Gates Foundation Awards $2.1 Million to Women's Philanthropy Institute

The Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy has announced a $2.1 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to accelerate research on giving by men and women.

The three-year grant to the Women's Philanthropy Institute will support research in two areas — the factors that influence men and women to give more, to give more intentionally, and to give more effectively; and charitable giving in support of women and girls, including who gives, where they give, the factors that influence their giving, and how to engage more men and younger women in supporting these causes. The project will build on an earlier study that identified ways in which women's and men's preferences, priorities, and financial resources influence couples' charitable giving. The earlier study also demonstrated that nearly half of all donors — 50 percent of women and 40 percent of men — contribute to causes that aid women and girls.

"The initial research enabled us to step back and take a comprehensive look at the field of gender and philanthropy, identify the related research that has been conducted to date, and determine the major gaps in the understanding of these issues," said Debra Mesch, Eileen Lamb O'Gara Chair in Women's Philanthropy, director of WPI, and principal investigator for the project. "This new grant acknowledges that while knowledge about gender and philanthropy has come a long way in a relatively short period, we have barely scratched the surface and many key research questions remain to be answered."

"Increasing and improving philanthropy requires that we continually increase the depth and breadth of knowledge about giving," said Amir Pasic, the Eugene R. Tempel Dean of the school. "We thank the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for their support of this important research, which will provide women and men donors with insights that help them give more effectively and better understand why they give differently."

"$2.1 Million Grant Will Advance Research on Women's And Men's Giving, Support of Causes for Women and Girls." Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy Press Release 12/16/2015.