Thanks to teachers and students like you, America's Blood Center members are able to meet the demand for blood to a service area of 180 million people in 45 U.S. states and Canada. The information provided will help you get started. The most important thing to remember is that your commitment is to find the donors; your local community blood center will do the rest!
The information provided below should act as a guideline for organizing a blood drive in your community. Please contact your local community blood center to obtain information and requirements for hosting a blood drive. Click here to locate a blood center near you in the U.S. or Canada.
The first thing to know, is that the earlier you start organizing, the better! There's a lot to do and much to think about, but if you follow a specific checklist provided by the blood center, you will be very well prepared and not overwhelmed when your blood drive dates arrive.
Delegation of the tasks involved in organizing a blood drive not only makes the job easier, it builds teamwork and gives more people the opportunity to get involved. Create a committee by nominating four responsible students. These students in turn nominate other students to help them.
Blood Drive Committee:
- Faculty Advisor (Teacher)
- Blood Drive Coordinator
- Donor Recruitment Chairperson
- Promotion Chairperson
- Site Preparation Chairperson
Responsibilities of each Blood Drive Committee Member:
Faculty Advisor (Teacher)
- Choose the student leadership.
- Contact America's Blood Centers firstname.lastname@example.org or www.AmericasBlood.org to find out how to reach your local community blood center.
- Meet with the representative of the local blood center and the principal of your school to set up a date for the blood drive.
- Set up meetings with the blood drive committee.
- Check on the progress of the student leadership.
Blood Drive Coordinator
- Contact parents, faculty and staff and ask them to donate. See sample documents for letters and forms.
- Make announcements to students before the sign-up week and also prior to the blood drive as a reminder.
- Ensure that all chairpersons carry out their responsibilities.
Donor Recruitment Chairperson
- Form a team of students who will recruit student donors. Your team should know the importance of blood donation, be familiar with the typical reasons why people do not donate and understand who can donate blood.
- When a student volunteers to donate blood, they need to make an appointment to donate blood during the blood drive. Get the student's home phone number so you can contact them the day before to remind them of their appointment. This is easily accomplished by distributing pledge cards to and collecting them from all those who meet eligibility requirements. Explain that the pledge card per se does not automatically sign them up to donate; the blood center will follow up to schedule an appointment to donate at the school blood drive. The Donor Recruitment Chairperson will also select a high-traffic area to set up a sign-up table to answer questions and distribute appointment cards.
- Promote and publicize the blood drive through posters, school publications and announcements. See sample documents.
- Community blood centers will provide posters with the date and information for your blood drive printed on them. Find out where you can place these posters at your school. Get permission from your principal before putting up posters or passing out fliers.
- Obtain deadline for getting a story in the school newspaper. The blood center will give you personal stories from people whose lives have been saved through blood donation. Weave these feature stories with facts about blood donation dispelling the common myths, which can also be provided by your local community blood center. If possible, include quotes from donors.
- Coordinate with your principal and blood center to see if an assembly can be held to increase the awareness of the entire student body for the need for blood donations.
- Encourage the PTA to get involved to solicit parent blood donations during the blood drive.
- As a group brainstorm ways to encourage your friends who are of eligible age to donate blood. However, be aware that there are many reasons an individual may not be able to donate blood (medications, medical conditions, high-risk behaviors, etc.) and some of those reasons are very personal. You must recognize that if someone chooses not to donate, they should not be pressured or coerced into donating because that could compromise the safety of the blood supply and because blood donation is a personal decision which needs to be respected. Individuals who cannot or do not want to donate may contribute to the blood drive in many other ways by educating others about the need, passing fliers, signing up donors for appointments, staffing the blood drive canteen, etc.
- Ask your teachers if you can make an announcement before your classes or over the intercom about the blood drive. Make the announcement personal: include what you have learned about the importance of blood donation. If possible, use snippets from the My Blood, Your Blood video to add a human face to the need for blood.
Site Preparation Chairperson
- Make sure the area being used for the blood drive is ready. In most cases, with variations depending on the size of the blood drive and the requirements of your local community blood center, a 25' by 30' room at a comfortable temperature of 65-68 degrees is needed for the blood drive. See the typical set up for a portable usage. The room must be clean and clear of furniture on the day of the drive and have several electric outlets available.
- Arrange for Bloodmobile parking on level ground close to an entrance and have this space blocked off on the day of the drive and report the location to the FA and BDC.
- Ensure that tables and chair are available and placed in a low-traffic are for sign-in.
Special thanks to Blood Assurance, a member of America's Blood Centers, for providing this information.