“Oscar Wilde once said that youth is wasted on the young. But investing in the future, the leaders of tomorrow, is more than just good business sense – it’s a necessity for survival and success” – Dr. Graham Sher, CEO of Canadian Blood Services (Pulse Magazine, 2012). Canadian Blood Services is a not-for-profit organization that operates across Canada, excluding Quebec. The objective of Canadian Blood Services is to encourage and receive blood donations through safe and secure methods to help Canadians who need blood transfusions (Canadian Blood Services, 2013). There is an increasing need for blood and blood donations across Canada. Of the current Canadian population, “the baby boomer generation remains the most loyal in terms of donating blood, while younger generations are significantly less likely to donate on a frequent basis” (Renwick-Shields, 2013). As the baby boomers age, Canadian Blood Services must find new ways to reach the younger generations, including the fastest growing segment, the Millennials.
How can Canadian Blood Services increase the number of BC Millennial whole blood donors by 20,000 by March 31, 2015? The target number of donors is based on the previous years’ statistics of Millennial donations (age 17-34), according the Canadian Blood Services data provided (Bird, 2014a). The target number is a percentage of half the total Millennial population of BC in 2012, as typically only half the population is eligible to donate (Renwick-Shields, 2013). The problem statement is specific to BC as a test market. The timeline is based on Canadian Blood Services’ fiscal year, beginning April 1, 2014 and ending March 31, 2015.
According to Canadian Blood Services, on average, every 60 seconds, someone in Canada requires blood or a blood product (2013). The demand for blood is not subsiding, increasing at a steady rate of 2% per year (Canadian Blood Services, 2013). To be an eligible donor, volunteers must meet many stringent requirements, including a minimum age of 17, sufficient levels of iron and hemoglobin in blood, and disclosure of health and travel history.