Lifeblood gifts program to boost donations

Lifeblood gifts program to boost donations

A new gifts program being launched by Australian Red Cross Lifeblood today aims to boost donations made by existing blood and plasma donors.

Recent Lifeblood data reveals every year 40,000 people donate blood or plasma for the first time, but never return for a second donation. And, of the half a million people who donate each year, more than 60 per cent make fewer than three donations.

For the first time, repeat donors will be offered Lifeblood branded gifts, including t-shirts, mugs, and socks, when they reach donation goals.

Lifeblood spokesperson Stuart Chesneau said the gifts program will test if people donate more with increased recognition for their donations.

“Australia has one of the strongest voluntary donation systems in the world, but the challenge for us is boosting regular donations. Most (62 per cent) blood donors only give one or two donations a year, and 40 per cent of our first-time donors never return,” Mr Chesneau said.

“To keep up with the record high demand for blood and plasma, and to continue to boost our donor numbers in line with Australia’s population growth, we need to trial new initiatives.

“From this week we’re testing a new, exciting way to recognise our donors’ achievements that will see donors who opt-in receive a limited-edition donor-only gift for every donation goal reached. 

“No matter what types of donations you give, you can hit goals (and get gifts) during the trial period.”

Lifeblood researcher Dr Kathleen Chell said a review of global research as well as Australian donor and non-donor research showed that donor recognition may encourage more repeat blood donors.

“We know that people come in to donate blood not only to save lives but because they feel good when they do it, and this program aims to find out if small gestures of thanks can amplify that good feeling and the intention to come back,” Dr Chell said.

“Our research suggests changing the way we recognise and thank our donors might help save more lives, with more than 70 per cent of donors supportive of increased donor recognition.

“There is no one-size-fits-all approach, and we need to test different ways of recognising our donors to ensure it results in a boost to repeat blood donations.

“It’s important to understand these are tokens of appreciation, and don’t impact the primary motivations of Australians to donate in the first place – out of a desire to be generous and give back.

“This program will help inform if donor recognition and gifts of thanks have a role to play in the future of Australia’s blood supply.”

Lifeblood is currently undertaking feasibility studies and research into other initiatives to boost donation frequency.

To book a donation call 13 14 95, visit or download the DonateBlood App.