Are Women More Philanthropic Than Men?

As women, we probably feel that we’re loving, giving, nurturing creatures to whom philanthropy comes naturally. Well, researchers at Indiana University have proven us right! The Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University recently released a study proving that women tend to give much more to charity than men.

Debra Mesch, the director of the Women’s Philanthropy Institute at the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, and her researchers studied how 8000 American single households donated money. These households were headed by just single men and single women (including those who have never been married, are divorced, or are widowed). They found that women across almost all income brackets tend to donate more money than men, except for one. Women making between $23,509 and $43,500 per year don’t donate as much as men do to charity or nonprofit organizations.


Nonprofit organizations have surmised that their donations come from women more often than from men. It was discovered prior to this study that more women in married households encourage their husbands to donate to charity and make those kind of decisions. Now it has been proven that single women, as well, are more generous than men in that respect.

The question remains, why do women give more money to charity than men? The researchers did not search for reasons behind this phenomenon, but hypothesized a few options. First, more women are working now than ever before. Secondly, women’s incomes have risen to equal or even surpass men’s incomes, as more women possess college degrees. Third, about 26% of married American working women earn more than their husbands who work. Put all of these reasons together and a picture of a more generous gender begins to form.

Other reasons that emerge are that more women tend to organize charity events than men; hence, they would naturally be more likely to donate to them. Women also tend to seek out opinions more often on financial decisions, including giving. Men, on the other hand, typically like to fly solo when it comes to questions about giving out their bucks. Women, being more communicative, discuss the options with others and come to a conclusion that to give is better than to receive. Men, however, tend to think for themselves and make quick decisions regarding financial matters (especially their own).

What do you think? Do women really tend to give more money to the needy than men? If so, why? If not, why not?