In order to set up your donor base calling in a way that maximizes your results, it’s important to begin with a proven strategy to ensure you are getting the most out of your work. Setting up your list of donors and calling straight through will not give you enough results to justify the work. Taking some time to analyze and prioritize your list will yield much better outcomes.
Firstly, you must determine your needs:
- What blood types and/or donation types are most needed right now?
- What recruitment difficulties do you run into on a regular basis?
- What are the center’s long-term and expected blood needs?
Establishing your needs will help you to ensure that all of your subsequent decisions are working in the right direction: to fulfill the actual needs of the blood center.
Secondly, divide your list into categories to better understand the calling universe:
- How many current, lapsed, and super-lapsed donors are available?
- How many whole blood and automated donors are available?
You may be surprised at how many resources you have in each category once you look at them. You may find that some categories need to be bolstered, while others may need whittled down in order to get the right donations from the right donors.
Thirdly, match up your short-term needs with your donor segments:
- Is your immediate need a large quantity of red cells? Try focusing on both automated donors and O- donors to get the volume you need in the area you need it in.
- If your immediate need is platelets, try focusing on all previous platelet donors, donors that tested high for platelets during a whole blood donation, or those of A/B blood types.
- If you find that your current donor base for automated donations does not meet your current need for blood products, try supplementing your calling by working to convert all donors of a necessary blood type to do that donation or increase your volume of donors that have lapsed in the past.
Once you have determined your needs and categorized (or segmented) your donors, you will be able to determine which segments will best fulfill your many needs at one time. You will also be able to prioritize the time you want to spend strengthening or cutting down your segments based on the size and importance of each segment.
Now that you know what donor segment you need to focus on in order to meet your current needs, it’s time to focus on meeting your center’s long-term blood needs:
- The best way to take care of your donor base and ensure that your needs are met long-term is to keep in regular contact with your donors, and let them know that they are appreciated.
- Keep in contact with current, lapsed, and even super-lapsed donors regularly
- Do not attempt to call a donor more than 3 times in one week
- Wait at least 3 weeks after speaking with a donor before calling them again.
- Follow a consistent contact schedule to ensure that donors are contacted throughout their donation cycle
- Recruitment calls
- Reminder call one day before appointment
- Thank-you call one day after appointment
- Educational information in between donations
- Use various contact methods, such as direct mail, email, social media, and text messaging to reach all donor types.
While meeting your short-term needs is valuable, it is vital to ensure you are actively building relationships with your donor base and educating them on why they are so important. The more time that is spent nurturing your donors throughout the year, the less often critical times will come up and cause you to make a change in strategy.
Following the strategy above when setting up your donor recruitment calling is essential to both protecting your donor base in the long term and to getting the most out of your efforts every day.