Select Page

Research has shown that for a long time, women have traditionally been more philanthropic than men. Women donate to a wider variety of causes and are generally more generous than their male counterparts. For example, female philanthropist Joey Horn gives financial support and practical support to a number of charities and non-profit organisations in sectors as diverse as education, cancer support and the arts.

In recent years, the number of philanthropic women has been growing, as has their wealth status. While there may still be a gender pay gap, women are earning more now than ever before and are choosing to remain single for longer. These factors combine with the fact that women live longer on average than men, creating expectations that women will inherit an increasing share of the wealth. Financial advisers are therefore paying more attention to the ways in which women choose to give, which are inherently different from the ways in which men give.

Philanthropy is different to charitable giving, although there are many areas where the two overlap. A definition of philanthropy can be found in the embedded PDF.

Emotional Investment

Anecdotal evidence and accumulated data show that women tend to be more emotionally invested in the causes they choose to support. In a survey from Citi Investment Management in the US, 90% of women respondents indicated that they would like to invest at least some of their wealth into projects that are in alignment with their own core values.

Philanthropic giving advisers have noted that women are more likely to want to talk about how they can wholeheartedly commit their investments or giving to causes that they believe in, working to drive real change. Women are also more likely to be willing to sacrifice the possibility of higher returns on their investments if those investments have wider benefits to society and the environment in the areas the individual investor cares about most.

Collaborative Giving and the Co-Creation of Solutions

Men who engage in philanthropy are more likely to be driven by ego and transactional thinking, with more focus on areas of personal benefit such as tax planning. Women, on the other hand, are more likely to want to know that their giving and investing creates opportunities to make a real difference.

Women are more likely to be cooperative at work, we have learned from management literature. The same principles apply to philanthropy, where women are more likely to come together in like-minded groups to generate a stronger impact for each gift or investment for both the philanthropists and the beneficiaries. This holistic approach focuses on the best solutions devised through a thorough knowledge of the community or cause invested in, driven by a collaborative spirit. In the short video attachment, you can learn more about giving circles – the first giving circles were created for women, by women.

Investing in Women and Girls

Causes relating to women and girls are often underfunded on a global level, yet investment in these types of causes have been shown to have the greatest yield of social returns. While there are no current official statistics about percentages of men and women who invest in women and girls, anecdotal evidence suggests that women are more likely to identify with and therefore invest in these causes. Several major organisations have been launched by groups of women in recent years to promote advancement of the rights of women and girls everywhere.

In the infographic attachment you will find some further information about how women are becoming more influential when it comes to wealth management, philanthropy and impact investing.