Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Time to step up, single dudes

Despite commonly held beliefs to the contrary, a recent study has found that most women give more to charity than men do. A recent Chronicle of Philanthropy article, reporting on a study released by the Women's Philanthropy Institute at the Indiana University Center for Philanthropy, found that "Women at [almost] every income level give to charity more often than men do — and they tend to donate more money on average than their male counterparts."

More specifically - most studies of women's philanthropy in the past have included married couples, which makes it hard to separate women's giving from men's. This study included 8,000 households headed by either single women or single men. Highlights:

* At the lowest income level in the study (people earning $23,509 or less), 35.2% of women gave to charity, compared to 25.7% of men.
* Among people who made more than $103,000, 96% of women gave to charity, compared to 75% of men.
* Never married ($783) and divorced or separated ($641) women gave more on average than never married ($498) or divorced or separated ($483) men.
* Men's giving outstripped women in one category, those earning $23,510 - $43,499; authors of the study plan to investigate this anomaly further. Widowed men also gave more to charity than widowed women.

Conventional fundraising wisdom has long held that men give more than women. This study matters because it demonstrates that this isn't true, and that fundraisers (and non-profits in general) should pay closer attention to their female donors, or potential potential donors.

What else could be going on here? Do a lot of men not give to charity until they get married, and their wives encourage them to do so? Or, once they get married, they feel like it's time to take up "grown up" responsibilities, like philanthropy? Hey guys, what's your take on this?

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