Women in Crowdfunding: What the New WPI Data Says

Women’s Philanthropy Institute has come out with a new report about trends involving women in crowdfunding campaigns.

Acting as a supplement to previous research, the report reveals a number of key findings that fundraisers should keep in mind when faced with women donors. Charitable giving is in high demand, thanks to the impact of Covid-19, and therefore these trends are valuable for all involved in the crowdfunding world.

Gender and Crowdfunding Cover (Image Credit: Women’s Philanthropy Institute)

Although it was found that women and men have given roughly the same amount to crowdfunding fundraisers, women were more likely to donate in a typical year. 34% of women were found to donate in a year, while only around 31% of men donated. Overall, roughly 40% of men and women have donated to a crowdfunding movement at one point in their life. 

What sets men and women donors apart is the demographics that make up that 40% of women, and the unique viewpoints and affects they have towards their charitable donating. 

In comparison to women who do not partake in crowdfunding, the women who do are likely to be younger, higher educated, and living in the western portion of the United States. 

Breaking that down even further, when divided into race, more trends can be revealed. Black women, Latina and Hispanic women, and white women are all roughly equal in the amount they give, but which campaigns they choose to donate to varies in one major way. Black, Latina and Hispanic women are significantly more likely to give to strangers. Only around 44% of white women give to strangers, while Latino/Hispanic women give to strangers 60.5%, and black women give to strangers 80.5%.

Women give more in certain instances, but ask less.

Further, women donors are less likely than male donors to give to for-profit causes. Only 3.3% of women donors gave to a for-profit. This usually comes in the form of them giving to family, friends, or charitable organizations. Roughly 48% of women gave to charitable organizations and around 34% gave to people they knew. 

By extension, women are far less likely than men to give because an influencer or celebrity inspired them to. Instead, women far more frequently cite their motivations as being because they believe it will make a difference, they want it to change issues that affect them, and to give back to their communities. 

Women are also more likely to share the projects they fund through social media, which is a valuable action for amplifying campaigns and garnering more support. That being said, women are less likely to ask others directly about donating. Only 36% of women asked others to donate, while nearly 40% of men did. This discrepancy might partly be explained by the stereotype that women who are direct are bossy and aggressive. 

Apprehensions still arise for women donors.

Despite the above mentioned support women give to crowdfunding, they report mixed feelings about it. They do believe that it can be an easy tool for campaigns to use to get funding and that it helps to highlight certain projects and organizations. Women also express worry about the transparency of these campaigns and the level of accountability taken by those hosting them. 

Almost 95% of women donors reported that they would either increase or just continue their financial support of crowdfunding campaigns. The future is bright for women in crowdfunding, but more work can be done in the field to enable women donors.

In order to ensure that women do continue to participate in these efforts, crowdfunding platforms and campaign hosts should utilize this new report to address the issues and concerns of these women. Crowdfunders benefit strongly from the input of women supporters, and therefore should optimize their services for women donors in return. 


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Author: Kimberly Pike

Kimberly Pike is a writer, artist and self proclaimed cat lady living in Rhode Island. She is passionately writing about women's issues and helping to teach others about it.

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