Female donors need different treatment, congress hears

Fundraisers should treat female philanthropists differently from men to build successful relationships with female donors, according to the executive director of a global women's fund.

Nicky McIntyre from Mama Cash told delegates at the International Fundraising Congress in the Netherlands that there were definite trends among female philanthropists in terms of what motivated them to give.

"Some of my colleagues argue that we should not generalise about women as donors," she said. "However, I'm going to stick my neck out and say that I think there is truth in these generalisations."

According to McIntyre, female donors differ from men in five key areas:

  • They are driven by cause rather than influence and recognition.
  • They are relationship-oriented and want more personal involvement with organisations.
  • They are more willing to give time and energy, such as visiting grantees.
  • They are more likely to support activism and fund causes that are harder to fundraise for.
  • They are more likely to give to smaller projects and monitor results in a variety of ways, such as personal engagement and talking to other donors rather than being results-oriented.

"Cultivating female donors is about maintaining frequent contact, providing opportunities for involvement and building personal connections," she said.

More research on the subject was needed, she added.


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