AFP Conference Roundup: Understanding, Engaging and Cultivating Women as Donors
Before organizations can properly engage women as donors, they need to assess their own readiness and capacity for cultivating them.
So said Carol Carpenter, major- and planned-giving officer at Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Hospital in Allentown, Pa., in her session "Understanding and Engaging High Potential Women 101," at the 46th annual AFP International Conference on Fundraising held in New Orleans two weeks ago.
To determine organizational readiness and capacity for cultivating women, Carpenter suggested rating your organization on a scale of one to 10 regarding the level at which it:
- knows the facts about women, wealth and giving;
- has a way of identifying women donors;
- has an analysis of women's giving over the last five years;
- knows the role women play in gifts from couples;
- acknowledges women donors accurately;
- includes women in standard development practices;
- promotes women in philanthropy;
- uses vacancies on the board of directors and volunteer committees to enhance relationships with women;
- asks women to give; and
- teaches staff how to communicate effectively with women.
The three steps to getting your organization ready to understand this target group are:
1. Know the facts about the importance of women donors. Some quick facts shared by Carpenter: Women control 60 percent of the nation's wealth; the number of women earning $100,000 or more a year has tripled in the last decade; 46 percent of the country's wealthiest people are women; women own 40 percent of the country's businesses (10.4 million); women will inherit $41 trillion in transferred assets via estates in the next 50 years; and women outlive men by an average of seven years.
Carpenter added that single women are more likely than single men to give, and a higher percentage of women volunteer than men.
2. Know how to identify women in your database, analyze their giving patterns and acknowledge giving. Also look at the positioning of women inside your office.