We save lives through donation and offer hope and healing.
LifeSource is a nonprofit organization dedicated to saving lives through organ, eye and tissue donation in the Upper Midwest.
It’s our privilege to serve the 7 million people who live in communities across Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and portions of western Wisconsin. We deliver life-saving transplants and life-altering tissue to those in need.
To complete our important work, we offer three core services:
1. We manage all aspects of organ, eye and tissue donation.
In partnership with hospitals, transplant centers and donor families, our recovery team works hand in hand to facilitate the gift of life. Everything starts with a call to our Donor Services Center, where our team works with the hospital to assess patients who may be eligible to give the gift of life. Learn more about the donation process.
Tissue donation heals close to one million lives each year. As an AATB-accredited tissue recovery organization, LifeSource manages the tissue donation and recovery process. Our highly trained tissue team performs the recovery and sends the donor’s tissue to one of our partners, who carefully prepare it for transplantation. Our tissue partners include Cryolife, LifeNet Health, MTF Biologics and RTI Donor Services.
Learn more about tissue donation.
LifeSource provides eye donation services in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota for hospitals and healthcare facilities looking for a single, high-quality partner who can fulfill the gift of organ, eye and tissue donation for the communities they serve.
The process begins much like organ and tissue donation, with a call to our Donor Services Center, where our team assesses the patient to see if they have the opportunity to give the gift of sight. Most people can be eye donors, regardless of age, prior eye surgeries, most cancers and poor vision.
If a patient does meet the criteria to be a donor, one of our team members talks with their family about their loved one’s opportunities to save and heal lives. If a patient documented their decision to be a donor during their lifetime, we support their family as we honor that decision.
We partner with SightLife and Dakota Lions Sight & Health on the recovery, careful preparation and distribution of the gifts of eye donation with a focus on returning donated corneas to recipients in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota.
2. We support donor families.
Supporting donor families is at the heart of our work. We support the families of organ, eye and tissue donors at the time of donation – and in the months and years that follow. This includes:
A LifeSource Family Support Coordinator walks the donor’s family through the donation process in detail. If the patient hasn’t documented their decision, LifeSource provides the family with information to make it on their behalf. Learn more about the donation process.
LifeSource hosts memorial events, provides grief resources and offers opportunities to connect with other donor families. Learn more about how we support donor families.
3. We educate communities and healthcare partners about their role in the life-saving process of donation.
Saving lives through organ donation is only possible through the generosity of individuals who choose to donate. LifeSource, is running a large “Check the Box” campaign and “Talk Donation” campaign to inspire all communities to register online or at the DMV.
For more than 20 years, LifeSource has worked to overcome medical mistrust and organ donation misinformation among Black and Brown populations, particularly large African American and Native American communities in Minneapolis/Hennepin County. We have seen donor registration rates climb in the process by almost 10 percent among those populations and 30 percent in general.
Building community support for donation requires collaboration with and advocacy by our wonderful partners:
Office staff receive training, education and materials to answer questions about donation from the community during the application – or renewal – process for a driver’s license or state ID card. Over 90% of people opt-in as a donor at their local driver’s license office.
New drivers receive donation education during required classroom training. This prepares them to decide about checking the box on their very first driver’s license.
LifeSource is dedicated to making an impact in our communities. We partner with a variety of community-based organizations in the Upper Midwest to create greater awareness of the importance of organ, eye and tissue donation. Together, we are working toward a world where everyone shares the gift of life.
Since 1989, we have been cultivating multicultural relationships and have strong partnerships with many community organizations, including:
- NorthPoint Health and Wellness Center, a community-based organization providing medical, dental, behavioral health and human services.
- Spokesman Recorder, the oldest black-owned newspaper in Minnesota.
- The HUE-MAN Partnership, a collaboration of local organization aimed at reducing health disparities among men in the community. Moreover, the collaborative efforts have further empowered and equipped men to make healthy choices for themselves, their families, and their communities.
- West Broadway Business & Area Coalition (WBC), based in North Minneapolis, builds capacity for businesses and entrepreneurs and helps revitalize North Minneapolis. Following the riots in Minneapolis in 2020, LifeSource donated $5000 to WBC to support their rebuilding efforts.
- Black Nurses Rock – Twin Cities Chapter, which aims to inspire and empower innovative leaders that will serve and educate vulnerable communities.
With more than 250 Donate Life Ambassadors across our three-state region, we have a dedicated and passionate group of individuals who are sharing their story in their community. Most of our ambassadors are donor family members, transplant recipients and recipient family members and their work changes the hearts and minds of their neighbors by sharing their powerful stories. Many of our Donate Life Ambassadors staff booths at health fairs give presentations to students or community organizations or organize parades. Learn more about the program.
The 280 hospital partners we work with are critical to support families through end-of-life care and honor the donation decisions of people across Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. LifeSource liaisons support these partners and maintain successful donation programs by promoting best practices, implementing professional education, and meeting individual hospital needs. Administrators, physicians, nurses, social workers, chaplains and other healthcare professionals all have crucial roles in the donation process and we are incredibly grateful for their partnership.
Healthcare professionals: find information and resources here.
Medical examiners, coroners, pathologists, forensic professionals, funeral directors and embalmers play critical roles in the organ, eye and tissue donation process. We collaborate with these professionals to maximize the number of organs, eyes and tissues recovered for transplant while preserving evidence for death investigations needed to determine the cause and manner of death. We also work collaboratively with funeral directors and embalmers in caring for the donor families that we serve. We have two team members who partner with funeral directors and forensic professionals to increase donation awareness and support through education, offer real time consultation during referral and case activity, provide high quality customer service, and respond to individual partner needs.
The best thing about working with LifeSource is the collaborative aspect. They are fantastic about answering any questions you have and explaining anything you might ask them.Pediatric Critical Care Physician, Donor Hospital
There are many ways you can support the mission to save lives and offer hope and healing.
Become an Ambassador
Our Donate Life Ambassadors are a vital component of our community education program.
Make a financial gift to LifeSource.
Gifts may be made in memory of a family member or friend; or to honor a special person or occasion. Your philanthropic support helps sustain our programs to increase donor designation and support families.