American Red Cross: Under Fire

By Hunsaker, Johanna | Journal of the International Academy for Case Studies, May 1, 2007 | Go to article overview

American Red Cross: Under Fire


Hunsaker, Johanna, Journal of the International Academy for Case Studies


CASE DESCRIPTION

This case is directed towards undergraduates and graduate students in management classes and classes in non-profit organizations. Depending on the focus of the class, different case questions can be emphasized for students in management classes, leadership classes and those enrolled in non-profit classes.

CASE SYNOPSIS

The case deals primarily with the governance of the San Diego Imperial County Chapter of the American Red Cross in the early part of this decade during, after the debilitating Viejas fire. The chapter's CEO, Dodie Rotherham, seemingly cared more for raising donations to better the chapter than caring for the people in need and the community. Rotherham ignored the internal conflicts of the organization preferring to be out in the public to raise donations. She lost sight of the principal core values of the organization; provide relief to victims and help people prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies. Because Rotherham and the organization lost touch with the community, the community rose up against the organization when it was discovered that the organization used the donations for the fire victims inappropriately. The organization had to change to survive. The key to its survival was the rebuilding of the trust of the community by removing all of the leaders (CEO and Board of Directors) and developing an organizational culture change that promoted openness, change and development.

The purpose of this case is to demonstrate the effects of leadership on a non-profit organization. Discussion of this case brings about the understanding of the problems that can arise when leadership abandons the organization's mission and goals. Students will have a better understanding of what can happen if management loses focus of the organization's goals and mission. Additionally, students will see that it is difficult to regain the confidence of community when the organization loses touch with the community. The student will learn the espoused values of the Red Cross, the values under Dodie Rotherham, and after Rotherham left the Red Cross, the values Jerry Sanders and Ronne Froman attempted to bring to the organization.

OUR MISSION

The American Red Cross, a humanitarian organization led by volunteers and guided by its Congressional Charter and the Fundamental Principles of the International Red Cross Movement, will provide relief to victims of disaster and help people prevent, prepare for, and respond to emergencies.

The fire came without warning. In the early morning hours of January 3, 2001, several families had to flee their homes with only the clothes on their back to escape the blaze that became known as the Viejas fire. The fire started on the Viejas Indian Reservation, east of Alpine, CA. Due to dry conditions and heavy winds, it burned for six days, where it charred more than 10,000 acres, destroying homes and vehicles, killing animals and livestock, and disrupting lives. Total damage estimates ranged from $1.8 million to $8 million. Victims of the fire started out their New Year in devastation and looked to the local chapter of the American Red Cross, an institution designed to assist in disasters, to help in their loss. Donations from the community streamed into the San Diego chapter of the Red Cross for use towards the fire victims. However, victims of the fire felt that they did not receive the level of comfort and support expected from this trusted non-profit organization. Their phone calls to the local chapter went unanswered. At a meeting, victims expressed their concern over the use of the funds collected on their behalf. Dodie Rotherham, the San Diego/Imperial County chapter CEO for the Red Cross, called the meeting a "bitchiest." Victims received very little financial support to restart their lives. Later, audits revealed that the Red Cross received over $400,000 in donations after the fire, but of that total, only $7,000 was used for the victims. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

American Red Cross: Under Fire
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.