Women’s History Month celebrates the vital role women play in history and in our society today. It also presents an ideal opportunity to assess how your nonprofit is engaging women in your philanthropy programs. According to a recent article in MarketWatch, some 93% of high-net-worth women give to charity, compared to 87% of high-net-worth men. Women are also more likely to volunteer their time: 56% did so, compared to 41% of men.

An effective tool in cultivating and engaging women donors is to create a Women’s Giving Society for annual giving donors at a certain level.

 Why is this effective for your organization?

  • This is an excellent way to strengthen your pipeline for:
  1. Board members
  2. Major Gifts prospects
  3. Planned Giving prospects
  • Affinity giving groups are effective, in general, by strengthening the relationship that nonprofits have with their donors, making giving less transactional.
  • Giving groups lead to a higher level of engagement and loyalty which often translates to a higher level of giving. 

Why do women find value in these giving groups?

  • Women are more likely to seek out collaboration and like-mindedness when supporting the mission of a nonprofit. Melinda Gates pointed out during her remarks at a recent Women’s Philanthropy Institute Symposium, “This is our strength as women – we cooperate, we collaborate, and we innovate to amplify our voices and accelerate change.”
  • Affinity groups are an excellent way for women to network with like-minded individuals who are committed to similar values or goals.
  • Giving groups offer a social outlet for many women, even virtually, at the moment.

 Examples of Events and Benefits of a Women’s Giving Society:

  • Offer regular networking events (in person or, currently, offered virtually) or annual or semi-annual events. This could a luncheon, breakfast or perhaps a happy hour event. The idea is to provide a mechanism for members to spend time with each other
  • Attract other women leaders to be featured speakers at your event(s). This can provide additional value to being a part of the Society.
  • Regularly communicate with members through newsletters, emails or letters.
  • Create a Woman of the Year recognition, an individual that the Society honors each year.
  • If the Women’s Giving Society raises additional money for a particular cause (not all do this, but if you might structure yours in this way), be sure to share the outcome of that giving with members through photos and impact stories.