BACKGROUND : The potential effectiveness of various donation incentive programs may vary by demographics, first-time or repeat status, and collection site.
STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS : Attitudes toward future incentives were obtained from a 1998 anonymous survey sent to 92,581 US blood donors. Responses (encouraged, discouraged, no difference) to incentives were compared within demographic groups, donations sites, and between first-time and repeat community whole-blood (WB) donors using chi-square tests and logistic regressions adjusted for sample design.
RESULTS : Incentives most likely to encourage donation return among all 45,588 WB respondents were blood credits (61%), cholesterol screening (61%), and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening (73% of men). Younger donors (≤25 years old) were 4 to 5 times more likely to be encouraged to donate if offered compensatory incentives (tickets to events, discounts or lottery and/or raffle tickets), gifts, or a token of appreciation than were those donors older than 55. This age effect influenced positive attitudes toward incentives in first-time donors and in donors giving at schools, universities, or military sites. Among all donors, up to 7 to 9 percent reported they would be discouraged to return if offered compensatory incentives.
CONCLUSIONS : Blood credits and cholesterol and PSA screening would be well received at all donation sites. Gifts, compensatory incentives, and tokens of appreciation appeal more to younger donors. These data may allow blood centers to optimize recruitment by tailoring limited incentive resources more effectively.