by Paula Curtis, Fundraising and Philanthropy; December 2009 / January 2010.
Paula Curtis’s contribution to Fundraising and Philanthropy points out that women are increasingly important donors to the social impact sector. Curtis, who is President and CEO of Opportunity International of Canada, notes a number of important lessons from research on women and giving:
1. Women control household decisions pertaining to charitable giving and make 80% of the overall spending decisions
2. Single women are 37% more likely to be charitable donors than single men
3. Prime motivations for giving include engaging family and teaching children the importance of giving back, along with a strong need to make the connection with those whose lives are impacted by their gift
4. Relationship is essential
5. Their giving is in response to stories of transformed lives
6. They do not respond to emotional pleas or sad photos
Curtis encourages grant-seeking organisations to make room for women to be agents for change. She suggests that organisations ensure that women sense they belong at all levels. She also encourages nonprofits to offer opportunities for women philanthropists to be part of the community and engage in serious capacities such as serving on the Board.
Spotlighting women in their role as a positive new force for philanthropy, Women Moving Millions recently visited Australia. They shared their story of how they have raised over $180M through personal commitments of $1M or more by individual women.
It’ll no doubt be worth watching how fundraisers will tap into this powerful philanthropic segment.