Increasing organ donor registration

  • 2013

In the UK, three people die every day due to a lack of organ donors. This is an addressable issue, as 8 out of 10 adults say they support the organ donor register but only around 40 per cent are registered.


According to the principle of reciprocity, we tend to help people who have helped us. The fact that an individual might themselves benefit from an organ donation one day could therefore prompt them to become a donor. 


We tested eight versions of a webpage intended to encourage people to join the NHS Organ Donor Register. The test was conducted as a randomised controlled trial with 1,085,322 participants. It included the message ’If you needed an organ transplant, would you have one? If so, please help others.’

Result & Impact

The reciprocity message increased the number of registrations by 38 per cent (96,000 additional registrations).