Cross-Sector Partnerships – Airlines & Red Cross

Over the past few months, American Red Cross (ARC) kept popping up on my radar. I respect the work they do. I also understand some of the obstacles they face regarding fundraising and partnerships. I had the opportunity to discuss a mutually beneficial solution with some of their tenured staff. The idea is to help take control of the narrative and develop innovative ways to collaborate with existing donors. (One of the current criticisms is how ARC spends their money).

The challenge: Convert fundraising efforts into mutually beneficial partnerships.

The American Red Cross (ARC) does a lot of good through their disaster relief efforts. These efforts are possible via funds received through their giving programme. ARC has a number of airlines that participate in financial giving, frequent flier matching, or simply awareness programmes. ARC coordinates travel logistics for volunteers with some of the donor airlines. Airlines typically have 40% vacancy on flights on any given flight. *Lightbulb* ARC needs seats. Airlines have seats.

The solution: Rather than an exchange of money – money from airlines to ARC (fundraising) and then money from ARC to airlines (buy seats for volunteers), suggest the airlines donate unused seats? Every flight could be allocated 5-10% of unused seats.

Benefits: Red Cross saves money on paying for last minute flights. Airlines reduce vacancy % resulting in better carbon footprint. Both benefit from a more efficient process (exchange of goods/service rather than money) & positive PR for a mutually beneficial partnership.

I’m sharing my thoughts with the interwebs in hopes to strengthen the idea, identify the holes and evolve the thought process. Do you have additional ideas for sustainable solutions or mutually beneficial partnerships? I’d LOVE to hear from you!

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