The Fidelity® Charitable Gift Fund recently announced the results of a new study of charitable givers in America showing that women are playing a prominent role in their households and communities when it comes to philanthropy. Almost half of women surveyed say they have the decision-making role in their households for both how much money to donate to charity and which charities to support. The study also classified four profiles of givers in America today that illustrate distinctly different approaches to philanthropy.  The Fidelity® Charitable Gift Fund study — which looked at the giving behaviors and attitudes of more than 1,000 adults who donated at least $1,000 in 2007 and a subset that gave over $5,000 that year — reveals key insights about high-income women and their giving tendencies. As a group, high-income women (those with annual household incomes of at least $150,000) are more likely than other donors to give publicly, rather than anonymously, the study found. They are more likely to use giving vehicles such as donor-advised funds, charitable-remainder trusts and private foundations; they are most likely to use securities for donations; and they also are most likely to want guidance from a financial advisor regarding charitable giving, the study found.


“Our research indicates that, in many ways, women are shaping the future of philanthropy,” said Sarah C. Libbey, president of the Fidelity® Charitable Gift Fund (“Gift Fund”). “Women have always had a hand in their household’s charitable outreach. But that role is evolving as women increasingly create their own wealth and become the beneficiaries of wealth transfers because they live longer. As a result, women are stepping up to take on more philanthropic leadership roles.”  Adds Libbey, “Women are using a broad circle of influencers in their charitable giving and they are passionate about instilling the value of philanthropy in the next generation. We, and other nonprofit organizations, should pay attention to this very influential group of donors.”  Other key findings:

  • Most men say wives are primary influence for charitable giving 
  • High-income women are innovative in giving approach
  • Creating family charitable legacy bigger priority for women