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American Red Cross Company Analysis Research Paper

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Updated: Apr 9th, 2020


The American Red Cross is an organization that offers humanitarian aid to individuals struck by disasters and emergencies such as earthquakes, floods, blasts, and hurricanes. In the assessment, it is noteworthy that the author of the marketing plan is a competent individual with essential qualifications, and a passion to work as an operations manager in the organization. Since American Red Cross offers quality services, it enjoys a high reputation; therefore, it should employ effective marketing mix and perform SWOT analysis to maintain its position in the competitive realm of non-profit organizations.


The American Red Cross is a humanitarian organization in the United States that prevents disasters and alleviates the misery that people experience in the occurrence of disasters.

Organizational Background

The American Red Cross is an organization based in the United States and has its offices in Washington. The humanitarian organization offers donated blood, alleviates disasters, provides international relief, it improves human safety, and supports the military officers and their families (American Red Cross, 2014). Moreover, the organization offers services like education, training, and development of humanitarian structures to boost emergency responses in the United States.

The chief executive officer heads national operations, while the board of directors heads local offices in various states. The purpose of the American Red Cross is “to prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors” (Give, 2014, p. 2). In its purpose, the American Red Cross has gained significant reputation in providing humanitarian aid.

The emergence of the organization dates back to 1881, when Clara Barton started the organization, and made it receive the first and the second congressional charter in 1900 and 1905. The annual revenues of the American Red Cross are about $3,470,535,000 (Give, 2014). In addition, American Red Cross has 32,000 paid employees and uses 92% of its donations in programs (Give, 2014).

The goals of the programs are to improve disaster preparedness, promote health and safety conditions, prevent diseases, offer emergency services, support armed forces and their families, and provide humanitarian aid. The management of the organization comprises of Gail McGovern, the chief executive officer, who took over leadership in 2008, James Hrouda, the executive vice president, and Bonnie McElveen-Hunter, who is the chair of the board of directors.

These top officials work together with the board of directors and executives such as Sarah Corrigan, Brad Campbell, and Richard Lee, who are directors of various local offices in the United States. In our community, the organization helps during emergencies by providing services like shelter, education, and blood donation.

Author’s Background

Educationally, the author is a finalist pursuing a Bachelors degree in business administration with an associate degree of business in business administration from Baker College. The educational qualification shows that the author has key competencies in business strategies, creative leadership, marketing strategies, team development, and acquisition management. Professionally, the author has experiences in marketing, management of operations, and human recourses management.

Specifically, the author has more than one year experience working as an operations director and assistant operations director in Tax Service of America. Moreover, the author has worked as senior area manager, regional director, general manager, and district manage in various organizations since 1999. Since the American Red Cross has numerous operations that require effective management and extensive marketing, the author is interested in becoming part of the organization.

Therefore, based on the educational qualification and professional experience, the career plan of the author is to attain managerial knowledge and skills to qualify for the position of the operations manager in the American Red Cross.

Mission of the Organization

The American Red Cross has a mission that focuses on prevention of disasters and alleviation of misery, which individuals experience during humanitarian crises. The prevention of disasters and the reduction of misery that humans experience during times of emergencies and disasters are possible because the humanitarian organization receives enormous grants from people and organizations. Moreover, the countless volunteers help in mobilizing resources for the sake of humanitarian aid.

Customers of the Organization

The main customers that the organization serves include victims of emergencies and disasters like hurricanes, tornados, and earthquakes. In addition, the organization serves people from poor families by providing basic amenities such as housing, education, food, and clothing.

The Marketing Mix of the Organization


Some of the products offered by the organization include emergency services such as donated blood and first aid (“Labor Group”, 2010). In addition, the organization provides services such as food, shelter, and psychological aid to the victims in the sites of disasters.

Mcgeehan (2013) reports that the organization promotes diversity and provides translation services to the victims because it employees are from diverse races. Other additional services offered by the organization include education, shelter, and food, which help victims of emergencies and disasters.


The main places that the American Red Cross visits include areas affected by disasters and areas prone to humanitarian crises. The decision to visit locations or regions affected by a disaster or an emergency transpires because the organization aims at alleviating misery that people experience.

According to American Red Cross (2014), the organization also visits churches, schools, and other social places where people run to find shelter and safety after the occurrence of a disaster. Placement of the products takes place when the organization supplies them to the victims in churches, school, and regions affected by the disaster.


The organization does not charge for the services that it offers to the victims affected by disasters. Instead, it offers T-shirts, caps, and other products to the general population with an objective of raising funds and creating awareness. Heightman (2014) argues that the driving force behind the free nature of the products offered by the organization is that the American Red Cross is a non-profit making organization.

Through the effective pricing strategy, potential clients obtain information about the organizational products, and they are convinced to purchase them. Thereby, the organization receives funds that enable it to provide humanitarian services to the victims. Marketing of the organizational products should be strategic.


Promotion aims at increasing awareness and knowledge about the products offered by the organization. Mcgeehan (2014) explain that the organization needs to employ a good promotional strategy that will reach out to citizens living in the United States and inform them about the significance of purchasing the organization’s products and affiliate products.

Increased purchases improve the services offered by the organization. It is imperative for individuals to understand that the organization relies on the sales in raising funds to helping victims of disasters and emergencies. The implication of a good promotional strategy is increased purchases because of the amplified understanding of the services that the organization offers to diverse customers.

SWOT Analysis


One of the strengths that the American Red Cross has is the trust and confidence it has within the United States and other parts of the world. The United States government and internal community usually enlist the services of the American Red Cross in cases of emergencies. The second strength is that the American Red Cross enjoys a higher reputation than its competitors because it offers quality services to victims of disasters and emergencies.

According to Heightman (2014), the American Red Cross is among the organizations that assist people during disasters and has a unique brand. As a result, several individuals in the United States associate themselves with the unique brand of the organization. The ability to provide extensive services and mitigate disaster is a third strength of the American Red Cross. Owing to its exemplary performance, the American Red Cross has received the charter and has met 20 standards for charity accountability.


One weakness of the American Red Cross is that it has organizational conflicts between its board of directors and management team. As leaders fight for resources and power, it affects their performance and consequently the overall performance of the organization. The second weakness relates to the management of resources because they are prone to misuse. In some instances, the organization has experienced biased distribution of funds and misconduct among employees.

The misconduct among employees increases their turnover rates, and consequently, reduces organizational performance (Mcgeehan, 2013). The third weakness is the slow response of the organization to some emergencies and disasters like hurricanes serves. American Red Cross (2014) states that ineffective control and poor management of organizations reduces their performance.


To increase its efficiency in the nature of products it offers in the market, the organization needs to utilize its opportunities in a manner that facilitates growth and development. One of the opportunities that the organization can employ is the increment of donations. The organizations can increase its donations through increased awareness and enhanced education about the mission of the organization among individuals, as the executive director of York-Poquson Chapter excels in doing sales and marketing (“York Red Cross “, 2013).

Transparency in the management of the organization serves as the second opportunity that will help it improve its reputation and image among customers and donors in the United States and globally. The third opportunity is that the organization needs to be innovative and creative in raising funds and providing its services. The organization should transform its ways of raising funds and provision of services.


Some of the threats that the organization has encountered in the course of executing its services include competition, negative publicity, and misinformed perceptions about the organization. In the aspect of competition, the organization competes for donations and grants with other nonprofit making organizations, which threatens its capacity to fund numerous operations.

Negative publicity distorts the image of the organization and affects its capacity to influence customers and donors. The misinformed perception is a third threat that affects the performance of the organization because it creates mistrust and lowers confidence among customers and donors.


Currently, the organization is experiencing stiff competition from other nonprofit making organizations, which include America’s Blood Centers, Save the Children, and USAID.

These organizations compete with the American Red Cross as they fight for space, time, and resources in the United States (Jones, 2012). As a result, it is important to develop a good marketing strategy that facilitates the conveyance of information and persuasion of the potential customers and stakeholders with the objective of winning public trust and increasing donor levels.


What make the organization unique are its brand and the charter that it has received from the government of the United States. The unique brand of the organization makes it stand out and lead in the provision of blood in the United States and globally. Despite the controversies and challenges that the organization has experienced, it has worked hard to provide products that are up to the required standards according to the requirements of its customers.


From the grid, it is evident that the organization enjoys a high reputation, which accrues from the high quality of services that it offers to customers. As a result, the organization faces minimal competition because it outweighs its competitors. Hence, donors are more willing to give grants and donations to the American Red Cross than to other competing organizations such as USAID, FAO, and America’s Blood Center.

Quality of Service versus the Reputation of the Organization


The American Red Cross is an organization that offers help to victims affected by disasters, and it helps the poor people in the society. The current position of the organization in terms of quality of services and reputation requires an effective marketing mix and SWOT analysis so that it can achieve its goals and outperform its competitors. The educational qualification and key professional competencies displayed in developing this market plan makes the author suitable for the position of operations manager in the organization.


American Red Cross: Who we are. (2014). Web.

York Red Cross exec excels in new role. (2013). Daily Pres. Web.

Give: . (2014). Web.

Heightman, A. (2014). American Red Cross Making Big Commitment to EMS –JEMS. Web.

Jones, M. (2012). The American Red Cross from Clara Barton to the New Deal. New York: JHU Press.

Labor Group: . (2010). Chicago Breaking News. Web.

Mcgeehan, P. (2013). State Questions Charities on Flow of Hurricane Aid. The New York Times. Web.

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