Post by Jane K. Stimmler, contributing Women on Business writer
The holiday season is a time of giving to friends and family. And, with the year’s end in sight, it’s also the time for getting a tax deduction for charitable giving. With more and more women in the workforce and therefore, presumably, in control of a significant amount of money, I got to wondering how women are doing in the area of philanthropy. After all, women have traditionally been seen as the mainstay volunteer core for many charities, so it makes sense that while many may not have the free time to give to causes, perhaps they are making up for it with funding.
Findings in a global Barclay’s Wealth study last year revealed that “women are playing an increasingly important role in driving the charitable agenda and that women are more generous than men, giving away a higher percentage of their net investable assets than their male counterparts. This trend was accentuated in the US where women give almost twice as much in percentage of their investable assets.” This study is an indicator that American women are beginning to have a major influence in the area of philanthropy.
What’s even more interesting is what women will do with this potential. Women who choose to can support causes that will improve women’s lives, give women more prospects for advancement, and ensure women have opportunities they deserve. Collectively, our giving has enormous power. By being careful about causes we support, women can also, in effect, make their opinions known about what matters. Huffington Post writer Tabby Biddle said, “As women are increasingly putting their wealth to work for the common good, they are fueling positive change…While the relationship between women and philanthropy has always been a strong one in terms of time, care, and passion, it is now moving to the next level – financial clout.” She goes on to mention the Women’s Funding Network, Global Fund for Women, and Women’s Philanthropy Institute.
I believe that by giving thoughtfully and selectively, women can make a big difference in many aspects of life. By deciding what causes are important, doing some homework about the options, and gifting where our priorities lie, women can ultimately make fundamental change in society. Because as is the case so often – it’s all about the power of the bottom line.
What do you think? Please share – and have a great holiday season!