Target: Gail J. McGovern, President of American Red Cross
Goal: Demand that the American Red Cross share how it spent Hurricane Sandy donation money
The American Red Cross received over $300 million in donations following Hurricane Sandy and is now insisting on withholding information about the use of these donations from the public. The Red Cross claims that this information is a trade secret, which if disclosed, would threaten the organization’s economic security by revealing confidential financial information as well as other private information about how the Red Cross conducts its everyday activities. The Red Cross is a non-profit charity organization that people trust to distribute donation money for helping those in need.
Red Cross officials have stated that key portions of the Red Cross’ internal documents related to donation spending after Hurricane Sandy contain proprietary information that would put the Red Cross at an economic disadvantage. The American Red Cross does not want its competitors to gain access to information on its business and fundraising models. This argument contradicts the nature of the Red Cross’ work, since the Red Cross is a charity organization, not a for-profit business. The Red Cross can surely share documents with the public not deemed to contain private trade secrets.
After Hurricane Sandy, citizens donated millions of dollars to help towards relief efforts. The organization’s attorney cites the Freedom of Information Law’s trade secret exemption as the explanation for keeping the records of spending private. By using this exemption and withholding information from the public, the Red Cross demonstrates an alarming lack of transparency and accountability. Demand that the Red Cross be accountable to its citizen donors and share information on how it spent Hurricane Sandy donations.
Dear Gail J. McGovern,
After Hurricane Sandy, the public donated millions of dollars to the Red Cross to help towards relief efforts. The organization is now withholding information from the public on how these funds were spent and claims that this information is a trade secret which reveals confidential financial and business information. This argument is disconcerting, as the Red Cross is a charity organization that should be accountable to its donors, not a for-profit business.
By withholding information from the public about how donation money is spent, the Red Cross demonstrates a startling lack of transparency and accountability. The Red Cross can surely share documents with the public not deemed to contain private trade secrets. This petition demands that the Red Cross be transparent and accountable to its citizen donors and share information on how it spent Hurricane Sandy donations.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Andrea Booher via Wikipedia