To a young guy with not much money, sperm donation seems too good to be true. It pays well (as we've pointed out before) and requires you to do nothing more than what you'd be doing anyway. And if you happen to help a childless couple along the way, that's just icing on the cake.
Having actually been a sperm donor, I can say that you had better be prepared for a long haul. There are a lot of (horrifying) hoops to jump through, and then sperm banks expect you to masturbate like ... well, like it's your job.
And it's not an easy one.
Minorities, Runts and Gingers Need Not Apply
Sperm donation is a textbook example of a buyer's market; thousands of compulsively masturbating dudes are jockeying to impregnate a slim number of eggs. To even be considered, you and your sperm have to meet their criteria.
"They scored well on taste and color, but we're concerned about their performance at the 100-meter dash."
You obviously must be male (or a very talented female), usually between 18 and 35, and live within an hour's drive of the sperm bank. Not too difficult, right? Oh, did I mention you have to be at least 6 feet tall? Yeah, turns out nobody likes shorties, least of all prospective parents.
What a failure of a human being.
Also, you need to have a high school degree or better. The bank I went to required that you at least be enrolled in college, if not already a college graduate. Some banks request that you pursue a graduate degree because they can then charge an extra premium for PhD sperm. If you happen to be from an Ivy League school, even better.
You generally have to be white, as most sperm recipients are white couples. You must be in shape, since who wants a fatty for a kid (and if your fatness isn't genetic, your laziness might be)?