Blood Donor Programs

San Diego Blood Bank Blood Donor Programs

Thank you for saving lives by donating blood. We want to celebrate blood donors with recognition and rewards.

To show our appreciation San Diego Blood Bank has two blood donor programs:

Read more about our donor programs below:

The Guardians Circle is a blood donor rewards and membership-based appreciation program. All blood donors are invited to sign up to join by making a pledge to donate blood within 8 weeks from the day they are eligible to donate. Donors who continue to donate blood receive special “members-only” opportunities and rewards for donating blood to show our appreciation for their commitment to saving lives.

Guardians Circle is a name reflective of the critical role blood donors play in guarding and protecting our community’s blood supply and overall health. Guardians go above and beyond to ensure local patients have lifesaving blood throughout the year. Guardians support their community by answering the call to donate blood when they are eligible.

What are the Guardians Circle membership benefits and rewards?

Guardians Circle Members who donate blood will receive benefits and special opportunities that may include but are not limited to:

  • Choice Rewards — such as gift cards and branded items
  • Entry into a monthly chance raffle with prize choices (e.g., airline, restaurant, and other gift cards)
  • Opportunity to support San Diego Blood Bank’s critical needs
  • Surprise rewards just for being a Guardians Circle member:
    For example:
    • Día de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) opportunity to honor a loved one by getting an exclusive T-shirt or post on our website
    • Holiday Wish opportunity to make a wish. Last year, we granted 10 wishes up to $500 in value—we presented lucky winners with gift cards for travel, a stroller for a new family, an Apple watch and more!
    • Try Your Luck or Run—St. Patrick’s Day opportunity to take a $5 Amazon e-gift code and run or Try Your Luck in one of seven Lucky raffles worth $500

How will I be notified about Guardians Circle membership benefits?

Blood donor members will be notified by email about all Guardians Circle membership rewards and benefit opportunities. Information may also be posted on the Blood Donor Portal and displayed on digital signage screens inside donation centers and on bloodmobiles regarding current Guardians Circle membership benefits.

  • Donor rewards and membership benefits offered via email are only available to be claimed for a limited time therefore donors are encouraged to check their emails and log in to their blood donor portal regularly. The email will include a timeframe or end date by which a member must claim their rewards. Guardian Circle members who are unable to claim their reward by the specified time may still be eligible for items while supplies last.
  • Blood donors are encouraged to register an email address to receive notifications from San Diego Blood Bank. Gmail is one email service provider that is easy to set up and accepts emails from San Diego Blood Bank.
  • Please be advised that email addresses through AT&T, PacBell, and SBCGlobal may not receive any notifications from our email system.
  • If a blood donor does not wish to register an email address with SDBB to receive donor rewards updates, they may contact (619) 400-8251 or email rewards@sdbb.org, to discuss alternative notification options.

How do I sign up to join the Guardians Circle Donor Pledge Program?

All blood donors are invited to sign up for the Guardians Circle Pledge Program. Donors pledge to donate blood within 8 weeks from the day they become eligible to donate to receive membership benefits and special opportunities. It is easy to sign up for blood donor rewards! Choose one of the methods below.

  • For existing blood donors who have created a Blood Donor Portal account:
    Click here to log in to your Blood Donor Portal and click the link on the Welcome Page to make your pledge and join.
  • For new, first-time blood donors without an account:
    Click this link to be directed to our Blood Donor Portal to create an account. Once your account is created, it will automatically redirect you to complete the Guardians Circle pledge form. A donor portal account is required to sign up for donor rewards online.
  • While electronic sign-ups are preferred, our team can assist any blood donor who needs help creating or logging into their donor portal account. If a blood donor is unable to sign up online, please ask our staff at your donation or contact donorservices@sdbb.org or (619) 400-8251 for assistance.

What can I expect after joining the Guardians Circle?

After a blood donor completes the Guardians Circle pledge form, they will move from Non-Member to Member status. Guardians will also receive an email with a welcome message and gift for joining this elite group of lifesavers. 

Blood donors who have never donated with San Diego Blood Bank and sign up for this program will not see a status update until after they donate blood at a SDBB blood drive or center. Please allow 24-72 hours for the Blood Donor Portal account to show the status update.

Where can I see my membership status?

Blood donors can see and access their donor rewards membership status when logged into the Blood Donor Portal on the left side panel. Membership status is also displayed on their blood donor label when they register to donate blood.

Please note:

  • Membership status cannot be viewed on mobile devices at this time.
  • It may take 24-72 hours for membership status to update on the Blood Donor Portal after initial sign-up or if any changes to status are made.
  • If a donor feels their membership status is not accurate or has extenuating circumstances, please email rewards@sdbb.org.

How do I maintain my Membership Status?

It’s easy! We encourage blood donors to donate whenever possible but recognize that it can be difficult to donate on the exact date they become eligible. The Guardians Circle program is designed to give blood donors an 8-week cushion to come in to donate blood after they become eligible.

  • If a donor is eligible to donate blood at the time of sign-up, they have 8 weeks to come in to donate to maintain your Guardians Circle membership status.
  • If a donor is not eligible to donate blood at the time of sign-up, they have 8 weeks to come in to donate blood from the date of their whole blood eligibility date. Moving forward, all they need to do is come in to donate within 8 weeks from the day they become eligible to donate.

How do I know my blood donor eligibility date?

Blood donors can find out when they are eligible to donate blood by logging into the Blood Donor Portal or contacting donorservices@sdbb.org or (619) 400-8251

  • The donor portal displays eligibility dates on the left side panel on desktop or laptop computers (except on mobile devices).
  • If a blood donor is not yet eligible to donate and tries to schedule an appointment, the date will be red, not allowing the blood donor to schedule.
  • Any specific questions related to eligibility dates or scheduling appointments, please contact (619) 400-8251 or donorservices@sdbb.org 

What if I come in for my donation appointment or walk in and I am unable to donate blood (e.g., low iron, travel, medication)?

We really appreciate all blood donors who take time out of their day to save lives with us and understand how disappointing it is not to be able to donate. When a donor is deferred, their eligibility date is set for the next time they are eligible to donate (e.g., if deferred for low pulse or blood pressure, the date is set to the next day; if deferred for hematocrit the date is set for two (2) weeks later). As long as the donor returns within 8 weeks of the new date, they will remain a member and continue receiving membership benefits.

Why does SDBB use eligibility dates instead of frequency of donations?

Blood donors are eligible to donate at different times depending on the type of blood donation and type of deferral (e.g., iron mitigation, travel, surgeries, medication). By using eligibility dates, it creates a fair environment, and blood donors are able to remain members as long as they attempt to donate blood.

What are the different donation types and eligibility timelines?

The Blood Donor Portal displays different eligibility dates for whole blood, double red blood cells, platelets, and plasma donations. This can be found on the Donor Snapshot on the left side panel (except when logged in on a mobile device). A blood donor’s 8-week cushion is based on the whole blood eligibility date. It is very important for donors to know when they are eligible to give blood.

PRO TIP: To be prepared, SDBB recommends that blood donors log into the Blood Donor Portal on a desktop or laptop computer to view eligibility date(s) before scheduling an appointment or walking in to give blood.

  • Whole Blood Donation: Blood donors are eligible to donate 8 weeks after a whole blood donation. Blood donors have 8 weeks from that date to come in to donate to maintain Guardian Circle membership status. For example, if someone donates whole blood on January 1st, they are eligible to donate again on February 26th. To stay a member, they would need to return to donate blood within 8 weeks (by April 23rd).

  • Double Red Cell Donation: Blood donors are eligible to donate 16 weeks after a double red blood cell donation. Double red cell blood donors have 8 weeks from that date to come in to donate to maintain Guardian Circle membership status. For example, if someone donates double red cells on January 1st, they are eligible to donate again on April 23rd. To stay a member, they would need to return to donate blood within 8 weeks (by May 18th).

  • Plasma Donation: Plasma donors are eligible to donate 30 days after a plasma donation. Plasma donors have 8 weeks from that date to come in to donate to maintain Guardian Circle membership status. For example, if someone donates plasma on January 1st, they are eligible to donate again on January 31st. To stay a member, they would need to return to donate blood within 8 weeks (by March 28th).

  • Platelet Donation: Platelet donors are eligible to donate one week after a platelet donation. Platelet donors have 8 weeks from that date to come in to donate to maintain Guardian Circle membership status. For example, if someone donates platelets on January 1st, they are eligible to donate again on January 8th. To stay a member, they would need to return to donate within 8 weeks (by March 5th).

  • Concurrent donations of platelet/red cell, plasma/red cell or platelet/plasma/red cell: After a concurrent donation, there may be different eligibility dates for various products (i.e., red cell, platelet, plasma). The Donation eligibility date used to maintain membership status will always be the whole blood eligibility date. The 8-week cushion begins on the whole blood eligibility date.

What happens if I do not donate within 8 weeks from the day I become eligible?

Guardians Circle membership status will move from "Member" to "Expired." The only way membership benefits will expire is if a donor waits more than 8 weeks to come to donate after the whole blood eligibility date. Donors do not have to sign up again if this happens. We understand that there can be extenuating circumstances that make it impossible to meet the eligibility date and encourage Guardians to email rewards@sdbb.org if this is the case to avoid expiration of benefits.

Please note: Blood donors who have donated 4 times in a rolling calendar year will maintain membership benefits even if they miss the 8-week cushion.

If I am in Expired status, how can I be reinstated as a Guardians Circle member?

Blood donors will stay in “Expired” status until their second visit after expiration (as long as this second visit is within the 8-week cushion). Donors do not need to re-sign up if they are expired as the system will do this automatically after the above takes place.

If I am in Expired status and donate double red cells, how can I be reinstated as a Guardians Circle member?

Blood donors who successfully complete a double red cell (2RBC) donation after member expiration will automatically return to member status after the donation. 

Can a blood donor choose to opt out of the Guardians Circle program?

Yes. Blood donors may opt out of the program at any time by emailing rewards@sdbb.org or calling (619) 400-8251.

Can a blood donor opt back into the program once they have opted out?

If a blood donor has opted out of the program but decides they want to re-pledge and opt back into the Guardians Circle, they will need to re-sign up for the program. They may email rewards@sdbb.org and we will coordinate this process. This is only for donors who have opted out of the program via email request or other communication.

Who do I contact if I have more questions about the Guardians Circle Program?

The Guardians Circle Donor Pledge Program was launched on June 25, 2021. Please contact rewards@sdbb.org or call (619) 400-8251 if you have any questions.


Gallon Milestone Recognition Program:

All blood donors are eligible for the Gallon Milestone Recognition Program.

Blood donors receive “credits” for their blood donations referred to as their gallon tracker.
Each gallon consists of a total of eight (8) “credits.”

Credits are assigned as follows:

  • Whole blood donation — one (1) credit or 1/8 (0.125) gallon
  • Apheresis donations: two (2) credits or 2/8 (0.25) gallons. Plasma, platelets, double red cells, or a combination of these are considered apheresis donations.
  • Triple platelet donations — three (3) credits or 3/8 (0.375) gallons
    • These credits are manually inputted and may take up to seven (7) business days to sync with the Blood Donor Portal

How are blood donors recognized by this program?

Blood donor rewards and recognition are offered to donors who reach blood donation milestones. Congratulatory emails and cards are sent at various milestones. At specific milestones donors receive appreciation gifts such as:

  • One-gallon and three-gallon milestones: Tokens of appreciation and recognition are sent to blood donors via USPS mail to the address on file.
  • 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 50, 75, and 100-gallon milestones: Donors who reach these milestones will receive a congratulatory email within a few days of reaching the milestone and be offered a special gift option to commemorate the milestone. To redeem a gift, blood donors must click the link inside the email. This unique link will prompt the donor to log into the Blood Donor Portal to redeem their gift.
    The current gifts offered are: 
    • 5 gallons – choice of a lapel pin or T-shirt
    • 10 gallons – choice of a T-shirt or baseball cap
    • 15 and 20 gallons – choice of a full zip hooded sweatshirt or a T-shirt
    • 25, 50, 75, and 100 gallons – choice of a full zip hooded sweatshirt or a polo shirt

Note: Donors are encouraged to have an email address to receive notifications. Gmail is easy to set up and accepts San Diego Blood Bank emails. AT&T, PacBell, and SBCGlobal email addresses may not receive any notifications from our system. If a blood donor does not wish to register an email address with SDBB to receive donor rewards updates, they may contact (619) 400-8251 or email rewards@sdbb.org, to discuss alternative notification options.

Who do I contact if I have more questions about the Gallon Milestone Recognition Program?

The Gallon Milestone Recognition Program was launched in February 2021 to celebrate donors who reach specific gallon milestones.

If you have any questions, or ideas about ways we can appreciate you, or if you did not receive your milestone recognition gift, please contact rewards@sdbb.org or call (619) 400-8251.