Living Donor Toolkit: Resources for Those Considering Living Donation

Financial Toolkit

The goal of this toolkit

This Living Donor Financial Toolkit will discuss the costs and resources available to help in the donation process. This toolkit is for potential living donors and others involved in living donation. We hope that this toolkit will help you:

  • Learn ahead of time what to expect from the donation process
  • Learn what the risks might be
  • Access ideas and links to possible sources of help




The cost challenges of living donation

Studies show that living donors may spend an average of $5,000 related to their donation.

If you are considering living donation, you are thinking about the health and emotional risks, plus the costs. Experts along with transplant recipients and living donors agree that living donors should not lose money on their donation. Yet they also agree that we’re not quite there yet. 



Living donors and the people who support them through the donation may worry about costs, such as:

Loss of pay or employee benefits:

  • Lost wages due to recovery time
  • Missing work from the evaluation
  • Using up vacation, holiday, and sick days
  • Concerns that the employer might not support a person’s absence from work

Insurance and medical costs:

  • Trouble buying disability or life insurance after donating – or paying more for it
  • Uncovered medical costs, which will differ by transplant center and insurance contract.

Daily life needs:

  • Transportation to the transplant center for testing, surgery, and follow-up care
  • Food, housing, and other needs for donation-related visits
  • Paying for family care – child care, elder care, pet care


1Risks of Living Kidney Donation:
Current State of Knowledge on Outcomes Important to Donors
Krista L. Lentine, Ngan N. Lam and Dorry L. Segev
CJASN April 2019, 14 (4) 597-608; 

  • Living Organ Donor Costs Worksheet

    This worksheet will help you figure out how much money you might spend to be a living donor, and how much money you might need to raise through grants or fundraising. 

  • Living Donation and Employment

    Questions to consider when you're employed and considering live donation.

  • Getting and Keeping Insurance After Living Donation

    Frequently asked questions are discussed regarding different types of insurance, coverage and potential costs for living kidney donors. 

  • National Living Donor Assistance Center

    This section describes the National Living Donor Assistance Center (NLDAC), it's eligibility requirements and instructions on how to apply. 

  • Federal and State Laws About Living Donation

    Find out more on federal and state laws surrounding living kidney organ donation.

  • Fundraising for living donor Expenses – Q & A

    Review frequently asked questions surrounding fundraising to help with costs associated with live organ donation. 

  • Nonprofit Financial Aid Programs for Living Donors

    If you have costs that aren’t covered by your insurance, talk with your living donor team about which of the nonprofit financial aid programs listed in this section might work for you. 

  • Living Organ Donation for US Military Members

    Find out more about living organ donation if you are in the US Armed Forces or US Coast Guard.