Charitable giving in support of women’s and girls’ causes has become increasingly visible in recent years by donors in general and in particular by women’s funds and foundations, according to a new report from the Women’s Philanthropy Institute.
Women’s funds and foundations — the report uses the terms interchangeably — give to grantmaking organizations specifically dedicated to women and girls. These organizations appear to attract a different, more deeply engaged type of donor, compared with what the report calls “general donors” whose giving to those causes is often part of a broader philanthropic portfolio.
Women’s fund donors give higher amounts to charity — $48,309 vs. $30,027 — and give to more charitable organizations — 19 vs. 14.
As well, they use different tools and strategies for giving. Specifically, they are likelier than general donors to give cash, have a budget for their giving to women’s and girls’ causes, have a charitable provision in their will, give stocks and give through a giving circle.
The WPI report was based on a proprietary survey fielded in mid-2018 to high-net-worth donors of some 20 women’s funds and foundations to which 187 responded, and to wealthy donors of a large national donor-advised fund to which 780 responded. The latter provided a sample of “general donors” to serve as a control group, since both groups include high-net-worth donors.
For purposes of the report, “high-net-worth” donors were defined as having an annual household income of at least $200,000, and/or net worth of at least $1 million, excluding the value of their primary home. Respondents answered questions about their giving, especially their giving to women’s and girls’ causes, during calendar year 2017.
The research, which was completed with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, found that donors to women’s funds and foundations are likelier than general donors to be women — 93% vs. 40% — and LGBTQ individuals — 11.8% vs. 24%.
They were less likely to be retired and more inclined to give while still active in the workforce. The were also less likely to be religious.
They have also supported women’s and girls’ causes for a longer period of time.