The Power of Leadership Champions

Women Leadership Champion Philanthropy

The President of a large Midwest state university recently called his Vice President of Advancement. “Tell me more about our focus on women’s philanthropy. It sure has our Board chair excited.” It turns out that the Board chair had cornered the President at a meeting and was sharing his enthusiasm about the potential of engaging […]

How to Stop Frustrating Our Women Donors

Recently the CEO of a national company shared with a colleague that his wife makes the contribution to a local nonprofit, but he keeps getting the thank-you letter. He said, “They keep on doing this and they keep on making her mad.  There’s no doubt this will make us stop giving.” In the same week, […]

The Principles of Successful Women’s Philanthropy

The New York Times has called it: Women are changing the philanthropy game. They have always been givers, but now women’s influence as philanthropists is being given its rightful place in the national discourse. Thanks to extensive research from the Women’s Philanthropy Institute, and the growing volume of examples of impactful women’s philanthropy, fundraisers no […]

What Do Women See When They Look At Your Organization?

What Do Women See

Imagine the following scenario: A woman just heard about your organization for the first time. Perhaps a friend mentioned your work to her, or a piece from your recent marketing campaign made an impression. Your mission intrigues her. She wants to know more and – maybe – get involved. Like most of us these days, […]

AFP Reports on Engaging Women Donors

Andrea Pactor and I contributed to this article in AFP. Read the original here.  To unlock the full potential of women’s philanthropy, fundraisers must understand how gender shapes giving behavior. Women and men give differently, and the Women’s Philanthropy Institute (WPI) has developed research that explores unique questions about the factors that shape gender-based giving patterns – […]

How To Change The Unconscious Stories You Are Telling About Women in Philanthropy

In my last post, we unpacked the story that “women are harder” to fundraise from. Working with women donors can feel hard because our fundraising best practices don’t always work. Why? Because these approaches were created in the male-centric fundraising landscape of the 1950s and 1960s. Women aren’t harder, just different in how they prefer […]

It’s Time to Question Fundraising “Best Practices”

When you started your nonprofit career, you probably heard things like: “If you want a major gift, make sure you mention who else is giving what.” “Competition and recognition work; identify who wants to lead the campaign and give the top gift.” “Access to leadership will incentivize donors.” “This is how you ask for an […]

The “Traditional” Donor Life Cycle May Not Apply to Women

In your work as a fundraiser, you may use the term “donor life cycle.” This model charts the path of a donor through several sequential phases of engagement and giving to causes they care about: first gift, occasional gifts, consistent annual gifts, major or stretch gifts, leadership role and accompanying giving, and finally, a planned […]

We Won’t Raise More Money Unless We Stop Acting Like All Donors Are White Men

Worrisome trends are emerging in U.S. philanthropy. Although overall charitable giving is growing, the share of Americans who give is declining, and the incidence of giving is down in most every age group. This giving gap opened because of complex reasons, but one thing is clear: We are seeing fewer Americans give because we are applying the […]