Two-thirds Charitable Donations Made By Women – Prospect Your Alumnae

Mackenzie Bezos plans to donate an enormous $18 billion dollars to charity. This comes as the most recent in a series of major donations by women in the US and all over the world. In 2018, women made two-thirds of all charitable donations in the US. 

Yet, when it comes to alumni donations, a significant gender gap exists. 

Some schools have found that male alumni donate a massive 5 times more to their alma mater than women. So, what can you do to overcome this gender gap and engage your female alumni?

The wage gap between men and women is closing. The number of female CEOs in the Fortune 500 list has exploded over the past 20 years. The number of female billionaires rose by 18% in 2017. Wealthy women are an important cohort for your department to target. You must learn how to appeal to these donors, or you could miss out on millions over the next decade. 

Prospecting Influential Alumnae


To maximize the success of your campaigns, start searching for successful female alumni.

Prospecting by location – more and more women are becoming CEOs each year across the globe. This is happening faster in Asia and Australia than in the USA and Europe. In India, 13% of all CEOs are women.

At Macquarie Graduate School of Management’s statistics page, you will find 56 alumni located in India. Almost 200 alumni from Kansas State University work in India. 

Using the data in LiveAlumni, you can hone in on these individuals. Refine by CEO title, and access LinkedIn URLs to identify successful women alumni.

Prospecting by industry13% of CEOs in the healthcare industry are women.

On Western University’s stats page , you will see 8,000 grads working in the hospital industry. This is a great place to search for female CEOs.

Prospecting by philanthropic interests – Men and women tend to support different causes. Women favor women’s rights, human rights and the environment. Build a report to identify CEOs by philanthropic interest. Target your fundraising efforts to causes that these women care about.

Capitalize on Collective Donations

Men and women make philanthropic decisions based on different factors. The Women’s Philanthropy Institute has found that women prefer to give collectively.  Women make decisions to donate based on empathy for others.

Last year, Dartmouth College discovered that male alumni were giving 5 times as much as women. In response, they developed the ‘Centennial Circle’ – female-focused collective giving campaign. The campaign raised over $15 million dollars in less than three months. The gender gap in alumni donations at Dartmouth has since halved.

Oregon State University has also had great success with their Women’s Giving Circle. Since 2003 they’ve raised over $920,000 to fund grants relevant to women. The women are able to take part in decision-making – a factor that seems to be more important to women than men.

So, there you have it. Get to know your stats, understand your female donors, and you too can bridge the gender gap.


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