INDIANAPOLIS — Donors, nonprofit organizations and scholars will benefit from increased understanding of women’s philanthropy as a result of a $375,000 research grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to the Women’s Philanthropy Institute at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, school officials announced today.
“Women play a crucial role in philanthropy through leadership and funding, and are often at the forefront of addressing the world’s most pressing issues. Although scholarship in this field is growing, there is still much to be learned,” said Amir Pasic, dean of the school, which is located on the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis campus. “We thank the Gates Foundation for this expression of confidence in our research and for its commitment to expanding knowledge about how and why women give.”
The Women’s Philanthropy Institute is in the vanguard of building the body of knowledge on women’s leadership in philanthropy, and how women think about and practice their giving. Its “Women Give” research series and its other studies have revealed important new insights into women’s giving. The new grant will build on that foundation to inform the field and benefit the philanthropic sector.
“Solving societal problems, whether they are specifically problems affecting women and girls or those that affect everyone, requires greater understanding of how women think about and practice philanthropy, and how their preferences, priorities and approaches differ from those of men,” said Debra Mesch, director of the Women’s Philanthropy Institute. “This research will enable us to uncover new answers to key questions, and will help donors, nonprofit professionals, scholars, policy makers and the public better understand what we know and what we need to know,”
The Women’s Philanthropy Institute will explore questions such as whether certain issues resonate more with women donors than with their male counterparts, and whether and how women give differently, including how factors such as age, income and generation may affect those differences.
“Existing research indicates that women give differently than men, but much more research is needed to understand the implications of those differences for donors and the nonprofit organizations they support,” Mesch said. “We anticipate that this research will inform and assist donors, highlight the influence and capacity of women in philanthropy, and inspire greater and more informed giving by both women and men.”