Academy of Philanthropy workshop on “Women in Philanthropy: Why Women” in Septemmber 2013. Professor Jenny Harrow presented an overview of the landscapes of women-led philanthropy, contrasting the theme of women’s empathy and understanding (“getting the philanthropy idea more quickly and with more effect”) with the theme of women’s power and the case for “here come the girls!”.
The Academy of Philanthropy Workshop
Cass Business School 23 September 2013
“Women in Philanthropy: Why Women?”
‘The landscape of women-led philanthropy and giving’
Professor Jenny Harrow
ESRC Centre for Charitable Giving and Philanthropy
Cass Business School, City University London , UK.
Two contrasting and overarching themes for
characterising this ‘landscape’
the theme of understanding and empathy
since women are in a less advantaged position than
men , so they will ‘get’ the philanthropy idea more
quickly and with more effect…….
the theme of power
“Here Come the Girls”
It’s time for women to be upfront in a philanthropy
what would philanthropy look like if it was wholly
4 interlocking aspects of ‘women and philanthropy’
• women as philanthropists
• philanthropy‘s focus on women and ‘women’s issues’
• women as philanthropy professionals
• women as beneficiaries of philanthropy
All four characterisations have risks attached
• Women as philanthropists : can play into stereotypes e.g. on
pro - social behaviour; makes women less visible?
Philanthropy’s focus on women : can become too familiar
( ‘the investment in women’ as habitual phraseology);
can ‘women’s issues ‘ be packaged ?
• Women as philanthropy professionals : ‘fit work for women’
(i.e. the power of philanthropy is enough…)
• Women as beneficiaries : powerlessnness is made even more
They prompt critical questions for reflecting on ‘why women?’
will cultivating a female donor always be a better idea?
Should fundraisers focus instead in equal pay issues?
Or just getting women into business – the female ‘philanthropreneur’?
Should women contribute predominantly or solely to women’s causes? Or be
more eclectic funders?
What attention should we pay to women givers on low as well as high
What are the gender challenges around consumption philanthropy and
What do we do (and what should women do ) about ‘non givers’?
What happens when women get tired of giving?
What does research tell us? for example, about
• women’s greater ( individual ) generosity (Leslie 2013, Mesch et al 2011)
• Women and strategic decisionmaking on firms’ philanthropy (Marquis ,Lee, 2012)
• Women as re –shapers of philanthropy (Eikenberry, 2009) and activists (Daly 2010)
• Women’s philanthropy decisions as complementary (Helms and McKenzie, 2013,
Pharoah and McKenzie, 2013)
• Women investors influencing CSR decisions in firms (Nath et al, 2012)
• Celebrity philanthropy among women (Bennett,2013)
• Consumerist philanthropy and women (Eikenberry 2009)
• Women as beneficiaries and agents of change (Arutyunova, 2012)
• Women as leaders in philanthropy – context, culture, careers (Jarboe 2012,
The UK context – 1.‘the good or the bad news’?
- Women leaders in private and charity sectors (Jarboe, Benchmarking study, 2012)
% women directors
% women chairs
Charity 100 by funds
board seats – the majority are held by men ;
among charities’ top 100 for assets (foundations) 73%
9 charities in the highest net assets list have a majority of female trustees
11 in the top 100 by funding have a majority of female trustees
women are the most senior officer in 35% of all charities with a majority of female
Parity on boards is very rare – 4 in the top 100 have 50% gender balance
The UK context –2. Complementary philanthropy by women and men ; capturing true levels of giving
Pharoah et al,2013, CGAP Cass, Study of remittances and
charitable donations in the UK
Traditional giving surveys fail to capture true levels of giving; yet
remittances are a recognised part of international
Findings show a significant level of sacrifice made by those who
Households that remit money overseas are also likely to give to
charity: see ‘Nazmui’ and ‘Awale’ in the report
How then do we visualise ‘women and philanthropy’
and its goals?
Equality; parity; visibility; diversity; inclusion? (Shaw –Hardy et
Collaborative ; distinctive; transparent ; recognised ?
preferential (deferential); democratic?
within civil society; outside and beyond civil society?
Do we visualise ‘women and philanthropy’ too narrowly?
Or too broadly?
What does leadership in women’s
philanthropy look like?
(what would philanthropy look like if it was wholly
Introducing our two key speakers……
Arutyunova, A. (2012). ‘Investing’in Women’s Rights: Challenges and new trends. Development, 55(3), 305-310.
Bennett, L. (2013). ‘If we stick together we can do anything’: Lady Gaga fandom, philanthropy and activism through social media. Celebrity Studies, (ahead-of-print), 115.
Daly, S. (2010). Young women as activists in contemporary Egypt: Anxiety, leadership, and the next generation. Journal of Middle East Women's Studies, 6(2), 59-85.
Eikenberry, A. M. (2009). Giving circles: Philanthropy, voluntary association, and democracy. Indiana University Press.
Eikenberry, A. M. (2009). The hidden costs of cause marketing. Stanford Social Innovation Review, 7(3), 51-55.
Harrow, J., & Mole, V. (2005). “I want to move once I have got things straight”: Voluntary sector chief executives' career accounts. Nonprofit Management and
Leadership, 16(1), 79-100.
Helms, S., & McKenzie, T. (2013). Gender Differences in Formal and Informal Volunteering in Germany. VOLUNTAS: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit
Jarboe, N. (2012) Charity Leaders 2012, Benchmarking the participation of women in the UK’s largest charities, WomenCount, no place of publication, http://
Kemp, E., Kennett-Hensel, P. A., & Kees, J. (2013). Pulling on the Heartstrings: Examining the Effects of Emotions and Gender in Persuasive Appeals. Journal of
Advertising, 42(1), 69-79.
Leslie, L. M., Snyder, M., & Glomb, T. M. (2013). Who gives? Multilevel effects of gender and ethnicity on workplace charitable giving. Journal of Applied Psychology,
Marquis, C., & Lee, M. (2012). Who is governing whom? Executives, governance, and the structure of generosity in large US firms. Strategic Management Journal.,34,
Mesch, D. J., Brown, M. S., Moore, Z. I., & Hayat, A. D. (2011). Gender differences in charitable giving. International Journal of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector
Marketing, 16(4), 342-355.
Nath, L., Holder-Webb, L., & Cohen, J. (2012). Will Women Lead the Way? Differences in Demand for Corporate Social Responsibility Information for Investment
Decisions. Journal of Business Ethics, 1-18.
Pharoah, C. and McKenzie, T. (2013) Giving Back to communities of residence and of origin, CGAP Cass Business School and Trust for London
Shaw-Hardy, S., Taylor, M. A., & Beaudoin-Schwartz, B. (2010). Women and philanthropy: Boldly shaping a better world. Wiley. com.