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NextGen Lifeline

How-to Guide


Planning events, promoting the need for blood and encouraging your peers to book an appointment to donate blood is not an easy task and requires a lot of work. We aim to provide you with sufficient tools, tips and tricks to help you execute your plans, and empower you to make a difference in the lives of patients in Canada.

Scroll down to learn more

 
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Background

We are thrilled that you have chosen to join Canada’s lifeline!

Together with Canada Life – founding sponsors of NextGen Lifeline – you and your donor recruitment team will become key players on campus, raising awareness and organizing recruitment events.

Planning events, promoting the need for blood and encouraging your peers to book an appointment to donate blood is not an easy task and requires a lot of work. We aim to provide you with sufficient tools, tips and tricks to help you execute your plans, and empower you to make a difference in the lives of patients in Canada. When you sign up, a Canadian Blood Services representative will contact you to help you get started and be available to support you along the way.

This how-to guide contains key information and resources to help you start or enhance your team.

By getting involved with this challenge, you will be helping patients:


  • being treated for cancer
  • recovering from severe trauma
  • undergoing surgery
  • manage certain diseases or disorders, and more.

Now that’s truly powerful! You will also be gaining valuable leadership skills and experience that can be added to your resume for a school or job application.

Together, we are Canada’s Lifeline

 
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Key messages

Every minute of every day,
someone in Canada
needs blood.

  • Blood and blood products are a critical part of everyday medical care including major surgeries, medical procedures, cancer treatments and managing disease.
  • Blood donations are used to help treat cancer patients, bring a trauma patient through surgery, even help a transplant patient’s new heart beat for the first time.
  • Half of all Canadian residents will either need blood or know someone who will need blood at some point in their lives. Yet, only four per cent of the eligible population donate.
  • Regular blood donation helps ensure an adequate supply for patients in Canada.
  • Over 100,000 new donors are needed every year to maintain the national inventory and meet the needs of patients across Canada.
  • It can take up to 50 units of blood to save a crash victim.
  • It can take eight units per week to help someone battle leukemia.
  • donated blood lasts no longer than 42 days

Quick

facts

about

blood.


 

Every person’s body contains about five litres of blood (or 10.5 pints).

There are approximately 450 ml of blood in one unit collected.

Canadians are some of the most loyal donors in the world, donating more than two times per year on average.

All it takes is one donation to make a lifesaving difference to a patient in need.

Right now, somewhere in Canada, someone needs a blood transfusion to survive. Join Canada’s lifeline and become a regular blood donor.

 

 
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Blood donation

It takes about an hour to make a whole blood donation — from the moment you arrive at our donor centre to the moment you depart. The blood you give will be used within days to help someone else wake up healthier each day.

Every donation counts!

To donate blood for the first time you must be...
  • In good general health, feeling well and able to perform normal everyday activities
  • At least 17 years old
  • Carry valid government-issued ID showing your full name and date of birth
  • Meet our height and weight requirements if you are between 17 and 23 years old. Please note, all donors, regardless of age, must weigh at least 50 kg (110 lbs) to be eligible to donate
Not sure if you're eligibile?
  • Check your eligibility online and learn more about the ABCs of eligibility
  • Take the eligibility quiz
  • Remember: if you do not meet the requirements today, there are lots of other ways to get involved with Canadian Blood Services. Also, keep checking our website for updates to the eligibility criteria. Donors who were previously deferred could now be eligible to donate.

*Remember: if you do not meet the requirements today, there are lots of other ways to get involved with Canadian Blood Services. Also, keep checking our website for updates to the eligibility criteria. Donors who were previously deferred could now be eligible to donate.

How to prepare for your donation?

On the day of your donation, it is important that you have had a good night’s sleep, have eaten and are well hydrated.

How often can I donate?

It depends on the type of donation you’re making:

  • Every 56 days for whole blood for males 
  • Every 84 days for female whole blood donors
  • Every 7 days for plasma
  • Every 14 days for platelets
Not sure about how the whole donation process works?

Visit the donation process page to learn more.

Book your appointment

Book your appointment to donate blood online at blood.ca/donate or at a donor centre near you.

 
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How to get involved

You can make a difference on campus and in your community by getting involved by getting involved in the NextGen Lifeline program. Every new donor represents the opportunity to strengthen Canada’s lifeline and directly impact someone’s life.

Here are six things you can do to get involved

1

Reach out to

nextgenlifeline@blood.ca

Interested in getting a team together on campus?

  • Reach out to us at nextgenlifeline@blood.ca and we will put you in touch with a local Canadian Blood Services representative. Your local representative will work with you to help get new teams started and also offer guidance and support to new and existing teams along the way.

2

Form a team

  • You can’t do this alone. You’ll need a team of individuals to help you spread the word and recruit blood donors.
  • Start small and grow as you work your way through the program. We suggest recruiting at least 5 volunteers who share your desire to spread the word and recruit blood donors. Ask your friends for help and support, and get them to ask more friends for help and support.
  • Once your team starts to grow, you may want to structure your team into defined roles and responsibilities to keep everyone on track.

3

Train your volunteers

  • Volunteers in this program will need to be trained to Canadian Blood Services guidelines. Your local representative from Canadian Blood Services will help guide you through this process.

4

Make a plan

  • Once you have your team formed, make a plan to help guide you through the program and keep everyone focused on the goal – strengthen Canada’s Lifeline by recruiting blood donors!

5

Execute your recruitment event

  • A recruitment event is a great way to raise awareness and inspire others to become new blood donors. When more and more donors join Canada’s Lifeline, the more patients become hopeful that they will wake up healthier each day.
  • The goal of your recruitment events is to recruit new blood donors and book appointments for new donors to donate blood.

6

Stay in touch

  • Your local Canadian Blood Services representative is here to help you succeed and ensure your efforts are best aligned to the needs of your area. Regular communication between your recruitment team and Canadian Blood Services will be mutually beneficial.
 
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Sample Team Structure

The structure of each individual team may vary depending on the size and needs of that specific team. Generally, some defined roles and responsibilities should be set to ensure organization and accountability in order to successfully achieve your team’s goals. Succession planning is also an important part of your team structure to ensure progression into future years.

As your team matures and progresses, the roles and structure might change, and should be reassessed for optimum functionality.

President and vice president

  • Main liaison with the Canadian Blood Services representative
  • Works with the Canadian Blood Services to identify recruitment needs (up to 16 weeks in advance)
  • Reports on the team’s progress to Canadian Blood Services
  • Chairs meetings
  • Creates agendas for meetings (and sends out to members prior to meeting)
  • Recruitment of new members
  • Member review and performance
  • Plans appreciation events for the teams
  • General management of the team
  • In charge of the event requisition form(s) and submits them to Canadian Blood Services.

Volunteer training coordinator

  • Recruitment of new members
  • New member on-boarding and training
  • Member re-training and re-engagement as needed

Senior event Manager, on-campus

  • Coordinates the logistics of booking events (on-campus) as needed (booking space, tables, etc)
  • Shares event schedule (with volunteer requirements) with volunteer scheduler

Junior event manager, on-campus

  • Works alongside the senior (on-campus) event manager
  • Coordinates the logistics of booking events (on-campus) as needed (booking space, tables, etc)
  • Shares event schedule and volunteer requirements with volunteer scheduler

Senior event manager, off-campus

  • Coordinates the logistics of booking events (off-campus) as needed (i.e. booking space, tables, etc)
  • Shares event schedule and volunteer requirements with volunteer scheduler

Junior event manager off-campus

  • Works alongside the senior (off-campus) event manager
  • Coordinates the logistics of booking events (off-campus) as needed (i.e. booking space, tables, etc)
  • Shares event schedule and volunteer requirements with volunteer scheduler

Senior awareness ambassador

  • Coordinates the logistics of booking events (on-campus) as needed (booking space, tables, etc)
  • Shares event schedule (with volunteer requirements) with volunteer scheduler

Junior awareness ambassador

  • Works alongside the senior awareness ambassador
  • Coordinates the logistics of booking events (on-campus) as needed (booking space, tables, etc)
  • Shares event schedule and volunteer requirements with volunteer scheduler

Volunteer scheduler

  • Creates volunteer schedule based on event schedule
  • Sends out volunteer schedule/needs to members and coordinates shifts taken/needed
  • Tracks event attendance
  • Tracks event performance

Secretary

  • Books meeting dates and space, as required
  • Takes meeting minutes and distributes to members in a timely manner after every meeting
  • Tracks meeting attendance

Member

  • Attends meetings as required
  • Volunteers for events (min 1/month)

*Roles can be combined based on size and scope of your team

Succession planning

People’s lives change, people finish school and people move on. Succession planning for your team is an important part of your structure to ensure progression into future years.

Succession planning helps identify (and develop) new leaders who can replace current leaders when they move on from the team. It will help increase the success of the team in future years, ensuring continuation of the team.

 

Examples of succession planning include:
  • President works with vice-president to resume position in future
  • For any leadership position, a good idea would be to have someone be the “shadow” or “junior” position, who would be a natural fit to take over that position when the current leader moves on.

    For example - The junior event manager works closely with the senior event manager to gain experience and take over the senior incumbent’s role as they move on.
 
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Reoccuring Meetings

We strongly recommend that teams (leaders and members) meet regularly to ensure consistent communications, organization and planning. Seize the opportunity to address concerns or matters needing attention, and overall general engagement. We also recommend that team leaders meet at least once per month, in addition to the monthly general team meetings.

To ensure accountability for all members of your team and consistent communications, meeting discussions should be documented (meeting minutes) and sent out to all leaders and/or members in a timely fashion after the meeting.

Sample Meeting Agenda:

1

Welcome new members with an icebreaker

2

Review last meeting’s minutes and stats (compiled by team leaders and/or Canadian Blood Services Representative)

3

Training - provide updates on recruitment training. Review updates provided by your Canadian Blood Services representative.

4

Events - review your event calendar, scheduling, details, actions, etc.

5

Review upcoming recruitment needs and generate ideas/needs to fill gaps.

 
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Making a plan

Once you have formed your team, making a plan for your efforts throughout the year will help guide you and your volunteers through the program and keep everyone focused on the goal – recruiting blood donors to save lives.

You will need to determine how many activities and types of activities you want to organize during the school year.

1

Ask for guidance and support

Your local Canadian Blood Services representative will be able to identify certain days or times of year where extra help is needed. This will allow you to plan events specifically targeted for certain dates or locations that need help.

2

Schedule your events

Make sure you take into consideration other things or events going on at your school or in your community when choosing potential dates/times for events.

3

Book your location space

Seek out locations that are high traffic and/or will meet your targeted audience.

4

Recruit volunteers

Break out the event into shifts and assign time slots to your volunteers.

 
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Recruitment Events

Ideas, promotion tactics, tips and tricks

Here are some ideas to help you get started, build awareness, recruit donors and book appointments. Remember to maintain close contact with your local Canadian Blood Services representative for support and guidance. This is will ensure that your recruitment objectives align with Canadian Blood Services objectives and encourage further collaboration and consistency in our goals. Your work is powerful, and we are here to help you succeed.

Information tables

Set up table(s) in a high traffic areas on campus or in your community with the goal to recruit people to book their appointments to donate and become regular blood donors.

  • Make your table eye catching and engaging so passersby are encouraged to stop and chat.
  • Say hello to passersby and ask them if they want to learn about how they can make a difference by donating blood. Be mindful of your chosen location’s rules or regulations, as some have a ‘no soliciting’ policy unless a passerby approaches your table.
  • Set defined goals for each event – i.e. donation event information you are recruiting for.
  • Create a promotional plan for each event.
  • Encourage your volunteers to be approachable – a smile goes a long way.
  • Below are some examples of locations where you can set up information tables. Work with your Canadian Blood Services representative for information table ideas specific to your area.
On-campus
  • In a busy common area where students gather
  • Take advantage of club days and orientation days
  • During sporting events or tournaments
 
Off-campus
  • Health fairs
  • Trade shows
  • Malls
  • Community events

Roving

Instead of being stationary at an information table, try your hand at ‘roving.’ Roving is when volunteers roam over a high-traffic area with the goal of recruiting people to book their appointments to donate and become regular blood donors.

Ensure you are wearing a branded t-shirt (or similar) to be recognizable as a volunteer from Canadian Blood Services.

Rove in a high-traffic area where you are going to be able to stop and talk to people.

Say hello to people passing by and ask them if they want to learn about how they can make a difference by donating blood.

Rove in pairs and have a designated schedule to ensure you are not asking the same people, or duplicating areas with other vounteers who are also roving.

Below are some examples of prime roving locations. Also, feel free to contact your Canadian Blood Services for ideas of other key roving locations in your area. Be mindful that certain locations may require permission to conduct a roving event.

  • Summer festival grounds
  • Charity events
  • Community festivals/gatherings
  • High-traffic streets (i.e. busy shopping streets with high foot-traffic)
  • Farmers markets

The above lists are by no means exhaustive and, depending on your location and the donor centre you are promoting, other opportunities may exist. Work with your local Canadian Blood Services representative for more ideas or opportunities in your area.

 
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Volunteer training requirements

Bringing awareness to blood donation and recruiting blood is not an easy task. You can’t do this alone! You’ll need a team of individuals to help you build your team, organize events, spread the word and recruit blood donors.

Volunteers or members of your team can hold various responsibilities such as:

Executive position

Your team will need leaders or executives to help run and manage the team. The structure of your team and what these leadership positions may look like will vary depending on the team’s size and needs, however every team will benefit from structured leadership. This is a great way to gain valuable leadership skills and experience.

General member

Members of your team will be volunteer representatives of Canadian Blood Services at various events including recruitment events, awareness events or community donation events. As such, all volunteers on your team will need to be trained as per Canadian Blood Services volunteer guidelines.

Volunteers will receive training in areas such as:

  • Volunteer roles and responsibilities
  • Examples of recruitment events and what to do before, during and after the events
  • Booking prospective donors appointments
  • Signing prospective donors up to receive more information
  • General eligibility information and facts on donating blood
  • Tips to draw people to your booth and approaching people in an engaging way
  • Importance of privacy and confidentiality

Once you’ve recruited interested individuals who want to get involved in meaningful work, contact your local Canadian Blood Services representative to they will need to be trained as per Canadian Blood Services volunteer guidelines. Your local representative from Canadian Blood Services will help guide you through this the process of ensuring your volunteers are trained as per Canadian Blood Services volunteer guidelines.

 
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Social media guide

Social media can be a powerful tool to help spread the word about donating blood and share information about the events your team will be hosting.

Consider creating an account for your team to help spread your message. Any social media accounts you create for your team needs to be an unofficial page, not directly linked to Canadian Blood Services.

Be mindful of privacy.

Ask before taking someone’s picture and seek permission to post on social media.

Things to avoid: Using the title “Canadian Blood Services” or using the Canadian Blood Services logo.

Social media tips

Make sure your message is clear, concise and compelling enough to attract the attention of your key audience – on-campus youth – and add a call to action to donate blood.

It is possible to spark meaningful conversations in the digital world so don’t hesitate to share your excitement and attachment to your lifesaving efforts.

Social media is the most efficient way to reach and engage as many users as possible.

Be authentic! The best way to engage your audience is to share your own story. Do you have a personal connection with donating or receiving blood products? Are you a donor? Why is it important for you to donate?

Your personal stories can help you create social media assets. Make sure your message is clear, concise and compelling with a call to action.

Here are some tips you should consider when writing your post:

  • Use the hashtag #CanadasLifeline #NextGenLifeline #BloodforLife
  • Provide a link to more information (e.g. blood.ca)
  • Include a picture with your post. Pictures have been proven to achieve a greater audience reaction and sharing information effectively.
  • Post as frequently as you can. Frequency ensures that the message stays top of mind

Sample messaging

  • Every minute of every day, someone in Canada needs blood. Be part of Canada’s #NextGenLifeline and book your appointment to donate at blood.ca
  • Blood donations are used to help treat cancer patients, bring a trauma patient through surgery, even help a transplant patient’s new heart beat for the the first time. Be part of Canada’s #NextGenLifeline and book your appointment to donate at blood.ca
  • Over 100,000 new donors are needed every year to meet Canada’s demand for lifesaving blood. Be part of Canada’s #NextGenLifeline and book your appointment to donate at blood.ca
  • All it takes is one donation to make a lifesaving difference for a patient in need. Be part of Canada’s #NextGenLifeline and book your appointment to donate at blood.ca