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Hidden donors – the importance of women’s giving revealed

Hidden donors – the importance of women’s giving revealed

News (UK)

Many more women are becoming involved in philanthropy, yet their generosity and commitment are going unrecognised.   The first comprehensive report on women and philanthropy in the UK has found that more women are establishing charitable foundations, and that they are having a significant impact on major philanthropy, but are largely unknown outside of those they help.

While women, like men, take a strategic and engaged approach to their philanthropy, women lack both the profile and recognition achieved by many male donors. Consequently they are under-represented in giving statistics, and their approach to, and involvement in philanthropy is being comprehensively unreported.

These findings are published in Women & Philanthropy: inspiring women, inspired giving, a new report by Philanthropy UK.

The report features profiles of J.K. Rowling, Sigrid Rausing, Darcey Bussell, and Renu Mehta, who demonstrate the diversity and breadth in women’s giving - alongside historical and global perspectives of women’s philanthropy. A growing trend in giving circles and networks is also explored.  

Guest editor Maggie Baxter of the UK Women’s Fund said, “I’m delighted that we have been given the chance to celebrate the extraordinarily diverse and energetic contribution made by women to the world of philanthropy.  Philanthropy can be time, energy and commitment as well as hard cash, and the women featured throughout the report demonstrate the diversity and breadth of women’s giving. This report paves the way for greater acknowledgement and research into women’s vital contribution to philanthropy.”

Susan Mackenzie, Philanthropy UK Director, added, “Women & Philanthropy is the first contemporary account of the growing involvement and influence of women in major philanthropy. It shows that, compared to men, female philanthropists generally seek a deeper level of engagement with beneficiaries, and that they are often the decision-makers in their family’s philanthropy. This report raises a challenge as to how philanthropy is both perceived and reported in the UK.”

  • Women's Philanthropy
  • UK