Report: Women's Philanthropy Outpaces Overall Giving


By Kayla Hutzler
WeNews correspondent

Charitable giving by funds focused on girls and women rose faster between 2004 and 2006 than overall foundation support, finds a study released this week by the Foundation Center and the Women's Funding Network.

(WOMENSENEWS)--Recent charitable giving by funds focused on girls and women rose at a faster rate than that of overall foundations, according to a June 22 report by the Foundation Center and the Women's Funding Network.

The 55 women's funds in the report increased their giving by 24 percent between 2004 and 2006, compared to a nearly 15 percent rise in foundation giving overall in that same time period.

"Accelerating Change for Women and Girls" looks at giving patterns and trends among larger private and community foundations and funds that invest in organizations and programs led by women and focused on social change.

Bradford K. Smith, president of the Foundation Center, based in New York, said the study suggests that women and women's funds will be increasingly involved in reshaping philanthropy. The effect of that, he said, would be to shine a spotlight on issues such as human trafficking and domestic violence, which have long been overlooked by philanthropists.

Private and community foundations across the nation increased their giving to activities targeting women and girls to nearly $2.1 billion from $412.1 million between 1990 and 2006, the study finds. Almost half of that money was spent on supporting health-related activities.

Social Change a Priority

Overall foundation giving, including independent and private foundations, corporate foundations and community foundations, exceeded $40 billion in 2008, according to the Foundation Center.

Ninety eight percent of the women's funds reviewed said that "achieving social change was a high priority for their fund."

The report was based on the Foundation Center's annual grants database.

The database includes all grants of $10,000 or more awarded by over 1,000 large foundations; summary data on 55 women's funds; detailed grants data for 25 of these funds; and a 2008 online survey conducted by the Women's Funding Network, based in San Francisco.

The Foundation Center, founded in 1956 and supported by approximately 600 foundations, connects nonprofits and the grant makers that support them.

The center says it has the most comprehensive database on U.S. grant makers and their grants.

The Women's Funding Network includes more than 145 women's funds. It aims to accelerate women's leadership and invests in solving critical social issues through the combination of financial backing and political influence.

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