The Tale of Two Non-Profits

Written by: Allison Barber, WGU Indiana Chancellor

When I gaze up from my computer, the images I see are of my favorite non-profits.  WGU, the online, nonprofit university that helps Americans improve their lives through degree attainment and the American Red Cross (ARC), one of our nation’s oldest nonprofits that helps individuals in need.   I am honored to be the Chancellor of WGU Indiana and the state lead volunteer for the Indiana American Red Cross.

WGU was founded 20 years ago.  The American Red Cross was founded 136 years ago.  Amazingly, both organizations have things in common.


  1.  WGU and ARC are mission focused and put individuals and their needs first.  At WGU we recently helped a student who lost her computer charger, a critical item when attending an online university.  When the student’s mentor informed us of the need, we went to the store, bought a charger and delivered it to the student.  At ARC, we respond to families daily, who need official communication with their military family member. Red Cross was founded by Clara Barton who was passionate about providing support to the military.  We continue to be committed to the needs of military members and their families and WGU continues to meet individual needs of students.
  1. WGU and ARC are both nonprofits.  WGU has built a reputation for being affordable, only $6,000.00 a year for a bachelor’s or master’s degree.  We are determined to offer degree attainment without putting our students in unnecessary debt scenarios.  ARC is reliant on the generous donations of the American people and the organization invests 91 cents of every dollar donated directly to the programs that serve humanitarian needs.


  1. WGU and ARC are both striving to create resiliency.  A college degree provides a promising future and economic success for our students and alumni.  Being prepared through the Red Cross for disaster, CPR/First Aid, and military communication creates resilient individuals and communities.  While volunteering at a disaster site in California, I met a man who was sifting through the ashes of what was once his beautiful home.  He was elated to find coins in the ashes.  It was the location in the house where he and his wife would drop loose change into a container.  I was curious as to the enthusiasm he demonstrated as he pulled pennies, nickels and dimes from the mounds of ashes.  He looked up at me and declared, “Each coin makes me a victor, not a victim.” 


I have the great privilege of investing my time and resources to two nonprofits that help individuals become “victors.”


In honor of Red Cross Month (March) all ARC employees and volunteers are eligible for a 5% tuition discount at WGU.

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