ABOUT THE GUIDE
By 2030, women are expected to control two-thirds of the nation’s wealth1, and philanthropy is, by far, the most common interest among ultra-wealthy females, well ahead of sports, art, education and the outdoors2. Furthermore, our proprietary client research shows that nearly 20,000 women gave over $600 million in 2022, a 25% increase in dollars granted year over year and inspiring evidence of how women are effecting change. In this guide we’ve compiled trends, strategies and stories from influential female givers that shine a light on their unique and valuable perspectives in the philanthropic space.
No, it’s not your imagination—women are becoming a bigger force in the world of philanthropy than ever before. Names like MacKenzie Scott, Melinda Gates, and Priscilla Chan are just as prominent today in philanthropy as Mike Bloomberg, Warren Buffett, and Eli Broad were a few years before.
They’re hardly the only ones. Women from all walks of life are finding their voices and getting involved at all levels of philanthropy. That might mean contributing a few hundred dollars to nonprofits doing work they care about, volunteering in their communities, joining giving circles to maximize their impact, or establishing family foundations to extend philanthropy to the next generation.
At Foundation Source, we have observed the rise of women’s giving power. Since 2019, we have seen a 32% increase in women taking on leadership roles within private foundations, as well as a 76% increase in dollars granted by women.
Women are natural leaders in philanthropy and strive to do more. According to research from Fidelity Charitable, 86% of women wish they could be doing more to make a difference Among ultra-high-net-worth women, one in six say that philanthropy is their top priority. Women’s influence will continue to grow as their wealth swells.
Today, women control roughly $10 trillion in assets in the United States. And because of their longer life expectancies, women stand to inherit the bulk of the $84 trillion transfer of wealth in the next 22 years. By the end of the decade, consulting firm McKinsey & Co. estimates that women will control some $35 trillion in U.S. wealth.
As women gain financial power, they’re reshaping the philanthropic landscape, amplifying the issues they care about and bringing diversity and inclusion to philanthropic decision-making. It’s an exciting time to get involved. The key is doing it strategically, learning how to have the greatest impact, and then seeking out experts and mentors to help you get there.
This guide is your co-pilot as you navigate your philanthropic vision. We’ll outline best practices, help you evaluate different giving vehicles, and think about your legacy. Throughout, we’ll share stories of women donors making a difference to inspire you to take your giving to the next level.
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