Improving Blood Donor Retention and Donor Relationships with Past Donation Use Appeals

Edlira Shehu, Besarta Veseli, Michel Clement, Karen Page Winterich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Blood donation services seek new strategies to improve donor relationships and increase donor retention. In this study, we propose a novel strategy that employs appeals with feedback on the use of blood donors’ past donations. We theorize that this feedback increases the perceived relationship investment and, subsequently, the quality of the relationship with the blood donation service, thereby increasing redonations. An online experiment shows the positive effect of past donation use appeals on donation intention and transmission through perceived relationship investment and relationship quality. Three field studies with Red Cross Blood Donation Services confirm the effectiveness of past donation use appeals on redonation behavior compared with thank-you appeals and with a future donation use appeal. Past donation use appeals are effective for retention purposes, especially for more experienced donors and when sent shortly after the donation. Such appeals also lead to higher reactivation rates of inactive donors. In addition to having practical implications, the study contributes to the relationship and nonprofit service literature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Service Research
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Information Systems
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management

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