Thursday, March 18, 2010

Infertility EGG Raffle - what do you think?

According to wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn a raffle is a way to "dispose of in a lottery as in "We raffled off a trip to the Bahamas." A lottery in which the prizes are goods rather than money!

Why would anyone hold a raffle --- any raffle? Lots of organizations, usually nonprofit organizations, hold raffles in order to fund their missions. Raffles for goods to raise money for charities are a tool to better enable them in providing services to consumers who need their help. So the charities who hold raffles are the beneficiaries of the raffle. The reason an organization holds a raffle is to raise awareness and make money - a good thing for charities. But why would a "for profit" organization hold a raffle? A company would hold a raffle as a way of advertising their product and services, raise more awareness of what they offer and to enhance their bottom line. Just what we need within the infertility industry!

In concept the more valuable an in demand a product the more publicity. But what do you think happens when products and services offered are human gametes? At one time a number of years ago INCIID (pronounced "inside") board members  thought and discussed at length, the possibility of an IVF cycle as a raffle in order to fund the mission and promote awareness of the plight of infertile couples. The idea was discussed at length and abandoned as very bad.

Why you ask?  Why not help one couple and raise awareness? Because although we leave the concept of when life begins to the religious scholars and individual consumers, we still think it's wrong to objectify human gametes. We believe that conception and creating a family is a very personal and individual choice - not a commodity. In the world of corporate greed, this concept is not well understood.

INCIID and its board didn't want to "depersonalize" something so private and so personal.  Instead what we did was to gather together a group of doctors who also felt as we do at INCIID. These "Heart Docs" or doctors with heart, donated their time, their facilities and services to the IVF Scholarship Program. Instead of a raffle, we found a way to regularly give away not just one cycle of IVF but many every year.

A raffle for human gametes is just a bad idea. Instead of a raffle to draw attention to an individual company or clinic, why not donate a cycle to a consumer through a nonprofit organization like INCIID?  You could still draw attention and in helping a charity. By following a moral compass to help consumers in reality the company also helps itself. Not only does INCIID raise infertility, pregnancy loss and adoption awareness  but it also provides scholarships for those who can not afford them. Okay, now what do you think?

The InterNational Council on Infertility Information Dissemination (INCIID – pronounced "inside") is a nonprofit organization that helps individuals and couples explore their family-building options. INCIID provides current information and immediate support regarding the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of infertility and pregnancy loss, and offers guidance to those considering adoption or childfree lifestyles.

In April of 2004, INCIID launched the first and only National IVF Scholarship Program for those who have medical need for IVF but who are without financial resources and insurance making the procedure out of their reach. Find out more about the scholarship here:

Follow the link to find out more about INCIID's  IVF Scholarship Information and Application


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