Red Cross Chapters Consolidate – Many Layoffs at the Local Level

July 26, 2011; Source: | Apparently as a part of Red Cross’ plan to lay off 10% of its staff and generally cost cut and consolidate nationwide, the Central Lower Michigan Region and the Flint region of the Red Cross are merging and laying off 12 staff. The new combined chapter had been asked to cut $575,000 in costs. This is a part of a national push to consolidate Red Cross offices and we have recently seen reports from Palm Beach, where a spokesman commented that “It’s part of a nationwide, strategic restructuring. There is no reason, for example, to have three accountants in three offices across 80 miles of territory. It’s simply a matter of reducing redundancies and making sure the donor dollar is put to its best use,” from Buffalo, where 63 jobs will be lost, and from Ohio, where the Dayton and Cincinnati chapters merged, and layoffs are in progress.

NPQ is interested in this situation, which officials say will not affect Red Cross’ ability to respond to disaster. Our concern is that the local bases of these types of responder organizations need intimate contacts with their communities to move quickly and accurately into a devastated community. A lack of such relationships and understanding of the terrain was, as we understand it, part of what slowed the response on the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina. What will regional consolidation do to these relationships and on the ground knowledge? We will follow this story for our readers.—Ruth McCambridge





  • Amber

    Champagne Professional Development on a Beer Budget

    Time to be Real
    The start-up nonprofit I work for doesn

  • Jackie Norris

    As a former long-time staff member of a local Red Cross, and as a current board member of my local chapter, as well as chair of the Volunteer Services Committee, I believe the strength of the Red Cross has always been the partnership between employees and volunteers. Now, more than ever, there is a critical need for volunteers to lead and to serve as local chapters go through these staff reductions. It’s also a critical time for a strong fundraising team throughout the entire organization.

    I’m happy to say that in our chapter there is now a significantly increased emphasis on the role of volunteers, not just in providing the critical direct service they have for years, but as leaders of the service delivery effort, and as representatives of the Red Cross in all our local communities. It won’t necessarily be easy, but it’s also not going to be “messy”, because we have many volunteers with years of leadership and management experience – both inside and outside the Red Cross – and they care deeply about our mission and how it’s delivered across the country and are more than capable of stepping up to the challenge.

  • Pat Lira

    com’n we have to be real, Red Cross is laying off employees with knowlendge and hiring new people with astronomic salaries, the executives do not care about how their own workers, give me a break, keemping also people with no experience. Volunteers are wonderful helpers, but also they recognize people who are dealing too… they are laying off in one side and hiring more people in another BRAVO!!