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Gender and Household Status

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 tend to give differently, and that woman have a significant role to play in philanthropic decision-making. Keep reading to learn how household composition and gender influence charitable giving.


Single Households

Research across the sector has continued to identify trends in giving by single individuals. Notably, single women are more likely to donate to charity than single men. They are also more likely to give to a variety of organizations and to support a greater number of causes, whereas men are more likely to concentrate their giving on a select group of organizations.

Married Households

Demonstrated by the Women’s Philanthropy Institute, marriage tends to have a positive impact on charitable giving. Compared to single men and women, married couples tend to give more. Like trends relating to life stage, marriage may free up financial resources, allowing for increased giving.

While it has found that the majority of married couples decide on their charitable giving together, for those that do not, the partner that makes the primarily charitable giving decisions influences household dollars donated.2 For example, households where males are the primary decider of giving tend to make larger donations than in households where women decide giving contributions, or where couples jointly decide.


For more information on this topic, please visit: Gender and Age

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Intergenerational Households

Within intergenerational households, the Women’s Philanthropy Institute has found that parents may be transmitting generosity to their daughters and sons. Male and female adults whose parents give to charity are far more likely to give to charity themselves, alluding to a generational transmission of giving. However, the affects of parental giving factor more greatly into whether adult daughters give, than for whether adult sons give.

Furthermore, a parent’s frequency of donating affects the charitable giving of an adult daughter more than it would an adult son. These findings underscore the impacts that charitable giving at home can have on future generations.