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If the Red Cross is Reading This….

By January 8, 2019 Food for thought

Red Cross

I struggle with giving blood. Not the idea of giving it, the actual action of giving it. For reals. It takes a special Red Cross employee to get me flowing without trying and calling over others to help. I have gotten sick, had bruises for weeks, rashes…

But I give. 

I give 2-3x per year. Yep. I’m a Type O Hero! Every year, my favorite community facilitator, Emily Davis McElroy tells me, “Please just make cookies. It’s ok. This is traumatic for me to watch”.

Aside from doing the most badass part of the magic sauce donation process that is called Red Cross volunteering,  I also love the convenient check-in app that tells you exactly what hospital received your blood! How cool is that? I want to keep giving. Always.

Here’s what is frustrating.

You can technically give blood like 5-6x per year. I save my donations for when our local drive chair person is setting them up, because she rocks and if I answer the calls, texts and emails begging me to do it again – it can overlap and put me in the “No give” zone when she has her on-site give day. But because of this, there is aalways a few weeks of lag time between the times I’m able to give and when she’ll be back, so technically I could  give again somewhere else.

The minute I am in the “qualifying zone” to donate again, BAM. Texts. DAILY phone calls at all hours of the day and night and weekend. Emails. Offers for free gift cards and giveaways if I give now. Incessantly.

  1. I am a consistent giver, and this is a fine line of harassment. Makes me resent them.
  2. Red Cross was built on the “gift” or “giveaway” being the awesome feeling of helping out. If you have to bribe, it’s a downhill slope from there.
  3. Go after the non-givers and give them the calls. Or – rethink the model based on today’s behaviors (like you already did with the app). Meaning, have the ability to donate be available at a location weekly or monthly or something. Ask your loyal donors to bring a friend next time versus beg them again and again. And again. Make it competitive and have national, state and county rankings of heroes.
  4. Make it like jury duty or something. I know there are people out there who physically cannot handle the sight of blood or the process of giving it, but they could always bake cookies and pour juice or volunteer to find someone else to take their place.

If the only incentive for me to give blood even more than I already do is so that I can have 8 weeks of peace, I don’t know that I want to give. And I don’t want a gift card.

Maybe there’s a new marketing plan in need? Before you lose the loyal? IDK. I’ve not talked about this publicly before for feedback. Am I a minority in this thought process/

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