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September 13, 2021

Women much more generous than men: report

Women give more to charity than men and are more likely to give, when education, income and other factors affecting giving are equal, according to a new study from the Women’s Philanthropy Institute at  Indiana University.

At every giving level, women were more likely to make donations and be more generous than men. The biggest difference was found among those who gave the most.

Both boomer and older women give 89% more to charity than their male counterparts. And, among those who are in the top 25% in income, the gap is even larger with these cohorts giving 156% more than similarly situated men.

There's one catch, however. The study concentrated on the giving habits of single heads of households; in other words, those who were separated, divorced, widowed or had never married. It didn't look at married couples because they often pool their incomes and make charitable decisions in tandem.

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But that doesn't women in permanent relationships don't regularly take the lead when it comes to philanthropy, the Institute suggests.

"Our previous research has found that women tend to be more altruistic than men and that their giving frequently is motivated by the desire to make a difference in peoples’ lives," says Debra J. Mesch, the  Institute's director.

That's largely because "women’s strong networks may keep them more connected to both the needs of others and to opportunities to give," she adds.

In previous institute studies, women score much higher on traits such as empathy and caring, which affect giving to charity.

Are women more likely to give to charity than men? Does having a partner make any differrence in how much or how often you give?

By Gordon Powers, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...