The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation just awarded a $375,000 grant to the Women’s Philanthropy Institute at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy to increase understanding about how and why women give to charity.
Although this amount is small compared to what the Gates Foundation spends on issues like polio and Africa’s food supply, it could prove to be their most impactful gift. Women make the lion’s share of philanthropic spending decisions. In her book, Giving 2.0, Stanford University professor and philanthropist with a mission to make everyone more impactful givers, Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen provides substantial data to prove that women drive most philanthropy. And of course, women just live longer, which means they are more likely to control substantial wealth in their estate planning. The US Social Security Administration calculates that women live on average 2 years, 3 months longer than men. .
Our own Make It Better research proves that 92% of the women in our audience will change their brand loyalty if they think it will make the world a better place. 92%. That’s an extraordinarily number. We think that it proves that philanthropy is somehow innate in female DNA. And how much do you want to bet that Melinda was the first spouse to propose the Foundation to the other?
For the last few years the IU Women’s Philanthropy Institute have published “Women Give” reports that put it in the vanguard of building a body of knowledge on women’s leadership in philanthropy, and how women think about and practice their giving. The Gates Foundation grant will build on that foundation.
Better understand how and why women give, and the world will be changed for the better even faster. Thank you Melinda and Bill Gates.