Study: Millennial women are changing the giving landscape

Written on May 17, 2017

Millennial women are listening to their hearts and their social networks as they embrace new ways of giving, but Boomer women are more strategic and satisfied, according to a new study by Fidelity Charitable. The Women and Giving study, examines attitudes, strategies and priorities around giving across generations and gender.

Different generations of women give in different ways. Millennial women are modernizing giving, updating the approach of their Baby Boomer predecessors.

This social generation is more likely to talk about their giving and encourage others to support the causes they care about. In addition, Millennial women support a wider range of causes than Baby Boomers and are more likely than Boomers to use new forms of giving, such as crowdfunding and giving circles. Seventy-five percent of Millennial women said they are more likely to lead with their hearts than their heads when it comes to their giving, compared to 62% of Baby Boomer women.

Baby Boomer women, in contrast, are more strategic in their philanthropy, give to fewer causes—and report higher satisfaction. Fifty-five percent of Millennial women say they are satisfied and happy with their giving compared to 72% of Baby Boomer women. These differences suggest that a more focused approach to philanthropy could lead to a higher level of satisfaction among women donors over time.

Key findings on the generational differences among women:

  • 75% of Millennial women said they follow their hearts when giving.
  • 55% of Millennial women support a wide variety of causes, compared to 33% of Boomer women.
  • 51% of Millennial women encourage others to donate to the same causes, compared to 30% of Boomer women.
  • 72% of Boomer women say they are satisfied with their giving, compared to 55% of Millennial women.
  • 63% of Millennial women report being torn between a desire to make a charitable donation and the need to hold on to money for personal needs, compared to 41% of Boomer women.

Men and women also give differently. Women are more spontaneous and empathetic, and are likely to give to more sectors than men. For instance, 64% of women say they are motivated by their heart (vs. head) when it comes to giving decisions, compared to 53% of men. Women, who prefer to use experts to inform their decision-making, are more confident than men when it comes to which charities to support. However, men are more confident than women when it comes to decisions about more of the financial aspects of giving, such as which tax strategies to use.

Key findings on the differences between men and women:

  • 64% of women are motivated by their heart (vs. head) when it comes to giving decisions, compared to 53% of men.
  • 51% of women are often motivated to give in the moment (vs. being strategic), compared to 40% of men.
  • 73% of women are confident about which charities to support, while only 40% are confident about which tax strategies or methods to use for giving.
  • 62% of men are confident about which charities to support, while 52% are confident about which tax strategies or methods to use for giving.
“Our study shows that a commitment to giving back is a thread that runs through women’s lives. Giving is a tremendous source of fulfillment as you discover how to best put your time, talent and treasure to work to make a difference,” said Pamela Norley, president of Fidelity Charitable. “It’s also a reminder of how much we can learn from each other that can help us grow our impact.”

Leave a comment

Upcoming Events