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Know Women’s Philanthropic Preferences

This post was originally published here (The NonProfit Times)

Young women donors today are holding their own when it comes to charitable giving, contrary to those who say that younger generations — Millennials and Gen Xers — are less generous than their predecessors.

This is just one of the findings from the latest report in the Women Give series from the Women’s Philanthropy Institute at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, which have implications for donors and fundraisers alike.

Donor engagement strategies that take into account the increasing influence that single and married women have in charitable giving will be more successful in attracting new donors and in building longer-term donor relationships.

Given the influence of generation and gender on charitable decision making, fundraising efforts that include multichannel strategies are more likely to reach a broader cross-section of donors.

Generational change is not uniform with respect to gender and decision making. GenX/Millennial single women have maintained their level of giving compared with what pre-boomer single women were giving back in the 1970s. At the same time, GenX/Millennial single men are giving at lower levels than did their pre-boomer counterparts, as are GenX/Millennial married couples.

The generation-to-generation change in giving among married couples differs according to the decision-making style the couples use. The percentage of GenX/Millennial couples in which women influence charitable giving has grown, compared with pre-boomer couples, as has the level of giving by those woman-influenced couples.

For GenX/Millennial married couples, effective fundraising now means that charitable conversations involve not just one of the individuals, but the couple. And these discussions will be more effective if the conversational content resonates with the motivations and preferences of women.

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