
    Reasonably good compensation.

    Cons

    There have been numerous Reductions in Force both inside my department and around the company. There is a looming budget deficit that will probably mean yet more layoffs. Morale is low and uncertainty high.

    Advice to Management

    It is disheartening to see so many people laid off when upper management continues to be paid extremely well, especially in the upper levels of Biomedical Services.

    American Red Cross Response

    Oct 3, 2014Talent Acquisition Program Associate

    Thank you for taking the time to leave a review. We are always pleased to hear praise for our mission, and could not fulfill it without our dedicated employees and volunteers. It is true that we are ... More

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