How to get the word out for a donor: ideas, tips, resources! + helpers

Posted by keepingthefaith @keepingthefaith, Aug 1, 2022

I wanted to share some discoveries with you guys for ways to spread the word about the need for a donor. I'm helping a family member and we've been brainstorming. We just started another big campaign so here's what we've been doing:

Facebook page —
set it up as a BUSINESS page rather than a personal page
Share the page with as many people as you can by sending a text, email, FB message, etc asking them to post the link to their friends, etc

website —
Google Sites is totally free, all you need is a domain name ($12 per year from Google Domains and super easy to connect to your website)
Essentials: Mayo Clinic contact number(s), your story, how to learn more about living donation, how to apply. Any of your contact info you feel comfortable publicizing. (see note below about phone numbers)
Share the page with as many people as you can by sending a text, email, FB message, etc asking them to post the link to their friends, etc

NextDoor business page

Twitter

Instagram

vehicle advertising —

Doors, back, bumper, window, etc. We made our car magnets online at Build A Sign. Best prices, quick free shipping, lots of templates, tons of sizes. Bumper magnets, bumper stickers, door magnets, window decals, etc. They always have 20-30% sales. Also Google their name with the word "coupons" to find more deals.
Keep it simple and uncluttered with large letters … just your website address or you could add a top line of something like "kidney donor needed"

contact cards —
Keep it simple and uncluttered. Make it look professional. Catchy title, photo, website, Facebook page, and any of your contact info you feel comfortable publicizing
Best companies I've used for various projects: GotPrint (use code BC500 to get 500 one-sided cards for $8.40 + shipping), Reduced Printing, Staples in-store or shipped (in-store has good quality cards for $17.99 ready the same or next day, shipped has thicker cards for $5 or $10 more), OfficeMax (in store same day cards are too thin, but the delivery cards are nice and thick and bright). Also Google their names with the word "coupons" to find more deals.
We get 500 two-sided cards for $24.99 at Staples in store printing and they're ready in a few hours! Bonus: sign up for the rewards programs of Staples & OfficeMax if you have one in your city and they'll send you coupons regularly.

Contact cards are perfect for distributing locally to get the word out. We mention to friends and colleagues that we made little cards and some offer to take some to pass around. We mention in our Facebook posts and on our website that we have these cards and anyone can ask for them, we'll even mail them to someone who isn't local since donors can come from anywhere in the United States. When someone offers, we ask how many they think they'd like to start off with. Generally we give someone about 10. If they have plans for really spreading them around, we give them more than that. With the cards the first time, we give them a printed handout of ideas and suggestions:

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Thank you so much for your help in spreading the word about _______'s kidney donor search campaign! We appreciate your kindness. Here are some things we've learned:

It’s best to ask permission rather than just leaving a card somewhere. For some places it could be as simple as saying something like “A friend/family member of mine needs a transplant and is searching for a kidney donor and I’m helping her spread the word. What would you think about taping a card in a highly visible place for your customers to see? The wall near the door, window, cash register, counter or some other place? And can I give you one you could put in the employee breakroom?”

possible locations:

· businesses you have a relationship with

· restaurants (especially ones that you frequent)

· stores (especially ones that you frequent)

· places healthy people go!! health food stores, vitamin stores, gyms

· community or public bulletin boards

· business card displays

· neighborhood clubhouses

· community centers

· libraries

· colleges

· condo/apartment laundry rooms

· laundromats, dry cleaners

· coffee shops

· banks

· Home Depot, Lowes, hardware stores

· waiting rooms – dentists, vets, spas, hair salons, nail salons

· bookstores

· etc.

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We've been distributing cards during normal course of daily activities, as well as taking time to go out canvassing.

If you don't personally know how to do some of these things, don't be afraid to ask for help from the people in your life who know how. Who do you know that's tech savvy? Social media savvy? Creative? Computer savvy? If no one comes to mind, ask around. Ask your friends who they know. You might be able to get free help, or at least low-cost.

A note about contact info:
email —
It's quick and easy to get a free gmail email address. Even if you already have an email address, set up this separate one with a name that identifies your cause. I recommend setting it up to forward incoming emails to your regular email address to save yourself the trouble of having to log in to check those emails. You might not remember to check it every day, so if it's forwarded anything that comes in will definitely be seen

phone number —
If you don't want to use your personal telephone number on your public ads, set up a free Google Voice number. It is not traceable to your name and home address, and it can be dedicated just for the purpose of the campaign. Create a brief and professional greeting announcement. You can set up the option either to ring your regular number, or send all calls to voicemail. You can easily change these options anytime. This is a phone number for incoming & outgoing calls and incoming & outgoing texts. Set up the voicemail transcripts and texts to forward to your regular phone number so you'll see them right away instead of having to log into the account to see them.

I hope this helps you guys. The more hands, feet, and mouths we all have assisting us to get the word out about the need for a living donor, the better. Don't be afraid to mention your need to your friends, family, and co-workers. You'll be surprised how many people are sympathetic. And you just never know who you'll cross paths with that can help in small ways … OR in the biggest way possible!! Keep the faith!

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Transplants Support Group.

@keepingthefaith, Thank you for sharing the ideas that you have discovered while preparing to support a loved one's search for a living donor.

REPLY

I've been taking cell cept for 14 yrs post liver transplant. My liver doctor retired so recently I saw new liver doc, who wants me entirely off cell cept for good. Anyone gone through this sort of issue? Thankx

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@mlr733

I've been taking cell cept for 14 yrs post liver transplant. My liver doctor retired so recently I saw new liver doc, who wants me entirely off cell cept for good. Anyone gone through this sort of issue? Thankx

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Please click this link to see my response to you in a discussion related to Cellcept: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/comment/742455/

REPLY

Wow!! Such great helpful information! Thank you and I have never seen this info anywhere prior. I am definitely using some of this. Please continue to share more info to us kidney patients who do not have a living donor yet, like me! It is a difficult journey to find a donor. My next step is to get a car magnet or decal, just got my contact cards and Tee Shirts and buttons for my shirts. By the way, ETSY has the best tee shirts and buttons. Thanks again and keep it coming. It certainly take a village, blessings, Barbara

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