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Women Give: How Women Are Using Tech For Philanthropy

When it comes to women who give, the biggest story of 2020 easily belongs to MacKenzie Scott. She donated nearly $6 billion of her fortune in 2020, with more than $4 billion of the donations announced in the last few days of the year. Scott is an exceptional case of one woman’s ability to make a huge impact. However, as a collective whole, women givers are an undeniable force in the field of philanthropy.

In a 2020 study, IUPUI Women’s Philanthropy Institute and Givelify discovered a ground-breaking trend emerging in philanthropy – women are leading the effort to change the world, one simple, joyful gift at a time. And they’re doing it digitally.

Technology has opened the door to discovering more of the world’s greatest causes. It leads us to organizations doing the grassroots work to change the world and allows us more access to participate in making a difference all over the world.

In the Women Give 2020 report, data demonstrates how women connect with and give to organizations they care about.

Public Service Announcement: Women are Generous

The study looked at 3.7 million donations made through four giving platforms and/or campaigns (GivingTuesday, GlobalGiving, Givelify and Growfund). The study revealed six insights into online giving habits of both genders based upon the data collected.

Women Give More

  • Women give more gifts than men and contribute a greater total proportion of dollars than men. This was consistent across all platforms.
  • Women give 62% of gifts on Givelify and they outnumber male donors.
  • Gender differences are more apparent for larger congregations with more than 10,000 members. Women make 69% of gifts at large churches.
  • On GivingTuesday, women give 65% of gifts. Women give slightly smaller gifts on average ($104) compared to men ($111). However, because women give more gifts than men, they contribute 63% of dollars on GivingTuesday.

Women Give Small Gifts to Small Organizations

  • Women give smaller gifts than men, and give to smaller charitable organizations than men.
  • We found that while they give smaller gifts on average, women give a greater share of dollars than men through the Givelify app.
  • Women give (on Givelify app) slightly smaller gifts on average ($96) compared to men ($109). However, because women give more gifts than men, they contribute nearly 60% of the dollars on Givelify.

Women Give to Causes that Support Women

  • Women’s and girls’ organizations receive substantially more support from women donors than from men donors.
  • Across all giving platforms studied, women gave between 60% and 70% of dollars to women’s and girls’ organizations.
  • Several organizations with successful GivingTuesday campaigns have involved mothers and daughters working together to support a cause they care deeply about.
  • On all giving platforms studied, as well as looking at GivingTuesday data, women are more likely to give to women’s and girls’ causes.

Nonprofits Should Take a Fuller View of Philanthropy

How much money one gives does not determine their level of philanthropy. A larger view of philanthropy engages a larger variety of donors—and both appeal to women donors. This can be anything from giving money, creating an online petition, volunteering time to work, joining a board, organizing a meal train or starting a crowdfunding campaign for a friend in need.

One study on Change.org found that women-created petitions tend to be more successful because women are more effective at mobilizing their networks to sign.

GivingTuesday Co-Founder and CEO Asha Curran, noted, “Donating to nonprofits is an important and meaningful way to express generosity. But, we are focused on generosity using the most expansive definition. We have found that taking the focus of financial donations is actually great for donations because people don’t want to be ATMs. This resonates with donors and nonprofits alike.”

Charitable Organizations Need to Meet Spontaneous or Intentional Givers Where They Are: Online

Online giving has grown by 80 percent since 2013. Why? Technology enables donors to give in the way they would like. Technology makes it easier to find charities with similar values and interests. Platforms like Givelify can also support donors by identifying causes they might prefer and by building trust with donors.

In 2018, more than half of people globally (around 3.8 billion, 51 percent of the world’s population) were connected to the Internet. In the U.S., women are slightly more likely to use the Internet than men.

Social media is key in bringing awareness to fundraisers and nonprofit organizations, but women are more likely than men to say they have been inspired to donate by social media (32 percent of women donors and 24 percent of men donors).

Organizations Must Cultivate Trust and a Sense of Community Online with their Donors

Because most giving is online, much of face-to-face engagement is lost. So what happens to the community that forms around traditional philanthropy? Community leads one to fall in line with social norms. If these social norms include philanthropy, how can online giving continue to provide a community that transmits the value of generosity?

In 2019, 65 percent of men and 78 percent of women were present on at least one social media site.

Givelify “sees technology as expanding the idea of community. For someone sick at home, or traveling and unable to attend a service, technology provides an opportunity to maintain contact with a church community.”

Platforms and organizations must build community online and continue to support in-person connections for donors. Platforms can also support donors by identifying causes they might prefer and by building trust with donors. Givelify offers support on helping churches integrate the app with their church management system.

Join Givelify’s Online Giving Community

For seven years, Givelify has been on a mission to connect donors with their congregations and nonprofits. Since the app launched, it has helped more than 60,000 organizations further their missions and do more good in their communities and across the world.

Download the Givelify app on Google Play or the Apple App Store.

Signup for Givelify now!

About the Author

Sarah Braud

Sarah Braud is a storyteller, writer, and educator. Sarah’s core values — creativity, compassion, and connection —converge in her role as Senior Content Producer at Givelify. Her nonprofit marketing and screenwriting background are galvanized in her passions for social justice, faith, and neuroscience.

Sarah Braud