Conference Roundup: Women’s Giving
Here’s a shocker: Men and women think differently when it comes to charitable giving, says Sondra Shaw-Hardy, co-founder of the Women’s Philanthropy Institute at the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University.
“We need to appreciate the differences in gender and understand the importance of women in philanthropy,” Shaw-Hardy said at her session, “Women’s Philanthropy: Emerging Trends and Strategies,” at the 2008 Bridge Conference, held last week in Washington, D.C.
Traditional methods of donor connection, strategies for asking and stewardship are changing — with women’s giving leading the way, Shaw-Hardy said. “Women have a lot of financial power now, and will have a lot of decisions to make.”
Data show that women outlive men and will inherit 70 percent of all estates in the coming years — important statistics when you consider that women donate up to 7 percent of their income, while men only donate 6 percent, according a Harris Interactive poll released in 2003, Shaw-Hardy said.
Women’s motivations to give also differ from those of men. Shaw-Hardy said women give to create, change, commit, connect, collaborate and celebrate.
“This isn’t the battle of the sexes,” she said. “It’s just important to understand there are differences and that fundraisers and those in philanthropy adapt to those differences.
“Women are more important than ever in philanthropy,” she added. “And we have to be aware of it and use it to move forward into the future.”