It's been less than three months since the Red Cross announced that Jeff Towers would be the new chief development officer for the Red Cross. Technically, he's only been on the job since May 5th.
Even though he might have missed the executive shake-up from this past winter, a major RFP process for new fundraising consultants, a contenious funding relationship between local chapters and the national office, and ongoing attention from pesky bloggers... today he is dealing with a serious fundraising problem.
The Associated Press is reporting that during a conference call today, Towers said that its Disaster Relief Fund is wiped out and it's being forced to borrow money to help flood victims throughout the Midwest.
The shortage in the organization's only domestic disaster relief fund comes as it continues flood relief efforts in soaked Iowa and ramps up its work downstream in Illinois and Missouri as more flooding is expected there. Officials said the Red Cross has 2,500 workers on the ground, 89 percent of them volunteers.
Joe Becker, senior vice president of disaster services, said the fund has been depleted over the past few years in the absence of large-scale disasters that bring attention to the relevance of the Red Cross.
"We have had a large number of mid-size disasters or silent disasters that have cost us a considerable amount of money where we've not been able to raise what it's cost us to provide that service," he said.
So far the flood relief work in the Midwest has cost $15 million. Towers estimated that the cost could rise to $40 million and that funds are desperately needed. If you would like to donate now, you can do so by clicking here.