I give blood periodically at the Central Jersey Blood Bank and do it out of a sense of obligation.

Besides, to my knowledge, one of the questions is whether or not I have “Chaka Khan” disease, and while I’ve always loved her music, I can honestly say I don’t think I do!

Anyway, no one forces me to do it, but I feel that if, God forbid, I need it or someone in my family does, I can always feel assured that I did my part.

If there were a monetary inducement, would you be more willing to do it for cash; and would it insure an adequate supply of blood, especially now in the summer months when supplies dwindle?

According to this:, Blood centers across the country will likely experience a dip in donations, as they do every year during summer months and around holidays.

As part of an effort to increase blood donations both in the United States and in countries where blood shortages are much more severe and often deadly, a group of researchers is encouraging the World Health Organization (WHO) and other blood collection agencies to reconsider stances opposing gift or monetary incentives for blood donation.

Mario Macis, assistant professor at Johns Hopkins Carey Business School in Baltimore, Md., told FoxNews.com, “The WHO guidelines strongly encourage donations to come from unpaid volunteers – and national blood agencies’ guidelines incorporate that strong advice against compensation for blood donors,”

Blood donation guidelines were originally developed 40 years ago, based on evidence suggesting that offering incentives for blood donation would have a detrimental effect on the frequency and quality of donated blood.

“The concern is that economic incentives for altruistic activities would undermine intrinsic motivation to perform activities like giving blood,” Macis said. “Also, that monetary incentives would induce people who are in poor health to donate (contaminated blood).”

According to new research conducted by Macis and his colleagues, real-world incentive programs have actually proven to increase blood donations with no significant effect on the percentage of tainted blood received.

Macis and his fellow researchers examined data from nearly 100,000 donors at 72 American Red Cross blood drives in northern Ohio. Gift cards were offered at half of the donor sites; no incentives were offered at the other half of the donor sites.

Macis pointed out that the gift cards were publicized as tokens of thanks – not payments – for donating.

Macis said “It’s not cash for blood,”. “They are presented as rewards or gifts, which we think has a big effect on the resulting behavior…People like to be recognized for their generosity.”

Furthermore, gift cards were distributed to all participants upon arrival – before the screening or donation process began.
Researchers believe this prevented people with blood-contaminating health issues from concealing their health concerns during the screening process in order to claim their reward.

When blood drive locations advertised $5 gift cards, it increased the likelihood of giving blood among people with a history of donating by 26 percent. When sites offered a $10 gift card, that number increased by 52 percent, and an even bigger rise was seen when a $15 gift card was offered.

Beyond that, donors that received gift cards would often encourage other people – including those with no history of giving blood – to donate as well.

Not a bad idea, especially if it bolsters the supply.

However it does undermine the purpose of giving in the first place, which is to give without expecting anything in return.