Does Gender or Generation Matter More?

As we are out sharing and discussing the results of research into “The Next Generation of American Giving,” we’ve been asked why we did not include any breakdowns by gender?  The answer is best summed up in an excerpt from one of the research analyst emails about gender differences: “There are not a lot of big gender differences, and where there are even small ones, nothing is popping out as particularly interesting or altruistic.”

That in its-self might be interesting to some people, but not much help for the fundraising professional. The one thing we did see, and it is not pronounced, is there are some differences around the importance of relationships/influence of peers. One could say it is “classic gender psychology” – women are relationship driven.

Some of the data that supports that analysis includes:

• Women, by  5% more than men (18% to 13%), feel that they can make the most difference “by spreading the word and telling others about the charity/group.”
• By 26% to 19% women were more likely to think it was “very appropriate” to “message people through social media to ask for a donation” than male counterparts.
• More than half the women (55%) thought it was very appropriate for a friend to ask for money on behalf of a charity, vs  48% of males.
• 58% of women thought it was very appropriate for a close friend or family member to ask, compared to 48% of men.

Given that organizations are focused on more relationships and more channels that ever before, at least there does not need to be concern about gender differences at this point in time. As my 21-year old daughter often reminds me, “that’s today, I might change my mind tomorrow.”