Though charity may begin at home, women are making a substantial impact through philanthropy across the globe.
By Harshita Avirneni, Illustration by Jessica Wetterer
As of 2015, women headed six of the 25 largest nonprofits in Austin as CEOs. Assuming this ratio continued, of the roughly 5,660 nonprofits in Austin, approximately 1,358 nonprofits are led by women. This means Austin’s gender gap, in terms of women leading charitable organizations, is 6 percent lower average, as 24 percent of the nonprofits in Austin are led by women, compared with the national average of 18 percent.
On average, American women volunteer 6 percent more than American men, at a rate of 27.8 percent versus 21.8 percent, according to Nonprofit Source, which aims to improve nonprofits’ digital-marketing strategies so they can more effectively engage with the communities they serve. In terms of charitable giving, statistics show 69 percent of the U.S. population donates to a charitable cause,with women responsible for making 64 percent of these donations.
Catalist, originally known as the Women’s Collective Giving Grantmakers Network, currently has more than 16,000 women as part of its 60 independent philanthropic organizations in 28 U.S. states and Australia. The founding leadership team included 11 women, one of whom was Austin’s own Rebecca Powers, the founder of Impact Austin, an organization that works to “cultivate the collective wisdom and strength of women” to transform members’ lives and communities through philanthropy.
Impact Austin, one of the largest women-focused philanthropy groups in the United States, has awarded more than $6.5 million in grants to Central Texas nonprofits in the past 16 years. Additionally, the organization has emboldened 1,951 women and more than 330 girls to become philanthropists. One of the group’s goals is to be able to fully support its philanthropic mission by building a $1 million annual budget by 2021.
Nonprofit organization Women Moving Millions recently released a study noting that by 2030, women are expected to control $33.5 trillion in North America, and their charitable giving is estimated to reach $569.5 billion annually. Since 2007, Women Moving Millions members have pledged more than $650 million to organizations that work to advance the lives of women and girls throughout the world.