case studies

Not-for-Profit Case Study: Canadian Blood Services


Maintaining the blood supply to meet the current and future demand of Canadian patients is an ongoing challenge to CBS. While the group has reported that more than half of Canadians will require blood for themselves or a family member, less than 4 percent of the population regularly gives blood. CBS needed to reach out to new donor groups especially now that the primary donor age cohort—Baby Boomers—has begun moving from being net donors to net users as they age and undergo medical procedures associated with the ailments of seniors.

CBS determined its donor clinic network of 40 permanent facilities and thousands of mobile clinic sites was not optimized to realize untapped potential in its service areas. Using PRIZM segmentation system to analyze CBS’s home-based and business-based blood donors, EA analysts classified them into one of the 66 lifestyle types based on geodemographics and Social Values. Analysts then scored neighbourhoods throughout the three markets according to their actual blood donation level compared to their expected benchmarks. Any shortfall between the actual and benchmark figure indicated untapped potential, and CBS designated those areas as good prospects for a new clinic while consolidating existing ones.


With the EA analysis, CBS pinpointed the communities with particularly high potential: Oshawa, Ont., where a new clinic opened in April 2009, and Moncton, N.B., which will have a new facility in the near future. The PRIZM profiles also improved CBS’s ability to evaluate the performance of a clinic while controlling for socioeconomic and demographic characteristics. Knowing a site is performing well against its benchmark allows CBS managers to focus on enhancing the donors’ experience with a more attractive facility or new services instead of focusing solely on bringing in more donors. The profile analysis also proved useful in fine-turning CBS’s marketing program by leveraging PRIZM information. Because PRIZM is linked to media and values data, the EA analysis suggested the best ad channel (radio) and media messages (involving community life) that would resonate with likely donors.