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Gender Trends

To engage with your donors more effectively, it’s important to understand how gender affects giving. Increasingly, research affirms anecdotal information that men and women give differently. Read on to learn about the trends impacting gender and philanthropy.


Giving Likelihood

Overall, women are more likely to give than men.1 Across income levels and all generations, women are more likely to give and to give more than male counterparts. A deeper dive into the research from the Women’s Philanthropy Institute at Indiana University reveals that single women are more likely to give than single men and to give more. Additionally, factors like marriage, regardless of gender, increases both the likelihood of giving and the ultimate donation amount.

Causes

In addition to being more likely to give, the Women’s Philanthropy Institute finds that women give to a greater number of causes than men.2 This coincides with intersectional research showing that women’s charitable objectives differ significantly from men’s. Women tend to focus giving on a specific group of causes with which they have a connection.

Popular causes for women’s giving include family, youth, opportunities for women, education, arts, and international issues. Women are also significantly likely to support causes that provide enhanced economic opportunity to all and promote diversity. Understanding how these objectives impact the giving of men and women alike assists you in your day to day work of engaging and stewarding your supporters.

Social Norms

Social norms have also been found to influence both women and men in difference ways. A social norm may impact the spread of giving, such that when you see other people give, you are more likely to give yourself. Both men and women appear to be influenced by social norms, and report giving more when they believe that others are giving.3 However, gender differences lead to different patterns in giving.

For giving to women’s and girls’ causes, women’s support is associated with their perception of whether other women give to those cause areas. However for men, giving to women’s and girls’ causes is associated with their perception of both men’s and women’s giving to these causes. As illuminated by Indiana University, social norms reveal yet another facet through which gender and philanthropy are affected.

Collective Giving

Research from the Women’s Philanthropy Institute consistently shows that women like to engage in collective giving. Giving in groups or around a common purpose, this is exemplified by examples like giving circles and institutional giving days.

Gaining popularity in recent time, giving circles continue to generate millions of dollars for local communities. Research reveals that nearly 70% of all giving circles are primarily composed of women.4 This show’s not only women’s continued interest in philanthropy, but also a communal approach to giving.

Similarly, IU has found that institutional giving days like #GivingTuesday are significantly affected by women. While both men and women give on giving days, and tend to give about the same amount, a greater number of women give.5 Consequently, more money on these days is raised from women.