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News & Press: National Philanthropy News

New Report: Gender Differences in Income Affect Where Couples Give

Monday, September 21, 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz
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September 18, 2015

Women’s Philanthropy Institute at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy

How gender differences in income affect where couples give, women's and men’s differing motivations for giving, and who supports causes aimed at helping women and girls are among the issues addressed in new research being released by the Women’s Philanthropy Institute at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. Findings from the study, which is funded by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, will be presented at the Women Moving Millions Summit in New York today.

"Women and men both bring their own preferences, priorities and financial resources to a household, and they both influence the couple’s charitable giving, but they affect it differently,” said Una Osili, Ph.D., director of research for the school. "For example, differences in men’s and women’s income shape not only the couple’s overall giving but also what causes they support.”

While both men’s and women’s income play important roles in a couple’s giving, an increase in the man’s income tends to result in a greater likelihood of the couple giving to religious, youth, international and combined purposes organizations (such as United Way, United Jewish Appeal or Catholic Charities), and/or in giving larger amounts to those causes, the study found. When the woman’s income increases, the couple is more likely to give—and to give a larger amount—to charities providing for basic human needs, such as the American Red Cross, Salvation Army, or a shelter for the homeless.

"Much of the previous research has looked at household giving by couples as a single unit,” said Amir Pasic, Ph.D., Eugene R. Tempel Dean of the school. "By delving more deeply into the factors that influence charitable giving by couples, this study provides a more thorough understanding of gender differences in giving.”

The study also found that nearly half (45 percent) of all donors surveyed give specifically to causes that support women and girls. When researchers looked at giving by gender, they found that half of women donors and two out of five men donors give to these causes.

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