Women represented the majority of donors during the annual Giving Tuesday event in 2016, a report from the Women's Philanthropy Institute at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy finds.
Based on an analysis of donation data from Charity Navigator, the report, Gender Differences in #GivingTuesday Participation (20 pages, PDF), found that while women were responsible for half (51 percent) of all donations between October 2015 and August 2017, they accounted for 63 percent of the number of donations and 61 percent of the total donated on #GivingTuesday in 2016. Previous research by the institute suggested that women are more likely to be actively solicited for donations in general; to use social media — which is widely used to solicit donations on #GivingTuesday — to build connections; and to participate in collaborative giving and distribute their giving more broadly. Women also are more likely to volunteer than men, while volunteers in general are more likely to give.
The report found that giving increased sharply for both genders on #GivingTuesday, and that women and men gave similar amounts on average ($105 vs. $116). For organizations working in the areas of education, the environment, animal welfare, health, and human services, the share of women donors on #GivingTuesday was greater than during the sample period overall.
Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the report recommends that charities strengthen their fundraising by engaging donors on social media and taking steps to make it easy for supporters to donate by smartphone, using volunteers strategically to amplify their campaigns, and tailoring "asks" to men and to women.
"This study provides further proof that women are driving charitable giving in the United States," said Debra J. Mesch, director of the Women's Philanthropy Institute and the Eileen Lamb O'Gara Chair in Women's Philanthropy. "We know now that men and women use technology differently to give to the causes that matter to them. As more nonprofits are using digital means to interact with donors, they should consider these gender differences in their fundraising strategies."