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Oct. 27, 2021, 4:17 p.m. EDT

Giving to Women’s and Girls’ Causes in the U.S. Saw Steady Growth

Giving to women’s and girl’s causes in the U.S. reached US$8.2 billion in 2018, representing a 15.5% increase from the prior year, according to a report from the Women’s Philanthropy Institute, part of the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.

However, giving to gender equity-focused organizations, approximately 47,449 of those across the country, still accounted for only 1.9% of the total charitable donations— US$428.4 billion—in 2018, according to the Women & Girls Index (WGI) released Tuesday.

The three causes that received top dollars were religion (US$125.3 billion); education (US$58.9 billion); and human services (US$57.2 billion), according to the report.

In 2017, giving to women’s and girls’ organizations was US$7.1 billion, accounting for 1.6% of the total giving that year.

The third-edition of the annual report is based on the finalized data from the Internal Revenue Service and other sources, and is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

“Gender equity is top of mind as the Covid-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected women, particularly women of color,” Jeannie Sager , director of the Women’s Philanthropy Institute, said in a statement. However, the new data reveal that “a significant gap persists between that attention and philanthropic support in the U.S.,” she said.

Among the women’s and girl’s organizations studied, those focused on the environment saw its charitable donations grow 27.1% from 2017 to 2018. And those focused on civil rights and advocacy received 32.3% more funds over the same period of time.

“This growth suggests that donors may increasingly see an intersection between gender equity and other pressing topics, including climate and racial equity,” the report said.

With this report, the Women’s Philanthropy Institute also launched a new website, womenandgirlsindex.org, making data and lists of women’s organizations more accessible to researchers, donors, and the general public.

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