million dollar list

Research Friday: Myths about Women as Philanthropists: "Busted"

posted by Pat Lewis,
Senior Professional
in Residence
ASU Lodestar Center

Welcome to Research Friday! As part of a continuing weekly series, each Friday we invite a nonprofit expert from our academic faculty to highlight a research report or study and discuss how it can inform and improve day-to-day nonprofit practice. We welcome your comments and feedback.

Recent research indicates some of the many myths about women as donors are "busted." Perhaps you have heard some of them:

  • Women don't give large gifts.
  • Women prefer to remain anonymous.
  • Women's giving is emotional rather than business-focused.

The Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University recently distributed the results of a 2010 study, and all of the above were proven false. Let's take a closer look at the findings.

The report cites recent single gifts from women in excess of $25 million. Additionally, the report cites the participation of 100 women in a specific 2008-09 campaign, which generated $141 million with a minimum gift of $1 million. Women are named, directly or as part of a couple, in two-thirds of the gifts on the Center's Million Dollar List.

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