This week's Learned Something comes from Farah Sheikh. She's one of our kick-ass Campaigns Associates. Something else that kicks ass – her hair. Seriously.
There are 10,000 cancer patients who are in need of a lifesaving blood or bone marrow donation this year. And even more shocking, 70 percent of these patients rely on complete strangers from the Be The Match Marrow registry.
Give A Spit About Cancer gives young people the necessary tools to run registry drives. Reason: 18 to 24-year-olds provide the most successful donations. The problem though is that asking someone to sign up to donate bone marrow is scary...so we changed that!
Here are five things we did:
1. Knowledge is power.
- 80 percent of life saving donations for cancer patients are non-surgical blood donations that require nothing more than a few hours of time. The first step in getting rid of fear is providing the necessary knowledge.
2. The ask should be easy.
- Bone marrow donation is complicated, but at the end of the day the action is easy. All it takes a swab of your cheek to sign up. We focus on the essence of the action to make getting involved easy for our members.
3. The ask should also be fun.
- The number one reason teens volunteer is because it’s social. We created Give A Spit drive pages – a page drive leaders could share with their friends and update with details about their drive.
4. ...and personal.
- You’ll have greater success by reaching out to people you know care deeply about the issue. Not everyone has the capacity to run a drive, so we provided an option to swab individually. That way everyone can take action.
5. Be their best friend.
- Swabbing a cheek is easy enough, but what it means to donate always brings up the “what if’s.” We provide weekly email tips for running your drive, an infographic (see pic below) about what the donation process is like, and an easy way to spread awareness about the cause to their friends with stat shares.