Date of Publication



Introduction. Each year donation rates fall in the summer months straining blood banks’ capacities to meet local demands. In hopes of identifying factors to increase summer donations, our study investigated donor reported barriers which influence summer donations habits.

Methods. An anonymous 16 question survey investigating various donation factors was administered across multiple American Red Cross (ARC) donation centers in Vermont. Questions addressed donor demographics, frequency of blood donation, preference in appointment making modalities including smartphone app use, summer travel habits, willingness to donate during vacation, and factors that deter donors from donating on vacation.

Results. A total of 292 surveys were received. Survey respondents across multiple demographic groups cited similar barriers to summer donation, namely “Too busy” (27.5 %) and “Traveling is a time for me to relax.” (30.6 %). Of the respondents who travel in the summer, very few reported donating while traveling (3.4 %). Summer donation rates between summertime travelers (36.5 %) and non-travelers (36.4 %) were essentially equivalent. The most preferred methods of scheduling appointments were via ARC website (45.6 %) and phone (28.4%). Willingness to use the ARC app was highest among respondents ages of 18 to 34 (45-55%) and lowest among ages 55 and older (13-15%). Of respondents with no prior knowledge of summer seasonal shortages (22 %), 2/3rds indicated newfound motivation to donate.

Conclusion. Regardless of travel, increasing awareness of summer shortages may increase summer donations. Use of donor websites and smartphone apps may be instrumented as part of recruitment efforts.


Michelle Heleba, American Red Cross - Northern New England Region

Jan Carney, Larner College of Medicine

Mark K. Fung, Larner College of Medicine


American Red Cross - Northern New England Region


Blood Disorders and Blood Safety

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 License

Willingness To Donate Blood During the Summer