If you’re looking for evidence that women’s bonds transcend borders, race and ethnicity when it comes to giving, look no further that the report released today by the Women’s Philanthropy Institute (WPI) called Women Give 2019: Gender and Giving Across Communities of Color.
The report, funded by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is the first study to explore the intersection of race, giving and gender. The study shows that generosity is a value shared by all communities, and that women across race and ethnicity are leading through philanthropy.
As communities of color grow in wealth and influence, the study demonstrates the unique perspectives women of color bring to philanthropy and underscores the importance of understanding and engaging donors from diverse backgrounds.
Organizations like the Groundswell Fund, founded in 2015 by Vanessa Daniels, exemplify this perfectly, mobilizing millions primarily by communities of color for communities of color.
Key findings from the report include:
Households across all racial groups give. A substantial portion of all racial groups give to charity, and high net worth households are especially likely to give.
Households across all racial groups give to similar causes, including both religious and secular causes. Religion and basic needs are the top two causes supported across race and income.
A donor’s race does not have a significant effect on the amount given to charity, when taking income and other factors into account. When factors known to affect giving (such as wealth, income, and education) are taken into consideration, and giving is measured as a percentage of income, race does not appear to affect the amounts that households donate. Other demographics, such as income and wealth have a stronger impact on household giving amounts.
Overall gender differences in giving appear consistent across racial groups. For all groups, single women are more likely than single men to give to charity; married and cohabiting couples are more likely than either single men or single women to give to charity.
Formal volunteering shows greater racial and ethnic gaps. Communities of color appear to be less engaged in formal volunteering. Other research has shown that informal volunteering rates (giving time, but not via a formal program or organization) are higher in communities of color.
*Women Give 2019 uses data from both the Philanthropy Panel Study and from the U.S. Trust Study of High Net Worth Philanthropy. Both studies are produced by the school. WPI also conducted case study interviews to supplement findings with real-life experiences of women philanthropists in communities of color. Across the board, the women described how their giving has been shaped by their racial and gender identities — and often by both at the same time.