Summary. A total of 542 blood donors from Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (Lasuth), Ikeja, were interviewed with questionnaires on their knowledge, attitudes, beliefs and motivations about blood donations. It was found that a large number of them (92·9%) donated because of the benefits they will obtain from the hospital. Such benefits include antenatal registration (67·1%) and saving the lives of relations (25·8%). Even though many of the donors are educated (98·9%), majority of whom have university degrees (36·1%) and have heard about blood donation before, 52·4% of them believe they can contact human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and/or hepatitis infection from blood donation. A good number (47·0%) are afraid of what they regard as side effects, such as weight loss (23·8%), sexual failure (5·9%), high blood pressure (5·2%), sudden death (3·3%), and convulsion (1·47%). About 41·0% prefers certificates as an incentive for donation, whereas 13·6% prefers money; less than 3% will like their names announced or published on the media and 2·58% will donate for nothing. It is recommended that an intensive blood donation campaign should be maintained. This will allow people to be well informed, turning the positive attitude of saving life through blood donation to a regular practice.