How Do I Figure Out My Cost Per Donor?

Determining your cost per donor (CPD) will enable you to compare your blood center's efficiency to a potential co-sourcing partner.  This exercise will also help you discover the true cost of generating a unit of blood through tele-recruitment. We've put together a list of the inputs you need to consider as well as a formula that will help you find your true cost per donor.  


Direct costs can be traced directly to a cost object such as a product or a department. These are the costs you'd guess would be included in finding your CPD - the costs directly associated to placing a phone call to a donor. From the actual wage you pay your tele-recruiters, to all of the benefits they receive through your organization, it all needs to be included. 


  • Labor or wages
  • Insurance
  • 401k
  • Bonus
  • If you do use temps, factor in the mark up and the increase in turn over


Indirect costs are costs associated with multiple activities in your business, and which cannot therefore be assigned to specific cost objects, like the person making the tele-recruitment call.  You have supervisory staff, administrative time, training costs, ads for new hires, your quality control system, and you often dip into your IT staff’s time.  

Figuring out your indirect costs isn’t easy, but this list should help you begin to put some numbers to it.


  • Supervisor and admin labor
    • With temps – More time is spent with less quality output
  • Training
  • Hiring
  • HR
  • Quality Control
  • IT/MIS


Once you have those costs, there’s still more to consider, like non-labor related costs.  Things such as office space, phone system, software purchases, utilities, computers, desks and chairs, cubicles, and even licenses for various software that the team may use.  Some of these costs can be completely eliminated with co-sourcing, some reduced, and some may be repurposed to a different department.  You will likely not lose that cost, but if you look at each department as its own profit center, that portion of your rent can be reallocated elsewhere and out of your budget.


  • Space
  • Phone system/dialer
  • Software
  • Utilities
  • Computers
  • Booths
  • Chairs
  • Desks
  • Cubicles
  • Licenses


As always there are miscellaneous items to consider, like variance.  Variance is the difference between the number of hours an employee is paid for, and the number of hours they are actually on the phones recruiting.  In a call center, variance is a silent destroyer.  If you are paying an agent for 40 hours of work, but they are only spending 20 hours of time on the phone, you will struggle to hit your projections. This variance will cause you to pay for non-productive work time, and your staff will find more and more excuses to remain off the phones. 

A quick exercise - pull up your payroll report and a phone time report and compare them.  The variance should be under 10%, meaning, 90% of the time you are paying staff, they should be generating units.


(Direct cost + Indirect cost + Non-labor related cost) / Productive donors = Cost Per Donor

If you truly dive in and use this list, you can find your true cost per donor.  Once you know your actual cost per donor, you can then compare to see if co-sourcing can truly save your organization money.  

If you find yourself needing more help determining your cost per donor, we would love to assist. We've put together an interactive spreadsheet that will help you formulate a fully baked cost per donor. Our VP of Client Results will be able to assist you in determining all of your cost inputs and calculating the final number.  Click here or on the link below if you'd like to begin your journey in saving your blood center money.