Donor Recruitment Strategies

Many techniques of blood donor recruitment have been advocated. The best methods are understandably based on personal contact between motivator and prospective donor or at least contacts between motivator and group. Person to person contact may be difficult. But person to group contact is pragmatic.

The transfusion service must get steady flow of blood to keep their shelves full all the year round. Some group or other should organise blood collection drive throughout the year.

Group approach being considered as most pragmatic and effective approach to recruit donors as a short term strategy, the community may be divided into various target groups that may be approached during their convenient period. The groups may be:

    * Educational Institutions

    * Industrial and Commercial Organisations

    * Social and Cultural Organisations

    * Religious Orders

    * Political Organisations

    * Trade Unions

    * Fan Clubs

    * Govt. Organisations

    * Sports and Recreational Clubs and Organisations

    * Women’s Organisations

    * Medical Organisations/Institutions

    * Uniformed Services.

Each group may be encouraged to select a suitable day for its blood collection drive. Every organisation likes to associate its blood donation day with significant day. The significant days may be International, National, Regional or even Local for the particular organisation.With a little library work and stretching of imagination, a calendar may be drawn up whereby every day can be found to be a significant day for some group or the other. Some such dates are listed in the Annexure IX.

When a group of dreamers with conviction of purpose and a plan to act unite, an organisation is born. On the strength of such an organisation social change depends. The status of voluntary blood donation movement in different countries of the world and even among the states of this vast country bear testimony to the strength, weakness or presence of such organisations.

In 1947, India achieved independence. But before 1964, Independence Day was never observed by donating blood. The accident to Nari Contractor dates back to 1962. But Nari Contractor inaugurated the blood donation camp at Calcutta only in 1981 by donating blood in memory of Sir Frank Worrell for the first time anywhere in the world. It is the imagination which is needed in the motivation, recruitment and retention of blood donors.

The motivator may approach the leader or the key person of the group and after convincing him or her. sits with the group for a motivational session using display materials and or flip charts. After the talk or discussion there should be question and answer session followed by distribution of some take-home materials like folder or booklet containing basic information on blood and blood donation.

In the motivation session a suitable date for blood collection drive may be chosen. The gap between the motivation session and the date of blood donation drive should not be normally more than seven days. The key personnel of the group should be provided with posters/folders/stickers and encouraged to launch campaign locally.

If a suitable date for the group is fixed and efforts are made by the motivators to induce the group to hold the camp in and around the date for 3/4 years then the blood collection drive becomes a regular activity of the group.

The print and electronic media may be used to publicise the blood collection drive so that the group feels important.

Handing over blood group-cum-donors card to the donors in due time helps in sustaining the blood donation by the group for years to come

Weekdays are most suitable for educational institutions, industrial and commercial houses, trade unions, government organisation, uniformed organisations. Sundays and holidays are suitable for clubs and other groups

Short Term Methods

Any programme supporting and helping to propagate the message of particular blood collection drive is a short term strategy which may include seminars, talks, meetings, poster, banner, hoarding, leaflet, radio, TV newspaper announcements and reporting.

Long Term Methods

Any donor recruitment strategy meant for recruiting donors of tomorrow may be considered as long term strategy. These include walk, rally, hoarding, articles in print media and general awareness programme to inform and educate common people. School education programme, incorporation of lessons in school text book, demonstration of blood donation camps in schools are the methods for recruiting donors of tomorrow. Converting blood donors and young adults to honorary donor recruiters through structured training programme to spread the message of blood donation deep down in the community helps building up a healthy people’s movement.

After successful school education programme the school may be encouraged to organise blood donation camps with teachers, parents, ex-students and people of the locality as donors and the children as organisers and motivators. The children able to motivate their parents and relatives to donate blood in the camp organised at their school may be presented with a badge with inscription like “I am proud. There is blood donor in my family”

Mass blood donation camps after a general awareness campaign by bringing in a number of blood banks to work side by side and pre-donation announcements and post-donation reporting are also considered as long term strategies as these camps help in spreading of the message of voluntary blood donation in the community, which in turn helps in organising smaller camps throughout the year. On one occasion there can be a number of camps in different places concurrently.

The quiz contest, debate, elocution contest, sit and draw contest, slogan contest, essay contest on blood and blood donation are also part of long term strategies.

Direct method

The most common methods employed generally are lectures / discussions / seminar / symposia / group-meetings, etc. These are particularly applied to organised target groups like industrial and commercial establishments, dubs or locality based organisations, schools and colleges as also for organised professional bodies like those of medical professionals, Para-medicals, nurses, teachers and those of sportsmen, intellectuals, performing artists and the like.

The areas covered in such talks include:

    * brief history of blood donation movement and blood transfusion,

    * present status of blood transfusion service of the region,indications of blood transfusion, as a life saving measure,

    * blood requirement of the region vis-a-vis availability and their

    * source,

    * evils of blood procured from commercial sources,

    * eligibility of the donor,

    * actual ‘material loss’ after donation and recuperation thereof

    * advantages of blood donation.

    * importance of safe blood donation,

    * blood donation as safe procedure

    * possible role of the target audience in this regard,

    * an appeal to participate in the movement.

In conclusion, some time should always be made available for a question and answer session.

Indirect methods

    * The common but useful method applied for group or community motivation is by way of putting up of banners, display       hoardings posters, etc. in public places and distribution of leaflets and handouts.

    * Puppet shows, drama, songs and poems with the theme of blood donation.

    * Presentation of badge, lapel pin, watch-sticker (depicting blood group), awarding certificate in public ceremonies to       help motivate the non-donor general public.Occasionally such awards is modelled to have a special appeal to a       particular group of donors.

    * Impressive thanks letter addressed to the donor to generate lasting warmth and to induce the donor to repeat the act of       donation,

    * Group recognition like inter-institution / inter-class / inter-club  trophies are awarded for mobilising maximum number       of blood donors.

    * Organisation of ‘Know your blood group’ stall decorated with colourful slogans, posters and allied visuals at fairs,       exhibitions. festival pandals etc. accompanied by short talks and distribution of leaflets.

    * Short-film show and skit on the theme of blood donation. Display of cinema slides and mobile audio-visual campaigns.

    * Use of mass-media like news papers, periodicals, Radio and TV.

    * Debate, poster, quiz and slogan competitions.

    * Distribution of special donor-badge for multiple donations, e.g. 5/10/25/50/100 times.

    * Printing of blood donation slogans on hospital outdoor ticket. bill presented by Electricity / Water board / Treasury,  Premium notices and receipts of LIC, Milk pouch or     Food packing, Postal cancellations, etc.

    * Introduction of national / state level awards for donor organisations.

    * Appeals from religious leaders to their followers and general public.

Supplementary methods

    * Motivation of the blood users, i.e., medical professional, para- medicals and nurses as well as those in the       administration who

    * run the service.

    * Laying stress on the importance of a well-organised and standadised blood transfusion service as part of the national       health care service.

    * Emphasis on avoidance of injudicious use of blood.

    * Impressing upon the blood bank personnel the need to be courteous in approach to the donors.

    * Introduction of comprehensive in-service training of blood bank staff for the updating of their knowledge and skill.

    * Pleasant housing for blood banks and appropriate collection apparatus to impress the donors.

    * Strict donor-screening according to the standard norms to instil confidence in the donors.

In donor recruitment ideas and imagination play a great role to boost up blood donation movement.

Technique to Meet Rare and Fresh Blood Need With the advancement of technology of open-heart surgery in the hospitals of the country, the people irrespective of social and financial status are haunting donor motivators and social welfare organisations in this field, in quest of blood donors to meet their fresh blood need (i.e., blood of a donor bled on the date of the elective surgery).


The people, otherwise willing to donate blood in camps, are reluctant to donate blood in such cases to the dictate of surgeons and according to the administrative and managerial balance of convenience of the blood banks. These blood needs put the regular donors under pressure over and over again.

Motivators may try the following pre-tested method:

At least fifteen days before these elective surgeries, motivational sessions are organised either at the place of work of the patient or next of  his/her kin or at the locality of the patient. The science of blood and blood donation is explained vis-a-vis the blood need of the particular patient.The blood groupings of the willing donors are carried out on the spot. The simplicity of the procedure often prompts the onlookers to volunteer. A short list of donors of the right group is then prepared and handed over to the patient or his/her relative to escort the donors to the hospital on the day, of elective surgery. Such donors in their locality or place of work are considered as heroes as the patient is known to all of them.

There is no magic formula for success in donor recruitment and success is not automatically guaranteed unless backed by hard work, sincerity, dedication, conviction and imagination.