Hope you are staying safe and sane in these interesting times.

For those of us working or volunteering with nonprofits, we know that one of our most important constituents is a philanthropic woman. So, how do we engage women in the smartest way?

As a backdrop, let’s consider the following:

  1. Women control 40% of global wealth.
  2. Women are more likely to give and to give more than their male counterparts.
  3. Women give two thirds of all gifts made online.

Last week, our team presented the topic, “Engaging Women to Advance Your Mission”, as part of the Philanthropy Miami Innovators’ Series. While we have decades of experience engaging women in philanthropy, via organizations like Junior League of Miami and United Way, we wanted to ground our presentation in research.  A special thanks to our friend, Angela Carrillo, President-Elect of Junior League of Miami and Executive Director at JP Morgan, for joining us in presenting this Philanthropy Miami session.

Dedicated to studying all of the factors that influence the charitable behaviors of women, Indiana University Women’s Philanthropy Institute (the Institute) conducts an annual study related to or intersecting with women in philanthropy called, “Women Give”. Their research supports what many of us in the nonprofit sector know: women have tremendous influence in philanthropy.

In the Women Give 2017 study, researchers contemplated the connection between charitable giving and life satisfaction.

So, does giving make people happier?

  • When women drive charitable decisions, more giving by the family or couple leads to greater life satisfaction.
  • For single and married women, happiness increases the most when they increase their giving; for men, life satisfaction increases when they become a donor.
  • Donors are happier than non-donors.

In Women Give 2018, the team at the Institute wondered about the connection between how and how much parents give and how and how much their children give when they are adults.

A few lessons from the 2018 study:

  • Parental frequency of giving matters most for daughters.
  • Talking about giving has a greater impact than just modeling the behavior, and role modeling is more powerful for daughters as they are more likely to volunteer as adults than sons.
  • When parents give to charity, children are more likely to give to charity. Eighty percent of adult children whose parents give become givers

The Women Give 2019 study explored the potential impact of race on individual giving and volunteering. Beyond learning that income and wealth are more significant indicators of philanthropy than race, we discovered:

  • Women in communities of color are less engaged in formal volunteerism and volunteer informally at higher rates.
  • While Hispanic household giving as a percent of income trails the other groups studied, this is largely attributable to first generation immigrant Hispanic households who may encounter more barriers to participating.
  • Women’s giving circles are on the rise, investing two types of capital: bonding social capital and bridging social capital.

So, what are a few recommendations, given these findings? Our Top Five:

  1. Celebrate the joy that philanthropy brings to your donors in your marketing
  2. Develop a step-up giving program
  3. Deliver multi-generational programming
  4. Create women’s affinity subgroups to reflect the ethnic and racial diversity of the community your organization hopes to build
  5. Ensure your staff reflects the diversity of the communities your organizations wants to attract

Can Engaging Women help you and your organization accomplish your marketing, community impact, and fundraising objectives?

Yes, it can. And we can help.

Let’s talk and hatch a plan together.