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The Charity Divide: Study Shows Women More Generous Givers than Men
Source:  ·  February 11, 2011  ·  Excerpt

Next time you're out raising money for your favorite charity, you would do best to first hit up your female friends — or perhaps the wives of your male ones. Women, it appears, are much better givers.

According to a recent study by the Women's Philanthropy Institute at the University of Indiana, women are as much as 40% more likely to donate than men. What's more, women at nearly every income level are better givers. Not only do they give more often; they also tend to donate more. For example, the study found that a female-headed household with a family income of at least $103,000 is likely to give to charities, on average, nearly $1,910, or $1,000 more a year than a similar household in which a man controls the checkbook.

"It is not just the older white males [giving]," says Dr. Debra Mesch, the director of the institute. "We are seeing women really growing in terms of philanthropy."

The study, titled "Women Give 2010," is, according to Mesch, the first to look at philanthropy by gender. Mesch studied 2,532 single-headed households of comparable income and their giving habits. With women steadily increasing their earning power, what she found is good news for the world of charity. "This is the perfect storm for philanthropy, and we are on the verge of a huge global movement as women become more powerful in the philanthropic movement," says Mesch.

Our take
Gender is only one differentiating factor among many that could be studied when it comes to philanthropy: age, socioeconomic status, geographic area, and many other demographic studies might prove equally revealing. Perhaps even more important than analyzing donor research is to first be aware that traits like gender should play a major role in identifying your organization's base of potential donors.

Part of our job at Compass Pointe is to monitor studies like the one mentioned above and determine what it means for you. Contact us now for help answering these questions and more:

  • How can I identify the traits and demographics of my organization's donor base and strategize accordingly?
  • What common research methods should I use to collect information on the donor community?


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