How to Host a Blood Drive


Convenience, for many people, turns out to be the deciding factor for whether they give blood or not. The American Red Cross works closely with companies, community groups, military bases, churches and synagogues, colleges, universities and high schools to organize blood drives at places most convenient for donors — the places where they live, work, worship, and play. In fact, 80% of blood donations made through the Red Cross are made at blood drives rather than fixed donor centers.

Blood drives need sponsors—an organization that can provide the appropriate physical space, a coordinator from the organization to educate, motivate, and recruit donors and to work with the local Red Cross.

Why do organizations sponsor drives? It is both a simple and a powerful way to serve your community and allow employees/colleagues or members to get involved. Whether your organization is large or small, you can make a difference!

Keys to Success

The ACS local section sponsor:    

  • Offers a suitable location.
  • Helps recruit donors within the organization and publicizes the drive.
  • Schedules donors for their appointments.

The Red Cross does the rest:

  • Works with you every step of the way to plan and organize the blood drive.
  • Helps you determine how many donors to expect and how to recruit them.
  • Brings equipment and supplies to you, sets everything up and takes it down at the end.
  • Confidentially screens donors and collects the donations, safely and professionally.
  • Schedules or helps you schedule volunteers to greet donors and serve refreshments.

Steps to Coordinate and Conduct a School Science Fair

Where to start?

If your ACS local section is interested in hosting a Blood Drive call 1-800-GIVE LIFE (1-800-448-3543) for details, or register online at:

We are sure that if you take the time to plan a Blood Drive, you want it to be successful. Here are some simple tips that will help you reach your goals.

  • See the American Red Cross website for a complete checklist.
  • Have a planning meeting with your local section blood drive committee.
  • Keep the local section executive committee involved, and ask them to assist in the promotion and help make it a successful blood drive. Knowing the local section chair and other executive committee members are concerned about this cause may motivate others to participate.
  • Start a publicity campaign:  Consider placing an article in the local section newsletter or on the website. Also email and community bulletin boards. Refer to the public relations plan for this activity.
  • Begin active recruitment of donors. Start to schedule appointments on first contact to increase donor accountability. You will receive the best results through person-to-person contact, phone calls and sign-up tables.
  • Keep close contact with your committee members to evaluate responses to materials and recruitment efforts.
  • Contact your representative at the American Red Cross each as needed for an update and ask for assistance.
  • Communicate with the American Red Cross again one week before the drive with your donor sign-up sheet. You can review the data together, and therefore staff the drive accordingly with the appropriate number of medical personnel. Good communication between our two groups will help keep the blood drive running efficiently.
  • The American Red Cross representative will work out the details for the day of the drive with you (arrival time, etc.).
  • Send reminder cards to donors.  Also, reminder phone calls can really help make sure everyone participates.
  • Remember to thank your donors, committee members, and other volunteers.