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October 30, 2015

After Post-Sandy Surge, Giving to Red Cross Drops 32%

Donations to the American Red Cross fell from nearly $1.1 billion in 2013 to $734.6 million last year, the Associated Press reports, citing The Chronicle of Philanthropy's latest Philanthropy 400 ranking of the biggest U.S. nonprofits. The 32-percent decline dropped the Red Cross from ninth to 21st place on the list, its lowest spot since the annual survey debuted in 1991.

Red Cross spokeswoman Suzy DeFrancis said $307 million of the organization's 2013 fundraising was for Hurricane Sandy relief, accounting for most of the difference between that year and 2014. The Red Cross has faced criticism and media scrutiny of its handling of Sandy donations and the effectiveness of its relief work in that and other major disasters.

The Chronicle survey showed a drop for many well-established traditional charities such as the Red Cross as donor-advised funds continue to gain popularity and younger contributors seek to support newer nonprofits with more sharply focused missions.