Questions and Answers about Coronavirus

Host a Blood Drive

We rely on businesses, community groups, schools and places of worship to sponsor blood drives and we’re seeking more blood drive opportunities every day. Hosting a blood drive is relatively simple, and we’ll guide you every step of the way. Our state-of-the-art technology and bloodmobiles are designed to provide maximum donor comfort and accessibility. We can also set up blood drives inside your office, place of worship, or community center.

What do I need to know before planning a blood drive?

Please read this first!

How many donors do I need to have a blood drive?

It depends. You can talk to a drive coordinator to see what works for your location.  

What is a "committed" donor?

Someone who has signed up on the Donor Commitment Sheet stating that they will donate at your blood drive. Our experience shows that prospective donors who sign up in advance will be more committed to giving at your blood drive. Their phone number will help to schedule them once a date is set.

When can I schedule a date for our drive?

When you have a commitment of at least 30 donors, contact the Donor Group Recruitment Program to schedule a date. Blood drives are usually scheduled about two months in advance, but we may have an earlier opening in our schedule.

Why do I have to get advance commitments from donors before I schedule a date?

Through our experience, we have learned that an advance commitment from donors usually ensures that they will participate. Advance commitments help you, your donors and us, your community Blood Center. Because we are a nonprofit organization committed to providing patients and donors with the most cost-effective, high quality services available, advance commitments are necessary. This helps us ensure an adequate supply of blood for patients in your community and make the most efficient use of limited resources.

How do I decide between an indoor blood drive or use the Bloodmobile?

You can do either one depending on the capabilities of your group. For blood drives of 50 or more we recommend you host the drive inside your location. An inside blood drive requires a minimum of 25′ x 30′ of space (or larger if you expect more than 65 donors). For smaller inside blood drives (15 to 30 donors) you will need a room 20′ x 20′. At your site you will also need to provide tables and chairs. The Blood Center will provide all other equipment. If no space is available inside your location, we will bring one of our bloodmobiles. The bus is about 40 feet long, will need about six level parking spaces and can accommodate about 50 donors. The mini-bus is about 25 feet long, will need three to four level parking spaces and can accommodate 20 to 35 donors.

Can I schedule a drive at a Donor Center?

We have recently introduced a new program to assist those who’d like to schedule a blood drive but don’t have a place to hold a blood drive. We call the program Center Drive. With Center Drive you will work with a Bloodworks Northwest Representative to coordinate getting your group, no matter how large or small, into the Donor Center of choice. Your Blood Center Representative will also help you plan your drive. To participate, donors simply sign up for their preferred time during the span of your drive. For more information contact: Center Drive Coordinator, 425-656-7950.

How do I get people to sign up?

Don’t be shy; ask them. The main reason people don’t donate blood is that they have not been asked. Another option is to form a committee and have each person recruit a certain number of donors. Tell potential donors that each donation can save as many as three lives. Also, if this drive takes place at work, make sure that you have the support from upper management so that your donors may give on company time.

How long does it take to donate?

About 45-60 minutes from walking in the door to walking out. The blood collection of one pint only takes about 7-10 minutes.

Who can donate?

Almost anyone in good health (no colds or flu) who weighs more than 110 pounds, is 18 years or older may donate.

First time 16 or 17 year old male donors who weigh at least 114 pounds and First time 16 or 17 year old female donors who weigh at least 125 pounds may donate with a Bloodworks Northwest permission slip signed by a parent or guardian at a mobile blood drive; this is to improve our young first time donors experience and minimize chances of vasovagal reaction.  (16 or 17 year old male and female donors who weigh at least 114 pounds may donate with a Bloodworks Northwest permission slip signed by a parent or guardian at a BloodworksNW donor center.)

For health-related questions, refer to the Frequently Asked Questions page or contact the Clinical Specialists at 1-800-DONATE-1, x2543. Some medications, medial conditions or risk factors may be a basis for deferral. We encourage all donors to eat and drink plenty of fluids before donating.

I have more questions

Please contact the Donor Group Recruitment Program. They will help you with the planning and promotion to help make your drive successful.

High School Donation Program

Get involved with blood donation. High school blood donors account for 17% of the local blood supply when school is in session. Learn more.

Student Incentives to Host a Blood Drive

Make a difference while achieving your college dreams by organizing and hosting blood drives. Learn more.

Your gift of blood, time or money saves lives.