WBEZ | donor http://www.wbez.org/tags/donor Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en The Brits have a sperm shortage — but they have a plan http://www.wbez.org/programs/world/2015-09-02/brits-have-sperm-shortage-%E2%80%94-they-have-plan-112814 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/5396420759_9d5b2675db_z.jpg" alt="" /><p><aside><p>In Britain,&nbsp;as in many countries,&nbsp;there is&nbsp;a growing demand for sperm donors from couples who are unable to conceive on their own. Increasingly, demand is outstripping supply.</p><p>Last year, the British government came up with a solution: Set up a national sperm bank to&nbsp;make it easier for couples to get access to medically checked sperm.</p><p>But it has not been easy finding suitable donors.</p><p>A year later, and with more than 600 applicant donors,&nbsp;the bank&nbsp;still has just nine approved donors. According to&nbsp;Laura Witjens,&nbsp;the executive director of the bank, that should be a cause for celebration, rather than&nbsp;disappointment. &quot;I recognize that people say &#39;Nine? That&#39;s not a lot,&quot; She says. &quot;But I like to turn it round, and say: &#39;At this stage to have nine? Wow!&quot; It&#39;s a great place to be&quot;.</p><p>Part of the problem stems from the extreme difficulty of finding men whose sperm can withstand the demands of the donor process. Freezing and defrosting the samples destroys 80 to 90 percent of even successful donors&#39; sperm.</p><p>There is also the time and commitment required from each donor. Samples need to be taken several times a week for two or three months. That&#39;s followed by blood tests.</p><p>But perhaps the biggest difficulty in recruitment lies in the British law regarding donor anonymity. Under current rules, there is none. In the future, British children conceived from donated sperm will be able to trace and contact their biological father once they reach adulthood. Given the limited number of approved donors in the national bank, that could mean that each donor has the potential to be contacted by a large number offspring over the next few decades.</p><p>Witjens concedes that this may make some men reluctant to become donors, but &nbsp;she says it also forces her team to think more carefully about how to appeal to &nbsp;donors.</p><p>&quot;It would be easy to go for the cheeky advertising, and I know that would get a response,&quot; she explains. &quot;But there is a moral component. We don&#39;t necessarily need a superman, we need ordinary men, doing an extraordinary thing: Be willing to help childless couples.&quot;</p></aside><div>&nbsp;</div><p>&mdash; <a href="http://admin.pri.org/stories/2015-09-02/brits-have-sperm-shortage-they-have-plan" target="_blank"><em>The World</em></a></p></p> Wed, 02 Sep 2015 16:13:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/world/2015-09-02/brits-have-sperm-shortage-%E2%80%94-they-have-plan-112814 Department of 'duh!' The (arts) rich get richer http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-10-17/department-duh-arts-rich-get-richer-93159 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//blog/photo/2011-October/2011-10-14/fusing arts.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Now <a href="http://www.ncrp.org/paib/arts-culture-philanthropy">here's a shocker</a>: apparently most of the arts philanthropy in this country goes to big organizations. Who'da thunk it, huh? Who would imagine that arts funding in underserved communities, particularly communities of color, would lag behind donations to institutions serving wealthy white people?</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-October/2011-10-14/fusing arts.jpg" style="width: 441px; height: 500px;" title=""></p><p>Obviously, study authors from the Committee for Responsive Philanthropy need to keep making this point if the situation is ever to be rectified; but sometimes I think the money spent on documenting the situation in the arts would be better spent on, oh, what's that called? The arts? For, <a href="http://www.economist.com/node/12263124">as it is written</a>, "You don't fatten a hog by weighing it."</p><p>But the issue does need to be raised, because attacks on the arts as "elitist" are only valid if the only arts groups getting support are the ones preferred by the elites.&nbsp; And validating that argument should be the furthest thing from the minds of people who support the arts, whether with their creativity, their attendance or their money.</p><p>What to do about it? A word of advice from a <a href="http://nonprofiteer.net/2007/05/10/dear-nonprofiteer-with-friends-like-these/">fundraising consultant</a>-cum-theater critic (or maybe it's the other way around): Don't count the money in other people's pockets. Don't presume that your audience is too poor to donate.&nbsp;<em><u><strong>Ask them!</strong></u></em>&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2009/05/19/68456/americas-poor-are-its-most-generous.html">Poor people donate more generously than rich people</a>, and generous gifts to small organizations can make a huge difference.&nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 17 Oct 2011 14:11:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-10-17/department-duh-arts-rich-get-richer-93159