Case #1548.0

Tradition, Transformation, and a Divided Spirit: A 21st Century Quandary for the American Red Cross

Publication Date: November 12, 1999
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During the 1990s, the AIDS crisis and changes in the structure of the U.S. blood supply industry force the American Red Cross, one of the premier U.S. nonprofit organizations, into a major reorganization and a decade which its president calls one of "profound upheaval." This case tells the story of that reorganization, focusing on the uneasy relationship between profitable and charitable arms of the organization, paid and volunteer employees, and the value of centralization and decentralization. It invites critique of why and how the organization performed, about the relationship between a public mission and the potential for profit-making activity, and the incorporation of volunteers in an increasingly professional context. The case includes a history of the origin and evolution of this flagship United States nonprofit.

Other Details

Case Author:
Pamela Varley
Faculty Lead:
Mark Moore
Pages (incl. exhibits):
United States
Funding Source:
American Red Cross