The Women’s Philanthropy Institute’s (WPI) new podcast series, “Philanthropy Plugged In,” invites scholars and practitioners together to discuss the intersection of gender, giving, and technology.
One of the episodes focuses on giving in the digital age, and featured Una Osili, associate dean for research and international programs at the IU Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, interviewing Scott Jackson, president and CEO of Global Impact.
Global Impact was founded to support workplace giving with small donors. It supports charitable ventures by conducting advisory work to support campaigns and fundraising initiatives, acting as a support team for those fundraising programs, and providing tools to everyday donors.
Jackson and Global Impact have sought to expand philanthropy by using Growfund, a giving tool that acts as a personal foundation to donors and allows them to be strategic when investing their dollars in philanthropy and the community.
To relate the work of Growfund to WPI and its new study Women Give 2020 – New Forms of Giving in a Digital Age: Powered by Technology, Creating Community, Jackson pointed out that women are giving on a more regular basis to philanthropy, which is why Growfund is targeted more toward women donors and their busy lives.
“Women see philanthropy as part of their everyday lives,” Jackson said. “Women also are quickly becoming a dominant donor in terms of the size of their gifts and the size of their grants they’re making.
“While men still currently edge women on the size of donations, women are more likely to give more frequently. In the future, I believe that women will lead men in their giving while also growing their own philanthropy.”
Jackson also imagines that technology will provide crucial access to expanding philanthropy.
“We’ve seen tremendous growth in online giving as a whole, and so technology is playing a role in providing access to philanthropy,” he said. “In addition, we’re seeing that donors are willing to give more and more of their philanthropy online and trust online programs as effective and safe tools for giving.
“We’re also seeing an increase in building community. With COVID-19, we’re finding new ways to create community with one another online. As we build community, women donors will lead the way in giving circles, collaboratives, and other forms that will not only bring giving to life, but will also have the ability to focus on causes and the ability to create social impact within a community.”
Jackson noted that Growfund supports over 250 giving circles on its platform. He thinks that it allows individuals to join together with others to leverage similar interests and funding in order to give larger gifts together, thus making even more of an impact.
In the future, he says that technology can act as a tool for individuals to give together and to be strategic about philanthropy: “We’ll be able to see the social impact that we can have by coming together in giving communities.”
According to Jackson, technology can also serve as a way to democratize philanthropy.
“The research from the Women Give 2020 report helps show us that women give to smaller nonprofits and community organizations, and also give to equity and inclusion-focused groups,” he said. “Using technology to create community allows people to find each other, build community, and share in philanthropy together. I hope that as a result, we’ll see greater impact on the core elements of gender and equity in society.”
Listen to the full podcast, or learn more about gender, giving, and technology in WPI’s newest report