A study released recently by Fidelity Charitable shows how the pandemic bolstered many donors’ generosity.
Key Findings of the report are:
Fueled by a desire to make the world a better place, women are highly active and engaged in charitable giving.
- Nearly nine-in-ten women wish they could be doing more to create positive social change. And their most commonly cited motivations for giving — because the need is so great and because they want to make a difference — reflect an empathetic, heart-based approach to philanthropy.
- Women use their time, goods and buying power to participate in a wide range of charitable activities. They are more likely than men to engage in many forms of giving back, including volunteering, making non-financial donations and purchasing products from socially responsible businesses.
For both men and younger women, the pandemic made giving a greater priority.
- Before the pandemic, women were more likely than men to say that giving was a significant part of their lives — but the crisis fueled men’s sense of generosity. In 2021, 81 % of men said that charitable giving is now an important piece of their lives — nearly equal with the 84 % of women who said so.
- In addition, young women were particularly moved by the pandemic. Half of Millennial women (ages 21 – 40) said that the COVID-19 crisis made charitable giving a bigger priority in their lives, compared to 31 % of Gen X women (ages 41-56) and 25 % of Baby Boomer women (ages 57 – 75).
Women lag men in participation in charitable investment strategies and knowledge about tax-savvy approaches to giving.
- Men are more likely than women to engage in charitable activities such as impact investing, supporting a business venture with no expectation of repayment or funding microloans.
- Among women who own stocks or bonds, 48 % are aware that publicly held assets can be used to fund charitable donations, compared to 60 % of men. Similarly, 43 % are aware that privately held assets can be donated, compared to 48 % of men. This research did not address the use of QCD’s (Qualified Charitable Deductions) directly from an IRA account if the owner is age 70 or above. Anecdotally, in our experience, this important strategy is not well known by either gender.
- Only 14 % of women have spoken to a financial advisor about charitable planning strategies, compared to one-in-five men.
Both age and gender are important factors in depicting how donors approach giving. Generational change is quickly shifting the philanthropic landscape — but not necessarily closing the gender gap related to charitable planning strategies.
- Millennials of either gender are more likely than the average donor population to engage in newer forms of giving back, from supporting socially responsible businesses to donating through social media. However, Millennial women still lag their male counterparts in adopting charitable investment strategies, like impact investing or microloans.
- Younger men are much more likely to have discussed philanthropic strategies with an expert. One-in-three Millennial men have had a charitable planning conversation with a financial advisor, compared to 19% of Millennial women.
Women are more focused than men on addressing issues related to immediate human needs.
Women’s heart-focused approach to giving is reflected in their priorities. After 2020 — a year when countless people and communities suffered — women were highly focused on providing basic care. They were more likely to rank hunger, access to basic health services and access to shelter or affordable housing as one of the biggest challenges facing the world. Men were more likely to rank treatments or cures for diseases and economic development as one of the top challenges to solve.