Our friend and colleague Lisa Witter, chief strategy officer at Fenton Communications, WPI Council member, and co-author of The She Spot: Why Women are the Market for Changing the World and How to Reach Them, released the second part of Women Give 2010 at the sold-out TEDWomen conference in Washington, DC on December 7. Causes Women Support finds that women are significantly more likely than men to give to almost every type of charitable cause and are equally likely to support the rest, after controlling for education, income, and other factors that influence giving.
Lisa shared these two findings at TEDWomen:
1. Female-headed households are more likely or as likely to give as male-headed households in every charitable subsector.
2. The top five areas in which female-headed households are significantly more likely than their male counterparts to give are the international, community, religion, health care, and youth & family.
From the practitioner and societal perspectives, this study is a powerful tool for enriching people’s perceptions about women’s philanthropic behavior in all charity subsectors.
1) The results document that women and men are equally and deeply engaged throughout the nonprofit field.
2) Anecdotal reports from years of working with groups of women donors suggest that women appreciate the affirmation that they are part of a larger picture, a team, a network that is working collaboratively to solve pressing societal issues. Causes Women Support finds that only are women not alone giving to causes they care about but they eclipse men in 8 of the 11 categories in terms of likelihood of giving and give as much as men in the other 3 areas.
3) Fundraisers working in all charity subsectors can use these findings to buffer their fundraising strategies to ensure that as many women as men are approached for gifts. Keeping in mind the results of the first part of Women Give 2010, fundraisers may expand their female donor base across all income levels.
From the research and methodology perspective, the knowledge base about the effects of gender on philanthropy is enhanced in these ways.
1) Because the research analyzes female and male single-headed households only, the findings provide a clear, more definitive perspective on differences between men and women’s giving.
2) In examining the likelihood of giving across all charity subsectors, the results provide a more comprehensive overview of gender differences in giving.
3) The sample size of approximately 2500 households and the use of controls distinguish this study. Other studies may rely on descriptive statistics of mean or median giving; these do not provide an accurate picture of giving patterns.
The Women’s Philanthropy Institute is committed to “pushing the knowledge out” about the powerful role of women in philanthropy. The two parts of Women Give 2010 are one example of this effort.