January has been known as National Blood Donor Month since 1970, according to the American Red Cross. The month is meant to celebrate those who have donated over the last year and encourage others to contribute during the next 12 months.
Doctors and small business owners can participate by motivating consumers to make donations in January. Promotional giveaways can target would-be benefactors who need extra incentives and raise awareness for blood drives during the rest of the year.
Blood donations have been down throughout 2012, so National Blood Donor Month is needed to replenish supplies in 2013. ABC News reported that in June 2012, 50,000 fewer contributions were made than had been previously estimated. Additionally, Hurricane Sandy cancelled blood drives all along the East Coast.
Raising awareness for drives
Doctors who are holding blood drives in January should start advertising soon. Patients can't make donations if they aren't aware of local events. Medical professionals can distribute unique promotional products to patients who want to contribute.
Consider giving branded pens to your clients after their appointments. You can have the date of your blood drive emblazoned on the sides so the information is consistently seen by recipients. The American Marketing Association's (AMA) Baltimore branch writes that small giveaways are frequently shared, so advertising on pens can help you market your event to large groups of potential donors.
You can also mail reminders to your patients. Recipients may ignore flyers, so implement strategies to make your advertisements difficult to ignore. For instance, including small giveaways can increase the likelihood that your letters are read. Branded gifts like magnets are small enough that they won't increase your shipping costs.
Doctors can also work with local businesses to raise awareness for blood drives. Stores and restaurants can sponsor the event and advertise it to their customers. Involving the community instead of small groups of patients can lead to more donations.
Giving gifts to donors
Donors usually don't expect gifts for their charitable givings, but little presents are always appreciated. Doctors can give each benefactor unique tokens to say thanks for a contribution.
As Livestrong points out, it's important for blood donors to stay hydrated after their procedures, so consider distributing promotional mugs and water bottles. You can fill each giveaway with water or orange juice and tell benefactors to keep their containers. Consumers will hold onto your mugs and bottles and may be reminded to donate next year as a result.
If you plan on holding drives throughout the year, consider giving away branded calendars with dates marked for the events. People are always looking for calendars to start the new year, and you can capitalize on this search by advertising your drives with promotional items. For regular donors who give every year, consider distributing personalized calendars to thank them.
Finding new donors
Drives that distribute giveaways can gain reputations for reciprocating their donors' kindness. Some consumers may be motivated to contribute their own blood if they know they'll be given something as well.
Advertise your gifts so that potential benefactors are more likely to come to your event. Small presents can make the difference between a successful blood drive and one that didn't reach its full potential. Emblazon your giveaways with your event dates as well. Your donors can act as advertisements each time they use your promotional items and raise your blood drive's visibility.
National Blood Donor Month is meant to increase donations throughout the year. Using giveaways can help you get off to a great start in January.