On a + note

Who is donating to the cause? #4: 2012

Posted in on a + note by Admin on March 5, 2012

Recently, I was surprised to learn that men and women differ in their philanthropic behaviors. Research indicates that women are more altruistic, empathetic, and charitable than men. In fact, in more than 80% of high-income households, women are either the sole or equal decision maker about charitable giving, according to the Bank of America Merrill Lynch 2011 Study of High Net Worth Women’s Philanthropy.  Other key findings in the study include:

  • Women spend more time than men researching an organization before giving to a charitable organization.
  • Women expect a deeper level of communication with the organization.
  • Women place greater importance on hearing about the impact of their donation.
  • Women want to be involved with the organization with volunteering being among the most important motivations for women to give.

In 2012, North American women generally have greater access to education and income, two primary predictors of philanthropy. For example:

  • Women (65.7%) are more likely than men (49.8%) to give to charity, because they volunteer for the organization. For libraries, this is a fundamental fact!
  • Men are more likely to support the same organization annually than women.
  • Giving in 2009 went to:

Foundations and trusts                  22.1 % (That’s us usually!)

Educational organizations                         19.3 %

Religious organizations                 13.3 %

Youth or family services                 8.8 %

Food and shelter organizations    4.7 %

Environment/animal causes         3.5 %

International aid/world peace        2.8 %

  • Why did wealthy women stop supporting an organization?

                       Solicited too frequently or for an inappropriate amount            49.3%

                       Decided to support other causes                                       41%

                       Household circumstances changed                                             30.6%

            No longer being involved with the organization                        16%

This may not be the definitive study on philanthropy in 2011, but it does offer interesting insight into why women donate and perhaps how we can better leverage those dollars!

Kitty Pope                                                                                                            #4 March



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