The whole question of the effectiveness of the Red Cross is coming under the microscope for good reason. Personally, I'm not sure how much of the blame-game from Katrina should be used in any post mortem on any agency other than the State of Louisiana and the City of New Orleans. Katrina is not a good yardstick to be using for any debate due to so many failures which started at the state and local level with the domino affect mushrooming out to all other response groups. But I do think that the Red Cross has serious issues and I personally have not donated to the organization for more than 5 years.
What comes through in this article though is the contentious issue between Local vs National chapters of the American Red Cross Organization. There's alot of well thought out information here. The section on service to Black vs White areas to me is bogus and useless information since this is a false premise to begin with I think. Seems as though the more pressing issue is urban vs rural assistance with Katrina.
All that said, Charmaine Yost had an interesting contest taking place in September which was on CEO Salary Comparisions between The Salvation Army and the American Red Cross. The results (of the 4 non-profits are from Jack Yost) are interesting:
CEO Todd Bassett (National Commander Salvation Army) $166,850
CEO Marsha Evans (American Red Cross) $651,957
CEO Ralph Dickerson Jr. (United Way of NYC) $420,000
CEO Thomas A. DeStefano (Catholic Charities USA) $116,362
Additional Note: What is not included in these salary numbers are paid for perks for the CEO's. I'd be willing to make a bet there's a significant span between the top two salaries and the bottom two salaries. That doesn't even touch on the possibility that there is any bonus or comp plans in addition to the salary.
I think the above salaries for Non-Profit CEO's pretty much clears up the picture as to which organization will do more with it's donated funding than any financial statements will display. At least from my perspective that's how I look at it, it's an easy and clean to the point manner to make a decision on where my dollars would go.
Red Cross Borrowing Funds for Storm Aid