6 Reasons Women Are the Future of Philanthropy

Mar 31, 2022

Women bring an incredibly important and necessary voice to philanthropy. When women give, they support more underrepresented, underfunded, and diverse organizations. As more women become entrepreneurs and have more opportunities, we see more women in the ultra-high-net-worth levels of philanthropy, but we also see more women getting involved in all levels of philanthropy. It’s more important than ever to pay attention to and support women who are giving back.

  1. Women are more likely to give. 51% of single women indicated they would give to charity, compared with 41% of single men, holding factors like income and wealth constant. As their income rises, women are also more likely than men to give to charity as their income rises, according to the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.
  2. Women are more likely to collectively give. Compared to men, women show a greater preference toward giving as a group. In fact, most people who participate in giving circles are women, according to the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy. Giving circles are a simple way for people to come together and pool their donations and decide collectively how to donate them to nonprofits. And giving circles are taking off. Since 2000, giving circles have engaged at least 150,000 people and donated as much as $1.29 billion. This growing movement is expected to engage 350,000 donors by 2025 and give another $1 billion or more to causes around the world.
  3. Women give differently than men. From motivations to causes to behavior, women and men demonstrate different giving patterns. While there may not be one specific reason why women and men give differently, some factors certainly play a role. The Women’s Philanthropy Institute recently took a closer look at some of the key differences between men and women as well as how certain factors play a role in giving decisions. Women are more likely to support causes that impact women & girls, sustainability, and more.
  4. Women’s wealth is on the rise. Women’s share of wealth has risen considerably over the past 50 years and today they hold around 40% of global wealth. According to UBS Wealth Management, women are currently creating wealth at a faster rate than at any one time in history, and they already own a significant proportion of the global wealth.
  5. More and more women are controlling the finances in their household. Today, women control a third of US financial assets. Over the next 10 years, more (and large) amounts of money are expected to move over to women’s hands. Here’s a breakdown of why: approximately 70 percent of U.S affluent-household investable assets are controlled by baby boomers. What’s more, two-thirds of baby-boomer assets are currently held by joint households (a female is present but isn’t actively involved in financial decisions). As baby boomer men (and those with female spouses) begin to pass away, that control of finances will likely move onto their wives.
  6. Women often support the organizations they care personally about, can identify with, and see as trustworthy charities. Women conduct their own research and do their due diligence before deciding to give to charities and organizations. They really want to understand the impact of their giving and may use tools such as annual reports to gain this insight. They may also look to financial advisors and even establish close relationships with charities to see the difference their donation is making.

Keeping in mind that women are controlling more dollars going to nonprofits, are doing it differently, and in a more collective fashion - women will shape the future of philanthropy. And it’s more important than ever that we support them in this. That’s why Grapevine is building tools and creating spaces for women philanthropists to come together and give back. If you’re interested in learning more, sign up for our newsletter here.