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Red Cross Leader Describes First-Year Triumphs, Challenges
Date:7/21/2009

Gail McGovern Speaks on Navigating a Non-Profit Through Turbulent Economic Waters

WASHINGTON, July 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In a speech today at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., Gail McGovern, President and CEO of the American Red Cross, described the challenges of running a nonprofit in the recession but also pointed to success in cutting the organization's deficit by 75 percent and surpassing its goal of raising $100 million in nine months.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090108/RedCrossLOGO)

McGovern outlined the unusual demands thrust upon the Red Cross in her first year at the helm, a multitude of major natural disasters, the organization's financial troubles, and the economic crisis.

"The fact is, this economy is presenting many challenges for non-profits. But it's also providing the impetus for the American Red Cross and other non-profits to make needed and sometimes overdue changes. Simply put, there's a greater acceptance to change in a crisis."

During the last year, Red Cross responded to eight named hurricanes, a record tornado season, the worst wildfires in California history, and flooding in the Midwest -- all of which emptied its disaster relief fund coffers. The organization faced an operating deficit of $209 million. In addition, the country entered into a recession, which led more people to seek assistance at a time when fundraising has been difficult.

"These are extraordinarily difficult times for non-profits, businesses and families across the nation. I believe that if we focus on our mission, are outstanding stewards of our donor's dollars, seek new ways to engage donors, leverage new tools and look towards the horizon, we'll weather the storm," said McGovern. "When times are
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SOURCE American Red Cross
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