Trends

Women’s motivations for charitable giving: Constant or changing over 30 years?

Thanks to pioneering efforts in 1992 by then UCLA fundraiser Dyan Sublett to learn and write about what motivated women donors to give to the university, we have a unique opportunity to compare women’s philanthropic behavior then and now and to connect the qualitative assessments to empirical research.

Have women’s motivations for giving changed over time? Do the practice of women’s philanthropy and the research about gender and philanthropy converge?

When Sublett, who became co-founder and director of the Women & Philanthropy program at UCLA, first began her research, she and her colleague Karen Stone organized and hosted six focus groups with 76 women in 1992, the contemporary women’s philanthropy movement was in its infancy.

Martha Taylor had started the first women’s philanthropy major gift initiative in higher education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1988. Sublett and Stone’s initial efforts led to the creation of the women’s philanthropy program at UCLA. The program, now celebrating its 25th anniversary, grew out of the focus groups and was designed by the women donors.

Sublett published the findings from the focus groups in a 1993 article in New Directions for Philanthropic Fundraising, one of the first articles to affirm that gender matters in philanthropy.

In some ways, the landscape for women’s philanthropy is much different today. The growth of women’s funds and giving circles has provided a variety of opportunities for women to engage in philanthropy as they choose. More women are stepping boldly into their philanthropy, making big gifts in public ways to encourage others to join with them.

Read the full story at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. 
Up Next

Leaving a legacy no matter how much money you have

Read Now
Editor's note: Stories appearing on NCF's website from third-party contributors are intended for informational purposes only, and we do not endorse or approve the content, services, products, or theological teachings they contain. Any questions or concerns may be directed to the original publisher of such third-party content.

Sign up for our
Saturday 7 email digest (learn more)

Join 40,000+ subscribers who receive our email digest of the
week's top stories from ncfgiving.com. We call it Saturday 7.

Read our privacy policy

×