The philanthropic female 'is more cause-driven than the male'

Female philanthropists must be treated in a different way from men if successful relationships are to be built with them, according to the head of a global women's fund

Nicky McIntyre, executive director of Mama Cash
Nicky McIntyre, executive director of Mama Cash

Nicky McIntyre, executive director of Mama Cash, told delegates at the International Fundraising Congress in the Netherlands that there were definite similarities in the motivations of female philanthropists. "Some of my colleagues argue that we should not generalise about women as donors," she said. "But I'm going to stick my neck out and say that there is truth in these generalisations."

According to McIntyre, there are five key areas in which female donors differ from men: women are driven by cause rather than by influence and recognition; they are more relationship-oriented and want to have a personal involvement with organisations; they are more willing to give time and energy to tasks such as visiting grant recipients; they are more likely to support activism and fund causes for which it is difficult to raise money; and they are more likely to give to smaller projects and monitor results by talking to other donors, rather than being results-oriented.

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

More research on the issue was needed, she added.


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