New Jersey Save3Lives: All in a Day's Work

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Best Practices: Planning, Execution and Follow-Up

Workplace Blood Drives can be organized by any group of individuals within the company who have the authority, commitment and initiative to carry out the work.  The size of the organization often determines who takes the lead in establishing the blood drive team and the size of that team. 

Blood drive campaigns are most successful when the President, CEO or Executive Manager makes a strong commitment to them and communicates that commitment to all employees.

These best practices reflect lessons learned and offer tips for success from members of the New Jersey Workplace Blood Donor Coalition.  They represent organizations with experience in conducting workplace blood drives.

I. The Pre-Drive Planning Stage:

How to Organize a Successful Blood Drive

The President/CEO/Executive Manager should:

  • Assign a dedicated and highly respected staff member to take on program management responsibility as the Blood Drive Coordinator
    • Consider including this assignment in the employee’s job description – objectives for the year might include, for example: Conduct four blood drives in which you will:
      • Increase donors by X percent, and
      • Increase units donated by X percent

  • Evaluate performance on these objectives just as on any other objective in the job description, and thereby:
    • Establish blood drives as “real work” rather than an add-on to do if time permits.
    • Obligate top management to ensure that the assigned staff member has necessary resources to get job done

The Blood Drive Coordinator should:

  • Plan ahead, plan early and manage all details of the donation process
    • Meet with the blood bank nearest you to plan blood drives at your workplace

    • Arrange dates, locations and times for each blood drive scheduled for the year
      • Schedule blood drives at regular times during the year so that donors can anticipate and book upcoming blood drives
      • Schedule blood drives far enough apart so that donors can give blood at all company blood drives

    • Establish a timeline of activities leading up to each blood drive [See Blood Drive Tool Kit Manual p. 8]

  • Set overall goals for each blood drive and for the entire year.

  • Make the blood drive competitive among departments and set goals that each department is expected to achieve for the year

  • Stay in contact with the blood bank representative for advice and assistance
    • Ask to be kept up-to-date with any changes of rules such as eligibility for blood donation

  • Form a committee of Blood Drive Captains from all levels of the workplace to promote the drive among employees

  • Hold a kickoff meeting with the workplace blood drive committee and blood bank representative to discuss how each drive will run

  • Make an appointment schedule for the blood drive with specific times for donors to sign up to donate
    • Schedule appointments to increase donor accountability (donors are more likely to donate if they have an appointment)

  • Keep senior management involved
    • Have a strong & vocal executive leadership team that supports the planning initiative and encourages employee participation
    • Encourage senior management to participate by giving blood
    • Photograph a senior executive donating blood and publicize that donation within the organization

  • Partner with neighboring businesses and state agencies to increase donors at your blood drive
    • E-mail invitations to their human resource departments announcing the blood drive

  • Gather testimonials from employees

  • Create letters and promotional materials using resources available in the Save3Lives Blood Drive Tool Kit and distribute to Blood Drive Captains

  • Provide brochures, pledge cards and posters for your blood drive captains to place in their work areas

  • Hold periodic meetings with Blood Drive Captains who represent the departments within your workplace to evaluate the last blood drive and plan the next.

How to Communicate the Blood Drive to Your Employees

To ensure success:  

  • Make the effort fun, inspiring and pleasant

  • Talk with employees to promote the campaign, encourage them to participate, and answer their questions

  • Recruit donors through a multi-channel system of communications (face-to-face discussions, e-mail announcements, phone calls, sign-up tables and printed flyers and posters)

  • Build a sense of community through employee interaction and ongoing communications:
    • Send Save the Date e-mail to all employees
    • Assign staff based on the size of the organization to visit every employee and talk about the importance of donating
    • Send a personal e-mail to each previous donor thanking them for participating/or attempting to participate and asking them to participate again
    • Run announcements in monthly employee newsletter both the month before and the month of the blood drive
    • Send follow-up personal e-mail confirming donor registration date/time
    • Send reminder e-mail the day before the blood drive to all donors w/tips on how to prepare for donation

  • Make a short presentation at staff and group meetings announcing the workplace blood drive and emphasize the importance of donating.  Some helpful materials in the Blood Drive Tool Kit include:
    • “Save 3 Lives…Campaign Fact Sheet”
    • “About Blood Donation Fact Sheet”

  • Assure employees that taking work time to give blood is endorsed by senior staff

  • Ask your top executive to personally communicate the importance of the blood donation drive by e-mailing companywide memos announcing the blood drive

  • Post dates of the blood drive on the organization’s internal calendar and/or intranet site

  • Make the importance of donating blood immediate and real by sharing testimonials from co-workers whose lives have been touched by blood donations. [See blood drive customizable poster in the Blood Drive Tool Kit.]

  • Foster a buddy system that makes donation easier for first-time donors:
    • Place first-time donors with someone who is already a donor
    • Accompany the first-time donor to the blood drive
    • Create groups that would like to donate at the same time
    • lock out certain times that first-time donors can attend together with their buddies
II. The Day of the Drive:

Duties of Blood Drive Coordinator

  • Conduct each blood drive with help from the blood drive committee, the blood drive captains and your blood bank representative

  • Post signage directing people to the blood drive

  • Arrive early each day of the drive

  • Mark parking spots for donors and volunteers who do not normally work at the blood drive location

  • Assist blood bank drivers, food services and security with set-up

  • Make sure the drive is adequately staffed

  • Assign volunteers to their areas of responsibility

  • Provide registration forms and assist prospective donors through the process

  • Monitor donors for reactions.  If they appear sick do not allow them to leave and seek appropriate medical help

  • Arrange for snacks, drinks and lunch for the donors, volunteers and blood bank staff

  • Create a spreadsheet for tracking data and input statistics daily

  • Provide monitors to show videos as entertainment for donors

  • Assign someone to contact any donors who have not arrived on time for their appointment

  • Distribute a questionnaire/evaluation sheet to donors about the donation experience

  • Share post-event donor instructions with the donors (no alcohol, no heavy lifting, etc.)

Ways to Build an Incentive Program into Your Campaign

  • Use creative themes and offer prizes to motivate employees to donate blood

  • Enter each donor in a raffle for a relatively small, but desirable item such as an American Express Gift Card

  • Give a small gift to say thank you for donating and highlight it in any pre-drive communications
    • Present a “Help Fill the Bank, and We’ll Help Fill the Tank” gas gift card
    • Reward participating employees with a lunch voucher for the company cafeteria

  • Host a special breakfast, lunch or after-work event for employees who donate blood

  • Give a small gift or a gift card to anyone bringing in a New Donor Buddy to donate blood

III. The Post-Drive Follow-Up Stage:

Ways to Recognize Your Donors

  • Have someone on hand to thank donors as they leave the blood drive

  • Have the Blood Drive Coordinator send a letter for each donation thanking the donor for the life-saving contribution

  • Recognize Blood Drive Captains and their departments/ groups if goals are achieved

  • Acknowledge all volunteer staff and retired volunteers who may have contributed to achieving the company’s goals

  • Present plaques to all departments and/or top achievers at a casual awards reception or luncheon

Wrap-Up and Evaluation

  • Send an e-mail to all employees sharing the successes of the drive and the impact that donations will have on medical care in New Jersey

  • Discuss the outcome of the blood drive at management team and full staff meetings

  • Evaluate what worked well and what could have been better for each campaign

  • Tabulate general statistics to measure your percent of participation against your projected goals

  • Track the organization’s progress with each blood drive 

  • Display your measures of progress toward goals in public view as a motivator for the entire organization

  • Each year set goals to increase employee participation

One pint of blood from a single donor may save 3 lives.
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