Young Women Giving More to Charity – Report
Tuesday, 18th November 2014 at 9:32 am
Young single women who are religiously unaffiliated – the “Nones” – give roughly two times more to charitable organisations than women who are affiliated but infrequently attend religious services, according to new US research.
The Women Give 2014 report from the Women’s Philanthropy Institute in the US investigated how the nexus of religiosity, gender, and age is related to charitable giving and the researchers say the findings challenged the long held assumptions around religious giving trends.
The report says the religiosity-giving relationship, which has been assumed to be the same regardless of gender and age, is a more complex relationship than previously thought.
“In an important shift from the standard religiosity-giving story found in most previous research, young single women who are religiously unaffiliated – the ”Nones” – give roughly two times larger amounts to charitable organisations than women who are affiliated but infrequently attend religious services,” the report said.
The influence of religion on giving is frequently used to argue that those who are more deeply engaged in religion are more likely to give and give more to charitable organizations – the standard religiosity-giving story, the report said.
Yet, in the 25 years from 1987 to 2012, it said the percentage of American adults expressing no religious preference increased from seven to 20 percent.
At the same time, the most religious generations in American history – those born from 1905 to1924 – are passing away while the new generations entering adulthood have weaker attachments to organized religions.
“By examining the intersection of religiosity, gender, and age for the first time, Women Give 2014 finds encouraging results for philanthropy,” the report said.
“Those who have been concerned that the falling rate of religious affiliation would have an adverse effect on charitable giving outside of congregations can take heart from the findings that younger women who are Nones give larger amounts to NRIOs than do middle-age and older women who are Nones.
“These results suggest that Not-religiously identified organisations (NRIOs) be on guard for the possibility of an age effect, and maintain relationships with Gen Xers and Millennials as they age.
“Also, the finding that younger women who are Nones give generously to NRIOs may indicate problems on the horizon for religiously identified charitable organisations.”
The report said young people entering adulthood since 2000 express even less affiliation with organised religion than any previous cohort, and this trend is expected to continue.
The report said the findings suggest the need for Not for Profits, both religiously identified and NRIOs, to create different relationships with, and build different networks among, constituents by gender and age to assure that resources continue to be available to meet society’s pressing challenges.