Research is at the core of WPI’s mission

Women and men give differently. Our rigorous research explores these differences, deepening our understanding of why, how, where, and when women give.

Our signature series, Women Give, is a compilation of annual research reports that explore unique questions about the factors that shape gender-based giving patterns—including age, religion, income, marital status, and more.

Fundraisers, advisors and philanthropists across the sector can use Women Give, as well as our other research reports, to evolve their strategies and advance bold, transformative philanthropy.

Access the Women Give series

What we know

Women’s wealth is rising.
Women’s share of wealth has risen considerably over the past 50 years and today they hold around 40 percent of global wealth.

Women are more likely to give.
Across income levels and generations, women are more likely to give, and give more than their male counterparts.

Women give differently.
From motivations to causes to behavior, women and men demonstrate different giving patterns.

A growing body of research

Who is philanthropic, and how do variables such as age, family dynamics, marital status, and income affect giving by men and women? 

Answers to these questions can help organizations better target donors while also growing philanthropic engagement overall.

Across most generations, women are more likely than men to give.

A $10,000 increase in income increases household giving by 5 percent when it's the woman’s income and by 3 percent when it’s the man’s.

Why do men and women give, and how do these motivations influence their giving?

When we understand what drives men and women to give, we can be more strategic about engaging both groups in philanthropic endeavors. Answering these questions means unlocking more philanthropic dollars.

Women give differently

From motivations to causes to behavior, giving patterns differ.

WOMEN: Giving is based on empathy for others.

MEN: Giving is often more about self-interest.

When the wife makes all giving decisions for a couple, they are more likely to be motivated to give by spontaneously responding to a need.

How do women and men give, for example, on designated giving days or using collective giving? 

Which platforms do they use and approaches do they take when it comes to their philanthropy? Understanding these behaviors can help us create more engaging philanthropic experiences for all.

  • WOMEN are more likely to use impact investing as a complement to charitable giving.
  • MEN are more likely to use impact investing as a replacement.

About 70 percent of giving circles are majority-women.

On every Giving Tuesday, more women giving means more money raised from women.

Where do women and men give, and how do certain factors affect the causes they support? 

This information is critical for foundations and nonprofit organizations that want to understand who their audiences are—and could be.

Female-headed households are more likely to give to: international, community, religion, health care, and youth/family areas.

The top three causes that women-dominant giving circles support are: human services, women and girls, and education.

What difference does giving make for women and men? 

It turns out that giving makes us all happy. These types of insights can help the philanthropic sector continue to draw in new donors and cultivate deeper relationships.

The more a household gives as a percentage of income, the higher the household's life satisfaction.

Single men see the greatest increase in life satisfaction when they become donors.

For single women and married couples, life satisfaction increases most when they increase their giving as a percent of income.

Research highlights

Our rigorous research explores why, how, where, and when women give.

See highlights

Two women sit in comfy chairs on an event stage