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How to Organize Your Own Registration Drive

Please note that the following section has been adapted from communities where drive turnouts have been successful. Since all organizations vary in structure, please feel free to modify the list in any way, as these are simply suggestions for the drive-coordinating process. Please let us know if you have any questions!

1)  Identify drive coordinator(s) within your community organization.

2)  Inform Minority Recruitment Group that you are planning on coordinating a drive within your community.

  • What is the role of the Minority Recruitment Group? The minority recruitment groups perform the actual services of providing registration paperwork, doing the blood testing, and sending information to the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) Registry.
  • What is your role? Your organization's role is to organize the drive, provide a location to hold the drive, and publicize the drive within your community. The minority recruitment group will show up and do the rest!
  • The Minority Recruitment Group can be ANY of the above-mentioned organizations (for example, Cammy Lee Leukemia Foundation, SAMAR, Icla da Silva), or any others you may find. Many of the organizations offer multi-lingual services, so you may want to choose a specific group based on your organization's needs. If you do not have a minority recruitment group in your area, please remember to utilize the services of donor centers scattered throughout the United States. You can locate a donor center by visiting the NMDP website. www.marrow.org

3)  Decide upon drive date/time/location and make necessary reservations (ideally 1-2 months in advance). After deciding upon the date, please confirm with the minority recruitment group to ensure that they will be available.

  • Please obtain the drive confirmation in writing
  • If possible, coordinate the drive in conjunction with a multicultural fair/event or large community event (or annual convention)
  • Possible drive venues: health fairs, cultural events, religious programs, organization meetings.

4)  Establish Drive Task Force (core coordinators) – 3-5 dedicated individuals. Try to gather the active support of an entire organization within the community (or co-sponsorship by multiple organizations would be helpful)

Task Force/Organization Duties:

  • Pre-drive publicity
  • Day-of-the-drive support
  • Good organizations to ask for support: health-related groups, cultural associations, community service organizations, religious groups, minority organizations, student groups

5)  Recruit Volunteers (Minimum: 5-8. Maximum: as many as possible)

Volunteer duties

  • Multiple organization announcements in the weeks leading up to the drive
  • Posting flyers before the event
  • Spreading word of the drive throughout the community (or organization)
  • Other pre-drive publicity
  • Day-of-the-drive support

How to recruit volunteers

  • Send out e-mails to all donors/volunteers that have participated in previous drives – build a volunteer base with time!
  • Publicize the minority bone marrow registration cause amongst your organization’s members, and explain how a drive can potentially help save lives. Emphasize that the effort will only be possible if volunteers step forward and help out.
  • Assign specific duties (e.g. distributing flyers during organization meetings, announcing the drive at organization meetings, posting flyers and publicizing around the community, day-of-the-drive help) to each volunteer. Try to have multiple volunteers per duty.
  • Ask friends, family members, colleagues, etc.

6)  Effective mass publicity (posting flyers around the community, organization announcements/e-mails, community calendars, radio/television promotion, word-of-mouth publicity)

Suggested flyer distribution locations:

  • Community centers, religious centers, health centers, neighborhood stores

7)  Involving other community organizations

  • Contact officers of any other organizations that you think may want to help; ask for their support in recruiting registrants and volunteers
  • Ask if the drive can be announced at their organization meetings (please let us know if we should send publicity materials for other participating organizations)
  • Ask if they can distribute drive flyers at their meetings
  • Ask if they can mass e-mail all the members of their organization to promote the drive

8)  Other suggestions for publicizing the drive (recommended but only if you have “extra resources”)

  • Include drive information (date/time/location/need for donors) in organization newsletters
  • Publicize the drive on any relevant organization websites
  • Take the message to local newspapers.

9)  Day-of-the-drive volunteer duties

  1. All volunteers - Explain the blood stem cell/marrow donation process to potential registrants and ensure that everyone who registers fully understands the cause. Our main goal is educated donors who will go beyond the blood test and actually donate to patients in need when called upon.
  2. Distribute handouts to minority bystanders at the drive location.
  3. Greet donors/volunteers at the drive location
  4. Help donors fill out health history forms
  5. Set-up/clean-up

10)  Drive expenses (please discuss with the Minority Recruitment Group any projected expenses - they may reimburse you - or apply for an MSS Chapter Involvement Grant to cover costs!)

  1. Photocopy flyers/handouts
  2. Cut handouts (Kinko’s offers a good deal)
  3. Try to get a story on the cause (i.e. need for minority donors) in organization newsletters or local newspapers
  4. Day-of-the-drive sugar-rich food and drinks (suggested budget: $40 to $70)
  5. Day-of-the-drive table posters/materials

11)  Key advice:

  • It is always better to have more flyer/handout copies (for the day of the drive) than to fall short.
  • Try to recruit as many day-of-the-drive volunteers as possible, so that there will be several people publicizing the drive at the drive site.

12)  Time frame for coordinating drive

2 months before drive

  • Inform the minority recruitment group that you would like to coordinate a drive
  • Reserve and confirm drive date/time/location
  • If your organization requires insurance, please discuss with the Minority Recruitment Group
  • Begin publicity (steps 3 through 10)
  • Begin preparing flyers/handouts, and mass photocopying

1 month before drive

  • Distribute flyers/handouts around your community
  • Begin drive-related announcements at your organization’s meetings (please sign-up all interested volunteers and registrants)
  • Continue publicity (e-mails, word-of-mouth, etc.)
  • Continue to meet regularly with your fellow Marrow Coordinators

2 weeks before drive

  • Make table posters/banner for day-of-the-drive
  • Increase publicity within your organization (make sure all organization members are aware of the upcoming drive)

1 to 1.5 weeks before drive

  • Estimate number (within 10 percent) of minority donors so Minority Recruitment Group knows how many supplies to bring
  • Continue increased publicity
  • Schedule day-of-the-drive volunteers, and inform them of the schedule
  • Remind pre-registered donors of the upcoming drive; ask if they will also volunteer.
  • E-mail Minority Recruitment Group directions for the drive

2 to 3 days before drive

  • Call (or e-mail) volunteers to confirm that each volunteer that signed up will be present at the drive
  • Remind the donors to show up
  • Continue posting flyers
  • Last-minute publicity
  • Buy sugar-rich food & drinks for drive (suggested budget: 40 to 70 dollars)

After the drive

  • Congratulate yourself and all volunteers/donors that made the drive possible
  • Send out thank you e-mails/letters to everyone.