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Women More Likely to Give to Most Types of Charities


December 8, 2010

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Women are significantly more likely than men to give to almost every type of charitable cause and are equally likely to support the rest, after controlling for education, income, and other factors that influence giving, new research from the Women’s Philanthropy Institute (WPI) at the Center on Philanthropy finds.

In Causes Women Support , WPI Director Debra Mesch examined whether there are differences between male and female single-headed households across 11 types of charitable causes. The study found that women’s likelihood of giving exceeded that for men in eight of the 11 causes: religious institutions; organizations that help the needy; combined purposes (such as United Way, United Jewish Appeal, Catholic Charities or community foundations); health care and medical research, education, youth & family, community, and international organizations.

Women were as likely as men to give to arts and cultural organizations, environmental nonprofits and “other.” Percentages of men and women who are likely to give to each type of organization are available in the new report.

“Clearly, gender matters in philanthropy,” Mesch said. “Women and men are both engaged, but their giving priorities are different. Additional research will help us better understand why women are more likely to give to certain types of organizations.”

Unveiled (Dec. 7, 2010) at the TED Women 2010 conference, the new findings are the second part of the Women Give 2010 report.

Women Give 2010 compares philanthropic giving between men and women based on a nationally representative sample. It uses data from the Center on Philanthropy Panel Study (COPPS), the nation’s largest study that tracks giving patterns among the same households over time.

The Center on Philanthropy, a part of the Indiana University School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI, operates programs on the IUPUI and IU Bloomington campuses. For additional information about the center, visit .