Don't send money to the Red Cross. They hire Republicans to run the local chapters and pay them outrageous salaries to go to banquets and act like they care.
Here's a link to the American Red Cross tax return for 2005: http://www.redcross.org/www-files/Documents/pdf/corppubs/990fy2005.pdf
I'm sure other tax returns, both national and local, are also online, but this is the first one I found, and it will do as well as any other.
The Red Cross is what we think of as a charitable organization although the fact is that they make lots of money selling blood. But they also gets lots of money donated from good-hearted Americans, school-children saving their pennies. How does the American Red Cross treat these donations? The insiders pay themselves obscene salaries and benefits, and get rich. Their public "charitable" work pales in comparison with the donations to themselves of the money entrusted to them by the public.
Go to the link to the tax return, then scroll down to page 36. It shows that they paid their President $493,616 in salary for the year plus an additional $28,000 in other employee benefits, plus an additional $12,000 as an expense report. Well over half a million dollars paid to the President for that one year alone. And you probably thought people who work at charities are low-paid. Not at the American Red Cross. The person described as General Counsel and corporate secretary was paid $296,228 in salary, "$15,600 in additional employee benefits, and $2,400 as a expense account, or well over $300,000. Somebody who has the title of Executive VP and CEO of the biomedical Services branch of the Red Cross (blood sales) was paid a base salary of $400,000, an additional $19,000 for other employee benefits, and $3,000 for his expense account. Someone else, executive VP of disaster services was paid about $250,000 for salary and benefits, plus an additional $51,600 in severance. So apparently they did a crappy job and got fired, but were paid $300,000 for the year.
These salaries are grossly in excess of what could be found in most private industry, and are certainly not consistent with an organization that claims to be "charitable." Unless, I guess, they believe charity begins at home, so they are mostly exceedingly generous with themselves. This level of self-dealing makes me sick when I think of the millions of Americans who donate their time to help raise money for this organization, or to help others in need. But there's more. their CEO was paid $210,000 for the year, and their CFO was paid almost $350,000. All you CPAs out there who are looking for a job, be sure to check out the Red Cross because they pay big bucks to the insiders.
Then go look at the same link, same tax return, page 48, where they list big bucks paid to the five highest paid employees other than officers, directors, trustees. We begin with the VP and COO of Plasma Services (more sale of blood) who was paid over $320,000 for the one year in basic salary and benefits PLUS an additional $132,600 for Program termination retention payment whatever that is, plus severance of $30,600, plus an additional 107,000 in other employee benefits or deferred compensation, for a whopping total of almost $590,000 for the one year period, for an employee who apparently did a crappy job and got fired.
Next we have a lucky lady who was COO of the American Red Cross in the Greater New York area who was paid $315,600 for her basic salary plus $21,000 in employee benefits, about $3,000 for an expense report, plus a "performance bonus" of $60,000, for a total of almost $380,000 for the year. Another lucky guy, VP of Sales for Plasma Services (blood sale) was paid $235,000 for base salary, benefits and expense report, plus something called a Program termination retention payment of $105,200, for a total salary for that one year of $340,000. Then on the bottom of page 48, we have a Chief Technical Officer, Plasma Services (blood sales) who was paid $230,000 in salary, benefits and expenses, plus an additional $104,000 for that mysterious Program termination retention payment, for a total salary of $335,000.
GIVE ME AN F-ING BREAK. This isn't a charity. It's a boondoggle for some rich, connected insiders who loot the place, take money from schoolchildren, and makes themselves rich while going out in public and "appealing" for donations from the public. I wouldn't give them a penny.
If you want to help, send money to the group Doctors Without Borders (Medicins sans frontieres). Here's their link and a description of their emergency work in Haiti, plus a place to donate: http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/
Here's a link to the 2008 tax returns for Doctors Without Borders. Their very top top employees were paid around $100,000. A big difference from the big spenders over at the Red Cross. http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/donate/form990/form990_2008.pdf
Or, send money to Oxfam. Here's a link to their website, which includes a short video appealing for assistance and explaining how they are trying to help in Haiti: http://www.oxfam.org.uk/oxfam_in_action/emergencies/haiti-earthquake.html?ito=3489&itc=0
Here is Wyclef Jean's organization, set up to assist the people in Haiti: http://www.yele.org/
Here's another good Haiti-support organization called Artists for Peace and Justice: