Gender Matters, Nonprofit Fundraising Research Shows the Impact of Women Donors. Nonprofit MBA Podcast 3.14
Summary: In today’s podcast episode, Stephen Halasnik and his guest Cynthia Woolbright discuss the importance and influence of gender when it comes to nonprofit fundraising. Historically, men have made most of the decisions when it comes to wealth management. However, we have seen a significant change in women taking control and making more money than ever in today’s society. This can directly influence your nonprofit fundraising approach and strategies.
Themes of Today’s Podcast
- Background about Women Donors
- Nonprofit Fundraising Statistics
The History of Donors and Fundraising
In the early times, a huge theme in nonprofit fundraising was giving between women and children. For example, Mary Lynos who founded Mt. Polio College raised the money herself. In 1871, Sophia Smith founded Smith College through inheritance. Her gift of around $400,000 in 1871 would be the equivalent of roughly $7.9 million dollars today. Other colleges have also been founded through the inheritance of women who were widows and then donated money to colleges.
Black women have also been recognized in terms of their philanthropy. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, Madam CJ Walker was one of the first self-made millionaires, who then became a greatly generous nonprofit donor. In the 1990s there were great books that were written about women as donors and women as philanthropists. This is when we began to see that women were starting to donate and give based on their own personal experiences. They also wanted to connect and be involved in the organization to which they are giving.
What Does the Research Reveal About Nonprofit Fundraising?
When we look at the constants that research has revealed, there are major themes that can be observed. In general, women want their talent to be used, they want to be engaged in the enterprise, and help find solutions. When it comes to women and giving, women care deeply about their involvement within the community and the collective impact that they can help make on a given community.
When we compare donors who are men vs. women, men want to be recognized, and women typically don’t. Men are in general more competitive than women as well. When we compare this to women, women as we have seen choose to invest their time, energy, and money collectively. Women have the aspect of giving and compassion that is less often seen in men when it comes to nonprofit fundraising.
Historically, men made most of the wealth and managed it as well. Women were not engaged in any of the wealth management. We can reflect back to when women couldn’t even get a credit card until 1974. In today’s society, we have seen a tremendous shift and change with gender differences and wealth management. Women now make and manage their own money, which is different than many years ago.
Statistics That Can Impact Your Nonprofit Fundraising Plan
The IRS reports that 60% of the wealth in this country in the US is held by women. McKinsey also reports that by 2030, women are expected to control 30 trillion dollars. Women already are at 43% of the nation’s top wealth holders. This number is expected to continue increasing.
As we can see, women already are in charge of a large chunk of wealth management in the US. We can also see that they are on the trajectory to keep these numbers increasing as well. Of course, there are a number of factors that can influence a woman’s wealth such as inheritance and the life expectancy of her husband. Statistically, we know that women tend to live longer than men, which could also influence the amount of money that they have. However, in general, women today are managing 85% of their household income. So what does this say about women and nonprofit fundraising?
Women are making more money and decisions than men today are. Therefore, nonprofits are now realizing that a large chunk of their targeted market is women. In addition to this, women are going to bring in more donors due to their favor of helping the collective. In comparison to men, men are less likely to bring in friends and donors because they are more competitive and less collective.
Strategy and “Fundraising 101” for Nonprofits
With all the history and statistics that we have seen about women being significant nonprofit donors, we can also recognize the influence that men have. When it comes to fundraising strategy, it is crucial to be able to manage both men and women. Neither men nor women should be negated because there are men who think deeply about their efforts and the collective.
When it comes to nonprofit fundraising ideas, try to incorporate and target both men and women. Even if one is making more financial decisions than the other, both members of a household should be thought of and targeted. However, when it comes to targeting women, you want to raise and ask questions about their personal involvement, engagement, legacy, and their wishes for the future of the collective community. Ask questions about what motivates that individual, and what they hope to do as an individual. This will also prompt individuals to want to learn more about your organization, which opens the door for collaboration.
Overall, when targeting women, you want to focus your soliciting on how they can help personally and make a direct impact on a community. If you are targeting men, it can be helpful to keep in mind that men tend to care about personal legacy more, so you can focus your marketing more toward them as an individual. Whether it is men or women, writing thank you letters to your donors is also going to make them feel appreciated and heard.
About the Guest Cynthia Woolbright, from The Woolbright Group
Cynthia founded the Woolbright Group, LLC in 2004 but prior spent many years working closely with educational institutions, health care systems, and many other not-for-profit organizations. She has spent a career advising on campaign assessments and feasibility studies, board governance, alumni engagement, and development counsel, strategic planning, ongoing strategies for raising philanthropic support and specific interests in women’s philanthropy, leadership and organizational development strategies, and other mission-driven matters.
About The Host Stephen Halasnik, Financing Solutions
Stephen Halasnik is the host of the popular, The Nonprofit MBA Podcast. The Nonprofit MBA podcast’s purpose is to help nonprofit leaders. Mr. Halasnik is the Co-founder and Managing Partner of Financing Solutions. Financing Solutions is a leading provider of Lines of Credit to nonprofits and small businesses.
Mr. Halasnik is a graduate of Rutgers University and has an Executive Masters from the MIT Birthing of Giants Entrepreneurship program. Mr. Halasnik is a best-selling Amazon author and is considered a leading authority on building great, purpose-driven businesses. Mr. Halasnik lives in New Jersey with his best friend, his wife Gina. Mr. Halasnik’s number one purpose is raising his two boys, Michael and Maxwell, to be good men.
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