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Top Rated

American Red Cross

CharityWatch report issued
August 2018

Top-Rated Charity
CharityWatch Grade
Our independent grade based
on a number of factors.
Program Percentage
Amount spent on programs
relative to overhead.
Cost to Raise $100
Amount spent to raise
$100 of contributions.

Contact Information

American Red Cross
431 18th Street, NW
Washington , DC 20006-5009

Other Names

American National Red Cross
Red Cross

Tax Status


Stated Mission

Prevents and alleviates human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors.

View similar charities
Data based on Fiscal Year Ended 06/30/2017

Program Percentage: 89%

The percentage of American Red Cross's cash budget it spends on programs relative to overhead (fundraising, management, and general expenses).


Calculated Total Expenses



Cost to Raise $100: $31

How many dollars American Red Cross spends on fundraising to raise each $100 of contributions.


Calculated Total Contributions


Government Funding

0% to 24%

Percentage of cash revenue
coming from government sources


Financial Documents

Entity Document Type Tax ID
American National Red Cross IRS Form 990 53-0196605
American National Red Cross Audited Consolidated Financial Statements Multiple
Entity: American National Red Cross
Document Type: IRS Form 990
Tax ID: 53-0196605
Entity: American National Red Cross
Document Type: Audited Consolidated Financial Statements
Tax ID: Multiple

Governance & Transparency

CharityWatch evaluates certain criteria related to a charity's Governance and Transparency. Donors may want to consider a charity's willingness to be open and transparent with CharityWatch to be a good litmus test for determining its commitment to public accountability.
This charity is Top-Rated
What does it mean to be Top-Rated?
American Red Cross
meets governance benchmarks.
American Red Cross
meets transparency benchmarks.
Provides Financial Information
Audit Accessibility
Governance: Policies
Reports regularly & consistently monitoring & enforcing compliance with a written Conflict of Interest Policy
Reports required, annual disclosure by officers, directors, and key staff of interests that could give rise to conflicts
Reports having a written Whistleblower Policy
Reports having a written Document Retention and Destruction Policy
Governance: Financials
Reports providing copy of tax form to all board members prior to filing it with IRS
Reports that financial statements were audited by an independent accountant
Governance: Board of Directors
Reports at least 5 voting board members
51% or more of voting board members reported as independent
Reports documenting minutes of board and board committee meetings
Privacy Policy
Privacy Policy No Sharing  

  Name Title Compensation
1 Greg Williamson Chief Investement Officer $682,585
2 Shaun Gilmore President, Biomedical Services $635,902
3 Gail McGovern President/CEO $621,956
Name: Greg Williamson
Title: Chief Investement Officer
Compensation: $682,585
Name: Shaun Gilmore
Title: President, Biomedical Services
Compensation: $635,902
Name: Gail McGovern
Title: President/CEO
Compensation: $621,956

CharityWatch Analysts perform an in-depth analysis of charities' audited financial statements and IRS tax filings, and often review other documents such as state filings, annual reports, and fundraising contracts during their evaluations. Below are select notes that CharityWatch believes may be of interest to donors.
The American Red Cross received donated in-kind services and materials on which it placed a value of approximately $67.93 million in fiscal 2017, according to its Audited Consolidated Statement of Activities for the year ended June 30, 2017.

According to the Red Cross consolidated audit of June 30, 2017 (Note 1(k), Contributed Services and Materials):

"... Contributed services for the year ended June 30, 2017 includes the services of approximately 13,100 volunteers. The Organization recorded contributed services revenue and related expense of approximately $40 million and $36 million, for the year ended June 30, 2017 and 2016, respectively. Of the $40 million and $36 million recorded in 2017 and 2016, respectively, $31 million related to volunteer efforts in support of disaster services and services to the Armed Forces."

[Note: CharityWatch generally excludes the value of in-kind (non-cash) donations of goods and services from its calculations of Program % and Cost to Raise $100. More information on how grades are calculated and the treatment of in-kind donations can be found on the Our Process page.]
According to the American National Red Cross consolidated audit of June 30, 2017 (Note 10(a), Benefit Plans, The Retirement System of the American National Red Cross and The American Red Cross Life and Health Benefit Plan):

"Before July 1, 2009, employees of the American Red Cross, including employees of participating local chapters, were covered by the Retirement System of the American National Red Cross (the Plan) after one year of employment and completion of 1,000 hours of service during any consecutive 12 month period. Effective July 1, 2009, the Plan was closed to employees hired after June 30, 2009.

"Subject to provisions contained in collective bargaining agreements where applicable, the Plan was frozen on December 31, 2012 (the freeze date). Employees who were participating in the Plan as of that date keep vested benefits earned, but stop earning additional pension benefits.

"Prior to the freeze date, the benefit formula was based on years of service and the employees' final average compensation. Final average compensation was calculated using the highest consecutive 48 months of the last 120 months of service before the earlier of retirement or the freeze date."


"The Organization offered a lump sum special election window from September 1 through October 14, 2016. This option was made available to former employees who terminated their employment prior to July 1, 2016, were vested in the Plan and were not receiving monthly payments. The special election window provided the participants the option to cash out their retirement benefit or take an immediate annuity, which was actuarially reduced for early commencement. Special election window payments totaling approximately $106 million were made upon submission of election forms starting in November 2016.

"The American Red Cross purchased annuities, totaling approximately $327.5 million effective June 18, 2017, for certain retirees. Those retirees, who as of July 1, 2016, have been receiving monthly pension payments of $500 or less, are included in such annuity purchase."
According to the American National Red Cross tax filing for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2017 re: Compensation, Supplemental Information (IRS Form 990, Schedule J, Part III):

"Former key employee, Chief Investment Officer, Christina Samson, received a severance payment of $70,269.25. Former highly compensated employee, CEO Delta Blood Bank (a blood bank acquired by Red Cross) Benjamin Spindler, received a severance payment of $612,561.80 pursuant to the terms of his original employment agreement and American Red Cross's severance policy."

"The amounts shown in Part II, Column B (ii) [for reported 'Bonus & incentive compensation'] for the President & CEO, Chief Financial Officer, the General Counsel, the Chief Investment Officer, the President Biomedical Services, the Executive VP Biomedical Services, the President Humanitarian Services, the Chief Human Resources Officer, the Chief Marketing Officer, and the Former Chief Investment Officer were paid based on written variable incentive plans, prior fiscal year performance and were approved by the compensation and management development committee of the board. The amount shown in Part II, Column B (ii) [for reported 'Bonus & incentive compensation'] for the President PHSS, Chief Information Officer and Chief Public Affairs Officer were paid based on a written variable incentive plan, prior fiscal year performance and were approved by the President & CEO. The amounts show[n] for the SVP Regional Operations and SVP Quality & Regulatory Affairs were paid based on a written variable incentive plan, prior fiscal year performance and were approved by the President, Biomedical Services."

The above referenced reported "Bonus & incentive compensation" amounts range from a high of $250,000 to a low of $36,465 for 15 total individuals. The $250,000 was paid to the Chief Investment Officer, Greg Williamson, with reported total compensation of $682,585 (IRS Form 990, Schedule J, Part II).
CharityWatch's rating of the American Red Cross includes the financial activities of the entities included in the Red Cross consolidated audit of June 30, 2017. These entities are described in the consolidated audit (Note 1) as follows:

"... The Organization has national and international programs that are conducted by its headquarters, biomedical services, and charted local chapters. Also included in the consolidated financial statements are the net assets and operations of Boardman Indemnity Ltd., a 100% owned captive insurance subsidiary, ARC Receivables Company, LLC, a wholly owned bankruptcy-remote special purpose entity, and Delta Blood Bank, LLC, a wholly owned blood bank. All significant intra-organizational accounts and transactions have been eliminated."

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