The President and CEO of Red Cross was in Utah this week touting a new partnership with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and giving insight into how to run a successful non-profit with for-profit tactics.
Gail McGovern helped pull the Red Cross out of a $209 million deficit after taking the job in 2008.She recalls when the earthquake struck Haiti in 2010, she received a $1 million donation from the chief marketing officer at a fortune 500 company and a letter from a 7 year old boy with a crumpled dollar bill.
“When I make decisions I really think about those two people and I imagine that they’re standing over my shoulder," she says. "And I think, would they think this is a waste or would they think this is a good use?"
McGovern spoke to business and community leaders at Zion’s Bank a day after Red Cross announced its formalizing a 25-year-old partnership with the LDS Church. McGovern says outside of Utah the partnership will only be as good as the communities where the two organizations serve.
“So it’s incumbent upon the Red Cross and all 650 chapters to do community outreach to the LDS church and I would add vice versa, to make sure that this happens everywhere,” she says.
LDS churches can be used as shelters as well as approved blood service facilities. They also work with the Red Cross on disaster preparedness drills.