Better to Give than to Receive? Women & Fundraising

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No one is immune to the donation letter or email from a charitable organization. When donation appeals roll around, who is more likely to offer money, you or your spouse? Aunt Betty or Uncle John? And does gender really matter when it comes to fundraising?

According to a report from Linda B. Myette, director of development and leadership giving of the Carle Development Foundation in Urbana, IL and Donna Greene, president and CEO at the Busey Wealth Management and chair of the Women’s Legacy Circle in Champaign, IL, women are more likely to give than men. One might say this statistic makes sense given the nurturing nature of women. Interestingly, the 2011 report suggests that women’s willingness to give is a direct correlation to their “growing economic clout.”

These women want more than to send checks individually. They work strategically and often give in a group with members donating at varying levels. Reuters suggests that together women can affect how much money is raised as well as how the money is raised.

A 2014 Nonprofit Quarterly report finds that young women give more, on average, than older women.

With this current trend, is a Sex and the City approach to giving the way to go? In other words, can the young females use their clout to gather their dearest friends for a fun, fashionable night on the town with cosmopolitans in hand to raise money for a worthwhile cause? Surely, women throughout history know how to rally their sex to affect change. Remember Susan B. Anthony and Gloria Steinem?

In spite of this prominent female philanthropy, a 2014 study in The Chronicle of Philanthropy finds that organizations still need to do more to attract and nurture female donors, as they do male donors.

If women are the ones who typically give, then they must naturally be good as professional fundraisers. Unfortunately, their paychecks do not reflect their abilities. According to Philanthropy Journal, professional female fundraisers make less than their male counterparts.

As a result, women are givers of more money than they are receivers.

The Chronicle of Philanthropy reports that having women on boards and in leadership roles leads to “financial gains” for organizations. If women are so necessary, then why are they not always privy to the benefits?

The article elaborates on the strengths of women employees: they are not shy about asking for raises (especially older women), feel confident about what they bring to the table, and aspire to leadership roles (especially younger women).

Overall, women strive to be leaders in the field of fundraising. They must continue to be visible with their efforts in order to bridge the gap between giving and receiving. Clearly, women have a successful track record of making a difference, while allowing millions to reap the benefits in the process.

Jen Schaupp

About the Author: Jennifer Schaupp had to play Elizabeth Cady Stanton in her elementary school history class. Since then, she has been on a crusade to change women’s roles in society.