The health and social impact of Blood Donors Associations: A Social Return on Investment (SROI) analysis
Evaluation and program planning. 2019;73:204-213
Although research on blood donation abounds, no studies have yet attempted to estimate the socio-economic value generated from Blood Donors Associations (BDAs). To fill this gap, the authors ran a Social Return on Investment (SROI) analysis on four units of the largest BDA in Italy, the Association of Voluntary Italian Blood Donors ("Avis"). This study used multiple methods for data collection and analysis. A systematic literature review helped the identification of proper financial proxies to highlight the economic value of the social and health impacts experienced by Avis members. A focus group with key informants gathered their views on the areas of impact selected for the analysis: early detection of diseases, adoption of healthier lifestyles, social capital, human capital, personal satisfaction and reinforcement of a 'giving culture'. Primary data collection involved (a) an Activity Based Costing analysis (b) a self-reported questionnaire to 1.066 BDA members and unassociated donors enabling the comparison of the blood donation experience of these two groups. The SROI analysis resulted in four positive ratios, varying between euro1.70 and euro13.80. This study contributes to the knowledge on impact evaluations in TSOs. Policy implications refer to BDAs deserving financial and material support for their capacity to generate positive social impacts.