THE RISE OF THE FEMALE PHILANTHROPIST - WOMEN AND MEN ARE DIFFERENT (IN THEIR GIVING)

 
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THE RISE OF THE FEMALE PHILANTHROPIST -
WOMEN AND MEN ARE DIFFERENT (IN THEIR GIVING)

Andrea McManus, ViTreo Group Inc
November 20th 2018

As women begin to wield more power through increased control of finances, significant wealth transfer and more workforce parity, their influence must not be overlooked. The nonprofit sector needs to recognize the effect of this shift, and the implications for the future of philanthropy.

 
 

Historically, fundraising strategy has been mainly targeted towards men. It’s critical for the nonprofit sector to do a U-turn, or at least a soft left or right and recognize the coming monumental change in philanthropic influence, or suffer the consequences. Nonprofits and fundraisers need to understand how and why women may make decisions differently than men and tailor their approach accordingly.

BUT FIRST, WE SEEK TO UNDERSTAND

 

In the November 13, 2018 The Provocateur: Rise of the Female Philanthropist, I wrote about how some research shows the propensity of women to give double that of men — ’women give 3.5% of their wealth compared to men at 1.8% (almost double).’ CAF America Women's Impact in Philanthropy

If that is true, before we begin to alter strategy, we need to understand how and why female philanthropists differ in their charitable giving.

 

“The research definitely confirms that women are ‘more altruistic, empathetic and charitable than men’ and that is more visible in a flourishing non-profit sector in countries with higher female empowerment (Center on Philanthropy, 2011; Dale et al, 2015).” Women’s Philanthropy: Characteristics, Trends and Patterns Commissioned by Women for Change (W4C) January 2016

There is evidence which shows there are gender differences in motivation, probability of giving and amount — a research paper titled Gender Differences in Charitable Giving published by the International Journal of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Marketing, explored:

…..’the psychological and values differences between men and women’s motivations for giving. We explored two of the eight mechanisms for giving developed by Bekkers and Wiepking as a framework for why people give—principle of care and empathic concern. Are there differences in these motives for giving by gender, and can these differences in values and the psychological benefits that people receive when making donations explain gender differences in charitable giving? Are women more likely to give and give more than men because of their higher levels of empathic concern and principle of care? We used two US national data sets to test our hypotheses.

Our results for both data sets indicate significant differences in motives by gender, as well as differences in the probability of giving and amount given by gender, even after controlling for empathic concern and principle of care measures.’

(Source: Gender Differences In Charitable Giving)

 
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Again, more research from the Women’s Philanthropy Institute at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy and reported in the Wall Street Journal supports that there are differences…

’In trying to explain such differences, our research has found that women tend to be more altruistic and empathetic than men, partly because of the way men and women are socialized regarding caring, self-sacrifice and the well-being of others. Research also suggests that men tend to make charitable gifts when an appeal frames the donation as being in the man’s self interest or as a way of maintaining the status quo, while women tend to give to promote social change or help others who are less fortunate. Another possible reason that women give more than men is the two sexes have different attitudes toward money. For men, money may represent power, achievement or prestige, while women tend to view money in terms of personal security, freedom and a way to achieve goals. A 2013 U.S. Trust survey on women and wealth found that “women are nearly twice as likely as men to say that giving to charity is the most satisfying aspect of having wealth.’

(Source Gender Gap In Charitable Giving)

A PERFECT STORM

This is a great opportunity for the fundraising sector — women will control more wealth and if the research is correct, women have different values than men. They have been socialized to be more likely to behave in ways that reflect a higher need to take action on behalf of others who are less fortunate in terms of time and money. More money + increased giving = good things!

INTERNAL GOALS AND THE EXTERNAL ENVIRONMENT

Preparing for and executing a successful fundraising campaign is a daunting task whether your campaign is for $1 million or $100 million. A different strategy isn’t going to work if we haven’t done our homework. For strategy to work, it’s critical for it to be aligned with your organizational goals, but it must also be tuned into the external environment. In this case, it’s understanding the Female Philanthropist.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR THE NONPROFIT SECTOR?

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So, we now understand there are different motivations at play between male and female philanthropists. Although we should test for generational differences and motivators, it’s just as imperative to treat each and every one of your donors as an individual, regardless of gender or age.

Our role as fundraising professionals is to assist others to do philanthropy well. We need to ensure their donations of any size have an impact. What is your organization doing to ensure impact with each and every donation? Do you approach female donors differently than male donors? In both cultivation and gratitude strategies?


Part one discussed the Rise Of The Female Philanthropist - Ignore Her At Your Peril. Stay tuned for next week’s look at The Female Philanthropist — what is she funding?


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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Andrea McManus, Chair, Board of Directors, Partner
ViTreo Group Inc

Andrea McManus is a Partner with ViTreo with over 30 years’ experience in fund development, marketing, sponsorship and nonprofit management. A highly strategic thinker and change maker, Andrea has worked with organizations that span the nonprofit sector with particular focus on building long-term and sustainable capacity. 

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