Why and How Women Donate?

The world of Philanthropy is changing. A recent study done by the Women’s Philanthropy Institute, tells us that women’s median earnings have risen steadily. Over the last forty years, women’s income has become more important to families’ economic well-being. Today, women are the primary breadwinners in 40% of households with children, up from 15% of such households 50 years ago.

Younger women are taking control of their own finances and the finances of their households to a greater extent than in previous decades.

There are a few key differences when it comes to why and how women donate compared to their male counterparts. Women are change focused, community oriented and less risk-averse, meaning they are willing to support seed organisations and care about staffing your organization. Women are more “all-in”, volunteering within the organisations, participating in giving circles and sitting on boards. Focusing much of their energy on issues of discrimination and economic opportunity.

Cultivation Ideas for Women Donors

Robust volunteer opportunities: providing space to engage with your mission in various hands-on ways

These opportunities should be geared toward your mission. Community service can help many different groups of people: children, senior citizens, people with disabilities, even animals and the environment.

Peer-to-peer fundraising

Enables nonprofits to increase their reach, find new donors, and build deeper connections with their existing supporters. Building upon existing relationships with donors, your supporters vouch for you which works as a kind of shortcut to trust with their networks. These advocates are your organization’s “booster squad”. Augmenting your ongoing fundraising efforts by raising funds on your behalf, and in some really creative ways! Social fundraising supports more organic growth of your donor base through spreading the word and sharing your story with family, friends and colleagues.

Mentorship opportunities

Mentoring at nonprofits can help serve as a spiritual salve. While nonprofit employees often are driven by a passion to serve their communities, they sometimes have less access to resources and can suffer burn out. Having a mentor can help “re-engage” that passion and create a sense of support for stressed staff.

Mentoring can be looked at as another method of professional development. People can learn from one another, speed up the process in becoming more successful in their role and it is a more cost-effective way of doing things.

Venture and collaboration opportunities with other nonprofits

Collaborating with other non-profits might seem strange but we are stronger together. Rebbecca Sutherns says, “Because the complexity of life is increasing, we each have a more limited viewpoint and less ability to solve problems alone. Our one perspective isn’t sufficient. That complexity requires people to collaborate to reduce our blind spots.”

Donors are also changing and becoming more sophisticated in their expectations. They are looking at the sector more and more as an investment vehicle to create social change. Further, these donors are interested in tangible outcomes and greater impact for these investments. Collaboration is a way of using funding more effectively, with remaining funds going to new research and strategies.

Gender equity and family focused events, activities and communications

It is important to communicate the impact of the volunteers, their commitment and time devoted to your mission. How is your organisation stronger because of their hard work? Women in leading roles can be role models for young volunteers and program participants alike.