Are You Engaging Women Donors?

Does your organization’s fundraising strategy include women? If not, it should.

A growing body of research and data highlights the positive impact women make on charitable donations and the behaviors that are unique to this group of donors. While working through your organizations fund development plans for 2021 and implementation strategy consider how you can activate women donors for a greater impact.

Why focus on women’s giving?

Image: Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, Women’s Philanthropy Institute

Consider this:

  • Women’s wealth is rising. Women’s share of wealth has risen considerably over the past 50 years and today they hold around 40% of global wealth. 
  • Women are more likely to give. Across income levels and generations, women are more likely to give, and give more than their male counterparts. According to the Women’s Philanthropy Institute a $10,000 dollar income increase raises the total donations for that household by 5% if it’s the woman’s income and only 3% if it’s the man’s.
  • Women drive giving decisions within families. Research shows that in couples where one partner makes the giving decisions it is more likely to be the woman. For single households a 2010 survey showed single women were more likely to give charitably than single men by a margin of 9%.

What makes women donors unique?

A major factor for women contributing is empathy. Women are more likely than men to be motivated by empathy for a cause and less likely to be motivated by personal gains or recognition programs.

Another differentiating factor is women like to give collectively. Studies show that 70% of giving circles are majority women. Giving circles allow donors to pool their resources into one large donation to increase their impact. 

When evaluating giving opportunities women tend to invest in system level change and spend time researching giving opportunities and evaluating them for impact. Women donors, in particular high net worth donors, believe it’s critical to thoroughly educate themselves before making funding decisions. They rely on conversations with other women donors, research found independently or provided by the organization, and joining women’s funding groups.

Ready to reach women donors?

“Fundraisers who adapt their practices to meet women as they prefer find they are raising more dollars, gaining new donors, and meeting their goals faster than expected,” says Kathleen Loehr, author of “Gender Matters: A Guide to Growing Women’s Philanthropy” and council member of the Women’s Philanthropy Institute.

  • Look at your organization’s messages around giving. Focus your messaging on the impact your nonprofit makes in the communities it serves and tell the stories of those that benefit from your work.

    Don’t forget! Data is an important part of telling your  story. Use it to demonstrate to all donors the impact you are making and how your organization is creating lasting change.
  • Activate the networks of your women donors and volunteers. Often, women don’t only give monetarily. They are also likely to give their time to an organization by volunteering, organizing events, and reaching out to their networks to help promote a cause they believe in strongly.
  • Reach out to women’s philanthropy groups in your community. Does your community have a local women’s giving circle or volunteer organization? Reach out to offer information about your organization and see if you might be able to present at an upcoming meeting.

Is your organization ready to reach women donors? Do you have a strategy in place to do so? With any fund development plan, we recommend utilizing multiple, diverse funding streams to meet your organization goals. If donors play a role in your overall budget, then it may be time to revisit your strategies to better engage women. We’d love to work together to  put some plans in place. Contact us for a chat!

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