BACKGROUND: Understanding factors that encourage different racial and ethnic groups to donate is crucial for donor recruitment and retention.
STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: A 28-item self-administered questionnaire was completed in 2003 by 1862 Asian, 1479 black, 1641 Hispanic, and 2940 White US donors who had given whole blood within the past year. With a 1 to 5 scale, donors were asked to rate the importance of 17 factors in their last donation decision. Logistic regression was conducted to compare the odds of a factor being important or very important (score of 4 or 5) in one’s decision to donate between race or ethnic groups, stratified by first-time and repeat status.
RESULTS: More than 90 percent of each respondent group cited a desire, responsibility, or perceived duty to help others as an important or very important motivator. Being asked to donate at work was also an important motivator for all race and ethnic groups (56-70%). Getting the results of a health screen appealed to many (approx. 30% found it important or very important) and was most important to Black and Hispanic donors (odds ratios of 1.3-1.9 compared to White donors; p < 0.003).
CONCLUSION: Recruitment and retention programs should build on people’s sense of social responsibility. Direct requests to donate are particularly effective motivators. Of a variety of incentives evaluated, offering more comprehensive health screens may motivate many donors, especially Black and Hispanic donors.