Top 11 Tips for a Successful Blood Drive
One of MOBLZ’ founders has been a blood coordinator for many blood drives across multiple companies and multiple organizations. Blood Drives have become part of the MOBLZ culture, a regular part of our service offerings. In coordinating over 35 blood drives, we’ve helped collect over 1000 units of blood. The Red Cross correlates giving one unit of blood to saving three lives, so our blood drives really make a difference! January is National Blood Donor Month, so with that in mind we've put together some tips to help you run a successful blood drive on your properties. It’s an easy thing to do, with a HUGE impact.
- Promote your drive with passion, and be an example. The #1 reason blood donors say they give is “to help others.” The #1 reason people give for not donating is that they have never been asked. As your property’s Blood Drive Coordinator, you play a critical role in ‘asking’ and engaging others in this life-saving cause. And be sure to give yourself if you’re able to set a true example!
- Make it a team effort. Organize a blood drive committee to get others involved. When you have buy-in from your team to help recruit donors, schedule appointments, serve as canteen host, or at registration the day of the drive, you’re likely to see higher levels of participation. We like to pair food (or food trucks) with our blood drives. For example, our Hillsborough NC event has a sponsor who buys $60 in pizza to serve to the donors.
- Build a donor database and maintain your list. In order to fill 50 appointment slots, you need over 500 contacts to invite to donate blood. Ideally, you want 1000 email addresses and contacts. Covid and “work-from-home” initially made this easier, but now it is much harder. During the last half of 2021 we noticed that more people who want to give are not able to – often for health concerns or due to their actual health status. You also may find higher cancellations happening, so increase that list!
- Get leadership involved. Ask a key leader within your organization AND individual businesses in your office parks to support the blood drive with a personal email, public announcement, or in some other way encourage everyone who is eligible to donate. Use SOCIAL MEDIA! Area groups on Facebook have been resources to find those five last minute donors you need to fill a schedule.
- Ask the question personally. Offer everyone an opportunity by asking potential donors to give on a one-on-one basis. Help each potential donor understand the process and the lives saved through blood donation. Again, people don’t give because they aren’t asked to give. We know property managers can’t literally ask every tenants’ employees, but when you run into someone on-site, you could certainly ask if they’ve heard about the blood drive to get them engaged.
- Include a personal story. Find a co-worker or share your own story of a life that has been touched by blood donation to share with your blood drive announcements and on social media if you have permission. Blood partners like the Red Cross and OneBlood also typically have such stories posted on their websites and social media that you can share, often as compelling video.
- Reward the regulars. Each donation is a life-saving donation, so repeat donors are simple to track. Systems like the one used by the Red Cross keeps track of how many units people have given. We like to print a simple certificate of appreciation to the 5 Gallon givers or a free gift if you have a corporate sponsor.
- Publicize the drive. Maximize your access to the intranet, email, newsletters, bulletin boards, and social media to advertise and promote the event. Display pledge forms, posters, and flyers in high-traffic areas such as building entrances, common spaces, conference rooms, lobbies, elevators, hallways, and restrooms. Put a nice big QR code on the door for people to scan. Don’t get discouraged if your sign-ups are slow to start. You must publish for a few weeks in advance, and many of the sign-ups will come in the last seven days. Make sure you are posting on social media and sending reminders on your email list seven days before the event.
- Raise awareness. Sponsor a friendly competition among tenants to generate interest and increase participation. This will get tenants talking and encourage sign-ups.
- Follow up. Distribute appointment reminder cards or emails to scheduled donors. On the day of the drive, display ‘Blood Drive Today’ posters around the property to serve as a reminder, especially if you have spots for walk-in donors.
- Celebrate your success! Thank all donors and participants who helped make your drive a success. Show pictures in your media channels after the event to create a little FOMO (fear of missing out). It shows how many people participated and makes people ask themselves why they didn’t.
Want to know more? Check out a previous MOBLZ post with more blood drive details: https://www.moblz.com//National-Blood-Donor-Month.