The event included the added enticement of meeting and hearing the dynamic young executive Lita Asscher of Royal Asscher of Amsterdam speak. The Asscher Family is considered one of the most influential international diamond dynasties.
Lita discussed the fact that women are assuming increasingly influential roles in the corporate workplace. She is, in fact, one inspiring example. Lita also informed us about the Diamond Empowerment Fund, an “international organization with the mission to raise money to support education initiatives that develop and empower economically disadvantaged people in African nations where diamonds are a natural resource.” I admit, I have wondered over the years about the diamond industry’s reputation; the formation of this far-sighted nonprofit organization changed my mind completely (follow the link above to learn more).
Women and philanthropy is a topic of crucial importance for the nonprofit sector. I have included this article in my blog for those seeking advice as well as timely factual information. What motivates women to give to charity, and how is it different from the way men approach philanthropy?
For women, “believing their gift will make a difference, giving to an organization that is efficient in its use of donations, and feeling financially secure” top the list. “One of the largest differences in motivations across gender is that men are statistically significantly more likely to support the same organizations/same causes annually than women. High net worth women also report that volunteering for an organization is a statistically significantly higher motivation for giving to charity than men” (2011 Study of High Net Worth Women’s Philanthropy and The Impact of Women’s Giving Networks, information below).
In fact, women give to charity more than men do, and “in some income groups, almost twice as much.”
In 2011, Bank of America Merrill Lynch sponsored research by the highly regarded Center of Philanthropy at Indiana University, which resulted in, “The 2011 Study of High Net Worth Women’s Philanthropy and The Impact of Women’s Giving Networks.”
“Building more awareness about the power and influence of women in philanthropy is essential for understanding how men and women differ in their philanthropic behavior and motivations and to develop effective fundraising strategies …. Consciously or unconsciously, nonprofit fundraisers may rely on male giving patterns to reach all donors … what works for men may not always work for women. The research literature indicates that women are more altruistic, empathetic, and charitable than men …. Globally, in countries with higher female empowerment and greater female participation in public life, the nonprofit sector is stronger; women are an important influence on nonprofit sector development in solving societal problems around the world.”
During a luncheon gathering in March, 2012 hosted by the Partnership for Philanthropic Planning San Antonio featuring Ramsay H. Slugg, Managing Director and Wealth Strategies Advisor of U.S. Trust in Fort Worth, I was able to delve more deeply into this topic. I learned that women are influential in 90% of charitable giving activities, either as primary or co-decision makers.
U.S. Trust is careful to note that while men and women think differently, this not a value judgment, it is simply a fact that nonprofits should consider carefully when developing their fundraising and communications strategies.
Important for the major gift fundraising professionals among us, including myself, is that men tend to be the ones more likely to make long-term, significant capital or endowment donations, although women do make significant gifts also.
I found an article by Ian Prior in the U.S. Trust Capital Acumen 2011 newsletter, “Women and Philanthropy: The Secret to Social Change,” to provide a additional, unique perspective:
“If you want your philanthropic dollars to have the greatest impact, give them to organizations that benefit women and girls. ‘Research shows that’s one of the most effective ways to change the world,’ says Gillian R. Howell, national head of Private Philanthropy at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. ‘Improving the life of a female creates benefits and opportunities for her extended family, future generations and even the larger community in which she lives. That, almost by definition, is high-impact philanthropy’ — in other words, just the kind of focused, effective effort that many wealthy donors favor today.”
~ Changing Our World has posted an insightful 2012 infographic by Dr. Susan Raymond, “Women’s Wealth and the Future of the Nonprofit Sector.”
“Women’s earned income is growing at 8.1% compared to 5.8% for men. Women are awarded more than half of first professional degrees, and nearly two thirds of master’s degrees. Rising portions of women do not marry until mid-career, and subsequently retain independent financial resources. Still, surveys indicate that over half of all women included some type of philanthropy in their description of an ideal life. The implications of changing wealth ownership for fundraising strategy must be top of mind for philanthropy professionals.”
~ The Center of Philanthropy at Indiana University has published a new report via its Women’s Philanthropy Institute, “Boomer Women Give More to Charity.”
“‘Women, in general, earn less and have less money in retirement than men, and they have a greater life expectancy,’ said Debra J. Mesch, Ph.D., director of the Women’s Philanthropy Institute. ‘Although some may have concerns about their financial security, our study suggests that Boomer and older women share their resources with others more generously than their male peers.’” Thanks to Sondra Shaw-Hardy for pointing out this study to me.
~ Women Give 2012: New Research on Women and Giving, a new study produced by the Women’s Philanthropy Institute at Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, is available online. Some of the above noted information is included in this larger report.
~ DiversityInc has posted a helpful article (discovered July 11, 2012), “Talent Development: How to Get More Women on Your Board.” “Data revealed in a new report by the Committee for Economic Development (CED) argues that giving women a seat at the table and providing adequate talent development not only can deliver measurable business gains but is the key differentiator in future global success.”
~ Measure of America of the Social Science Research Council has published a report, “Women’s Well Being: Ranking America’s Top 25 Metro Areas,” which was funded by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. “The study uses the American Human Development Index, a summary measure that combines official government data in three essential areas: a long and healthy life, access to knowledge, and a decent standard of living.”
~ Maha Attal writes in Forbes (March 30, 2012), “Does Empowering Women Improve the Economy?” Maha cites some impressive statistics.
~ I enjoyed this article by Barbara Stanny in Forbes Woman, “Women, Wealth, and Power: The Emerging Paradigm” (March 12, 2012).
“Studies reveal that a woman’s innate desire to help others significantly contributes to broader economic prosperity. Consider this: – While women earn 75% of men’s total income, their overall contribution to charity is 93% of men’s (University of Tennessee); – Fortune 500 companies with more female executives had a 35% higher return on equity and a 34% higher total return to shareholders (Catalyst).”
~ Tony Martignetti’s Nonprofit Radio program provides interesting podcasts on a variety of topics of interest to nonprofits. Click on the link to find his interview with Marcia Stepanek on women and philanthropy (20130215-Women in Philanthropy- Pinterest and Slide Share.mp3 [ 1 h 01 min 24 s | 56.22 MB).
~ Ellen McGirt of Fast Company has written an inspiring article you might enjoy in the July/August 2012 issue, “The League of Extraordinary Women: 60 Influencers Who Are Changing the World.” The article discusses the “untold story of how an unprecedented network of high-achieving women from the world’s largest companies, innovative startups, philanthropic organizations, government, and the arts combined forces to change the lives of girls and women everywhere.”
~ Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz, Sondra Shaw-Hardy and Martha Taylor have jointly authored, Women and Philanthropy: Boldly Shaping a Better World (Jossey-Bass, 2010), which received the 2011 John Grenzebach Award for Outstanding Research in Philanthropy from CASE (Council for the Advancement and Support of Education). You can also read about the book, and the ongoing work of the co-authors, on their website.
~ Geri Stengel has written for Forbes, “Why Crowdfunding Is a Game-change for Women Entrepreneurs” (January 30, 2013).“The crowdfunding market could be worth $4.6 billion annually in five years, according to research conducted by Crowdfund Capital Advisors and the University of California, Berkeley.”