• long running

Bonus Gift (Choose from Blanket, Bottle, Cup, Cap, Beanie) with Every 3rd Blood, Plasma or Platelet Donation @ Lifeblood


How does Lifeblood Gifts work?

  • Sign up here to be part of the program and to make sure every one of your donations count.
  • For every third donation (regardless of donation type), you can choose a gift to take home!
  • Once you’ve redeemed a gift, your Gift status resets again and you can give, receive, repeat!
Available are:
  • Stainless steel bottle - a dark red stainless steel water bottle
  • Reusable takeaway cup - a reusable takeaway cup in dark red
  • Warm beanie - a beanie in light and dark red colours
  • Donor cap - a red cap with blood donor for life written on it
  • Cosy blanket - a red blanket

NOTE: Some people might be thinking I am stretching the "Bargain" aspect here but it is free, and only requires you to spend some of your time if you are physically able to.

Related Stores

Australian Red Cross
Australian Red Cross


  • +20

    This is the second time they are doing the Lifeblood gifts program. I can say previous program's gifts were of high quality and I still use them.

    • Apparently last time they ran out of stock and had issues with supplies. By the time they replenished, it was long past the dates so they just sent stock to each clinic and said to hand them out to whoever - regardless of donation count.

      • Yes, it took a while for me to get the T-Shirt as the size ran out quite quickly. However I was told that everyone who opted in and donated was going to get their merch either in the clinic or by mail. Hopefully they have better supply this time now they know how popular it is.

        • +2

          I think I got everything but the cup. Just wish they made some more subtle merch - no way I'd go outside wearing the t-shirt. It's reserved as a pajama top.

          These new ones look much better.

          • +5

            @SnowDragon: I rock the shirt everywhere. Looks great especially with an open Hawaiian over-shirt. Really looking forward to the Cap to complete my look. I just need them to make pants…

    • How long did the program last for last time?

      • +1

        I believe it is a long running until stocks last thing. Every three donations is quite a long time to get all the gifts, especially if you are doing whole blood (12 weeks between donations, Plasma can be every 2 weeks).

    • +1

      100%, loved my first round of gifts and am very keen for this lot.

    • +1

      I still wear the socks - they rock

  • Nobody makes me bleed my own blood.

    • +8

      Good news then! Plasma and Platelet donations count too ;)

      • +3

        But Whit Goodman doesn’t have any witty one liners for plasma or platelets!

    • -2

      Here's hoping you never need blood then.

      • +6

        It’s a joke idt. Taken from the movie Dodge Ball.

        • +1

          An average Joe joke?

          • +3

            @Jenko1: Nah, GloboGym - because we’re better than you!

  • +7

    I was part of the trial for this last year and received all the products. They are all of good quality and still many of them

  • +2

    Still rocking my socks from last time

  • +4

    I was also part of the trial for the last program, and they were very upfront about the fact that it was very much a 'trial'. I don't think they expected as much of a take up as there was. Seems like they are better prepared for this one and there is a much longer timeframe. Also looks like you have a choice of gift as last time it was more of gifts in order as a stepping stone to the next.
    I donate plasma every fortnight and would happily do without the gifts, but admit that it is very nice for small things like this as a thank you.

    • +1

      Agreed, some items were specific to what you donated so it's good that the whole range is open this time.

  • +1

    Great program!

  • +3

    I used to work for these guys. What bothers me is that they try to come off as a charity and non for profit, when they're actually privately owned and their main goal is to make profit and they try and hide that fact.

    I remember calling up during one of our "we need blood" campaigns and the guy trying to book in and me going we're booked out for for the next few months and him going "Hang on… how is there a blood shortage then?"

    I remember 10 years ago a litre of plasma was 5k. God knows how much it's worth to them now…..

    I eventually had to quit just because the entire "Oh we're a charity saving lives" got to me.

    And yes they're a company where the end result does help people, but that's not their primary goal.

    • +11

      Makes me feel less guilty for taking an extra chocolate slice post-donation.

      Kind of wish we were paid to donate like in the US.

    • +3

      Even doing good things costs money. Isn't how the profit is used the most important thing? New gear, staff, operational costs, expansion etc? What's the problem with that?

      • +5

        Red Cross pays approximately $350,000 per executive. Great use of donated blood.

        • +3

          In what world is $350K excessive for decent executives? I guess large organisations with enormous societal responsibilities just run themselves in your quaint little world? Just for perspective, my car dealer charges more than that for servicing.

    • +21

      Legally, it is a not-for-profit organisation (but not a charity) registered with the ACNC. This means that it does not earn profit for its owners, as any revenue generated by its activities must be put back into the organisation, like an RSL.

      • +12

        Yep, the comment that "And yes they're a company where the end result does help people, but that's not their primary goal" is ignorant nonsense. I doubt RC Lifeblood would be happy with any comparison involving the odious RSL though.

      • -1

        Gail McGovern has been the CEO of the American Red Cross since 2008. Her total compensation in 2018, including salary and benefits, was $694,000.

        • -1


        • +4

          What salary should you offer a CEO in a company with over $2.8b in annual revenue, 20k employees, and around 300k volunteers?

          • @Plimsol: 10% + tip

          • -2

            @Plimsol: If they making $2.8b and paying someone $2,764 per day, then why they cant pay for my blood? Why do they need donations?

            • +2

              @Stivo: Are you asking what the American Red Cross does, and why they need money? They provide emergency assistance, disaster relief, and disaster preparedness education in the United States. Specifically, the recent work has been around tornadoes, which can be quite expensive, so they don’t necessarily have spare cash to pay for blood. The money doesn’t go to profits benefiting anyone as they are a not-for-profit that is regulated. What would you like them to spend less money on, to pay for blood?

            • +2

              @Stivo: Still can't work out that Red Cross USA and Lifeblood Au are entirely different entities and why that's necessary? Nothing a little reading wouldn't cure.

              Do you donate? Apart from the warm and fuzzy feeling you get from making a significant and life saving/changing contribution to others there are direct personal health benefits, including (but not limited to) free blood, haemoglobin and blood pressure tests every time you front up.

    • +7

      As someone in the industry side its not worth anywhere 5k. At the bagged/bottle plasma stage its closer to $100-500/L.
      Depends heavily on IgG content of the donor and whether its a state owned like lifeblood or commercial harvest like CSL or Biolife.

      • -6

        Well that's just what they used to tell us. Obviously it might be something different, just going on what they said.

        • +2

          Sometimes best not to blindly believe everything you hear.

    • +2

      One the government reviews I read indicates that Australia imports about half of the blood products we need. Kinda sad that we arnt self sufficient.

      • Plasma is the one we import. We will get more donations if we paid people to donate. People harp on about how payment would reduce the integrity of the supplies but:

        1) We import from the US that has paid donations, so we are already using a "paid" supply.
        2) I assume/hope we rigorously test imported supplies- no different to testing paid supplies here.

        • There's problems with both free and paid. There really isn't a good model for giving away your fluids without some sort of drawback.

          • @cfuse: A paid model that follows the current waiting periods between donations is fine. The horror stories from the US of people donating to meet grocery bills is partly cause by their FDA allowing plasma donations every 2 days. Nobody is going be dependent on plasma as subsistence income if we pay $50 per donation every 2 weeks.

            • @star-ggg: Anyone that tells you that it won't be like all the other times and places it went off the rails is probably mistaken. It doesn't matter what it is, perfection doesn't exist in the real world but base human conduct does.

              To take the paid model to its logical conclusion the optimal solution is a blood stock market. If the market needs more of a particular type of blood product it can pay more for it (and antigens are a great deal more complex than the few common types that everyone knows about). This can also enable a degree of epidemiological classification and risk tolerance that we currently don't have (for better and worse). We could apply all the financial instruments we use on the financial stock market on this one too (because it is a financial stock market). For that matter, luxury products like young blood could command premium prices. Capitalism will be the order of the day.

              However, what a paid model will do to charity is eradicate it. The majority of those that give now will cease to do so. The atmosphere around donation will alter enough to drive them away. It will also tie future donations to the economy. When bleeding is a job then who turns up to do it depends on how much the pay is worth versus the imposition to get it. I'm sure you can come up with other ways that making it all about money will change the way the entire sector functions. And if I can sell blood, why can't I sell a kidney? Is there really that much of a difference?

              Just pay for it isn't necessarily a bad idea, it's just not as straightforward as people claim.

              • @cfuse: They could cover costs though. It's a 40k round trip for me to donate and I try for every 2 weeks. $10 for fuel would be nice.

      • CSL has more than 300 plasma donation centres in the USA, many near the Mexico border.
        Donors often rely on the income to support their families and can donate up to 3 times a week.
        We are prohibited from paying donors in Australia and therefore can't generate much plasma locally.

        • +1

          I'd be a dried husk if they paid in Australia.

    • -2

      I love how people are downvoting you for stating the truth. A few years back when I looked into it, each donated blood was being sold to hospitals for $500. That was when I stopped donating. Because its not a donation to the people who need blood. Its a donation to the people who sell it for a profit. Screw them.

      • +5

        When you looked into what? Lifebloods annual reports, which include detailed audited financials, are publicly available. I love how people who know sfa make ludicrous claims based on threadbare- if any - evidence and zero context on anonymous websites. You obviously haven't got even the vaguest notion about the infratructure, expertise and processes required to provide blood products to those who need them.

      • +8

        Can you explain what you mean by 'profit'? It's a not-for-profit organisation, so any surplus gets reinvested back into the organisation. While I think that donors should be paid and that Lifeblood is overly bloated in terms of attaining and retanining donors, I can't see how there's any 'profiteering'.

        Red Cross is a large oranisation and Lifeblood is only one component of it. The Red Cross annual report is explicit that: "A separate board, CEO and management team are responsible for the day-to-day management of Australian Red Cross Lifeblood."

        My read of the Lifeblood annual report is that Lifeblood doesn't get directly paid by CSL for blood products supplies to CSL. It looks like they have an agreement with the National Blood Authority for funding per unit of blood product supplied. It's also clear that when they had an operating surplus, they returned the vast majority back to the NBA: "Lifeblood has an agreement with the NBA to retain $2 million of the 2022–23 operating surplus. A provision has been made to return $7.6 million as an offset against income, in accordance with the Deed of Agreement between the Australian Red Cross Society and the NBA."

        The NBA appears to be funded by the federal governement (63%) and the states (37%).The NBA has annual targets they plan to meet in terms of blood supply.


        • +2

          You are 100% correct. OP and the commenter you are responding to have absolutely no clue what they are talking about.

      • +1

        You are ncorrectly conflating Red Cross with Lifeblood Australia whose financials etc are in the annual report link I provided elsewhere. It's a separate entity to Red Cross.

      • I think you are incorrect here. Australian plasma is not shipped globally for huge profits we use it locally.
        If CSL shipped Australian plasma offshore they'd be losing money on it.

    • +8

      I also used to work for 'these guys', and none of what you have said above made any sense, and I hope no one else took you seriously.
      It was a fantastic place up work and everyone was very committed to the businesses values, because we were ultimately ensuring the quality of service to the community and delivering value for every dollar spent.

      1) They're a not for profit, therefore, they make no profit. What money they make from selling plasma to CSL (who agreed to pay for plasma at much higher prices than they could import it for in order to support the principal of self-sufficiency) went back into the operating budget to do its best to offset the government funding provided. They did not ever make more money than was spent on the manufacture of therapeutic goods.

      2) Plasma was never 5k a litre, especially not 10 years ago. The USA was producing it at roughly a cost closer to $200 a litre at the time, from memory. There was quite a bit of pressure to allow the importing of this product to make up for the shortfall in after volume to send to CSL despite our commitment to safety and the supply of products which met our donor screening standards and our commitment to patient safety.

      3) I'm sorry you had a bad experience. I have a feeling I know which operational function you worked in, which was a challenging job for anyone.

      • -5

        Oh I didn't have that bad a experience. Was just working in the call centre in Adelaide. My team was mostly good (team leader was a **** but he's long since died from cancer so guess that's karma for you).

        As for your points, I can't really be assed rebutting them but I will say this = it was a life time ago… So maybe my recollection on it isn't 100% accurate. I do remember the call centre I worked in had like 100 + staff that were harassing people daily to book in appointments 6 months ahead. But hey, maybe that's just a part of their process. I also remember towards the end when I was quitting, one of the team leaders making a comment along the lines of "hey maybe you're right, but it's what pays all these people, keeps the lights on etc".

        I left a decade ago, now have a decent actual career and that place is long a speck in the background of my memory. Entire place had a dodgey feel about it and it really showed while working there. Like I said initially - Great that the end result is people getting life saving donations….. but still won't change my mind about the entire place.

      • Also I might add, how much their executives and leadership are being paid takes up a fairly nice chunk of that "money going back into the business"

        But lets not focus on things like that.

        • I'm interested in focusing on that. What chunk do RC Lifeblood executives earn and why is it unreasonable as you're obviously implying? How does their rumuneration compare to similar organisations? Your swipes appear to be based on nothing but unsubstantiated waffle,

          • @Igaf: Why is it reasonable to expense the paying of an executive as a cost is running an organization but not reasonable to expense paying donors that supply the actual product using their own time and bodies? I don't know what volunteers do at Lifeblood but I have the same argument they should be paid if their work is crucial to daily operation of the organization.

            • +1

              @star-ggg: You have a bad case of false equivalence, but who says it's not reasonable to pay donors? There are good reasons why many believe that altruistic donation is preferable. Google and read. Here's a few articles to start you off: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S08877…

              If helping to save the lives of others isn't enough reward it might be comforting to know that donors already receive benefits, even if they aren't aware of them. Again, google and read.

              The unpaid volunteer argument has broad implications for how societies function in general and more specifically for economies. Ignoring the social benefits, how much extra tax are you prepared to pay for the free labour supplied by volunteers?

              • @Igaf: If you want to play the "research by googling my own opinion" game then here's some links as well:



                Well, I didn't get to decide if my taxes should be spent on paying an individual in an organization $334/hr for their work , but since we have decided to do that then in a just and equitable society our taxes should be allocated to pay another individual in the same organization $25/hr for their work.

                • +1

                  @star-ggg: I've read both previously. The Conversation piece was persuasive - IF you're prepared to dismiss the fundamental basis of altruism and the flow on effects of its erosion AND accept the argument that "privatisation"/ competition is the answer to every societal issue (or at least blood product donation according to Dr Slonim). Thatcher put the notion in simple enough terms - paraphrasing: there is no society, only individuals and families and they should all sort out their problems for themselves.

                  Both the linked pieces were written by an economics Professor with broad knowledge of the issue of paid donations. You'll have to excuse my skepticism but some economists rationalise and/or are ruled by their unshakeable beliefs in market forces - not rarely based on simplistic models with minimal regard to societal effects. Treasury used to be full of them a few decades ago. Wiser (imo) heads take the view that markets are good servants, bad masters, and even worse religions.

                  I doubt Dr Slonim falls into that category given his expertise is behavioural economics. His survey - which isn't supported by the global metastudy I linked - may well have divined that a large section of modern Australia is now far more self-centred than ever and needs monetary rewards in order to contribute to the welfare of their fellow humans. Anecdotally this website regularly confirms that imo. Interestingly he waves away the safety concerns associated with paid donation by saying that [Lifeblood] has systems which should be able to overcome that but fails to note that its operations are essentially funded by govt. See any problem with the economics there? All Australian governments rely on volunteers and charities/donors. How far do you want to reduce that, and are you prepared for the economic shock or the societal breakdown which might result if we extended your well-meaning notion of paid/subsidised "volunteering"?

                  I don't know where you got your $334/hr figures from but iirc the 2022-3 Annual Report shows that the average salary for the 20 Lifeblood executives was ~ $275,000, which equates to about $100/hr. If you think that's excessive or unwarranted I'd suggest you have no idea of the hours involved, the responsibilities or current Australian salary rates.

                  • @Igaf: A commenter earlier said the CEO was paid 650k+. I didn't bother fact checking it because I don't think the number itself is the issue. I believe it's the principle if one worker for the organisation is getting paid then so should every other worker. If we set a standard for altruism for one why not the other?

                    Similarly, in the case of plasma, if CSL is buying and selling the plasma for profit then the suppliers of the raw product in the supply chain should see a % of their profit.

                    • @star-ggg: That is the Red Cross USA CEO - nothing at all to do with Lifeblood Au and blood product donation - and the context was completely ignored.

                      Your argument appears to have moved from paid donation to Lifeblood volunteers. Are LB volunteers unhappy with their lot or are you simply projecting? I ask because most volunteers get great comfort from the fact that they are giving their time, knowledge and effort freely.

                      • @Igaf: Ultimately, it comes down to why do volunteers and donors need to be altruistic but executives are paid at market rates?

                        • @star-ggg: Your concept or altruism needs some work. It's evident that altruism provides many people with enormous personal benefits.

                          Wrt blood donation - as I've already said, apart from the satisfaction of making a significant, life changing blood donation donors already receive benefits.

                          Not enough for you?

                          • @Igaf:

                            It's evident that altruism provides many people with enormous personal benefits.

                            So why do the executives need financial benefits? Let's pay them with the enormous good feelings as well.

                            • @star-ggg: That's a seriously stupid question even for this website so I'll assume it's simply an indication of your anathema towards executives, which is justifiable in some cases imo (I stopped supporting the Fred Hollows Foundation when I learned they were paying their CEO > $1M for example).

                              Ooi, does your disdain extend to all execs or just those who work for charities, social enterprise companies etc?

                              • @Igaf: I might be stupid but I believe it is logically inconsistent for an organization to pay one worker with $ and another with feelings good feelings.

                                Yes, i also feel the same way for sports that generate millions in merchandise and ticket sales then pay ground staff with good feelings.

                                • @star-ggg: A "stupid" question doesn't equate with being stupid. Your comments suggest you have a relatively high EQ, which is an excellent foundation for life and learning.

                                  Most charities have a wide diversity of contributors - including the usual range of highly to moderately paid employees, cash donors who usually don't require any recompense from the charity, and altruistic time/effort donors who help out with a huge range of activities. Many if not most of the latter would completely disagree with your insistance that they be paid.

    • they are government funded.

    • they're actually privately owned

      Are you claiming that where Dept of Health and Aged Carestates -
      "NBA is a non-corporate Commonwealth entity"

      and Dept of Finance defines it "Non-corporate Commonwealth entities (NCEs) are legally and financially part of the Commonwealth."
      therefore means that it is a privately owned business?

  • +6

    damn it, i want a coffee cup, but i have just donated 2 weeks ago. i have donated 25 times already, and all i got was a bar of chocolate, not that i'm complaining tho.

    • +4

      Did you get the 25 pin?

      • +5

        i got a pin at 10th, and a certificate and a bar of chocolate at 25th

        • Damn. I got a pin and a block of chocolate at 10

    • +1

      I just did my 50th and didn't it get a mention haha. I don't mind though, it's a nice time to relaxin a recliner and read a book for 45mins, how good!. I go to Civic in Canberra Centre and it feels like the powers that be have sucked the joy out of things. They used to name all the machines, have themed days etc. Maybe they still do, I'm only there once every two weeks but the vibe just feels different.

      • i don't want to donate plasma as I don't like the feeling when the blood going back into my body, and the time it takes is a lot longer. So i usually just got for whole blood, usually i do it twice per year. However it seems like donating plasma is easier for my body to recover, so i am on the fence on if i should choose plasma next time.

        • +2

          It's a personal preference.

          I think just going there and donating whatever is great no matter what you choose, especially leading into winter.

          But also depending on your blood type, they suggest on what is better to donate too (there use to be a chart at the reception or you can ask the nurse). As due to compatibility and how common the blood type is…..I'm advised it is more helpful for my type to donate plasma rather than full blood.

          I'm actually going in tonight for first time in 3yrs (according to my records - primarily due to COVID and health issues at the time).

  • +1

    Thx OP,I just missed out by donating last month

    Can I ask if anyone would know… Do they still award badges for hitting the 50 or 100 donation milestones? I remember reading about it years ago thx

    • +15

      Yes they have badges for all milestones- typically every 25 donations. I hit my 275 few months back and got a badge and a lovely chocolate.

      • 275 - wow, thanks for your donations, that's unbelievable.

        • +2

          Thanks for that. Started at school because we got to miss a few classes and then just stuck with it. 30 years later still enjoying it.

  • +1

    Damn this head cold. Great incentive and reminder to give.

  • Do you pop in to get the gifts after donating?

    • +2

      They usually have them there when you check in.

  • +1

    Seems like you need to Opt-in from the preferences for Lifeblood Gifts and it'll keep a tally of donations to check eligibility.

    • +1

      Yes, I tried to make that clear in the post.

  • Melb cbd donor center is always out of things 😂.

    (Been there plenty of times to say the above line)

    • What "things"? I'm there every so often and they have all snacks, food etc. if that's what you mean.

      • Well…

        The milestone pins (10, 50) (so far)
        once wanted to try a shake and the machine was out of order.
        Food i think its alright, although i don’t consume any in the morning due to fasting

  • Wow didn't know this existed. Have done about 9 times already.

    • They're starting this from 1st of June. I received an email a few weeks ago.

      • +2

        "Opt in date will be set as the date they opt in (on or after 1 June 2024).

        Once a donor has opted in, any attendances within the seven days prior to that opt in date will be counted towards their gifts count."

        Today and tmr still count

  • +8

    Putting aside the benefit to others that need blood, donating blood has personal health benefits. For those that don’t menstruate, donating blood is a reliable way to reduce the levels of contaminants that accumulate in the bloodstream, eg. PFAS, microplastics.

Login or Join to leave a comment