October 25th, 2020

Women in philanthropy


By Submitted Article on March 7, 2020.

Submitted by the Association

of Fundraising Professionals, Southern Alberta Chapter

On March 8, the world celebrates International Women’s Day. For this brief window in time, the successes, strengths, generosity and spirit of women will rise to the collective forefront to honour one another and inspire those open to receiving this as inspiration.

Looking at a number of studies that track the impact women have in their communities, charities and philanthropy, there is much reason to celebrate.

Did you know that Canadian women will acquire an estimated $900 billion over the next 10 years? In 2016, Canadian women controlled 35 per cent of financial wealth. By 2026, they are expected to control close to 48 per cent.

The original Time, Treasure, Talent: Canadian Women and Philanthropy Report (TD, 2018) examined the role of women in the Canadian charitable landscape. They noted employment earnings reported by women in Canada in 2010 were $258.2 billion. By 2015, total earned income reported by women in Canada had increased to over $300 billion.

These are wide strides that benefit the charitable sector and communities profoundly. In 1984, women contributed 36 per cent of all donations. In 2014, this number was 41 per cent. The studies also show that unmarried women make up 49 per cent of all charitable bequests. Women are making more money and are investing in their communities with their time and their treasure. In many cases, women have a tendency to give more than men. One could argue that reasons for giving to charity are as personal as who you decide to give to. One study shows that when it comes to giving to charity, women are more empathetic toward the causes they care deeply about, although they can be spontaneous with their giving.

The Fidelity Charitable “Women and Giving: The Impact of Generation and Gender on Philanthropy” report found that women have a heart-first approach to giving:

– 64 per cent said: “I am more motivated by my heart when it comes to giving.”

– 51 per cent said: “I am often motivated to give in the moment (versus being more strategic).”

– 61 per cent said: “I grew up giving (versus becoming a giver as an adult).”

– 68 per cent said: “I consider myself highly engaged in giving.”

Preferred causes among women in general are poverty, health, children, women’s rights and education. Among married women, they are children and the elderly. Among single women, they are animal welfare and the arts. Women tend to value long-term and open relationships with charities they support.

Judith Faulkner, philanthropist and billionaire, says: “My goal in pledging 99 per cent of my assets to philanthropy is to help others with roots – food, warmth, shelter, health care, education – so they too can have wings.”

This International Women’s Day, we hope you find abundant inspiration as the collective stories and strides are told. We hope you will share your stories, whether it be a conversation with loved ones, a social media declaration, or another other way you feel fit.

The Fidelity Charitable “Women and Giving: The Impact of Generation and Gender on Philanthropy (2016)

Time, Treasure, Talent: Canadian Women and Philanthropy (TD, 2014)

Meet the High-Net Worth Female Philanthropist (IUPUI Women’s Philanthropy Institute, 2018)

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