Essay Example on American Red Cross: Helping People in Need

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  5
Wordcount:  1229 Words
Date:  2023-01-29

The American Red Cross is a humanitarian organization that is led by volunteers. It is guided by two key things; the Congressional Charter and the Principles of the International Red Cross. The former is a law that was passed the U.S Congress that states the objectives, goals, mission, and activities of a group. The latter principles that guides any organization whose core objectives is to help people that are in need during instances of natural calamities, conflict, and other emergencies (American Red Cross, 2019). In this case, the American Red Cross principle goal is to provide relief to people that have been victims of calamities. Also, the organization educates people on how to prevent, prepare, and respond to emergency cases. Many governance elements are particular to such non-profit organization. The present paper provides a comprehensive discussion of the American Red Cross governance elements.

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To first element of governance that is of great importance to the organization is its Board of governance committee. It comprises of 12 to 20 members (American Red Cross, 2019). The head of the Board of the governors is the chairperson. Markedly, the chairperson is an independent member of the Board of Governors and appointed by the President of the U.S on the recommendation from other members of the Board. The Chairman maintains a direct and open communication the Chief Executive Officer as well as with all other senior officers (American Red Cross, 2019). Moreover, it is his duty to facilitate good governance by ensuring effective oversight of the management team. Besides, the Chairman builds an active team that is guided by the corporation's mission and strategic direction (American Red Cross, 2019). Therefore, despite being an independent member of the Board, the Chairman ensures that the Board operates properly, in an endeavour to meet its responsibilities in order to fulfil its mandate as stipulated in the corporate bylaws.

Indeed, as noted in the previous paragraph, the chairperson plays a critical role in the management of the American Red Cross. Undeniably, the chairperson is one of the most important governance elements in this particular non-profit making organization. One of the most important aspects to underscore is the fact that the chairperson is an independent member of the Board (American Red Cross, 2019). Although all major decisions are made through voting, it is apparent that the chairperson plays an influential role when it comes to convincing the Board the best strategic plan to espouse. For instance, the chairperson is the chief advisor of the Chief Executive Officer and management on corporate affairs, financial, brand, risk management.

However, although the Board of Governors of the American Red Cross is charged with the task of highest standards of conduct and ethics, I feel that there should be an independent unit within the organization that deals with this critical issue. Undeniably, championing a culture of compliance and ethics throughout the corporation is a key thing in ensuring that an organization maintains positive public reputation. Therefore, having an autonomous unit that deals explicitly with ethical concerns in the organization is pivotal to the success of this non-profit making organization. Besides, the department should include a toll-free hotline for employees, vendors, volunteers, and the general public to report any complaints or allegations of fraud, abuse, and unethical conduct.

The Chairman, together with the vice-chairperson, CEO, corporate secretary, and the management works together to ensure that the Board have adequate resources to support their duties. Markedly, the resources are provided promptly to ensure that there are no delays in service delivery (American Red Cross, 2019). In light of this, appropriate policies and procedures should be developed to meet these standards. Moreover, in case the resources are a deficit, the Board should organize fund-raising activities for the organization.

Over and above, it is notable that the executive committee is usually appointed by the Board of Governors. The committee comprises of at least 3 to 7 members of the Board (American Red Cross, 2019). Markedly, the members include the committee chairs of the Compensation and Management Development Committee, Audit and Risk Management, Board Development Committee, as well as the Chairman of the Board (American Red Cross, 2019). Moreover, the Board can appoint additional members to the committee if it is considered appropriate. Notably, the chairperson of the Board of governors is also the chair of the Executive Committee. The members are expected to meet all standards that are adopted by the Board.

The executive committee is charged with myriads of duties. Firstly, there are intervals when the committee is called upon to oversee the mandate of the Board of Governors. In particular, it performs all roles played by the Board, except as limited by the Corporate Bylaws and Congressional Charter (Governance, 2019). Thus, they have such responsibility and authority as may be provided in the organization's Bylaws or those that are delegated by the Board. In furtherance, it performs any role that is consistent with the applicable law or as the ones the Board may deem necessary.

From the afore-discussion, it is apparent that responsibilities are limited. In any case, there is clear guidelines on the exact roles that the committee is expected to oversee. The justification for this assertion is that the power of the executive committee is dependent on the advice from the Board in the case it considers it necessary. Thus, I would recommend that the Congressional Charter and Corporate Bylaws provide a clear scope of the responsibilities of the executive committee. Although the two bodies cannot work independently, there is a need to provide a clear guideline on the roles of each committee.

The other key element of governance that is of particular interest in the American Red Cross organization is the procedures that provide a clear guideline about the performance of each board member. Good governance requires that members be skilled and competent in the tasks they are assigned to complete. To achieve this, the Board Committee of the American Red Cross organization evaluates its members against several factors among them being leadership qualities, previous work experience, diversity, knowledge regarding volunteer and non-profit making organization, and community experience (Governance, 2019). Essentially, the American Red Cross Organization plays a critical of attending to emergency cases in the various states; thus, there is need to ensure that the top organization leadership is competent and well versed with their responsibilities.


To wrap up, the American Red Cross is a perfect example of a humanitarian organization that provides relief to people that have been plagued with calamities. This paper has explored the corporation's elements of governance from a critical point of view. The governing body of the organization is the Board of Governors. The body has the powers of overseeing all operations of the organization. Moreover, it is tasked with the duty of appointing the members of the various committees including the Compensation and Management Development Committee, Audit and Risk Management, Board Development Committee, as well as the Chairman of the Board. As noted, each committee plays critical roles in the organization. However, there are some areas that the author of this paper believes need some changes as it has been underscored in the discussion.


American Red Cross. (2019). American National Red Cross Board of Governors. Retrieved from

American Red Cross. (2019). Retrieved 23 July 2019, from (2019). Retrieved 23 July 2019, from

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Essay Example on American Red Cross: Helping People in Need. (2023, Jan 29). Retrieved from

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