In December, the Women’s Philanthropy Institute (WPI) at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy announced a new $2.1 million research grant from The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to further study the factors that influence men and women to give more.
The study will also examine charitable giving to aid women and girls.
Understanding gender differences in giving is critical to fundraising practitioners.
A recent report from the WPI, for example, found important differences in how men and women approach giving. The literature review, based on US studies found:
- Single women are more likely to give to charity and to give more than men (controlling for income, wealth, education and other variables)
- Single women are more likely than single men to give to nearly every subsector of charity.
- Women tend to spread their giving across organisations while men concentrate theirs.
- Married couples tend to give more than single person headed households
- The majority of married couples make giving decisions jointly but when one or the other makes the decision, the giving pattern is different
- Women volunteer more than men.
- Women are more likely to give through collaborative initiatives such as giving circles.
While the data from these studies do not speak directly about the Australian experience, they are a good reminder both of the importance of continuing to build the scientific understanding of philanthropy and of considering the perspective of both men and women in your fundraising strategies.
Here in Australia, the Queensland University of Technology, in partnership with Swinburne University of Technology, is conducting the largest ever research effort into philanthropic behaviour in Australia: Giving Australia 2015. Upon its conclusion, this study will offer critical insight into giving and volunteering behaviour.
Jim is based in Sydney. To find out how Jim can help your organisation, contact j.obrien@AskRIGHT.com.
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