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Our online Donate Life Ambassador Handbook

It contains great information on planning events and public speaking, plus links to forms and other info. Please contact [email protected] if you have any questions.

Donate Life Ambassador Handbook

Volunteer Handbook

  • Who We Are

    Donor Network West is a federally designated nonprofit, 501(c)3, organ procurement organization (OPO) with headquarters in Northern California and Northern Nevada. Established in 1987, we serve more than 13 million people and connect a donor’s gift to those in need in 45 counties in Northern California and Northern Nevada. Organ, eye, and tissue donation offers the hope to heal. The generous decisions of donors and their families allow us to recover and allocate organs and tissues for transplantation and research.

    Our Mission

    Donor Network West saves and heals lives through organ, eye and tissue donation for transplantation and research.

    Our Vision

    To be the industry leader of organ, eye and tissue procurement with compassionate support and service.

    Our Core Values

    PASSION - Donor Network West is composed of caring professionals aligned with our mission, who give their all to help save lives and inspire our communities to donate life.

    EXCELLENCE - Donor Network West is solution oriented, team focused, with bold change agents utilizing our experience and expertise to optimize the gift of life.

    DIVERSITY, EQUITY & INCLUSION - Donor Network West team members respect and value people of all backgrounds, appreciate and celebrate differences in others and create an environment of equity and inclusion with opportunities for everyone to reach their potential.

    RELATIONSHIPS - Donor Network West team members are respectful stewards who honor donors, show compassion and support for donor families, advocate for recipients and empower collaboration with external and internal partners.

    Our Why

    While more people are receiving organ transplants than ever before, the need still outpaces the available organs. The hard truth is, approximately 17 people will die today waiting for an organ that doesn’t come in time to save their lives. This is why Donor Network West is committed to increasing the number of registered donors; our mission is to give people on the waiting list hope for tomorrow.

  • About Donation

    What are Organ Procurement Organizations (OPOs)?

    OPOs are not-for-profit organizations responsible for recovering organs from deceased donors for transplantation in the U.S. There are 56 OPOs, each mandated by federal law to perform this life-saving mission in their assigned donation service area.

    The OPO’s role is to assess donor potential, collect and convey accurate clinical information, and follow national policies for offering organs. (It is the transplant hospital’s role to review organ offers and decide whether they are suitable for their patients.)

    OPOs are on the front-line of organ procurement, and work directly with a decedent’s family during the emotional discussion about potential donation in order to facilitate the gift of life. For every successful match, the OPO facilitates authorization, testing, the recovery of donor organs and delivery to the transplant hospital.

    Stats at a Glance

    • More than 20,000 Californians are waiting for a life-saving transplant.
    • More than 600 Nevadans are waiting for a life-saving transplant.
    • Every 10 minutes someone is added to the national transplant waiting list.
    • On average 17 people die each day while waiting for a transplant.
    • One person can save up to 8 lives through organ donation; heal up to 75 lives through tissue donation and restore sight to 2 people through cornea donation.

    Approximately 98 organ transplants take place every day in the United States, that’s more than 36,000 people who begin new lives a year! More than 1 million tissue transplants are performed each year and the surgical need for tissue has been steadily rising. Corneal transplants, meanwhile, restore sight to 50,000 people each year.

    How Do I Give Permission to Donate?

    After the surgeons take every measure possible to save your life, the hospital will contact the local Organ Procurement Organization (OPO). The OPO will search\ your state registry to see if you signed up as a donor. If so, that serves as legal consent for donation.

    The OPO will tell your next of kin (family) whether you signed up and then ask for permission to proceed. It is important to share your decision to sign up with your family, so they may carry out your wishes.

  • Ambassador Are Community Connectors

    Donate life Ambassadors are the heart and soul of our community outreach program at Donor Network West. Our ambassadors reach those in the community by sharing their personal perspectives and authentic experiences, often reflecting similar cultural connections. Through intentional storytelling, the Ambassadors inspire and spread hope to heal through organ and tissue donation. By amplifying the message of how together, we can save more lives and increase the number of registrations, we encourage people to say “yes” to donation.

    The Role of Donor Network West Donate Life Ambassador Volunteer

    What You Can Expect From Us

    • Donor Network West volunteers have the right:
      To be assigned appropriate assignments according to skill, interest, availability and training.
    • To be trusted with confidential information that helps to carry out assignments.

    What We Expect From

    • To understand and exemplify our vision and core values.
    • To commit when you sign up to volunteer for events.
    • To represent Donor Network West in a positive and professional manner.
    • Log and submit your volunteer hours.
    • Provide you with the facts of donation… but it is your story that will inspire others to take action!
    • Encourage folks to sign up to register.
    • Attend a Donor Network West ambassador volunteer training classes at least once every two years.

    Community Education

    Plan, coordinate or participate in events to promote awareness about organ and tissue donation at some of the following types of events:

    • Health fairs
    • Community events
    • DMV offices
    • Health clinics
    • Service clubs or civic groups
    • Schools
    • Churches or other places of worship
    • Hospitals


    Communicate with your Community Engagement Specialist (CES) on an on-going basis, particularly at these times:

    • When booking speaking engagements or other activities.
    • If there is a need for Donor Network West staff involvement at an event.

    What's Next?

    Sign up and create and account at Volunteer Hub

    • Attend a training led by the Community Engagement team. Trainings can be found in the Calendar of Events section in Volunteer Hub.
    • Complete a background check which is required due to working with schools, government institutions and hospitals.
    • You will receive Donor Network West branded shirts and or jacket or other branded wearables which you are required to wear for all events and speaking
      engagements unless discussed with your CES. You will also receive a welcome kit of materials.
    • Please be sure to update your contact information in Volunteer Hub.
    • Renew your DLA training every two years to learn about what is going on in the community and with Donor Network West.
    • Remember to sign up for a minimum of four (4) virtual or in person events every year.
    • Stay up to date on all things DNWest by subscribing to our newsletter which you can find on the bottom of any page of our website.