Battle of the Sexes: Do Women Donate More Than Men?

Traditional gender roles typically meant women were the primary caregiver and men were in charge of “bringing home the bacon”. This dynamic has changed dramatically in the last half century and now it’s common for both parents to contribute financially as well as share responsibility on the home front.

Women today feel freer to make financial decisions and are more likely to donate to charitable organizations.

What does this have to do with Nonprofit fundraising, you ask? A lot, actually. Women today feel freer to make financial decisions and are more likely to donate to charitable organizations.

Nonprofits who excel at fundraising use different strategies to attract millennials than they do baby boomers because each demographic has their own unique set of habits when it comes to donating. The same concept can be applied to gender roles, as recent studies show there are significant differences between the way men and women donate.

Identifying these differences can help you better understand your audience and the reasons why different people donate. Here is some insight into female donors:

  • Women donate a larger percentage of their income than men, according to research conducted by the Women’s Philanthropy Institute (WPI).   
  • Women expect a deeper level of communication, according to the Bank of America Merrill Lynch 2011 Study of High Net Worth Women’s Philanthropy. They want to know that their money is being used effectively and making an impact.
  • Women are more likely to participate in online auctions. Focus group studies show that women prefer the more comfortable and less competitive environment of their home to a live auction environment.
  • Women are more active on social media, according to research compiled by FinancesOnline. Women visit and interact with sites such as Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter more than men.
  • Women don’t just want to donate. They want to be actively involved in your organization. Women often volunteer for an organization and then are motivated to donate.
  • Women are more likely to switch. If they don’t feel listened to, appreciated or believe an organization is adequately fulfilling its mission, women are more likely to stop contributing money to that organization in favor for another.

With this information in mind, there are several key strategies your Nonprofit can consider when targeting female donors. To build your female audience, make sure you:

  1. Communicate. If women believe their money is not being used effectively or efficiently, they are likely to seek out a different organization to support. Remember, women are more likely to stop contributing money than men. 
  2. Offer volunteer opportunities. Being actively involved in your organization gives women an opportunity to develop a deeper connection with your mission. When they know your organization is trustworthy and will use their money wisely, female volunteers will be more motivated to donate. 
  3. Be active on social media. Social media isn’t going anywhere and now your Nonprofit has another reason to start being more active on various social sites.
  4. Reevaluate assumptions. Men aren’t solely in charge of finances anymore, and you could lose a female donor by assuming her husband is the only one donating. 

Female donors can have a huge impact on your Nonprofit’s success. Keep these strategies in mind when targeting your female audience in order to be more effective at encouraging them to support your cause.


Winspire Communications Director

About Ian Lauth

With an extensive background in marketing and design, Ian’s role at Winspire is to develop external communications, brand expansion and product delivery processes to help Nonprofits maximize their fundraising revenue.

Ian serves as the Editor-in-Chief for Winspire News, creating and managing blog content,  newsletters, eBooks and other resources for Nonprofit fundraising professionals. You can also find Ian on Google+.

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