Donor characteristics such as age and cause of death influence the incidence of delayed graft function (DGF) and graft survival; however, the relative influence of donor characteristics ("nature") versus transplant center characteristics ("nurture") on deceased-donor kidney transplant outcomes is unknown. We examined the risks for DGF and allograft failure within 19,461 recipient pairs of the same donor's kidneys using data from the US Renal Data System. For the 11,894 common-donor pairs transplanted at different centers, a recipient was twice as likely to develop DGF when the recipient of the contralateral kidney developed DGF (odds ratio [OR] 2.05; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.82 to 2.30). Similarly, for 7567 common-donor pairs transplanted at the same center, the OR for DGF was 3.02 (95% CI 2.62 to 3.48). For pairs transplanted at the same center, there was an additional 42% risk for DGF compared with pairs transplanted at different centers. After adjustment for DGF, the within-pair ORs for allograft failure by 1 yr were 1.92 (95% CI 1.33 to 2.77) and 1.77 (95% CI 1.25 to 2.52) for recipients who underwent transplantation at the same center and different centers, respectively. These data suggest that both unmeasured donor characteristics and transplant center characteristics contribute to the risk for DGF and that the former also contribute significantly to allograft failure.