Think Foundation
Knowledge Centre - Blood Drive Elements

Elements of Blood Donation Drives

Organising a blood donation drive is very easy. Like in any other activity, it is the inertia that needs to be overcome. Having done this, one can see that the following aspects need to be paid attention to:

  1. Formation of Core Group
    Constitution of an organizing committee helps in converting the activity from a one-man activity to an organized one. Responsibilities can be shared and accountabilities fixed.
  2. Timing of the Drive
    It is desirable for an organisation to organize 2 blood donation drives in a year.
  3. Choice of the Blood Bank
    Think Foundation can be entrusted with this responsibility of bringing the blood bank which is most in need. Needless to say, the chosen blood bank will be one that is approved by the authorities. You could choose the Blood Bank of your choice after keeping in mind that the expected number of donors is in line with the requirement of the blood bank. See the Section on ‘Choosing the Blood Bank’.
  4. Duration of the Drive
    Convenience to the donor is the most important criterion here. Think Foundation can help in planning the duration.
  5. Motivating Potential Donors
    This is easily the most important aspect of organizing a drive. While we all agree that blood donation is purely voluntary, one cannot just sit back after making an announcement about the drive. Some people have misconceptions and apprehensions about blood donation, which have to be dispelled. Others need to be given a reminder about the Drive. Remember that every additional donor means an additional life saved.
    See the Section on ‘Motivating Potential Donors’ in the pages that follow.
  6. Physical arrangements
    See the Section on ‘Physical arrangements’ in the pages that follow.

Choosing the Blood Bank

Most Blood Donation Drive organizers have been enlisted in the activity at the initiative of a particular Blood Bank. In such a case the choice of the Blood Bank is not an issue. However, when there is a choice or when you need to pick more than one blood bank the following factors may be taken into consideration:

Geographical proximity
You could choose a Blood Bank, which is nearest in geographical terms. This is not a very important factor. However, having a relationship with the nearest Blood Bank shows your concern for the immediate neighbourhood.

Expected number of donors at the Drive
If the expected collection is more than 100 units, you may call any Blood Bank. The size of the Drive will matter when the expected collection is very much higher than 100 or lower than 40.

  • For small drives (lower than 50 units) it would be advisable to call Blood Banks for whom the expected collections work out to not more than 20 days requirement of the Blood Bank.
  • For medium size drives (between 50 and 400 units) it would be advisable to call Blood Banks, for whom the expected collections work out to not more than 15 days requirement of the Blood Bank.
  • For very large Drives (greater than 400 units) it would be advisable to call more than 1 Blood Bank. Each of the Blood Banks called for the Drives should not be given more than 15 days requirement of that Blood Bank.

Stock situation in the Blood Banks
The stock situation should be the most important factor in the choice of the Blood Bank. In the event of a medium or large sized drive, it would be advisable to check the situation of Blood in the various Blood Banks. The Blood Bank, which is desperately in need of Blood, should be the first choice.

Relationship with the Blood Bank
After the first few Drives, it is our experience that the organizers narrow down on the Blood Bank on the basis of the comfort level with the Blood Bank staff.

Communicating with the Blood Bank

Having decided on the Blood Bank, it would be necessary to communicate to the Blood Bank in writing about your desire to hold a Blood Donation Drive. All communication, in verbal or in writing, may be made with the ‘Medical Social Worker’ or the ‘Blood Bank In-Charge’. A specimen of the letter that you could write is given below:

The Medical Social Worker
Blood Bank,
Xxxxxx XXxxxx Hospital
Xxxxx, Xxxxxxxx

Dear Sir/Madam,
Sub.: Blood Donation Camp on

This is to confirm that a Blood Donation Camp has been fixed for, details of which are as under:
Date :
Time : xx am/pm to yy am/pm

Address : Xxxxxx Xxxxxx XXxxxxxxx
Xxxxxxxxxxxx Xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Xxxxxx Xxxxxxxx, Xxxxxxxxx
Landmark : Xxxxxxxxx Xxxxxxxxxx

Expected collection : xxx to yyy units

We request you to come with your entire team by xx:xx am/pm so that the place is set up and the Camp begun at xx:xx am/pm. We hope that you will make arrangements to bring cots, coffee and biscuits. Should there be any assistance required from our side kindly let us know and we will try and organize the same.

Thanking you,

Yours sincerely,

Choosing the venue

The venue of the Drive could be a classroom in a school, a community hall, a residential society office room, the stilt area in a building, conference room in an office, canteen in an office, any three rooms in an office etc.

The following factors should help in deciding the venue:

  • Proximity to the potential donors
    This is a very important factor. Donors who are fence sitters may end up not donating blood, and justify their action on the grounds of distance of the venue.
  • Physical dimensions of the venue
    The venue should be large enough to provide for the size of the Blood Donation Drive. The size of the Blood Donation Drive will determine the area required for filling up of forms and registration, the area required for the number of beds and the area required for refreshments and post donation activity.
  • Availability of facilities
    The venue should have the following facilities:
    a. Lighting.
    b. Ventilation.
    c. Fans/Coolers.
    d. Drinking Water.
    e. Tables and chairs.

  • Please note that Pandals should be discouraged.
  • It is preferred to have the venue on the ground floor.


The most important task of any Organizer is to communicate effectively to all potential Blood Donors, and get them to donate blood during the camp. This requires personal attention, and an effort to get as many people as possible to be part of the organizing team.

The various means of communicating with potential donors are listed below. You could try some or all of them, depending on applicability to your situation.

This is particularly applicable to drives being organized at residential areas. The leaflets should contain information about why, when and where the Blood donation drive is being held. Ideally, the leaflet should be distributed 3 to 4 days before the day of the Drive.

Press Release
This is a very easy way of communicating to a large audience. This not only serves the purpose of communicating to potential donors, but also provides motivation to the members of the organizing committee. A simple press release issued to the “Chief Reporter’ of the various newspapers is all it takes. The Press release may be faxed to the relevant newspapers 3-4 days before the Day of the Drive.

Scroll on television
The local cable channels may be requested to a carry a scroll announcing the Blood Donation Drive. The cable channels may be requested to carry the scroll for 2 to 3 days leading to the drive and on the day of the Drive.

Standard Posters are available with the Blood Banks, who can be asked to send the same to the organizers. These can be displayed at strategic places for a week before the Drive.

Banners announcing the drive may be put up at prominent places. The banners could be put up a week before the Drive.

Lectures are one of the most effective ways of communicating and convincing potential donors to come and donate blood. A personal appeal is very important, and has the advantage of having the undivided attention of the target segment. The difficult part is to get the people to attend the lecture. Places of worship, clubs and other places where people normally congregate are ideal venues for having lectures.

Person to person
By far the most effective and laborious method is to go door-to-door in a residential area and person-to-person in an office area. A large number of committed volunteers are required for this purpose. A key person known to the target audience should accompany the team going door to door.

All computers in the office can carry a Screen-saver carrying the message of blood donation, on the day of the Drive and a day prior. Ideally this screen saver should be a simple message from the Chief Executive.

Public-address system
Public address system, if available, could be used on the day of the Drive at intervals of 3 hours to announce the Drive. This could also be done by broadcasts through e-mail.

Heads of Depts.
Heads of departments should be asked to talk to employees in their department.

Core Group
A Core Group should be appointed and assigned responsibility for making the Drive a success. The main role to be played by the Core Group is to reach out to as many people as possible on a ‘one-to-one’ basis. Word of mouth is most important, particularly on the day of the Drive.

Targets to volunteers
The members of the managing committee should fix targets for themselves. Each managing committee member or departmental head in an office should be asked for his commitment of blood donors.

Circular to employees
For drives in office areas, Circulars may be sent to all the employees giving them information about the Blood Donation Drive. This will substitute Leaflets, which we suggested should be given to residential areas.

Planning the Layout

The venue of the Blood Donation Drive may be split into three areas:

The Pre- Donation Area
This is the area where the Donor will fill up the Donor Form, followed by checking for Weight, Haemoglobin, Blood Pressure and Medical History.

The Blood Donation Area
This area will have cots arranged, where the Donor will lie down during the act of blood donation. The total number of cots will depend on the expected blood collection and the duration of the Drive. It will take 10 to 12 minutes for one Donor to complete his blood donation on a cot. Therefore the total number of donors on 1cot in 1 hour is 5. 5 multiplied by the total duration of the Drive in hours will decide the total number donors per cot for the entire duration of the Drive. The expected collection will thus help in deciding on the total number of cots.

The total no. of cots =              Expected collection  
                                   5 x Duration of the Drive in hours

This area will also contain tables for holding the test tubes carrying blood samples for testing.

The Post Donation Area
This is the area to which the donor will be moved after completing the process of blood donation. Coffee and biscuits will be served here to the Donors. Blood Donor Cards and any other recognition will be issued to the donors here.

It is very important that volunteers are present so as to ensure that:

  • the donor is observed carefully.
  • the donor is thanked for his act.
  • the donor is served coffee and biscuits or any other refreshment.
  • the donor is given the Donor Card or any other recognition.
  • information about the donor is collected.

Chairs provided in this area for Donors to sit should not be stools or ones without backrests. Fans should be available in this area. Facility for Water (both cold and normal temperature) should be provided.


Assumption: Blood Collection of 100 units

Pre Donation Area

  1. Drinking Water facility.
  2. One table for filling up of Blood Donation Forms.
  3. Six chairs for donors to fill up Forms.
  4. Pens for filing up of Forms.
  5. Three tables for Registration Area.
  6. Six chairs for Registration Area.

Donation Area

  1. Two tables in Donation Area for Test Tubes and other equipment.
  2. Ice for Storage Box of collected Blood units. This is normally brought by the Blood Bank.

Post Donation Area

  1. One Table for Coffee Kettle and Biscuits.
  2. Two Tables for serving biscuits and coffee to Donors.
  3. Ten chairs.
  4. One cot for those experiencing discomfort.
  5. Drinking Water in the Refreshment Area
  6. One Table for handing over Certificates, Badges and Thank You Cards.


  1. Two dustbins (other dustbins will be brought by the Blood Bank).
  2. Identify and inform Snacks and lunch facility for Blood Bank staff.

Signages at the venue

  1. Announcement of the Drive
  2. Blood facts
  3. Do’s and Don’ts before Donation
  4. Procedure to be followed
  5. Do’s and Don’ts after Donation