New Report: Women Give 2012

The Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University recently released their new report, “Women Give 2012“. Women Give is a signature research project conducted by the Women’s Philanthropy Institute, which specifically examines why and how gender plays a role in philanthropy.

They continued their research in 2010 with a second report looking at the Causes Women Support. Using the same methodology as the first report, they found that female-headed households are more likely or as likely to give as male-headed households in every charitable subsector across income levels. They also found significant differences in the likelihood of giving as well as the dollar amount given between single men and single women across income levels and by marital status.

The Women Give 2012 report looked at the effects of age and gender on charitable giving specifically focusing on Baby Boomers and older Americans. With Baby Boomers (born between 1946-1964) making up the largest generation in America today at 76 million, their impact on society and more specifically philanthropy is greatly significant. According to the report, “Baby Boomers hold more than 90 percent of the country’s net worth and account for 78 percent of all financial assets. As of 2007 projections females accounted for 51 percent of the Baby Boomer population in the United States. By 2030, 54 percent of American Boomers will be women.” Additionally, the report states, “senior women age 50 and older control net worth of $19 Trillion and own more than three-fourths of the nations financial wealth. Women aged 50 to 70 (roughly corresponding to the age of Boomers today) hold 47.2 percent of the gross assets of the top female wealth holders in the United States today.”

The key significant findings of this new report include:

1. Looking at the likelihood of giving across the entire sample found that Baby Boomer and older women are more likely to give than their male counterparts in all giving levels

2. Looking at the likelihood of giving examining only those in the top 25 percent of permanent income found that Baby Boomers and older women in the top 25 percent of permanent income are more likely to give than their male counterparts.

3. Looking at gender differences in the amount given to charity for both the entire sample and the top 25 percent of permanent income they found that Baby Boomer and older women give 89 percent more (almost twice as much), to charity than men and Baby Boomers and older women give 156 percent more (more than 1.5 times more) to charity than men, respectively.


What to make of all this? In my view it just calls attention to the fact that women are a significant philanthropic force in this country and given there are aggregate differences around how men and women give it is important for development efforts to be mindful of the them.  My own observations are that women love to be part of a community of givers.  Many organizations are picking up on this with perhaps the best example being the RED CROSS Tiffany Circle of which I am a member.  Other great examples include the Harvard Women’s Leadership Board, The Women Donor’s Network and United Way’s Women’s Leadership Council( again members of all).  In many ways that is what Women Moving Millions is all about as well.  We want to build a strong community knowing that this is likely to increase not only the effectiveness of our giving, but how you feel about it as well.  Not to mention making some great new friends!


Big thanks to the Institute for this great report and keep up the amazing work!



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