Do I Get Paid For Donating My Blood?

When I am at work a very common question that I usually am asked on the phones at Incept by prospective blood donors is, “Do I get paid for my blood donation?” I can’t help but to think back to my days of plasma donating every time I hear that question.

Granted, time is money. But when it comes to giving a literal part of yourself, such as a blood component, who is really benefiting when you donate plasma? The fact of the matter is this: while some plasma donations are used to treat hemophiliacs, burn victims, and other certain types of medical conditions, many plasma donations go to research facilities where different types of testing can be done and not always directly to those in need. Once you donate your plasma, you really do not have any control where it goes to or how it is used.

How Donor Loyalty Programs Help You As A Donor And Those In Need

It is always refreshing when I am speaking with a blood donor who has a lifetime donation count of twenty, thirty, or fifty donations! I’ve even talked with a handful of donors that have donated blood their whole lives and have one hundred lifetime donations or more, believe it or not! Many times, these folks do not need to be given an incentive to donate blood, they just understand the importance and the healing power and positivity that a single donation can bring to someone’s life.

But since we are on the topic of being paid for certain types of donations, what better thing to bring up than donor loyalty programs? While you may be a blood donor who isn’t in it for the reward – other than saving a few lives – donor loyalty programs can be a nice way for blood banks and blood centers to give back to their donor base and build gentle encouragement toward continuous giving.

A few non-profit organizations that really hit the mark with their donor loyalty programs are LifeSource and Central Blood Bank with Brighten Life (BL Rewards).

It’s quite simple, actually. You show up and donate and get points per donation! Depending on the type of donation you do, you can get more points to spend in their online store. They have gift cards including Olive Garden, Kohls, The Home Depot, and Mobil Gas, as well as many more to choose. The best thing is even if you do not want to spend those points on yourself, you can donate those points to the Lukemia and Lymphoma Society in the form of $15 and $25 donations!

Many blood banks and blood centers have donor loyalty programs, so take the initiate to see what your local center has to offer you. Above everything else you can rest assured that your blood donation is going directly to those who need it!

What type of donor loyalty program do you participate in?

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May 8, 2012 at 8:02 am

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Michael Hawthorne (South Africa) January 5, 2013 at 12:13 pm

All blood banks are con artists. Everyone is geared up, saving lives by giving away their blood but they fail to realize when it is their time to receive blood you must pay literally an arm and a leg. Please don’t get me wrong. Blood reserves are an integral part of human survival. I just don’t like how they brainwash people with their marketing. You might disagree and you have every right to do so. Just keep in mind every person who needed blood but couldn’t afford it they had to wait in a line on a first come first serve basis at a state hospital. They inevitably die in that line. I am for free blood donation but I expect the same in return. They can keep their cookies and juice. We don’t need juice we need blood!


Brian Dodson January 7, 2013 at 9:24 pm

Thank you for your comment, Michael! The concern you bring up is a common one. When patients receive a blood transfusion, what they are paying for is not the blood, but rather the administration, processing, and testing of the units of blood they receive. This means that as a patient you are paying for the process to receive the blood you need. Health care costs are a touchy subject in all parts of the world, it seems, and blood transfusions are not exempt from that group. I hope that the issues of health care costs do not turn you away from donating blood in the future. Thank you for reading!


Study in China August 3, 2013 at 7:23 am

I’m from S.A too and I do understand where Michael is coming from. I also understand there are costs involved in testing and administrating blood units but there needs to be a better system where blood donors are put up higher in the \waiting line\ if anything were to happen. I believe you have to donate 50 times before you’re given blood at no cost, I might be wrong, but this limit is a bit high. people that donate will naturally continue to donate at their own pace but they shouldn’t have to fear not receiving blood because they haven’t donated quickly enough (if they’re just starting out). Blood units don’t also have to be free but there should be a ranking system for donors.



Todd Ferris February 21, 2014 at 3:58 pm

What important fluid in life is free ? The most important is blood, yet we pay high dollars for everything in life, yet we are expected to donate the most vital fluid in the medical industry and this world for free.


Dominique March 10, 2014 at 11:56 am

hi there, I couldn’t agree more with you Todd, they just want it all for free, I live in south Africa and I see ads about donating this and that but nobody talks about a reward…I for one can use some money but then again…anyway, it’s good to see someone thinking and asking questions.


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