Monday, 12 March 2012

Can I persude YOU to donate blood with economic or moral incentives?

Many millions of people spend time, effort and money into helping others and taking part in voluntary activities, myself and I can imagine may of you included. We help by donating what we can, usually time and money but why not try something new and give other life changing things...such as blood!

The supply for blood simply does not cover the demand and since there is no alternative for real human blood that is so vital in saving many lives it is up to you to help and get involved to help give others a second chance! It is so wonderful the way humans can help each other out and it is wonderful how today's technology can help us to save others and we don't have to all be doctors to do this!

Only 5 - 10% of eligible individuals do donate blood (in the western world) (and this number is only 3% in the US) and I would really love to see this number increase so lives aren't left hanging on a thread waiting for a blood donation that can be easily given by another healthy human.

If YOU needed blood you would expect  some to be there ready and waiting to save you. So do most people, but for some they will be forever waiting for a donor like you. Blood can save lives. When I'm old enough to donate I know I will because if I ever need it, I want blood to be available to help. Give blood now. Save lives now. 

As I am currently only 16, in the UK where I live, I am not yet eligible to give blood for another few months but I can assure you as soon as I can.. I will. I don't see a valid reason not to! But until I turn 17 I am here to persuade those of you who are eligible to give blood and to briefly discuss whether economic incentives can encourage people to donate.

So why do we do any deed? Well the simple answer is to get something in return. ie. there is no such thing as a selfless deed (in my opinion). So when we give blood not only do the patients receive a second chance at life but YOU also benefit! usually just the fact that ou are interally happy that you can help others. Economics would suggest that as reward increases, so does supply, but also on the other hand psychology suggests that economic incentives can destroy the sense of 'gift' which actually reduces the quantity of blood donations.

In Italy, donors are all entitled to have a paid day off work on the day of donation. The data shows that employees ( those eligible for benefit) make an average of one extra donation per year. This results in a 40% increase of supply! I personally feel this incentive gives people a benefit to donate without it feeling like they are only giving blood in order to gain themselves as really they aren't gaining anything in terms of pay (they just aren't loosing pay by donating!).

However another Italian study showed hypothetical rewards such as a direct cash or a voucher to the same value could stop a small percentage of donors donating ( 3.5% would stop if a voucher was issued and 13% is cash was given). I feel these results show that most donors are not deterred by material rewards and hopefully the gain would be more if rewards such as vouchers were given. Comment below on how would you would respond?

 Medals could also be used as a non economic but rather social reward with some donors receiving medals in public. This award is much more effective than cash/voucher awards suggesting that social image is more important in motivating potential donors. Personally this would have no effect on my frequency of donating but how do you feel?

US studies show that any promotions can increase the number of donors by 15-20%. supporting the theory that economic incentives do increase the amount of people willing to give blood.

I can't wait to give blood and I hope I have managed to persuade some of you to donate too. Please comment below on what you views are on rewarding donors and what would put you off or encourage you to donate!

Go on to if you live in the UK to find out information and where your local center is!


I would like to give credit to my economic review magazine for the data I have quoted in this post but I can assure you that the post is still in my own opinion and nothing was directly copied from the article by Nicola Lacetera and Mario Macis.


  1. I have tried to give blood 4 or 5 times now, unfortunately though my veins are very thin so it's only been successful twice. It really is a shame when people write it off due to a fear of needles, it must be so much harder for those who need to the blood to survive and can't get it. Personally I think people should just do it without the incentive but obviously that doesn't happen! Really enjoyed this post, well done :) xxx

    1. Ahh that's such a shame but good for you for going to try even though your not always successful! and I agree 100% with the needle fear and also that people shouldn't need extra incentives to donate! surely saving lives is enough reward! thanks xxx

  2. This is a great post, so inspirational! I tried to give blood but was turned away due to ongoing medical issues :/ It makes it harder to know if the blood is good or not. I wish I could do it, it doesn't take long and does so much good..
    Great post lovely. xxx