How Hosting a Blood Drive Works
If you are already familiar with the process, you can start your application using the button below. Otherwise, here you can learn: what the host provides, what the Red Cross provides, and how the blood drive process works.
What the Host Provides
- Location. — A large open room with enough space to ensure donor privacy.
- Volunteers. — For recruiting scheduling and supporting donors.
- Donors. — You'll need to recruit and schedule donors for your drive.
What the Red Cross Provides
- Planning Assistance — Your Red Cross representative will work with you to plan and organize the blood drive.
- Recruitment Tools — We’ll help you determine how many donors you need and how to recruit them, including an online scheduling tools for your donors.
- Equipment & Supplies — We’ll bring everything we need to your location, set it up and take it down at the end, including snacks and drinks.
- Trained Staff — Our staff will confidentially screen donors and collect donations, safely and professionally.
Blood Drive Process
Before the Drive
- Work with your Red Cross representative throughout the process; we’re here to offer advice and answer questions.
- Set the date well in advance, avoiding scheduling conflicts with other major events in your organization.
- Select a location, preferably a large open room (cafeteria, school gym, large conference room) with space to ensure donor interviews are conducted in a private and confidential manner.
- Recruit volunteers to help you sign up donors and to help the day of the drive go smoothly.
- Recruit donors with the help of your volunteers: recruiting is most effective when done face-to-face, and you can reach more people by spreading the effort among your team than doing it alone.
- Sign up donors, using the Red Cross online scheduling system – this will help you keep track of your signups and offer donor reminders and thank you email templates.
- Advertise the drive through newsletters, bulletin boards, hallways and elevators, your organization’s intranet, social media pages, and via email.
- Engage community partners to supply donor incentives, thank you gifts and treats such as extra cookies or pizzas for your donors and volunteers. (Discuss these in advance with your Red Cross rep!).
- Follow our Coordinator Checklists for key steps to complete 12 weeks out, 2 weeks out, the week before and the day before the drive.
The Day of the Drive
- Arrive early to meet the team; we’ll arrive up to two hours prior to the first appointment in order to set up.
- Be available throughout the day in case the Red Cross drive supervisor needs your help adjusting room temperature or addressing other facility questions that may arise.
- Send reminders or make calls to scheduled donors, especially those who miss their appointments.
- Manage the volunteer schedule so the registration and refreshments areas are always covered.
After the Drive
- Feel good about helping save lives; as a host, you facilitated many donations that might not have been made otherwise – each one can help save more than one life
- Get your drive results from your Red Cross representative. They can share with you how many units were collected relative to your goal.
- Celebrate success by sharing your results with your donors and acknowledging everyone’s participation in the drive. Reinforcing everyone’s positive experience sets the stage for making your drive an annual event!
- Provide feedback to the Red Cross so we can continue our efforts to make blood drives a positive experience for organizations and donors.
For Schools and Students
Elementary and Middle Schools
Students learn and earn rewards through our Future Blood Donor (K-8) program.
High Schools Supporting Sickle Cell Patients
Our Sickle Cell Fighter Scholarship program helps diversifying the blood supply while promoting access to, and diversity in higher education.
Step Up to Host a Drive
Every 2 seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood. By hosting a blood drive, you can make a real difference.