Thinking about selling plasma for money?
Well, you’re not alone.
Many of us consider donating plasma for money at one time or another – whether it’s to help to pay for the cost of college textbooks or just to get some money to add to our savings account.
Whatever the reason for donating, you probably have a few questions, like “how much money can I make donating plasma?” or “what is the plasma donation process like?”
Well, don’t worry; we’ve got you covered.
From how much it is worth and how much you get paid to donate plasma to donation requirements and how many times you can donate, we’ll explain everything you need to know about donating blood for money.
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We’ll also cover tips on how to find the highest paying donation centers near you.
By the way, if you’re considering selling other bodily fluids, read this post on donating sperm for money, this one on donating eggs for money, and this one on becoming an egg donor (and making up to $1500!).
Donating Plasma vs. Blood: What is Plasma?
Plasma or blood?
Online you see these terms used interchangeably.
Sometimes you’ll see people ask, “where can I donate blood for money?” rather than plasma.
This is a common question.
It’s also a bit of a misconception.
Companies technically don’t pay you for your blood. Rather, they pay for a single component of the blood – this is known as plasma.
Plasma makes up around 55% of your total blood volume.
This yellow liquid is highly sought after because it can’t be manufactured.
Since plasma cannot be made synthetically, companies need to take it from healthy adults, and they’re willing to pay for it.
What is Plasma Used For?
Companies use it to produce medicines, treatments and therapies for a range of conditions and diseases.
In addition, it’s used in the treatment of trauma, burns and shock and other medical emergencies.
When you donate you are helping people while making money in the process.
It’s a win-win!
How Much Do You Get Paid for Donating Plasma?
The biggest question people who need money and are considering donation probably have is about the pay.
It’s tough to give an exact figure because each place pays differently.
That being said, you can expect to make anywhere from $20 to $50 for each donation that you make.
If you do it twice each week you could earn between $160 and $400 a month.
Like we said before though, each center will offer different compensation rates for donors.
This means you could make more or less money than this – it’s just an average figure.
How do you get paid?
When it comes to payment methods, centers will differ.
That being said, a prepaid debit card is the most common form of payment.
Just check with the center you’re donating to for details on how you’ll receive payment.
Is there a way to earn extra money donating plasma?
The individual compensation rates offered by different donation centers are the biggest variable in earnings.
Obviously, you’re going to earn more money working with a center that pays $30 per donation, rather than $20.
That being said, there are a few other factors that can have an effect on how much money you make.
What number visit you’re on
The first time you head to the donation center will likely be your longest visit.
With filling out forms, undergoing medical checkups and more (we’ll give you more details on the donation process below – don’t worry!) there’s a lot to do on your first visit.
This means that you’ll be there for longer.
Since these centers pay you for your time, you’ll earn the most money from your first visit, most likely.
Also, since they like repeat donors, some centers provide incentives for future visits.
For example, a center might offer some extra cash for your fifth and eighth visit.
The heavier you weigh the more plasma you’ll be able to donate. This means that the donation process takes longer so usually you get paid more.
The FDA has outlined guidelines that determine how much an individual can donate based on their weight – here are the categories: 110 to 149 pounds, 150 to 174 pounds, and 175 to 400 pounds.
Basically, the volume of plasma you can donate can affect the amount of money you’ll make.
Coupons and other promotions are sometimes offered by donation centers – so you can earn more money.
A center might have a refer a friend promotion available where you get a cash bonus, like $15 for example when a friend donates.
How often can you donate plasma?
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has guidelines that determine how often people can donate.
Under its guidelines, you can make two donations within a seven-day timeframe. You must wait at least 48 hours between donations.
This means that if you donate blood on Monday then you can’t make another donation until Wednesday.
So basically you can donate plasma twice a week.
Plasma Donation Requirements
If you want to donate you’ll need to meet the requirements.
Below are the general requirements for donors.
- Weigh at least 110 pounds.
- Aged from 16 years old to 69 years old. For some centers, you’ll need to be older – 18 or 19, depending on the state and center. Some centers might only accept donors who’re younger than 69 years old. Many centers have an upper age limit of 66 years old.
- Be in good health. To donate you need to feel well and have the ability to perform everyday tasks.
- Don’t have health conditions, diseases, or viruses, like HIV.
Donor requirements can vary from center to center.
For example, one place might take plasma from donors who are older.
Others might not allow people to donate if they’ve gotten a tattoo, piercing, or permanent makeup done recently.
It’s important to ask the center that you plan to donate to what their exact requirements are.
How to Get Ready
Now you know how much money you can make, and what the requirements are, let’s take a look at how to prepare.
One big thing you’ll need to do is gather a couple of important documents.
To sell plasma for money, you’ll need to take your ID and proof of address with you.
On your first visit, you’ll have to provide verification of donor ID and local address.
A valid photo ID is generally required, examples include:
- Driver’s license
- Military ID
- State issued ID
- School ID (if you’re a student, you’ll also need a copy of your birth certificate to verify your date of birth.
Proof of address can include:
- Photo ID
- W-2 form
- Paycheck stub
- Utility bill from the past 30 days
Basically, any official document that includes your address.
Some places will need you to show proof of your social security number.
The following documents can be used to verify your SSN:
- Social security card
- W-2 form
- Or get social security verification from your local Supplemental Security Income office.
If you aren’t a U.S. citizen, then alternatively, you can provide your Border Crossing Card, like:
- BBC card
If you’re not sure what documents to take with you, contact the center you plan to donate to and they will be able to advise you.
Your documents aren’t the only thing you’ll need to get ready for the process.
You’ll also need to get yourself ready!
You might be wondering what to do before donating.
This is pretty common.
After all, any procedure involving white coats can seem a little nerve-wracking. So knowing what you can do beforehand to make the process go better can really help to ease some of those nerves.
So if you’ve got questions like, “what should I eat before giving plasma?” then check out our list of what to do and what not to do before donating.
Drink lots of water
This is so important!
Did you know that 90% of plasma is water?
If you’re not properly hydrated, your blood will be thicker, which makes it more difficult for the machine to collect your plasma.
Being properly hydrated can make it easier for the center to extract your blood – and anything you can do to make your donation faster is a good thing!
Just don’t go too overboard.
If you drink too much water, it can dilute the iron levels in your blood. The staff at the center will check your iron and hemoglobin levels, and if they’re too low, you’ll be disqualified.
Consuming six to eight cups of water on the day before and on the day of your donation is a good idea.
Skip the alcohol and caffeine
No wine with the evening meal or coffee to go in the morning!
If you want to donate plasma for money, you’ll need to avoid consuming any alcohol or caffeine on the night before and day of your donation.
Skip the cigarettes too
Using tobacco before a donation is also a no-no. So you’ll want to avoid smoking for at least an hour before making a donation.
Make sure you’re well-rested
Getting plenty of rest on the day before you donate is so important.
It will make you feel better during the donation process.
So no late nights we’re afraid!
Make sure you get at least eight hours of sleep the night before you donate.
Don’t do any strenuous activity
In the spirit of being well-rested, it’s also best to avoid any strenuous activity before you donate.
Consume foods that are high in protein and iron
Eat foods like broccoli, collards, turkey, chick and tuna – basically any food that’s high in protein or iron – no more than 3 hours before you donate.
Don’t eat fatty foods
Fatty foods can cause plasma to become milky, and the center could reject your donation.
Foods like pizza, French fries and potato chips should definitely be avoided in the days before your donation and on the day you donate.
Wear something comfortable and practical
Show up to the center wearing something comfortable, and practical, and your donation will go much more smoothly, according to reports from donors.
While donating you’ll need to lie in a recliner-style bed and you won’t be able to move much as the machine extracts your plasma.
So being comfortable is definitely important, as is wearing something practical – like sleeveless clothing.
Bring something to keep you entertained
The donation process isn’t super quick – but more on that below.
So you’ll want to take something with you to keep yourself from getting bored.
Some places have Wi-Fi so you can browse on your phone, laptop, or tablet.
Or you could take a book or magazine.
While donating you aren’t allowed to sleep as the staff at the center need to make sure you’re okay during the procedure.
That’s why it’s important to take something with you to keep yourself entertained.
What to Expect when Donating Plasma
Right, now that you’re prepared you’re probably wondering what the process of donating involves.
This is pretty common.
Knowing how the process works means you’ll know what to expect on your first visit.
Each center will have its own procedures, especially when it comes to the medical screening process and registration.
That being said, generally, here’s what to expect when you donate plasma:
When you get to the center, you’ll be greeted by the staff, and will have to show your ID, proof of address and proof of your Social Security Number.
Then, your medical history will be reviewed and you have to undergo a physical examination/medical screening – this is to ensure you’re eligible to donate. You’ll be tested for viruses, such as hepatitis and HIV. Staff will also test your protein and hemoglobin levels.
Also, you’ll need to register and complete some paperwork.
During the donation process
If you are eligible to be a donor, you’ll begin the process of actually donating the plasma – a process called plasmapheresis.
When you have your blood taken, it’s drawn from a vein in your arm using a needle.
It’s a pretty quick process that takes less than ten minutes.
Donating plasma, on the other hand, is a much longer process – taking around 90 minutes.
When donating plasma, just like when you have a blood test, the whole blood is taken.
However, only the plasma component of the blood is retained.
During plasmapheresis, a machine takes your blood and separates the plasma part of it into a container.
Once your plasma is collected, your red blood cells and the other parts of your blood are re-infused into your body.
How Long Does it Take to Donate Plasma?
Like we said above, the process of actually taking the plasma takes around 90 minutes.
However, on your first visit, you’ll also have to complete paperwork and undergo screening so the whole process of donating can take around two hours.
So expect to be at the center for around two hours on your first visit and, after that, around 90 minutes.
How to Find Plasma Donation Centers near You
So now that you know everything there is to know about blood plasma donation for money, you’re probably wondering, “where can I donate plasma for money near me?”
Let’s see how you can find a donation center near you.
The easiest way to do this is to visit DonatingPlasma.org. This is such a handy website for anyone who’s looking to make money selling plasma.
On the website, you can enter the name of the city you live in and/or your zip code, and you’ll get results for tons of donation centers nearby.
The website features a massive database of donation centers. So you’re sure to find one near you.
- You can find your nearest donation center here: www.donatingplasma.org/donation/find-a-donor-center.
- And if you want to know the places that pay the most, check out our list of highest paying plasma donation centers near you.
You Can Donate Plasma for Free
Making money with your body might not be for everyone but for those who don’t mind, it’s an easy way to earn some extra cash in your spare time.
If you don’t like the idea of selling or donating your plasma for cash but you still want to help, you can donate plasma for free through the American Red Cross. ARC will let you donate every 28 days.
You can make an appointment in a few ways:
- Call 1-800-RED-CROSS to schedule an appointment.
- Visit redcrossblood.org/find-drive to find a Red Cross Blood Drive near you.
By the way, sometimes they may also give you a free $5 Amazon gift card as a thank you. But you’re not obligated to take it.
Needless to say, selling plasma won’t make you rich. It will, however, give you a fairly easy way to make a couple of hundred extra bucks each month.
Have you ever donated blood plasma (or bone marrow, eggs, sperms, etc) for money? Let us know about your experiences selling plasma for money by leaving a comment below.