- The American Red Cross’ free Blood Donor App has surpassed 1 million downloads, according to a press release. About 988,000 blood and platelet appointments have been made through the app.
- The app enables users to identify blood drives, schedule donation appointments, track donations and earn rewards from retailers.
- The American Red Cross launched its Blood Donor App in September 2014. It’s part of a broader mobile app series for iPhones and Android devices that includes the organization’s Emergency App and First Aid App. The Blood Donor App was developed by 3 Sided Cube and received a Webby Award in 2016.
The organization's success with its blood donation and other apps points to how non-profit organizations can leverage mobile to build meaningful relationships with younger constituents who will potentially donate money. The key to success in mobile apps, as the Red Cross experience shows, is developing services that make sense for the on-the-go consumer and bring value to the engagement.
Lists of the most downloaded apps in the world are loaded with social media networks, messaging platforms and games. While it’s not unheard of, non-profit groups and government organizations rarely rack up big download totals. The American Red Cross is an exception. In addition to its Blood Donor App crossing 1 million downloads, the organization’s hurricane app reached 1 million downloads last year. The hurricane app lets users assure friends and family they’re safe via social media, assists with remote monitoring of the weather in places where friends and family reside, imparts locations of open Red Cross shelters and supplies checklists for family emergency plans.
On its website, Blood Donor App developer 3 Sided Cube recounts it prototyped the app on site at a New Jersey blood donation center to get feedback from real donors. That turned out to be a good idea. Shortly after the Blood Donor App’s launch, the company said it became the number-one medical app, produced a 22.7% jump in self-scheduled appointments, netted over 33 million screen views and resulted in blood donations that saved around 600,000 lives.
Reviews of the Blood Donor App indicate users gravitate to the personalization the app provides. The app shows images of users and their blood types, and it generates digital blood donor ID cards. The tracking component also spiffily sheds light on how blood travels from the app user donating blood to a recipient. Not all reviews are glowing, though. Some users lament that the app doesn’t include everything American Red Cross has on its website, most notably the so-called RapidPass pre-screening tool.