Women lead philanthropic decisions

Date: 13 Dec 2011


In nearly 90 per cent of high net worth households, women are either the sole decision maker or an equal partner in decisions about charitable giving, according to the Bank of America Merrill Lynch 2011 Study of High Net Worth Women’s Philanthropy,
released today.The power and influence of women in philanthropy may mean that some charitable organisations will need to adapt their messaging and strategies to appeal to women’s distinct charitable giving behaviors and motivations.

Key findings of the study include:

* Women spend more time than men on due diligence before making decisions about giving to a charitable organisation.

* Women expect a deeper level of communication with the organisations they support and place greater importance than men on the efficiency and effectiveness of the organisation and hearing about the impact of their gift.

* Women want to be actively involved with an organisation and its mission, with volunteering being among the most important motivations for women to give.

* Women are more likely than men to stop giving to an organisation they had previously supported whereas men tend to support the same causes year after year.

The Study of High Net Worth Women’s Philanthropy is the latest in a series of in-depth reports on high net worth philanthropic trends, produced as part of an ongoing research partnership with The Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University that began in 2006. This latest study, which also draws on the expertise of the Center’s Women’s Philanthropy Institute, offers key insights into similarities and differences between high net worth women and men donors.

“As women create and control a growing share of wealth in the country, their influence in philanthropy is more evident”, said Claire Costello, national foundation executive at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. “This study helps to quantify the philanthropic clout that women have and demonstrates to nonprofit leaders and fundraisers the value and impact of engaging women, especially high net worth women, in the organization’s mission.”

A full copy of the study, including survey methodology, is available for download at:….

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