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Journalism in the Public Interest

Red Cross

Even as the group has publicly celebrated its work, insider accounts detail a string of failures. More »

The charity and its chief executive, Gail McGovern, have long said 91 cents of every dollar donated goes to aiding those in need. Except it's not true. More »

After Superstorm Sandy, Americans opened their wallets to the Red Cross. They trusted the charity and believed it was up to the job. They were wrong. More »

The charity is fighting our public records request for information on how it raised and spent money after the superstorm. More »

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  updates since last visit

I Spent My Summer Tracking Down Government Records About the Red Cross

Here’s what I learned from my internship at ProPublica.

After Louisiana Flooding, the Red Cross Draws a Deluge of Complaints

Emergency managers in Louisiana turned to the Red Cross when record floods swept the state in March, but many say they received little help.

Senate Bill Would Force Red Cross to Open Books to Outside Oversight

Following reporting by ProPublica and NPR and an investigation by his staff, Sen. Charles Grassley introduces the American Red Cross Transparency Act.

We Want You to Help Report on the Red Cross

ProPublica wants to help other journalists report on the nation’s most venerable charity.

Senator: Red Cross Misled Congress, Refused To ‘Level With the People’ on Haiti Money

“One of the reasons they don't want to answer the questions is it's very embarrassing,” says Sen. Charles Grassley, who just finished a yearlong investigation of the Red Cross.

Congressman to Red Cross: ‘How Do You Get Lost Going to a Disaster Area?’

Rep. Bennie Thompson wants answers about the Red Cross’ performance.

After Mississippi Flooding, Red Cross Stumbles Again

The director of Mississippi’s Emergency Management Agency called the Red Cross’ disaster response “marginal at best.”

Red Cross Donations Plummet and Deficit Spikes

The charity has its worst fundraising year since at least 2000.

Red Cross CEO Dodges Congressional Questions About Cuts Around the Country

Congressman Bennie Thompson, who asked the charity for details about cuts to services, says he is “troubled” by the lack of answers.

Congressman Presses Red Cross CEO For Answers On Impact of Downsizing

Rep. Bennie Thompson said it is “critical” for the Red Cross to act quickly in response to problems reported by ProPublica

Help Report on The American Red Cross In Your Community

If you've worked for the Red Cross, or received assistance from the organization, we'd like to talk to you.

The Corporate Takeover of the Red Cross

Red Cross CEO Gail McGovern, who was hired to revitalize the charity, has cut hundreds of chapters and thousands of employees.

Senator Wants Names of Red Cross Officials Who Didn’t Cooperate With Government Inquiry

Sen. Charles Grassley is demanding more information about the American Red Cross and its “apparent unwillingness to fully cooperate” with a government investigation into its disaster relief work.

‘American Red Cross Sunshine Act’ Would Open Charity to Outside Scrutiny

A House bill is being released today along with a government report citing a lack of oversight about how the charity spends the millions of dollars donated by Americans.

Red Cross CEO Tried to Kill Government Investigation

Despite public vows of transparency, CEO Gail McGovern lobbied a congressman to spike an inquiry by the Government Accountability Office.

Senator to Red Cross: Where’s the Transparency on Haiti?

“I still have a lot more questions for the Red Cross,” said Sen. Charles Grassley.

La Croix-Rouge ignorerait comment ont été dépensés des millions en Haïti

Les documents confidentiels soulèvent également des questions sur le nombre d’Haïtiens que la Croix-Rouge aurait aidés, déclarant que les chiffres avancés pour un projet seraient «peu représentatifss».

Confidential Documents: Red Cross Itself May Not Know How Millions Donated for Haiti Were Spent

The documents also raise questions about the accuracy of the Red Cross’ count of how many Haitians it helped, concluding the figures on one project were “fairly meaningless.”

Sen. Grassley Demands Red Cross Disclose Haiti Spending — And Gives Them a Deadline

The “disappointed” Judiciary Committee chairman wants a detailed breakdown of spending on projects, overhead and other issues.

5 Tips for Donating After Disasters

After our investigation of the Red Cross' work in Haiti, readers have repeatedly asked us for tips on giving. Here are a few modest answers.

Red Cross Holds a Press Conference In Haiti. It Doesn’t Go Well.

Haitian reporters demand answers from the Red Cross but don’t get many.

What Happens When Millions Donated For Disaster Relief Goes Unaccounted For?

Haiti aid expert Jake Johnston, community organizer Francois Pierre-Louis, plus reporters from ProPublica and NPR will answer almost anything about international aid and the Red Cross’s Haiti relief efforts.

How the Red Cross Raised Half a Billion Dollars for Haiti ­and Built Six Homes (French)

Alors que le groupe s’est réjoui publiquement des résultats obtenus, des témoignages internes décrivent une succession d’échecs

How the Red Cross Raised Half a Billion Dollars for Haiti ­and Built Six Homes

Even as the group has publicly celebrated its work, insider accounts detail a string of failures

Podcast: When Those We Report On Complain

Lessons from our point-by-point refutation of the Red Cross’ request for corrections, and Does Donald Trump use email?

Red Cross Demands Corrections to Our ‘Misleading’ Coverage. Here’s Our Response

The Red Cross' response comes months after our initial coverage, which we stand by.

Senator Demands Answers on Red Cross’ Finances

Prompted by an investigation by ProPublica and NPR, Sen. Charles Grassley asks the charity to explain how it has used donations from the public.

How Fear Of Occupy Wall Street Undermined the Red Cross’ Sandy Relief Effort

Red Cross responders say there was a ban on working with the widely praised Occupy Sandy relief group because it was seen as politically unpalatable.

Red Cross’ Latest Claim Includes ‘Donations of Blood’

The charity is now resting its claim of 91 cents of donations going to services on the idea that donations include not just money but also "donations of blood."

The Red Cross CEO Has Been Serially Misleading About Where Donors’ Dollars Are Going

The charity and its chief executive, Gail McGovern, have long said 91 cents of every dollar donated goes to aiding those in need. Except it’s not true.

Internal Survey Shows the Red Cross’ Own Employees Doubt the Charity’s Ethics

Survey results obtained by ProPublica also show a crisis of trust in the charity's senior leadership.

‘How Did You Start Investigating the Red Cross’: A Q & A With ProPublica Reporters

ProPublica reporters Justin Elliott and Jesse Eisinger took questions about their investigation into the Red Cross and its Sandy relief efforts on Reddit, Facebook and in the story’s comments.

10 Disturbing Things ProPublica Learned Investigating the Red Cross’ Sandy Relief Efforts

How did so much go so wrong? 10 disturbing findings from ProPublica's investigation.

Ask ProPublica Anything About Our Red Cross Investigation

Our reporters are opening up their investigation into the Red Cross, its disaster relief efforts and where it failed. Join the discussion.

The Red Cross’ Secret Disaster

After Superstorm Sandy, Americans opened their wallets to the Red Cross. They trusted the charity and believed it was up to the job. They were wrong.

Red Cross Reverses Stance on Sandy Spending “Trade Secrets”

The charity has released some new details on how it spent over $300 million raised after the storm.

Red Cross: How We Spent Sandy Money Is a ‘Trade Secret’

The charity is fighting our public records request for information on how it raised and spent money after the superstorm.

N.Y. Attorney General Pressed Red Cross on Post-Sandy Spending, Then Retreated

The office of Attorney General Eric Schneiderman sought details on how the charity spent donations after the super-storm, but the information was never released.

Long After Sandy, Red Cross Post-Storm Spending Still a Black Box

Donors gave $312 million after the storm, but it’s not clear how exactly the money was spent.

$10 Million Fine on Red Cross Highlights Its Troubled History of Blood Services

The nation’s largest supplier of blood has been hit with yet another big fine for longstanding problems with its blood services.

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