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First Australian Study of Philanthropic Giving to Women and Girls


3 November 2011 at 8:09 am
Lina Caneva
The first major study of its kind has examined philanthropic giving in Australia that intentionally targets women and girls.


Lina Caneva | 3 November 2011 at 8:09 am


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First Australian Study of Philanthropic Giving to Women and Girls
3 November 2011 at 8:09 am
Flickr image: AttributionShare Alike Some rights reserved by My name's axel 

The first major study of its kind has examined philanthropic giving in Australia that intentionally targets women and girls.

The study found that while 12 per cent of all grants went to organisations or projects that specifically target women and girls, more than 80 per cent of grantmakers believe their grant recipients are inclusive enough of women.

The study – 'Mapping Australia's Philanthropic Investment in Women and Girls' – was commissioned by the Australian Women Donors Network (Women Donors) and conducted by the Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies (ACPNS) at Queensland University of Technology.

The inaugural survey received 100 responses from grantmakers – 41 from individuals, and 59 from foundations – who had given $90 million in nearly 5,000 grants in 2009-10. The survey found that:

  • 12 per cent of all grants (totalling 615 grants) went to organisations or projects that specifically target women and girls.
  • Seventy-six per cent of respondents said they were likely to maintain or increase their current level of investment in women and girls (32 per cent of respondents said they plan to increase their funding to women and girls in the future, and 44 per cent said they will maintain their current funding).
  • 82 per cent of grantmakers said they believe their grant recipients are inclusive enough of women, and half said they did not target women and girls because they were covered in general funding.
  • Ten per cent of the respondents said they couldn’t find suitable projects for women and girls.

The report found much variation in the percentage of funds allocated to target women and girls:

  • Three quarters of respondents give something specifically to women and girls
  • Most give less than 20 per cent of their funds to women and girls
  • One third give at least 40 per cent to women and girls

The study seeks to examine the level of philanthropic investment in women and girls, and discover if there will be a shift in the direction of philanthropic spending on women and girls likely in the coming years, according to Women Donors CEO Julia Keady.

Keady says a burning question for the Women Donors Network is ‘to what extent gender is considered within mainstream grantmaking in Australia?’

Keady says the research is ground-breaking, as there is currently no such data in Australia.
She says global research shows that women and girls are still the most disadvantaged in society and that they are often either marginalised or invisible in mainstream program design and delivery.

Respondents were equally divided on whether their grants reach women and girls – nominating a percentage was hard for some, most commonly they said because either their funding or their record of it is not gender specific. A small number of respondents felt quite strongly that to allocate by one gender would be discriminatory.

The report says that amongst respondents that did target women and girls, the most common reason given for doing so was recognising how the benefits of supporting women flowed through to their families and entire communities.

For more information, view the full report at: http://www.womendonors.org.au/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=104&Itemid=187


Lina Caneva  |  Editor  |  @ProBonoNews

Lina Caneva has been a journalist for more than 35 years. She was the editor of Pro Bono Australia News from when it was founded in 2000 until 2018.

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