American Red Cross Turns to Tech For Blood Donations

From June – August, blood donations dwindle, typically dropping by more than 100,000 donations. To prompt people to donate blood during the summer months and throughout the year, the American Red Cross uses an interactive app that alerts users to when their blood type is in high demand. It also lets donors take a special selfie after donating that can be personalized and shared online.

“As donors interact with the app, make donations and spread the word, they can unlock badges to share with their friends,” said Katie Gaynor with the American Red Cross Midwestern office. “Donors who form teams with friends, colleagues and communities through the app can track their cumulative impact and view standings on the Blood Donor Teams Leaderboard.” Launched last September, the blood donor app puts the power to save lives in the palm of your hand. Donors can schedule blood donation appointments, track their total donations, invite friends to join them on a lifesaving team and allows donors, where possible, to follow their blood donation journey from donation to delivery at a hospital or clinic.

“We wanted to make it easier, faster and more convenient for blood donors to schedule and manage their donation appointments, track the lifetime impact of their donations and recruit friends and family to roll up a sleeve with them. The app sends a clear message to those who roll up a sleeve to give blood – you hold the power to save a life,” Katie said. In addition to the Red Cross blood donor app, the Red Cross also has an online tool called SleevesUp, which allows those who have been impacted personally by blood donations to “push” an invitation to others to donate through traditional and social networks.

“This is a self-service, user-friendly way for individuals who know, love and share the power of a lifesaving blood donation to inspire others to donate blood ‘virtually.’ With the SleevesUp tool, you choose your own goal and track your progress in real time, so you and your friends and family can see the impact you’ve made together,” Katie said. “It’s an easy way to help save lives. Just like your favorite online fundraising tool, you can use your email, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and in-person conversations to encourage your contacts to become blood donors. They can track their progress toward goals in real time to allow them to see the tremendous impact the simple act of asking others to donate blood can have on the lifesaving mission of the Red Cross.”

To follow the Red Cross, visit @RedCross or like the Facebook page.