Together, we are inspiring hope

2021 has been a transformative year for Donate Life Indiana. The launch of an entirely new registry platform and introduction of a new donation decision avenue through the Department of Natural Resources were monumental as we continued to work every day to sign up more Hoosiers as donors. We also saw the return of in-person learning as schools opened back up and youth-focused events canceled in 2020 resumed.

On behalf of Donate Life Indiana, we are proud to share our accomplishments in 2021 and look forward to continued donation and transplantation education in 2022.

2021 Highlights

new Hoosiers added to the registry in 2021.
youth-focused presentations and events conducted in 2021.
donated to Donate Life Indiana during BMV transactions.
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Indiana Donor Registry

In 2021, Donate Life Indiana undertook the extensive process of launching a new donor registry platform. As a result, we are now offering our customers a better user experience – improved search capabilities and functionality – and have enhanced data reporting and 24/7 tech support, which is essential for the registry. This process also included a thorough data cleanse and extensive deduplication process to ensure that each person is represented only by their most recent decision in the registry, regardless of source (BMV, DNR, DLA, online). That merging of data files and deduplication process caused the total number of registered Hoosiers to decrease; however, it is important to note this does not reflect a true decline in registrations. In fact, 120,956 new Hoosiers were added to the registry in 2021.

Donor Registration Partners

Our partners not only help us in raising awareness of organ, tissue and eye donation, they also help us raise our number of registrations each year. We thank these partners for continuing to save lives by helping Hoosiers sign up to be organ, tissue and eye donors every day. 

Bureau of Motor Vehicles
The vast majority of donor registrations happen at the BMV. Whether it’s online, at a kiosk or in person, the BMV and their staff play an essential role in the donation process, helping save lives every day. Donate Life Indiana celebrates our BMV partners in April and September in conjunction with Donate Life Month and BMV Appreciation Month, respectively, as a way to show our gratitude.
Department of Natural Resources
In July 2021, the Department of Natural Resources began asking the donation question during online hunting, fishing or trapping license purchases. Donate Life Indiana worked hand-in-hand with DNR leadership leading up to the launch and continues to collaborate with the agency to find ways to educate hunters and anglers on organ donation and transplantation.
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Youth Education Program

Donate Life Indiana’s youth education program focuses on reaching Hoosiers who are making timely donation decisions. The team works tirelessly to educate students before they go to the BMV to get an ID, learner’s permit or driver’s license and are asked the important question, “Do you want to be an organ donor?” Learn more about our youth education program here.

virtual learning

In 2021, Donate Life Indiana completed 676 school presentations and educated more than 22,000 students as a result of our youth education program. A portion of this growth is thanks in part to a new approach regarding how we book school presentations. We placed a far greater emphasis on forming relationships with schools at the district level via their school leadership team, curriculum directors and instructional coaches. As a result, Donate Life Indiana’s curriculum is now regularly taught in both Indianapolis Public Schools and Fort Wayne Community Schools, two of the state’s largest districts. Efforts are underway to expand this approach into other large school districts, including Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation, South Bend Community School Corporation and others.

Donate Life Indiana continued to pursue partnerships with youth-focused organizations offering the opportunity for engagement outside of the classroom, such as Girl Scouts of Central Indiana, Junior Achievement, Fort Wayne Parks Department and others. We also worked with Science Central Museum in Fort Wayne to update our permanent display in their facility to ensure continued engagement.

Further, 2021 saw the addition of three new Student Organ Donation Advocates (SODA) chapters. These student groups help raise awareness and increase donor designation rates by signing up new organ and tissue donors. While Indiana previously had college-level SODA chapters, the three new chapters are at the high-school level, providing another opportunity to take donation education outside of the classroom.

National Donate Life Month

Every April, we celebrate National Donate Life Month in a myriad of ways. This year, we ran a monthlong social media campaign, distributed Donate Life standard-size and garden-size flags to businesses across the state for display during the month, provided content and displays to community partners and more.  

To engage youth in the classroom, we ran a school announcement campaign to celebrate National Donate Life Month. Materials such as downloadable displays for TV monitors and quick donation facts were sent to 65 schools across the state to spread awareness during their school announcements. Of those, 21 schools participated in the campaign, generating a total of 22,472 impressions – a nearly 150% increase in impressions over 2020. 

To engage older students and encourage hands-on participation in creating donation awareness, we ran our third annual two-and-half-week-long Organ Donation Awareness Challenge with 13 student groups across the state of Indiana. During that time, students completed 53 awareness activities and signed up 53 new donors. 

IMS blue green day
AES building blue green day

Several organizations, including the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and AES Indiana, joined us in celebrating National Donate Life Month by lighting up their facilities with blue and green. 


Team Indiana

With the cancellation of the in-person Transplant Games of America and a pivot to a “Hometown Games” version of the event, Donate Life Indiana was tasked with hosting local events as a way to spread awareness around donation and honor donor heroes. In June, we hosted a bowling competition and a series of track and field events, including a 5K. 

Then, focus shifted to the 2022 San Diego Games, where we provided team members with guidance as they fundraise, recruit new team members and participate in awareness activities across the state to spread the message of donation. Team Indiana ended 2021 with 63 members.

donor recipients, family members and friends (and counting) have joined Team Indiana.

2021 Finances

Monetary donations in support of Donate Life Indiana help fund our outreach and education efforts across the state. All figures are calculated using accrual-based accounting.

Donate Life Indiana receives $25 for each specialty license plate sold by the BMV. In 2021, Donate Life Indiana received approval to continue offering the specialty license plate through 2031.


During transactions at the BMV (online or in-person), individuals are asked if they would like to donate $1 or more to support Donate Life Indiana.


This includes Facebook fundraisers, memorial donations and public donations.



Meet Our Heroes

These are just a few of the dedicated volunteers who give their time to educate Hoosiers about the importance of donation and transplantation, as well as advocate on Donate Life Indiana’s behalf.

Curtis Warfield
Kidney transplant recipient
“When I was diagnosed with kidney disease, I didn’t know anything, didn’t know where to go or who to contact. That experience increased my interest and desire to help others experiencing the same thing.”
Vanderkleed Family
Family of donor hero
“We wanted to try and prevent any other parents from going through what we were going through.”
Debie Switalski
Liver transplant recipient
“The greatest hero in my world is a handsome young man named Zachary. He simply signed his name on a piece of paper, which gave him the chance to be someone’s hero, and that someone is me.”
William Lewis
Husband of a donor hero
“There are so many in the black community in need of organ donations, but not many of us agree to donate. After discussing and praying about it, we decided ‘let’s just do this, and then if something happens, we’ll be able to help people.’”
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How can you help?

Sign up today to be an organ, tissue and eye donor.

Already signed up? There are many other ways you can help. ​