Women More Likely to Give and Give More Than Men, Study Finds

Women are more likely to give to charity and they give more on average than men across nearly every income level, a new study conducted by the Women's Philanthropy Institute at the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University finds.

According to the study, Women Give 2010 (16 pages, PDF), in every income bracket a higher percentage of women than men give to charity. Moreover, women in the lowest ($23,509 and under per year), middle (between $43,501 and $67,532), and top income brackets (more than $103,000) give nearly twice as much as their male counterparts. The exception is women in the second-lowest quintile (between $23,510 and $43,499), who are 32 percent more likely to give than men but also give 32 percent less.

Using data from the Center on Philanthropy Panel Study, the report analyzed giving by households headed by single men and women (data on giving by married couples can obscure the effects of gender) controlled for a variety of factors, including income, age, race/ethnicity, education, and number of children. Among the highlights, the report found that never-married and divorced women are more likely to give — and give more — than men of the same marital status, while widowers are more likely to give and give more than widows.

"These findings have the potential to affect both donors and charities significantly," said the report's author, Debra J. Mesch, director of the Women's Philanthropy Institute. "Understanding the power of their giving may encourage more women to consider the difference they can make with their giving. Nonprofits may see this as a reminder to pay closer attention to the philanthropic power of women and the importance of developing fundraising strategies that will appeal to their priorities."

"Women Give More to Charity Than Men, New Study Shows." Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University Press Release 10/21/2010.