Every 2 seconds someone in America needs blood.
Unfortunately, only 37% of our country’s population is healthy enough to donate blood. Less than 10% who are eligible to donate do so on a regular basis.
If you want to sponsor a company event that benefits your community, hosting an on-site blood drive is one huge way to give back as a team.
It might surprise you how easy it is to get the Big Red Bus to the front door of your business. Or, you can even set-up a private space within your workplace for a temporary donation room.
From newborn babies to the sick elderly, blood donations are essential and much-needed to help some of the most frail humans survive.
Ready to roll-up your sleeves and help out?
Read on to learn how to plan a successful on-site company blood drive.
Why are Blood Donations Important?
Each year, 4.5 million Americans need blood for various reasons. It's a relatively painless process for donors, but it's a life-saving gesture to those who need it most.
Facts about donating blood:
- Only humans can give it. There’s no synthetic substitute.
- One blood donation (1 pint) can save up to three lives.
- One in 7 hospital patients need blood.
- Blood can be divided into two useful components.
From cancer patients to surgery patients to those dealing with chronic illness, clean blood is an ongoing need that many of us don’t see every day. Giving yours can mean the difference between life and death for another person.
What are the Health Benefits for the Blood Donor?
If you can get past the tiny prick that is the needle, you'll feel good about giving blood. It's essentially a free mini health screening — you’ll know immediately if your iron is too low. You also get a free blood pressure, pulse, and body temperature checkup.
Other blood donor benefits include:
- May help protect against cancer
- Regular donors lose weight
- Forces the body to produce fresh red-blood cells
Additionally, if you give blood you may lower your heart attack risk factor. An American Journal of Epidemiology study found donors have an 88% reduced risk of heart attack. Donating regularly also helps keep iron levels at normal levels.
How Does a Company Benefit From Hosting a Blood Drive?
If you want to see your employees feel really proud of a community service project, giving blood is the perfect opportunity. It will foster community goodwill, along with encouraging a healthy practice for employees.
By hosting a blood drive, employees on the recruiting team will feel the benefits of teamwork when they have a successful drive. Organizing the event for any size office takes time, commitment, teamwork, and enthusiasm. The psychological benefits are just as great as the physical ones when it comes to participating in a blood drive.
Best of all, employees feel a sense of purpose when donating to save lives.
How Do I Host a Blood Drive?
Contact the American Red Cross or a local hospital or blood center to get a spot on their donor calendar. They may be able to bring in a blood mobile. Advertise within your office (fliers, newsletters, meeting announcements, etc.) to get signups. If your company is in an office park, you can contact other businesses as well to ask for more donations.
Encourage employees who plan on donating to get a good night’s sleep prior. Send an email the day before the drive to remind employees to stay hydrated with water and eat a healthy meal.
To successfully host a blood drive you’ll want to plan out specific tasks for before, during, and after for the best results.
Here’s a breakdown of how to host your best blood drive:
Prior to the Drive
Send email reminders a few days prior to the drive. If signups took place months ago, there's a chance that donors forgot about their commitment. For last-minute signups, post a sign-up sheet in the break room or other highly-trafficked area.
For the most successful event, you’ll want to check these to-do items off your list:
- Secure the donation location
- Determine a time and day that your office will have a lot of traffic
- Set the date well in advance
- Recruit volunteers to help sign donors up
Bonus tip: Have a donor t-shirt making activity to get soon-to-be donors excited about giving blood. Or, you can have t-shirts premade by a local graphics company. Have your recruiting team wear the shirts randomly up until the day of the event to advertise.
Day of the Drive
As long as you plan well in advance and have a sheet listing your best point of contacts, your blood drive day should go smoothly. A few tasks to take care of on the day of may include:
- Mark off the parking area or donation room
- Arrive early to meet the phlebotomy team
- Have your recruiting team stay on-site all day
- Send email reminders to donors who signed up
- Manage the schedule throughout the day
- Thank everyone who donates
Bonus tip: Throughout the day, share pictures and videos on social media. Before starting, consider having donors sign a photo release form. Ask the blood organization what their photo policy is since you might not be able to take pictures of the phlebotomists. Sharing real-time activity may encourage more donors, especially if you do a Facebook live to get them pumped up.
- Send thank you notes to donors
- Share the participant numbers with employees
- See if you can share the results of the blood drive
- Ask for feedback from employees
Bonus tip: Evaluate the success of the drive and be sure to share your success with your employees, including how many pints were donated, lives saved, etc. Ask how often they would like to do blood drives.
Planning For Future Blood Drives
The facts about donating blood are pretty simple: A lot of patients need blood and only a few select people can give it.
Before investing a full day into a blood drive, you might consider having a phlebotomist or representative from a blood donation center offer a lunch and learn presentation. This will give you and staff members a better idea of what's involved with doing an on-site blood drive.
Post presentation, you can take an anonymous survey to see how many employees would be open to donating blood.
If you get positive feedback, start planning your first on-site blood drive. If it's a success, consider hosting one blood drive per quarter. Not only will your employees benefit, but so will your community — in a big way.
What questions do you have about hosting an on-site blood drive? Let us know in the comments below!