Five Tips for Successfully Coordinating a Blood Drive

Blood services is an important branch in the American Red Cross. Did you know that in the United States, the Red Cross supplies more than 40% of the nation’s blood supply? Youth play a key role in reaching the high demand for blood by coordinating blood drives at high schools, colleges, and other community areas. Here are some tips for successfully coordinating a blood drive as a youth volunteer.

1)  Plan well in advance

Blood drives can be a great way for youth to get involved in the Red Cross, but planning and coordinating a blood drive takes a lot of planning. Be sure to contact the blood drive specialist in your area at least three months before you plan to host the drive. Talk with them about where you want it to be, the expected number of donors, and how to best advertise the drive in your community.

2)  Have a good location

Because the United States is a very diverse country, it is important to keep in mind one’s community and drive location when planning an upcoming drive. Popular locations for drives include churches, schools, and outside large stores. Be sure to have the drive in an area with decent “traffic,” so you can get the most people and hit your donor goal.

 3)  Advertise strategically

Advertisement is critical when planning a drive. Utilize a variety of sources, including physical flyers, word of mouth, and online events. Consider making a Facebook event if the drive is at your high school or college. In addition, be sure to advertise (with permission) in relevant areas, such as popular restaurants and large stores in your community.

4)  Research the facts about blood donation

When coordinating a blood drive, people will often ask you questions about donor eligibility. You should read the materials your blood drive specialist gives you so you can answer these questions. When in doubt, contact your blood drive specialist to ask them and tell the potential donor you will get back to them. You can also direct them to redcrossblood.org for additional information.

5)  Put together a recruitment team

Coordinating a blood drive is a lot easier with some help. Consider asking Red Cross Club members, friends, and others to help with the process. Delegate specific tasks to the members of your team to minimize the burden on any one person. Also, recruit some students or friends to volunteer during the drive as refreshment servers, receptionists, and student supervisors.

 

Bonus tip: Did you know you can get a scholarship for hosting a blood drive? Check out this link for more information.

 

Good luck with hosting your blood drive!

 

Joshua Lovett

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American Red Cross National Youth Council

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