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Blood donation incentives

November 28, 2016

Blood donation incentives
Newspaper articles have appeared recently about the need for blood donations during the holidays. My recommendation is for blood donation agencies such as United Blood Services (UBS) is to return to use of incentives like lapel pins and plaques that recognize the quantity of blood donated. I have some experience as both a lifelong donor and someone who has set up blood donation campaigns. Unfortunately, UBS has “simplified” their incentives by using things like movie tickets and drawings rather than lapel pins and plaques which, albeit, require more record keeping and staff work. But they aren’t as effective. The lapel pins show the number of gallons donated and are more effective because they allow the donor to both advertise for UBS and express pride in being a donor. I often had conversations with people who would see my lapel pin and ask about how to donate or would express amazement at the number of gallons on the pin (each gallon is eight donations). These pins also inspire competition among fellow donors.
And I remember the pride I had when I reached the ten-gallon level and received a plaque with my name on it. I displayed it prominently on the wall of my office and it evoked comments of admiration. I believe that it also inspired others to donate. Several years later I hit the twenty-gallon mark, but, by then, UBS had stopped giving out the plaques. When I expressed my disappointment to a UBS staff member, he took it upon himself to have a plaque made for me. That plaque also occupies a prominent place on my office wall and gives me an incentive to continue donating. I realize that pins and plaques take a little more work in record keeping but I think the extra effort would pay dividends in many ways.

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