I've noticed that there are several new companies advertising that they collect blood donations. I asked a friend who is an ER doctor why, and his response was that blood donations are quite valuable, and several hospital systems have started collecting blood directly because they don't want to pay so much for the blood that they use. Fair enough.

What is the fair market value of a blood donation? Should I be able to write that value off on my taxes if I am giving it to a 501(c)(3) like the Red Cross?

Edit: Is it the fact that the blood is being drawn on-site? Would I be able to write it off if I had the blood drawn by a third party and then I gave the whole blood donation to the Red Cross?

1 Answer 1


What is the fair market value of a blood donation?

Hospitals pay $130-150 for a pint of blood. They charge their customers more, perhaps, but it's only worth $150 to the Red Cross.

Should I be able to write that value off on my taxes if I am giving it to a 501(c)(3) like the Red Cross?

According to the IRS, no, blood donations are considered part of the category of time and services donated to charity which cannot be deducted.

  • 8
    Look at it this way: if they paid you for your donation, then you'd have to pay income tax on the payment (I assume). Then you could donate the cash to them or someone else and deduct it, leaving you net flat. The general idea of tax deductions for charitable donations is to be able to give money to charity untaxed out of gross income. Your blood donation, or any other directly performed services, are already untaxed. Feb 28, 2017 at 22:05
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    100% right. But, consider, congress can easily change that line of code, codify a $150 deduction, and help a system that seems to always be running the risk of shortage. Feb 28, 2017 at 22:06
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    Strictly opinion: Blood is not like other goods that can be donated like clothes, cars, or cash. You didn't pay for it, you're not taxed on owning it, you can't use it to legally generate income, and (barring medical issues) you can regenerate what you need, essentially getting it back with no loss to your "inventory". While there is a quantifiable donation with regards to the amount, really what you're donating is your time at the donation center and the service of your body being without that blood for a period of time.
    – BobbyScon
    Mar 7, 2017 at 16:50
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    @JoeTaxpayer, that article is in regard to donating blood plasma. It's my understanding that these paid-for donations are sold for research purposes and not to be used in hospital transfusions. A friend of mine ran outreach for a rare condition blood plasma clinic. The clinic would qualify a potential donor to note the existence of a condition and the non-existence of others, then sell the blood to research facilities studying treatments/cures for those conditions.
    – quid
    Mar 7, 2017 at 18:27
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    When trying to calculate the intrinsic value of your blood, keep in mind that quoted price needs to cover all tests and treatment the blood undergoes in order to make sure it can safely be used, proper handling and storage and logistics [physical as well as record-keeping], the check-up you receive before you are allowed to donate and so on. Mar 7, 2017 at 23:40

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