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What the New WPI Data Says

Women’s Philanthropy Institute has come out with a new report about trends involving women in crowdfunding campaigns.

Acting as a supplement to previous research, the report reveals a number of key findings that fundraisers should keep in mind when faced with women donors. Charitable giving is in high demand, thanks to the impact of Covid-19, and therefore these trends are valuable for all involved in the crowdfunding world.

Gender and Crowdfunding Cover (Image Credit: Women’s Philanthropy Institute)

Although it was found that women and men have given roughly the same amount to crowdfunding fundraisers, women were more likely to donate in a typical year. 34% of women were found to donate in a year, while only around 31% of men donated. Overall, roughly 40% of men and women have donated to a crowdfunding movement at one point in their life. 

What sets men and women donors apart is the demographics that make up that 40% of women, and the unique viewpoints and affects they have towards their charitable donating. 

In comparison to women who do not partake in crowdfunding, the women who do are likely to be younger, higher educated, and living in the western portion of the United States. 

Breaking that down even further, when divided into race, more trends can be revealed. Black women, Latina and Hispanic women, and white women are all roughly equal in the amount they give, but which campaigns they choose to donate to varies in one major way. Black, Latina and Hispanic women are significantly more likely to give to strangers. Only around 44% of white women give to strangers, while Latino/Hispanic women give to strangers 60.5%, and black women give to strangers 80.5%.

Women give more in certain instances, but ask less.

Further, women donors are less likely than male donors to give to for-profit causes. Only 3.3% of women donors gave to a for-profit. This usually comes in the form of them giving to family, friends, or charitable organizations. Roughly 48% of women gave to charitable organizations and around 34% gave to people they knew. 

By extension, women are far less likely than men to give because an influencer or celebrity inspired them to. Instead, women far more frequently cite their motivations as being because they believe it will make a difference, they want it to change issues that affect them, and to give back to their communities. 

Women are also more likely to share the projects they fund through social media, which is a valuable action for amplifying campaigns and garnering more support. That being said, women are less likely to ask others directly about donating. Only 36% of women asked others to donate, while nearly 40% of men did. This discrepancy might partly be explained by the stereotype that women who are direct are bossy and aggressive. 

Apprehensions still arise for women donors.

Despite the above mentioned support women give to crowdfunding, they report mixed feelings about it. They do believe that it can be an easy tool for campaigns to use to get funding and that it helps to highlight certain projects and organizations. Women also express worry about the transparency of these campaigns and the level of accountability taken by those hosting them. 

Almost 95% of women donors reported that they would either increase or just continue their financial support of crowdfunding campaigns. The future is bright for women in crowdfunding, but more work can be done in the field to enable women donors.

In order to ensure that women do continue to participate in these efforts, crowdfunding platforms and campaign hosts should utilize this new report to address the issues and concerns of these women. Crowdfunders benefit strongly from the input of women supporters, and therefore should optimize their services for women donors in return. 


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Author: Kimberly Pike

Kimberly Pike is a writer, artist and self proclaimed cat lady living in Rhode Island. She is passionately writing about women’s issues and helping to teach others about it.
View all posts by Kimberly Pike

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Candid launches ‘U.S. social sector’ dashboard | Philanthropy news

Candid has launched a U.S. Social Sector Dashboard, a free resource designed to “demystify” the sector by providing data on its scope, constraints, and potential.

Developed with funding from Amazon Web Services and Vanguard Charitable, the dashboard offers key data and insights about the makeup and impact of civil society, including previously unreleased statistics on the racial composition of leaders and funding flows to charities. According to the dashboard, the social sector, which employs 12.5 million people, comprises more than 1.81 million nonprofit organizations: 501(c)(3) charitable organizations (80 percent), which include public charities (73 percent) and private or community foundations (7 percent); 501(c)(4) advocacy and social welfare groups (4 percent); 501(c)(6) business associations (4 percent); 501(c)(7) social and recreation clubs (3 percent); labor unions and other 501(c)(5) groups (3 percent); and fraternal societies categorized as 501(c)(8) and 501(c)(10) organizations (2 percent).

According to the dashboard, religious organizations currently make up 18 percent of public charities, followed by those focused on human services (17 percent), community and economic development (15 percent), education (14 percent), sports and recreation (8 percent), arts and culture (7 percent), philanthropy and nonprofit management (7 percent), health (7 percent), and the environment and animal welfare (4 percent). In terms of funding flow, in 2018 public charities received $292 billion in contributions from individuals, $76 billion from foundations, $40 billion from bequests, and $20 billion from corporations; $174 billion in government support; and $1.6 trillion in earned income.

And among reporting nonprofits, 60 percent of CEOs identified as white, 10 percent as Black, 5 percent as Latinx, 3 percent as Asian/AAPI, 1 percent as Native American/Indigenous, 3 percent as multiracial/multiethnic, and 1 percent as additional ethnicities, while 17 percent did not disclose. Among board members, 66 percent were white, 15 percent Black, 7 percent Latinx, 5 percent Asian/AAPI, 1 percent Native American/Indigenous, 2 percent multiracial/multiethnic, and 0.4 percent additional ethnicities, while 4 percent did not disclose.

“Candid exists to get people the information they need about the social sector to do good. Many of our tools focus on one organization, one grant, or one issue at a time; that kind of focus can be critical for decision makers,” said Candid executive vice president Jacob Harold. “This new dashboard builds on that focus by offering a fuller picture of the social sector as a whole. We hope that this tool will help people build a better understanding of the nonprofit and philanthropic ecosystem and its central role in our society.”

(Photo credit: GettyImages/Prostock Studio)

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UW–Madison receives $20 million for Letters & Science building | Philanthropy news

The University of Wisconsin–Madison has announced a $20 million lead gift from brothers and alumni Jeff Levy (’72) and Marv Levy (’68, JD ’71) in support of a new academic building in the College of Letters & Science.

Construction on Irving and Dorothy Levy Hall, named for the parents of Jeff and Marv, is expected to begin in 2023 and be completed in 2025. Once complete, the building will establish a unified home for the Department of History and nine other L&S academic departments, programs, and centers that currently are spread across eight facilities on campus. The five-story building will feature nineteen classrooms as well as a space where students can gather and interact informally with each other and their instructors to maximize collaboration.

The Levy brothers own and operate Phillips Distributing Corporation in Madison. Their commitment was contingent upon the Wisconsin state legislature and governor including the project in the 2021-23 state budget with $60 million in state support, which occurred earlier this year.

“We envision this vital new facility as a highly collaborative and state-of-the-art learning environment for all,” said College of Letters & Science dean Eric Wilcots. “We are immensely grateful to the Levy family for their support of this vision. Our students deserve classroom space that enhances interactive learning and engagement through cutting-edge technology. They also deserve a building that inspires, rather than intimidates. The Levy family’s gift will reverberate through future generations, touching many lives.”

“We are proud to help make this building a reality. We hope it will be a central educational location for the undergraduate experience at UW-Madison,” said Marv Levy. “Our hope is that by honoring our family legacy of charitable giving with this gift, we can offer to future generations some of the opportunity that the UW has provided us.”

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U.S. nonprofit sector uneven in impact and recovery, report finds | Philanthropy news

While nonprofits have contributed significantly to U.S. society and economy in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, the health of the sector is uneven in both impact and recovery, a new report from Independent Sector finds.

Based on aggregated survey and research data from multiple sources in four categories — financial resources, human capital, governance and trust, and public policy and advocacy — the second edition of the Health of the U.S. Nonprofit Sector (43 pages, PDF) found that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic varied by subsector and organization size, with arts organizations and those that rely on fees for service hit especially hard. Yet, even as 40 percent of nonprofits saw declines in total revenue and all subsectors except social services saw drops in gross output, the sector contributed 5.9 percent of GDP in 2020 — up 0.4 percentage points from 2019. And while 57 percent of nonprofits cut overall expenses, 64 percent suspended services, 44 percent reduced the number of programs or services, and 47 percent reported serving fewer people in 2020, Independent Sector’s Trust in Civil Society survey found that, as of early 2021, 57 percent of surveyed Americans had received nonprofit services and 84 percent expressed confidence in the ability of nonprofits to strengthen American society, up 3 percentage points from 2020.

According to the report, the sector’s advocacy efforts in 2020 helped secure notable federal resources that served as financial lifelines to nonprofits, particularly through the Paycheck Protection Program, payroll tax credits, and temporary universal charitable deduction. In addition, a study by Nonprofit VOTE found that voter engagement efforts helped reach underrepresented communities and narrow participation gaps.

The report outlines recommendations in each category to strengthen the sector, including prioritizing flexible funding, developing a shared understanding of equitable financing, promoting evidence-based practices to close workforce diversity and equity gaps, building capacity of virtual volunteering, improving the quality and depth of metrics for equity and “healthy” governance, improving digital access and literacy, and establishing public policy advocacy as a core competency of nonprofit management and governance.

“We have much to do to build the nation we, as changemakers, dream of becoming,” wrote Independent Sector president and CEO Dan Cardinali in the report’s foreword. “What can galvanize us to greater positive action? It’s that the everlasting human qualities of resilience, kindness, and collaborating for collective progress do not fade easily. They are within our grasp every day, giving all of us hope and confidence. The health of our nation is the sum of the richness and diversity of our members and sectors working together, elevating dignity, honoring our differences, and building for the common good.”

(Photo credit: Los Angeles Regional Food Bank)

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