Marketing to Women: Why Women Give

April 4, 2012 § Leave a comment

Women and men tend to give differently.  A study by the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University found that men give to fix immediate needs or shortfalls in government or foundation giving, or to get their names on things.  By contrast, women give for deeper  reasons, combining an emotional response and a personal responsibility to help those around them.  Women understand how lives can be transformed by giving.  Women also see philanthropy more as a democratic, collaborative activity.  Groups or circles of women’s giving are growing, as is wealth of women.


The US IRS reported that 43% of people with assets over $1.5 million  in the US are now women. Women tend to instinctively recognize the fact that the world cannot change as long as half of the world’s citizens are trapped in a cage of poverty.   “Seventy percent of people living in poverty around the world are women and children,” says Christine Grumm, president and C.E.O. of the Women’s Funding Network.  According to Social Edge,  Former SUN Secretary General Boutros Boutros Ghali once said that any country that marginalizes half of its people can not succeed financially, culturally, or politically.   So, there is much to do.  But the rewards are great.

My how times and women have changed.  Globally, more than 145 funds, with assets of nearly half a billion dollars, exist today to improve the lives of women and girls. Many focus their efforts domestically; about a third work internationally. Not one existed in 1972 when the Ms. Foundation, the first national fund for and by women, was established.

The “C”s of Giving for Women

Here are the “C’s of women’s motivations for giving, courtesy of  the Women’s Philanthropy Institute at The Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University:

Women want to create new solutions to problems.
Women like to be entrepreneurial with their philanthropy.

Women give to make a difference.
Women are less interested in providing unrestricted support to preserve the status quo of an organization or institution.

Women prefer to see the human face their gift affects.
Women want to build a partnership with people connected with the project they fund.

Women commit to organizations and institutions whose vision they share.
Women often give to the organization for which they have volunteered.

Women prefer to work with others as part of a larger effort.
Women seek to avoid duplication, competition, and waste.

Women seek to celebrate their accomplishments, have fun together, and enjoy the deeper meaning and satisfaction of their philanthropy.

Plus three C’s for the 21st century: The results of women’s giving

Women are taking control of their lives, their finances, and their philanthropy.

Women have gained the confidence to become philanthropic leaders.

Women have the courage to challenge the old way of doing things and take risks with their giving to bring about change.


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