The primary aim of this study was to assess potential barriers and motivators to blood and cord blood donation among African-American women. A telephone survey of African-American women, ages 18-30 years, in the St. Louis metropolitan area was performed. The survey was administered by trained telemarketing personnel using a Computer-Assisted Direct Interview (CADI) system. One hundred sixty-two women were surveyed. Common barriers to blood donation were inconvenience of donor sites (19%), fear of needles (16%), and too much time required to donate (15%). Potential motivators were increasing awareness of need for blood (43%), increasing the number of convenient donor locations (19%), and encouragement by spiritual leaders to have blood drives at their church (17%). Lack of awareness was the only identified barrier to cord blood donation. Most women surveyed (88%) indicated that they definitely or probably would donate cord blood. Strategies to increase the proportion of African-American blood and cord blood donations may include educating potential donors about the process and benefits of donation to particular patient populations and engaging church leadership in supporting blood and cord blood donations.