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Red Cross’ argument for secrecy is a bad one - The Galveston County Daily News : Galveston

November 27, 2014

Red Cross’ argument for secrecy is a bad one

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Posted: Thursday, July 3, 2014 12:00 am

The Red Cross did great work in Galveston County after Hurricane Ike. No doubt it has done great work in the Northeast after Superstorm Sandy.

But the charitable agency must be forthcoming in how it spends money people donate to benefit storm victims.

After Sandy struck the East Coast — New York and New Jersey were particularly hard hit — donors contributed more than $300 million to the Red Cross.

ProPublica, a nonprofit news organization, has been trying to get an accounting of how the money was used. ProPublica complained that the Red Cross had hired a law firm to fight a request for information filed in New York.

Any argument for secrecy is a bad argument. One of the reasons so many people are willing to donate to large, reputable nonprofit groups is that they trust that their contributions are being used wisely.

That trust is possible only when the books are open.

 • Heber Taylor