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AFP eWire Printable Version: May 25, 2009

Women Play Prominent Role in Giving  

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 percentof 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. For more information go to

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AFP Study of Fundraising Effectiveness Gets Boost from Donor Software Firms  

(May 25, 2009) Participate in the Fundraising Effectiveness Project and find out how your organization compares to others when the latest report is published in July.

The FEP has experienced a large increase in responses through a group of donor software firms, and organizations can calculate and compare their growth rates through FEP data and statistics.

Find out how your organization stacks up in terms of newly acquired donors as well as the number of donors you have retained. Use the FEP statistics provided by your donor software firm to calculate your overall growth, taking account of lapsed donors.

The annual Fundraising Effectiveness Surveys are ongoing and open to all nonprofit organizations. There is no charge to participate, and participating organizations receive access to the survey performance data to make better-informed, growth-oriented budget decisions to boost donor revenue. All information supplied by survey respondents is kept strictly anonymous and confidential, and results are reported in aggregate form only.

The FEP surveys measure growth in giving from year to year by examining gains and losses in different categories (e.g., new or lapsed donors) and determining in which areas charities can most improve. The information is very helpful for fundraisers, as organizations can then compare their fundraising performance to other organizations by total amount raised, type of organization, age of development program and geographic location, as well as combinations of these criteria. If your donor software company is not on this list, encourage them to participate!

Software Community Pitching In

The firms listed below have assisted with the design of the FEP surveys and are ready to help their clients respond to the surveys. They are developing “all-electronic” software modules for the FEP surveys that eliminate the need for their clients to manually key the fundraising performance data into AFP’s web-based version of the surveys.

Participating donor software firms include:

  • Compass Technology
  • Donor2/Campus Management Corporation
  • DonorPerfect Fundraising Software
  • eTapestry
  • GiftWorks (Mission Research)
  • MatchMaker FundRaising Software
  • Metafile
  • PhilanthrAppeal (FundTrack Software)
  • PledgeMaker (SofTrek)
  • The Raiser’s Edge ® (Blackbaud)
  • ROI Solutions
  • Sage Software
  • Telosa Software (Exceed!)

About the Project

The basic FEP concept is that overall growth in giving from one year to the next is the net of gains minus losses, and that growth in giving is increased both by maximizing gains and by minimizing losses.  With four years of data for 2005 to 2008, the survey has consistently shown gains of 60 percent or more offset by losses of over 50 percent.  In other words, participants in the annual survey lost 5 dollars for every 6 dollars gained,  The survey predicts that with a decrease in losses from 50 percent to 40 percent, average respondents would see their overall annual rate of growth in giving would more than double.

Gains consist of gifts by new donors and recaptured lapsed donors and increases in gift amounts by upgraded donors. Losses consist of decreases in gift amounts by downgraded donors and lost gifts from lapsed new and lapsed repeat donors.

“The real key to using the survey is to calculate your gain and loss ratios for each category, such as upgraded donors, and be able to compare your results to other organizations,” said Paulette V. Maehara, CFRE, CAE, president and CEO of AFP. “This information is incredibly useful for planning and budgeting decision making and can show an organization in which areas it is doing well and where it needs additional emphasis and resources.”

You are encouraged to contact your donor software providers and inquire if they will be able to assist you with measuring your organization’s performance by gain/loss categories, with comparing your performance with the FEP survey results, and with responding to the annual FEP surveys.

If you would like to learn more about the FEP project, please contact Bill Levis, FEP Project Manager, by email at

For more information, go to

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AFP President and CEO, Paulette V. Maehara, CFRE, CAE, Starts Blog about Fundraising!

AFP is pleased to announce that its president and CEO, Paulette V. Maehara, CFRE, CAE, is starting a blog about fundraising, the profession and AFP. Click below to read Paulette’s latest post on 2009 and how the economy is (and isn’t) affecting AFP and the charitable sector. Visit

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Nominations Being Accepted Now for AFP Board of Directors

AFP is seeking nominations of qualified candidates to serve on its 2010 Board of Directors as a district director or as an at-large director. Forms are due on or before July 31, 2009. To nominate someone for AFP’s Board of Directors, go to the AFP homepage,, and click on the item in the to-do list regarding board nominations. Or see the electronic version of this story.

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Nominations Open for Foundation for Philanthropy Board

The AFP Foundation for Philanthropy is now accepting nominations for chair-elect (due July 10) and for officers and directors (due July 24). For more information and for a nomination form please visit the AFP Foundation for Philanthropy website at

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AFP Award Nominations Now Being Accepted - Forms Due July 15

AFP offers a number of awards for exemplary work in philanthropy and fundraising. Act now to nominate an outstanding fundraiser, philanthropist, corporation or foundation. Go to the AFP website,, and click on the link for National Philanthropy Day and AFP Awards. NOTICE: There are important changes to the AFP Awards program that can be found on the AFP website and in the electronic version of eWire this week under AFP News.

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The Color of Money: A Professional Development Conference for Fundraisers of Color

Join AFP, the AFP Greater Philadelphia Chapter and the National Center for Black Philanthropy for the inaugural Color of Money professional training conference—empowering today's fundraising professionals of color. Equip yourself with the knowledge, skills and resources necessary to secure funding for your nonprofit organization or charitable cause. This all-day conference will be held at Temple University in Philadelphia on June 24. To download a scholarship application please see this story in the electronic version of eWire (Applications are due June 5, 2009). To register for this conference go to and click on Education and Career Development. Then click on Executive Institutes. Early-bird registration ends May 28.

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Don't Miss Two Upcoming Great Webconferences to Better Your Fundraising!

(To register go to and click on Education and Career Development—AFP Web/Audioconferences)

Evaluating Your Development Program – Presented by Linda Lysakowski, ACFRE
How does your development program measure up to accepted standards? Are you doing as well as your competition? Is your development program growing or is it stagnant? Does your organization have a philanthropic culture? What tools can help you assess your performance? How do you find the time to "take stock" of your program? These questions and more will be answered in Evaluating Your Development Program: How Do You Measure Up? presented on Wednesday, June 10 at 1 p.m. EDT.

Making the Most of Email Marketing – Presented by Allison Van Diest of Blackbaud
There's simply no faster or more cost-effective way to reach out to supporters and keep your organization top of mind than through a well-organized and managed email marketing program. This session will highlight proven messages to help you inspire action from your email recipients, as well as tools to help you plan, develop, launch and manage a successful program. Don’t miss Making the Most of Email Marketing: Optimizing Your Message for Today's Medium presented Thursday, June 25 at 3 p.m. Eastern.

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