A new study by the Women’s Philanthropy Institute at the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University shows that women, across nearly all income levels, are more likely to give and give more than men after controlling for education, income, and other factors that affect giving.
The study’s findings can help provide the needed evidence for nonprofits to increase their fundraising efforts far beyond those considered affluent and start making it a priority to always target female donors.
Looking at giving across five different income groups, which range roughly from $23,000 to $100,000 a year, it is clear that it is not only wealthy women who give. Women across nearly every income category give significantly more than their male counterparts—in many cases, nearly twice as much.”
Women Give 2010 is the first report to compare philanthropic giving between men and women across all income levels based on a nationally representative sample. It uses data from the Center on Philanthropy Panel Study (COPPS), the nation’s largest study that tracks giving patterns among the same households over time. Previous studies of gender and philanthropy have relied on data related to giving by households and married couples, making the effects of gender on giving difficult to identify. Women Give 2010 analyzed only giving by households headed by single people in order to examine gender differences. In every income bracket except for one, women give more than men. The most dramatic differences are in the lowest, middle, and highest brackets where women give almost double the amount of men.
These findings have the potential to affect both donors and charities significantly. Women may not realize they are giving more than men because their giving patterns differ. Understanding the power of their giving may encourage more women to consider the difference they can make with their giving. Nonprofits may see this as a reminder to pay closer attention to the philanthropic power of women and the importance of developing fundraising strategies that will appeal to their priorities.
So whether you are the American Cancer Society, Bpeace, Witness, or the American Red Cross—take heed and truly expand your targets.
The full report is available here.
Debra J. Mesch, Ph.D., is director of the Women’s Philanthropy Institute