Blood Drive Promotion
Although Dak-Minn Blood Bank can provide you with an assortment of publicity materials, the best publicity involves people. Here’s a brief listing of ideas to help you get started on your campaign:
Ideas, Ideas, Ideas
- Insert an article into your organization’s newsletter with details of the upcoming blood drive. Use personal stories. Find someone who received blood (Over 70% of us do in our lifetime) and ask if they would share their story.
- Take Polaroid photos of donors giving blood. Then post them in high traffic areas to encourage others to donate.
- Use a “Bring Buddy” theme for a first-time donor campaign where regular donors bring potential first-time donors.
- Have a sign-up table outside your cafeteria a few days before the blood drive. This will draw attention to the blood donor program and also provide you with the opportunity to answer questions and promote person-to-person recruitment.
- Hand out candy at sign-up tables before the blood drive, along with little notes: “Roll Up Your Sleeve”(Tootsie Rolls), “Let’s Pull Together”(Taffy), “We’re Sweet on Blood Donors”(Chocolate Kisses), or “Save a Life-Donate Blood”(LifeSavers). Food really seems to grab people’s attention.
- Use themes! Holiday, seasonal or otherwise! They can be carried through on fliers, posters, decorations and food.
- Draw a “blood barometer” to indicate number of donors signed-up. Or have a “tree of life” with donors names tied on.
- Announce the blood drive at all supervisor/management meetings.
- Gain support from individuals who are not medically able to donate. Ask them to bake desserts for refreshment area, put up posters, or help with recruiting donors.
- Write a thank you article for your organization’s newsletter and include names/pictures of donors and volunteers.
- Place posters in high visibility areas.
- Notify local radio/TV stations and newspapers informing them of the blood drive and invite them to cover the event.
- Develop paycheck stuffers to promote your blood drive.
Recruiting the First-Time Donor
To meet the increasing need for blood and blood products, we must continually recruit thousands of first time donors every year. Here are a few tips that might help you:
- People do not know what to expect when they initially give blood.
Communicate the steps in the donation process: interview, donation and refreshments. Let them know that donating blood is quick, safe and simple.
- People are afraid of pain.
Communicate that most donors feel no discomfort at all. The needle prick they will feel is like a pinch and lasts only a few seconds. Most donors leave with a good feeling inside.
- People are fearful that donating or the sight of blood will make them dizzy.
Avoid communicating these types of negative reactions. Focus on the good feelings, and positive outcome of donating. Emphasize that giving blood has no ill effects on the donor’s health.
Research shows that the major reasons people give blood are:
- Awareness-Community Need
- Convenient opportunity
- Response to a blood supply emergency
- Replacement for a friend or relative
- Donor Benefits
- Encouragement from someone they know.
- Stress the continuous need for blood donors.
Blood must be available every day for patients who need it. Blood is perishable and must be used within 42 days. Other blood products must be used within 5 days. Emphasize the vital need for people to donate on a regular basis in order to maintain an adequate blood supply in our community.
- Some people think giving blood is inconvenient and time consuming.
Emphasize that advance appointments allow donating blood to be convenient, and that the entire donation process takes less than an hour.
Major reasons people do not give blood are:
- No one ever asked
- No convenient opportunity
- Concerned with discomfort
- Fear of needles
- Unaware there is a need
As stated before, one-to-one contact between recruiter and prospective donor is the key to success. Think about it this way. Asking someone to give blood means asking that person to take an hour of their time to donate a pint of blood to patients in need. A poster can’t convince someone that their donation is important—only another person can do that. Remember: blood donation is a very personal commitment.
The following four-step technique has proven to be very successful. Some individuals may be easier to recruit than others may, so it may not be necessary to follow each step with every potential donor.
- Inform the donor of the daily need for blood in our community.
- Utilize brochures and other printed materials to assure the individual the donation experience is safe and virtually painless. Help the person realize why any apprehensions are unfounded.
- Base your conversation on the fact that the blood donor center does not need blood…. patients do.
- After potential donors are informed, invite them to give blood.
- Consider the individual’s emotions and attitudes. If you notice any hesitation, ask if he or she has a question or is uncomfortable about the thought of donating blood.
- Deal with fear. Non-donors are often afraid the procedure will hurt. Of course these fears are unfounded but they are very real to the first-time donor.
- Be enthusiastic! A prospective donor’s enthusiasm is directly related to your own enthusiasm.
- Be prepared to answer the more common questions on medical requirements, and refer more complicated questions to the Dak-Minn Blood Bank staff. Leave printed information with those people who are not yet ready to sign up.
- Ask the prospective donor to make a donation appointment.
- Ask for time preference and confirm the appointment.
- People are more likely to honor their commitment if they are reminded shortly before the blood drive. Distribute appointment reminder cards and follow up on the prospects that required time to decide.
- Remind donors to eat a good meal within four hours of their scheduled donation time. Encourage them to drink extra non-alcoholic fluids as well.
Much of your blood drive’s success will depend on the timetable you establish for the drive itself and the individual donors. These guidelines should help:
The benefits of scheduling donors:
- Saves donors time away from work/school
- Allows the blood center to plan for adequate mobile staffing and supplies
- Permits optimum follow-up care of donors
- Reduces the number of “no-shows”
- Gives you the opportunity to increase donor turn-out
- Increases the overall efficiency of the blood drive
Helpful hints for scheduling donors:
- Make sure each donor is aware that it takes approximately 45 minutes from registration to the end of the donation process.
- Sign up all donors on the scheduling sheet that the Donor Center representative gives you. This schedule must be sent to the Donor Center the day prior to your drive. This will enable us to insure sufficient supplies.
- Emphasize the importance of every donor being on time. This will alleviate the frustration of backlogs.
- If possible, plan to stop by the drive periodically throughout the day to assure that everything is running smoothly.
- Your Donor Center representative may ask that you schedule a lunch break for the blood drive staff. This lunch break should be reflected on the donor schedule when it is provided to you.
- Please complete the sign up sheet by filling up one time slot before moving to the next. This will assure a constant flow of donors.
Thanking your donors for taking the time to give blood is crucial for the success of your blood drives. Below are some ideas and suggestions on how to do just that. Some of these creative ideas came from chairpersons that continue to sponsor very successful blood drives.
“The Blood you gave away will wipe a tear away.” Printed on a box of tissues.
“You’ve given JOY “ printed on a bottle of Joy Dishwashing Detergent.
“Thank you for putting the zip back in someone’s life” printed on a box of Zip Lock Bags.
“Thank you for lighting up someone’s life” printed on a card attached to a candle
“You’re a life-saver” Printed on a card attached to a pack of lifesavers
Judene Miller and Vickie Bair of the Pfaltzgraff Co shared these ideas. Thank you for sharing your great ideas!
Other Ideas to thank your donors:
Personal Thank you from chairperson
Personalized thank you cards
Coupon for free ice cream cone, soda or salad etc. in your cafeteria
Someone from administration personally thanking some of the donors as they give
Have members of your organization make homemade goodies for the donors
Most of all HAVE FUN! If the donors enjoy themselves and feel appreciated, they’ll come back!
A rule of thumb to follow: if the item has a retail value of less than $10, is offered to all donors that present to give blood and there is no resale market for the item, it is most likely an acceptable token of thanks. Please call Dak-Minn Blood Bank with any questions that you may have about any gift you would like to give away!
Ideas, Ideas, Ideas
- Publish an Honor Roll after the blood drive listing the names of all those who participated in the drive. (Donors, deferrals and volunteers) Display the list in a highly visible area.
- Issue a release with the names of first time donors, gallon donors, and multi-gallon donors in your company newsletter.
- Give special awards to those departments that have the highest percentage of its members donating.
- Pass a trophy to the department with the greatest participation and let them keep it until the next drive when another department might take the lead. This makes it fun and may spark a competitive urge to participate.
- A prize drawing among your donors for a special gift. (Donors and deferred donors must both be included in prize drawing.)
- Be Creative. Make your donors feel appreciated. It doesn’t have to be costly, just sincere.