Is Your Donor Base in Line with the Annual Report on Philanthropy and Families?

Have you ever wondered if there are patterns of philanthropy that are distinct between generations?

Giving USA tackled the question if there’s a difference in how women and men give to charity? In its Annual Report on Philanthropy for 2017, offering valuable information on how giving differs.

Giving Among Sons and Daughters

Addressing gender and giving, Giving USA cited the Women Give 2018 report, written by the Women’s Philanthropy Institute at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. In this study, researchers discovered there’s a strong correlation between parents’ giving patterns and their children’s, particularly for daughters.

  • Overall, when parents give, their children are 9 percentage points more likely to give as well.
  • Daughters are 13 percentage points more likely to give when their parents give, while sons are only 4 percentage points more likely to give.
  • When parents give frequently to charity, their daughters are 12 percentage points more likely to give to charity, while their sons are 5 percentage points more likely to give.
  • For higher-wealth families, daughters are 27 percentage points more likely to give when their parents give. For sons, the likelihood of giving remains the same, regardless of the parents’ giving.

The Women Give 2018 report suggested that these stronger linkages between parents’ and daughters’ behavior could be explained by several factors:

  • Parental role-modeling of giving may have a stronger effect on daughters.
  • Daughters are socialized into the caregiving role, which includes charitable giving.

Giving Among Baby Boomers and Millennials

The second study cited by Giving USA, the 2017 Fidelity Charitable Women and Giving report, examined the generational differences between Baby Boomer women and Millennial women in regard to their philanthropic activity. It offers some illuminating insights:

  • Baby Boomer women tend to be more strategic in their giving, while Millennial women are more likely to give impulsively.
  • Boomer women are more focused in the causes they support, compared to Millennial women who tend to support a wider range of causes and issues, both domestic and international.
  • Millennial women are more like to discuss their philanthropy with others and encourage people to support their causes.
  • Not surprisingly, Millennial women tend to favor newer methods of giving (crowdfunding, point-of-sale solicitations), while Boomer women are more likely to use traditional methods (in-kind donations and direct financial contributions).
  • Overall, Boomer women tend to be more satisfied with their philanthropy than Millennial women.

The Women and Giving report offers a few explanations for these differences, such as the changing role of women in society, their increasing influence on household decision-making and the natural differences of life stage (retired vs. working) and available resources.

What Do You Think?

What have you noticed about the patterns of giving among your own community of supporters? Is there a difference in how men and women support your cause? Do younger people engage with your mission differently than their elders? How do you tailor your approach to these different groups of donors? We’d love to hear your insights. Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Share your thoughts