All Aboard for Donor Engagement!

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Everyone loves to make a good first (and second, and third) impression, and that is especially important when it involves donor engagement! The donation process shouldn’t just be about filling out paperwork and the medical process. It can also be a memorable experience for donors to realize the amazing, lifesaving difference they are making,

There are several easy ways you can take your thank you gift to the next level while connecting donors to your mission and encouraging more frequent donations. Consider kits!

Simple kits add value by including a variety of information pieces, practical items, and some fun things, too. Many centers provide new donors a small onboarding kit, while others focus kits on specific types or procedures (like apheresis donors.) Or, consider rewarding gallon levels or frequent donor milestones with a special gift box or bag. Lapsed donors could be invited to come back in with a simple “advance” thank you gift. Below are some steps to get started on maximizing your marketing and recruitment efforts with kits!

Step 1: Pinpoint Your Budget

You may be surprised to learn how combining a few low cost items with a powerful insert card featuring a blood recipient’s story can positively impact a donor’s experience. Reflect on what your ultimate goal is for the kits, who your intended audience is, and how you’re planning to use them. When you are calculating your budget, don’t forget to leave room for costs associated with assembly, packaging, and if applicable, shipping. Logoed gift sets are all about creative presentation. These don’t have to break the bank!

Step 2: Choose Your Items

This is our favorite part, and we are here to help you with popular choices!  We can recommend items that have real staying power, while promoting your important message. These can be multiple smaller products or just a few higher-end ones. For an even more cohesive kit, go with products that all fit a theme– for example, a picnic-themed kit could feature a tumbler, blanket, reusable cutlery set, sunscreen, etc.  – and focus on how donors give other families another chance to enjoy the summer. The possibilities are endless here!

Step 3: Decide on Presentation

When it comes to a branded kit, packaging is as key as the contents! The presentation of your giveaway is going to set the first impression for your brand (yes, even blood centers need a strong brand identity!), so it is important to not skip over this step. Here are a few ideas for unique, eye-catching packaging:

Custom-printed mailer box

Polybagged folded t-shirts and insert card promoting upcoming events and a thank you message

Branded tote bag

Logoed paper or plastic bags

Mailing tubes

Organizations big and small want to show appreciation and foster loyalty by recognizing the valuable contributions of their donors, volunteers and staff. The key to a great brand kit is curating several quality promotional products and then packaging them in a way that adds value and brings the whole set together cohesively.

If you can give your donor base a genuine feeling of belonging and connection with your mission, you will have a lifelong life saver AND brand ambassador.

Julie Ontiveros

A Texan with a background in non-profit and blood banking and with extreme excitement for helping people. Also, I prefer my puns intended.