Chapter II



During the twenty months' period ending February 28, 1919, the Red Cross as a whole received in round figures $400,000,000 in voluntary contributions and subscriptions. Of this total $42,000,000 came from membership dues, and $283,500,000 from the war drives. The remainder came from so many different sources that specific mention is impossible in this report.



On May 1, 1917, just before the appointment of the War Council, there were 562 chapters with a membership of 486,194 adult members.

On February 28, 1919, there were 3,724 chapters with 17,186 branches embracing a membership, in round figures, of 20,000,000 adult members and 11,000,000 junior members.

Practically every square mile in continental United States is now covered by some form of chapter organization. There are fifty-four chapters in insular and foreign places.

Map 1 (above) indicates the distribution of chapters by States and divisions on February 28, 1919.

With the combined adult and junior membership of 31,000,000, nearly one-third of the entire population of this country are members of the American Red Cross.

During the war period, there were two membership enrollments, a vast majority of the memberships being on an annual basis. Each "drive" was held in the week preceding Christmas, the first in 1917, and the second in 1918. Each resulted in an enrollment of about twenty million people. The costs of the two campaigns combined were in round figures, $1,450,000.

Map 2. Percentage of adult membership to population, by States, December 31, 1918.

Adult Membership

The following table and the map below present comparisons of adult membership by States as of December 31, 1918, the membership being somewhat smaller than it was as of February 28, 1919:


Junior Membership

The Junior Membership comprises what may be termed "the Junior Red Cross." In it the school children of the country are organized for educational and productive purposes under the inspiration of patriotic and other altruistic motives. During the fall of 1917 the Red Cross first commenced to enroll junior members. By June, 1918, a children's army of 8,000,000 had been mobilized, and by February 28, 1919, this number had increased to over 11,000,000.

During the period covered by this report the work of the Junior Red Cross involved many kinds of war activities, including the production of relief articles, the operation of war gardens, the conservation of second-hand articles and assistance to the Government of the United States and the American Red Cross in many other lines of work. With the coming of peace the efforts of the juniors have been extended to helping the less fortunate children, in this and in other lands. The results of the work of these young people were of considerable productive value (see page 25). Obviously more valuable than the material product was the fact that a new life and interest entered the work of these school children when they realized that they were filling an immediate and definite need.

Map 3. Percentage of school children of U.S. who were Junior Red Cross members, by States, February 28, 1919

The basic unit of organization in the Junior Red Cross is the auxiliary or school. A school officially becomes a junior auxiliary when twenty-five cents has been paid into the Red Cross School Fund for each pupil. On February 28, 1919, there were about 90,000 such auxiliaries. On that date, more than half of all the school children of America were members. In four States, Arizona, California, Delaware and Nevada, all school children were members.

The following table and the map on page 13 present comparisons of the Junior Membership by States as of February 28, 1919:


Revenues from Membership

The American Red Cross, as a whole, received approximately $42,000,000 from membership dues during the twenty months ending February 28, 1919. Of this total, about $3,700,000 from junior members was placed in school funds, approximately $18,500,000 was retained by chapters, $949,838.29 went in the Endowment Fund, and 1I8,930,056.17 came to the national organization for general uses.

Junior membership dues (twenty-five cents for each child) are placed in "school funds," and are used chiefly in purchasing materials to be made up into surgical and other relief supplies by the children.

There are several classes of adult membership dues, but in all cases except the dues for life members and patrons (all of which are, under the By-Laws, credited to Endowment Fund) part of the dues is retained by chapters and part placed in the General Fund of the national organization.

That part which is retained by chapters is used to pay the necessary costs of operating these most important units of the organization and to supplement the chapter's portion of War Fund collections when funds received through that source are inadequate to meet the needs for war relief work.

The General Fund, in which is placed the part of membership dues which comes to the national organization (excepting dues from life members and patrons) is provided, under the By-Laws, to cover "the general expenses of the corporation." The receipts which have been placed to the credit of this Fund have been sufficient to pay not only the costs of managerial offices and administrative bureaus, but also to finance the costs of operating all relief bureaus and all bureaus for handling relief supplies maintained both at national and divisional headquarters, and to carry on numerous specific relief activities.


In order to secure the major portion of the funds required for relief work, two so-called "war drives" were developed. Each "drive" involved the setting of a definite period during which the whole nation was called on to give, and the creation of a comprehensive organization to attend to the related work. In round figures; $283,500,000 was derived from the two "drives."

Because of the importance of the work, and its distinctive character, an entirely separate national organization was created for collecting and handling the funds. This organization was headed by a War Finance Committee, appointed by the President, and under it were local campaign committees covering the entire United States. The funds secured were collected in local banks, gradually transferred to central depositories and then turned over to the Treasurer of the Red Cross as needed.

The size of the task is indicated by the fact that in the first "drive" there were 3,929 campaign committees and 3,986 banks of deposit, and in the second "drive" 3,898 committees and 8,768 depositories.

The funds obtained from the "drives" were divided between the chapters and national headquarters under arrangements permitting the assignment to each chapter, for local war work exclusively, of not more than 25 per cent. of the amount collected within its territory. As a result, 18.5 per cent. of the proceeds of the first "drive" and 19.3 per cent. of the proceeds of the second "drive" were assigned to chapters.

The entire amount of the war drive proceeds retained by national headquarters was placed in the War Fund, which could be used only for war relief projects. To this Fund was also credited interest earnings to the amount of $2,766,403.54. As a result of this practice, more than $1.01 is available for war relief from every dollar received for that purpose.

Map 4. Per cent. to wealth of combined collections in both Red Cross war drives, by States.

All of the proceeds of the two drives were collected by campaign committees except about $10,000,000 contributed direct to the Treasurer of the Red Cross. The table which follows and the map (above) present comparisons of contributions to the two drives combined, by States:


The first war drive was conducted between June I8 and June 25, 1917. The goal set was $100,000,000. Collections totaled $114,023,640.23, an over-subscription of fourteen per cent. For campaign and collection expenses national headquarters appropriated $278,114.27, and it is estimated that the chapters spent $500,000 for this purpose; costs, therefore, were less than seven-tenths of one cent for each dollar collected.

The second war drive was conducted between May 20 and May 27, 1918. Again the goal set was $100,000,000. Up to February 28, 1919, collections totaled $169,575,598.84, an over-subscription of nearly seventy per cent. (It is estimated that when all collections have been received the total will exceed $175,000,000, an over-subscription of more than seventy-five per cent.) Campaign and collection expenses totaled approximately $1,000,000---less than six-tenths of one cent for each dollar collected.

It is estimated that more than 43,000,000 people contributed to the second war drive.

Indicating that interest in the work of the American Red Cross is not confined to continental United States, substantial contributions were received from our insular possessions and from foreign countries, as shown by the following table:


Chapter III

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