What We're Reading: Women and Giving

From Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors: Think of this guide as an experienced friend—a partner who can guide you in investigating, learning and maybe even getting inspired by how women give. Think of it as a companion as you explore how philanthropy can add to your life and the life of your loved ones.

Because philanthropy can help organizations take calculated risks, not all philanthropy achieves its goals. However, when successful, philanthropic and personal investments can pay dividends in the form of meaningful connection and even joy.

Why does women’s philanthropy matter?

1. Women control more of the financial pie than ever before.

The IRS reports that 43 percent of the nation’s top wealth holders are women. Top wealth holders are defined as individuals with assets of $1.5 million or more. These assets are valued in total at $4.6 trillion. As a whole, women control more than half of private wealth in the U.S.

2. The percentage of women wielding wealth is only going to rise.

Many women will inherit twice—from their parents and from their spouses or partners. Women will inherit 70 percent of the $41 trillion in intergenerational wealth that is expected to change hands over the next 40 years [Forbes]. This philanthropic influence is likely to be amplified given that many women also play key roles in facilitating the education and involvement of other family members in giving.

3. Research supports the idea that gender differences in giving between women and men are real.

In a 2010 survey, single women were more likely to give charitably than single men by a margin of 9 percent and femaleheaded households were not only more likely to give, but also tended to give nearly twice as much. A 2011 survey found that women spend more time than men on due diligence before making decisions about charitable giving and view giving as a collaborative, shared even. It also found that women expect a deeper level of communication with the organizations they support and place greater importance than men on hearing about the impact of their gift.

Learn more and download the guide here.