The Pentera Blog

Wealthy Women Who Support Women's Causes Are Also Prime Planned Gift Candidates

The profile of high-net-worth women who give at least a million dollars to women's and girls' causes also makes them prime candidates for planned gifts. That conclusion can be drawn from profiles of wealthy women philanthropists in a new study from the Women's Philanthropy Institute of the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.

"Giving By and For Women: Understanding high-net-worth donors' support for women and girls" was published earlier this year. The study interviewed 23 women who have contributed or pledged at least $1 million in philanthropic gifts to women's and girls' causes or organizations.

The profile data of the women conforms closely to the five screening factors for women planned giving prospects that are discussed in presentations given by Pentera CEO Claudine Donikian and in Pentera's whitepaper on women in philanthropy. Pentera's five screening factors are age, education, wealth, childlessness, and loyalty. Here is what the latest WPI study has to say about each:

1. Age: 70% of the women in the survey were 45-64 years of age, with another 17% above 65. The likelihood of making a planned gift escalates dramatically at 45-50 years of age and continues into the 70s, according to The Planned Giving Study commissioned by Pentera.

2. Education: 61% of the women interviewed had a master's or professional degree, and 91% had at least a bachelor's degree. The more education, the higher the likelihood of a planned gift.

3. Wealth: 66% of the study participants had household income of at least $500,000, and 78% had net worth of at least $5 million (with 22% at $50 million or more). Wealth is a key predictor of making a planned gift.

4. Childlessness: 30% of the profiled women were childless, which is the top nonfinancial factor for making a planned gift in a will or trust, according to research by Texas Tech's Russell James.

5. Loyalty: While the study did not address loyal giving to particular organizations, the women profiled were loyal givers to the causes of women and girls. They were also more likely than the typical donor to make larger gifts to fewer organizations. Thus they would be excellent planned gift candidates for organizations that address women's causes.

Another finding supports Pentera's recommendation that nonprofits work to establish deep relationships with women donors.

"Organizations seeking to engage such donors will need to keep shared decision-making with them at the core of their relationships and recognize that many of these donors seek personal relationships and partnerships," the study concludes.

The complete study is available here.