Women Play Prominent Role in Giving
(May 25, 2009) A study of charitable giving patterns shows women have a strong influence on their spouse’s giving, while high-income women are using more sophisticated giving methods than men.
Conducted earlier this year, the study found that women were more likely than men to report they assumed the role of primary or sole decision-maker with regard to how much was donated to charity. They also called the shots more often about which charities would receive the donations.
The study involved men and women who donated at least $1,000 to charity in 2007. The average age of respondents was 50, and the average total donations (in 2007) among respondents was $6,500. Average household income of respondents was $136,000.
High-income women (those with an annual household income of $150,000 or more) also demonstrated a high level of sophistication in their giving, summarized below.
- They are more willing to be public about their giving. 58 percent of high-income women disagreed with the statement “When I make a donation, I prefer that it be anonymous.” By contrast, 46 percent of all donors disagreed with this statement.
- They are more likely to make use of innovative giving methods. 16 percent of high-income women either have or use one of these giving vehicles (donor advised fund, charitable remainder trust, or private foundation) in contrast to 9 percent of all donors.
- 7 percent of high-income women make donations with securities in contrast to 4 percent of all donors.
- They also seek expert advice more than men. 12 percent of high-income women report they would like guidance from a financial professional about charitable giving compared to 9 percent of all donors.
Men Say Wives are Primary Influence for Charitable Giving
A substantial majority of men (92 percent) name their spouses as an influence on how much to give to charity or where to direct the funds. While 84 percent of women name their spouse as an influence, they are more likely than men to engage a larger circle of influencers in their giving including extended family, friends, and co-workers.
Finally, high-income women are more likely than other donors to increase their giving during challenging economic times because they perceive a greater need (35 percent of high-income women say they do so compared to 27 percent of all respondents).
The study Gender Differences in Charitable Giving 2009 was conducted by Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund in January-February 2009. Click here to read more.