Donor registries are often used as tools to increase public awareness and general knowledge regarding organ and tissue donation and transplantation. Four issues are related to the use of registries as public awareness tools: the method by which the message is conveyed, the choice of audiences to be targeted, evaluation of the success of awareness and education campaigns, and the development of public trust as a primary goal. Many states have taken actions to facilitate general awareness of organ and tissue donation, and to publicize the existence of the donor registry. Such actions include the following.
- States that provide the option of making a voluntary gift to fund donor awareness and educational programs at the time of driver’s license renewal include: Alabama, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas.
- Arkansas, Louisiana, and Missouri have created multimedia donor awareness campaigns that use posters, television commercials, and radio advertisements.
- Florida and Missouri have created youth education programs in the secondary school system.
- Iowa allows county treasurers to collect funds for awareness grants.
- Louisiana and Michigan have educational sessions and registration information at many public events such as art and health fair booths, church programs, and driver’s education training.
- Ohio is considering implementation of an educational program that would automatically send donor information to individuals as a birthday card.
- Oregon sells special license plates to raise funds for donor awareness and education programs.
- Pennsylvania allows individuals to contribute to a donor awareness fund on income tax return forms.
- Louisiana has a statement of need in the state driver’s license manual.