Durham, NC – Male Contraceptive Initiative (MCI) has launched a crowdfunding campaign to capitalize on a unique matching grant opportunity that could result in an extra $1,000,000 going towards male contraceptive research. One of the nonprofit’s donors has pledged a $500,000 contribution provided MCI is able to raise an equal amount by the end of 2019.
Male Contraceptive Initiative is a small nonprofit founded in 2014 and based in Durham, NC. The organization acts as a global hub for researchers, philanthropists, and advocates, and is the only funding agency focused solely on advancement of novel safe, non‑hormonal, reversible male contraceptives.
MCI has invested over $2 million since 2014 to support research and development activities of organizations and individuals working on additional methods of male contraception. Funding in the sector is a critical challenge with pharmaceutical companies and large private funding agencies hesitant to invest. Despite this, there is considerable market demand for these products: MCI’s consumer research study indicates that 17 million men in the United States alone are seeking alternative methods to condoms and vasectomies, currently the only male methods of birth control.
“There is a real disconnect between funders of contraceptive research and development and potential users of new products,” said MCI Executive Director Heather Vahdat. “We hear from people everyday expressing interest in using non-hormonal, reversible methods of male contraception, yet funding remains at extremely low levels.”
This seeming disconnect is the impetus behind the matching grant and the crowdfunding campaign. “Our donors are committed to making male contraception a reality,” said Logan Nickels, PhD, MCI’s Director of Programs and Operations, “but their support can only take us so far. This campaign provides a platform for those clamoring for new male contraceptive methods to take an active role in funding and developing them.”
The organization supports the field of male contraception through major grants, seed grants, graduate fellowships, travel grants, advocacy support, market research activities, and more. They intend to invest the additional $1 million dollars this year in additional grant-making efforts.
“By mobilizing grass-root support, we will be able to capitalize on this incredible opportunity while simultaneously expressing the clear market demand for these products,” added Ms. Vahdat. “It’s a really exciting time for us and the field. Only by working together can we make male contraception a reality.”
About Male Contraceptive Initiative: The Male Contraceptive Initiative works to bring new male contraceptives to market. We accomplish this through direct funding, technical support, research, and advocacy. We believe that couples deserve options and that we offer the biggest potential impact by focusing on male contraceptives. It’s time men are given more opportunities to contribute toward family planning.