Our Philanthropic Dollars

Posted October 4th, 2017

Recently, DECU made a contribution to the American Red Cross in support of Hurricane Relief efforts. I was curious about how, exactly, those funds would be used and spend a bit of time researching The Red Cross public statements. I was pleased to learn that an average of 91 cents of every dollar The Red Cross spends is invested in our humanitarian services and programs. Here’s s the breakdown from their audited financial statements:

$1,736.3 million - Collect, test, manufacture and distribute approximately 6.8 million blood products

$332.8 million – Respond to disasters – nearly 64,000 per year

$65.2 million – Provide more than 369,000 emergency services to our armed forces and their families

$148.3 million - Deliver preparedness, health and safety courses like First Aid and CPR

$119.7 million – Fund international relief programs

$33.2 million – Fund community services (e.g., food banks, transportation programs) 

Some donors want to know how much of every dollar they donate goes to a specific disaster. For large disasters like Hurricane Harvey, they allocate a minimum of 91 cents of every dollar raised to the program – and sometimes more. But the Red Cross responds to nearly 64,000 disasters every year, so they don’t track fundraising and management and general expenses for each of those individual disasters.

The Red Cross receives donations from multiple sources: financial donors, blood donors, in-kind donations. They are classified by the Internal Revenue Service as a single 501(c)(3) charitable organization with one overall financial statement and tax return.

As a credit union, our philanthropic dollars carry with them the weight of our staff’s best wishes. We applaud The American Red Cross for being good stewards of those donations.