International Women’s Day: Support for women and girls increasing on the Charitable Impact platform 

Research | March 5, 2020
International Women's Day

We looked into how often donors support causes related to women and girls on the Charitable Impact platform. Since our launch, donors have given close to $1 million to women and girls, and support has increased significantly over the past five years. However, giving to this cause is still a small percentage of overall giving. 

International Women’s Day on March 8th is a time for us each to take stock of how to better cultivate equality. Just as we all have something to give, we can all do something to advance gender equality — an integral ingredient for success to thrive, from corporations to national economies. That is exactly the theme of this year’s official IWD campaign, #EachforEqual.  

This concept inspired us to look at our own data to gauge how often and how much Charitable Impact donors have given to causes supporting women and girls.

Here’s what we found:

  • 2,225 registered Canadian charities related to the category of women and girls, according to our own algorithm.* 
  • Through the Charitable Impact platform, women-based charities have received nearly $1 million in donations (a total of approximately $980,000 according to our last count). 
  • And, support for women and girls has grown significantly over time. Between 2015 and 2019, total donations going to women-based causes on our platform increased more than threefold. 

*We categorize charities with the tag “women” when their description of program activities or their name includes mention of women, girls, and related words (according to their registration with the Canada Revenue Agency). However, we only include in this category organizations primarily focused on women or primarily run by women

Movement of support for women and girls

For due diligence, we also looked at another metric: donations to women-based causes through Charitable Impact, compared with the total growth in donations on the platform. From that perspective, we also saw a consistent and steady increase. 

Notably, the year 2017 saw donations to women-based causes increase at more than 1.5 times the rate of total growth in donations. While there are no conclusions drawn from this jump, it does correlate with the start of the #metoo movement (which began to gain traction in social media in October of 2017). 

For an outside perspective on these trends, we spoke with Kristen Corning Bedford, a philanthropic strategist and author of the book, A Generous Heart: Changing the World Through Feminist Philanthropy: “By investing in women and girls with your philanthropy, you support the people most impacted by inequity…and you lay the groundwork for truly restorative, actionable change.”

Corning Bedford mentioned that investing in girls provides a sizable impact. By investing in girls, you can transform the communities of the future. 

Giving remains relatively low 

This boost in giving could indicate a growing awareness of the needs of women and girls. However, relatively speaking, the percentage of donations going to organizations supporting women and girls hovers quite low (less than half a per cent of total giving on our platform). 

This finding was surprising considering that charities categorized as supporting women and girls spanned across all causes. Most charities were found within four main causes: outreach (28.3%), education (16.2%), religion (14.1%), and youth (11.8%). 

Interestingly, a study out of the United States (from Indiana University’s Lilly Family School of Philanthropy) also found that charities supporting women and girls were receiving a small minority of total charitable giving. However, the amount was doubled among donor-advised funds.

Charitable Impact operates as a donor-advised fund. In short, this means you can manage all of your charitable giving from a single account, which we call the Impact Account. The funds added to your Impact Account stay in your account until you decide where you would like to give. 

Taking efforts to address equality

International Women’s Day is an important moment for each one of us to take stock of where gaps may exist in equality, at home, at school, in the workplace, in sports, in media, and beyond (space is, after all, the final frontier for gender equality). 

As the website for IWD states, “We can actively choose to challenge stereotypes, fight bias, broaden perceptions, improve situations, and celebrate women’s achievements.”

How can you support equality?  

Would you like to do more to support the concept of #EachforEqual? What efforts can you make to address gaps in gender equality and to reduce gender discrimination? Have you considered supporting charities for advancing gender equality? 

Tell us your thoughts at @wearecharitable. Use the hashtags #IWD2020 and #EachforEqual to join the conversation on International Women’s Day. 

If you feel inspired to create an impact, then Charitable Impact is here for you. With our free Impact Account, you can support all of your favourite causes from one place. Add funds to your account at any time, take the time and space to plan your impact, and then send gifts from your account to the causes you care about. Sign up for a free account today to get started!

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