American Red Cross: SWOT Analysis

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Introduction

The American Red Cross is a charitable organization that offers urgent situation help, adversity relief and education within the United States. This organization is chosen as the U.S associate of the ‘International Federation of Red cross and Red Crescent Societies’. In addition to domestic adversity relief, the ARC provides services in other areas like; assisting the disadvantaged through community services and communication services as well as relief for armed forces members; and their relatives. Additionally, this organization accumulates; processes and gives out blood and blood products; as well as providing instructive courses on attentiveness, wellbeing and protection (American Red Cross & Handal, 1992).

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It is of importance to note that, American Red Cross (ARC) is managed by unpaid assistants and sustained by community contributions; revenues from wellbeing safety education and products as well as revenues from blood products. Currently, more than a million Red Cross unpaid assistants and approximately thirty thousand employees yearly organize for relief to people. From this, the ARC has responded to more than 67,000 disasters, trained around 12 million people on essential medical expertise and exchange approximately one million emergency information; for the U.S. armed forces personnel and their relatives (Stevenson, 1986).

American Red Cross objectives

On the other hand, the objective of the American Red Cross is to offer instantaneous assistance efforts in terms of foodstuffs, cloths, shelter and trust to people in the affected societies. In this case, the organization ensures that local urgent situation efforts can reach to the people efficiently and swiftly (American Red Cross & Handal, 1992).

American Red Cross Strengths

It is of importance to note that, the ARC reacts swiftly to the clients’ disaster management needs everywhere and every time they occur through out the year. In this case it can be argued that, whenever a disaster occurs ARC are on the first line to assist the victims twenty four hours a day 365 days a year. For example in 2008, the ARC ‘Saratoga chapter’ acted in response to 101 adversities, where it helped 345 people in a five-county authority with food, outfits or shelter (Bensoussan & Fleisher, 2008).

Further it should be noted that, the ARC raises money to assists the disaster victims effectively. As indicated earlier, this organization raises funds from community contributions, revenues from wellbeing safety education and products as well as revenues from blood products. For instance in 2006, the ARC had a total income of $6 billion. From this it can be stated that, the ARC is better positioned in responding to any disaster at any time at and place since there is enough fund to help the victims.

Additionally, it can be said that the ARC offices are properly and centrally managed reducing chances of corruption. It is clear that, volunteers are maximally mobilized as they respond quickly to disasters whenever they occur. In order to rescue and help disaster victims, the ARC have modern technologies like communication and transport technologies, blood collection, processing and distributing technologies among others. In addition, the personnel employed in this organization are highly qualified and hence reacts to disasters effectively (Harvard Business School Press, 2009).

American Red Cross Weaknesses

On the other hand it should be noted that, the ARC has its weaknesses as it can be seen from the way the volunteers slowly responded to Hurricane Katrina disaster; where they seemed to be incompetent and unsuccessful in helping most of the far-reaching Gulf Coast communities. Additionally, the organization has a huge number of volunteers and employees where the president of the organization faces difficulties in overseeing the whole group.

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In this case it can be said that, the delay in responding to Katrina disaster was as a result of distressed management systems within the organization. Another weakness of the ARC is that, the administration rises at a very slow rate as most supporters give their funds straightly to the sufferers rather than the organization itself. On the other hand it can be said that, the ARC has made rational ventures in telecommunications; but has not been organization-wide and at the same time, providing funding to the grassroots subdivision where it depends on (Olsen, 2006).

American Red Cross Opportunities

It can be argued that, the ARC receives its funds from repayments and contributions from local, state and central government organizations for definite plans. It is of importance to note that, the American Red Cross trains the volunteers and employees on how to respond to disasters. Based on this, the organization requires training aids like computers, books and software among others to ease its training.

Additionally, the organization educates the community on disaster preparedness as well as safety and hence requires learning materials in large quantities. From this it can be argued that, by providing this organization with computers, books, software and other learning materials; training and learning process would be made smooth and easy. In this case, the organization trains students on how to help the victims of adversities and also how these students may educate the community. From this therefore, local schools usually sends their students to study in this organizations.

On the other hand, local businesses give out their employees as drivers and clinical officers to the organization for studies, where training is provided at no cost. Also it can be said that, some students and employees of local businesses volunteer themselves to study in this organization so that they may be able to help disaster victims. For instance, the Tampa Bay chapter of the ARC received a lot of shelter managers, nurses, dispatchers and drivers to be trained on how they can assist victims of floods, hurricanes and other natural adversities (Fine, 2009).

On the other hand it should be noted that, university and college student can and do provide their expertise in marketing, accounting, information systems or communications that are a beneficial to the organization. In this case it can be noted that, marketing and accounting students assist the organization to market and advertise its plans so that contributors and supporters would find it easy to fund the organization.

From this, the accounting students assist in the calculation of the amount of money to be allocated to each victim. In this case, they also help in accounting for every dollar spent in assisting the disaster victims. Based on this, marketing and accounting students benefits the organization in budget preparations and organization’s marketing plans.

On the other hand, information and communication students benefit the organization through sending military personnel’s information to their families as quick as possible and at the same time giving the feedbacks. Further, these students are able to acquire information on where a disaster has occurred in order for the volunteers and employees respond to it as quickly as possible. Based on this, students who volunteer themselves have been very beneficial for the organization’s goals and objectives realization (Olsen, 2006).

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American Red Cross Threats

In addition, American Red Cross has been ranked as the first nonprofit making organization which responds to disaster victims needs quickly. In this case, the organization has gained a positive reputation resulting to it being assisted by huge number of volunteers and contributors. It can be argued that, the American Red Cross organization competes for funds and grants from communities, governments and donors with other nonprofit agencies like the Salvation Army in America (Harvard Business School Press, 2009).

Importantly, many nonprofit agencies depend on their abilities in soliciting for funds. It is clearly indicated that, competing for volunteers by nonprofit organizations depends on their familiarity and responsiveness to disasters. Despite the fact that the ARC is among the American nonprofit agencies which have the largest number of volunteers, the organization faces the threats of competition for funds and volunteers from the other charitable agencies.

This is evident from the number of volunteers American Red Cross organization has; in this case, more than a million volunteers have attended to approximately 67,000 disasters. On the other hand, the ARC received approximately $6 billions in terms of donations in the year 2006 (Bensoussan & Fleisher, 2008).

It can be observed that, the American Red Cross organization as well as other American nonprofit agencies, has been facing a threat of being ignored by the government in cases of recessions and budget crises. This is evident from the 2009 manifesto which was signed by leaders of all charitable agencies in America requesting politicians to support their work. It can be observed that, the 2009 President Obama’s budget proposal reduced the amount of funds given to nonprofit organizations, as a result of the budget crisis (Fine, 2009).

Another threat which faces the ARC is the reluctance of the donors to donate funds when the organization does not follow their leads. In this case, some donors and businesses attach sanctions when giving out their donations to charitable agencies. Based on this, when their personal interests are not met; they reduce or stop donations. It can be observed that, donors are concerned with how politics are conducted in an organization. From this, in the case of the administration of the ARC does not please them; they reduce their donations. On the other hand, the accountability and efficiency of the money donated to the ARC plays a crucial role in determining whether donations will be reduced or not (Williamson, Cooke & Jenkins, 2003).

Reference list

American Red Cross & Handal, K. (1992). The American Red Cross First Aid and Safety. New York: Little, Brown and Company.

Bensoussan, B. & Fleisher, C. (2008). Analysis without Paralysis: 10 Tools to Make Better Strategic Decisions, 1st ed. Massachusetts: FT Press.

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Fine, L. (2009). The SWOT Analysis: Using Your Strength to overcome Weaknesses, Using Opportunities to overcome Threats. New York: CreateSpace.

Harvard Business School Press. (2009). SWOT Analysis II: Looking Inside for Strengths and Weaknesses. Harvard: Harvard Business School Press.

Jenster, P. & Hussey, D. (2001). Company Analysis: Determining Strategic Capability. London: Wiley Publishers.

Olsen, E. (2006). Strategic Planning for Dummies. New York: For Dummies Publishers.

Stevenson, A. (1986). Clara Barton: Founder of the American Red Cross. New York: Aladdin Publishers.

Williamson, D., Cooke, P., Jenkins, W. & Moreton, K. (2003). Strategic Management and Business Analysis. Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann.

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