10 Insights into Women’s Philanthropy

10 Insights into Women’s Philanthropy

August 17th, 2011

by Angela E. White, CFRE


I often speak passionately about the importance of broadening our philanthropic initiatives to include women philanthropists. I recently recorded a short video interview on the subject and would like to share with you what I think are some very important insights into Women’s Philanthropy.
Over the years, my colleagues and I at JGA have developed significant expertise in Women’s Philanthropy issues through our work with the Women’s Philanthropy Institute at the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, my work with Women’s Fund of Central Indiana and previously as the VP of Institutional Advancement for Saint Mary of the Woods College, in addition to our extensive work with clients at JGA for the last 15 years.
We know through our experience that the ability of women to contribute and make a lasting impact in philanthropic campaigns is often over looked and under-utilized.
After examining the results of the Women Give 2010 report, it is evident that in truth, women are driving many of the philanthropic decisions in this country.
I’d like to share with you 10 helpful insights gleaned from this report and my own experience in Women’s Philanthropy that can help engage women in your cause:

1.  Women are responsible for 84% of household’s consumer purchasing decisions – they are not a niche market, but are the market.


2.  Forty-three percent of the nation’s top wealth holders are women.


3.  Women’s median income has increased more than 60% over the past 30 years.


4.  Married men and women are more likely to make larger gifts than single men.


5.  Single women are more likely to give than single men.


6.  When it comes to approaching a couple about making a donation, make sure that the woman in the couple is also engaged in the process and their input is equally valued.


7.  Never overlook or underestimate the philanthropic potential of female CEOs and small business owners.


8.  Remember, women’s philanthropic involvement does not mean to exclude men, but rather include women.


9.  Women are drawn to causes where they feel a personal connection or in support of those causes that their family or friends are involved. Find ways to enhance the social aspects of giving with women and involve their social networks.


10. Women want to establish a relationship with organizations they give to, it means more to them than just a business transaction.  Make sure you take the time to foster that donor relationship.

Too often women are an untapped resource in philanthropy.  It is time nonprofits accept that they simply cannot afford to ignore this influential audience. I hope you will use these tips to better engage women to help you advance your mission.


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