How many organizations are dedicated to women and girls and how much charitable giving do they receive?
The Women’s Philanthropy Institute (WPI) at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy has released a new report titled the Women & Girls Index (WGI): Measuring Charitable Giving to Women’s and Girls’ Causes that compiles information on the number of organizations that devote most, if not all, of their resources to women and girls. The report also describes key characteristics of these organizations, including the amount of philanthropic support they receive.
How much money is donated to organizations dedicated to women and girls?
“We found that in 2016, the most recent year for which data is available, donations to these organizations were around $6.3 billion, or about 1.6 percent of the funding received by the nonprofit sector overall,” statistician Jon Bergdoll said.
“We also discovered that approximately 45,000 of these types of organizations exist, which is about 3.3 percent of the total number. Since this number is larger than the funding received, it shows that these organizations are often smaller in terms of private philanthropic income than the average nonprofit.
Further analysis revealed that a high concentration of smaller and older organizations exist within the WGI.
“Many women’s auxiliary groups or women’s support leagues are around 30 to 40 years old, but are consistently very small. It seems that these organizations are leaner and possibly more reliant on volunteer support compared to staff work,” Bergdoll said.
What was the inspiration for a report like this?
“We wanted to see if we could look at organizations through a gender lens. To do this, we came up with a list of words and phrases related to the names of these organizations, but thought there was a better way to develop a more comprehensive list.”
The researchers worked to generate more than 100 different words and phrases to run against organizations’ names and mission statements on IRS Form 990s, and other forms nonprofits file. The researchers then worked to refine these words and phrases before running them against a list of all charitable organizations.
Digging into the details, Bergdoll shared how the resulting organizations were classified in the report:
“At first, we used the National Taxonomy of Exempt Entities (NTEE) codes to categorize nonprofits into a mutually exclusive list of nonprofit subsectors. In the report, we include these subsectors (e.g., human services, health, education, international, etc.) in the back, listing the 10 organizations in each subsector with the most contributions received.”
For example, the Vitamin Angel Alliance tops the list for human services, while women’s colleges fill most spots in education. A women’s auxiliary league leads the arts subsector, while Planned Parenthood tops the health subsector.
The organizations were also grouped into 16 categories based on mission. There is overlap between the categories (with some exceptions, organizations could fall under more than one category), but Bergdoll pointed out that the categories show the wide variety of organizations dedicated to women and girls.
Not only does the index establish the landscape of women-serving organizations, it also provides a way for researchers to look at organizations through a gender lens.
“We’re opening up the index to be used by anyone. It provides a list of names and Employer Identification Numbers (EINs) that people can use and apply to any set of nonprofit organization data. The WGI allows them to view their research through a gender lens,” Bergdoll explained.
“We created a case study, using the donor-advised fund (DAF) report , which had grant data for about 50 percent of all granting by donor advised funds from 2012 to 2015. Using this index, we looked at which of those grants went to women’s and girls’ organizations.
“The findings showed that WGI organizations comprised about 3.1 percent of total grants from DAFs, which is almost double the level of support from the broader philanthropic world. Donations to WGI organizations from DAF donors also climbed over the four-year period that we studied.
“These are interesting findings on their own, but they also show how people or organizations can use this research to view their grantmaking and donations through a gender lens.”
Interested in seeing the 10 organizations in each category with the most donations? Check out the full report.