Women led the so-called “Trump bump” that some charities got after the 2016 presidential election.
Women’s donations to certain progressive charities surged ahead of men’s donations the week following the election, a report released Tuesday by the Women’s Philanthropy Institute at Indiana University’s Lilly Family School of Philanthropy found.
Researchers wanted to look at whether reports of “rage giving” — the idea that both liberals and conservatives increased their charitable donations in response to the election — were true. After analyzing an online donation platform’s daily transaction records around the election and comparing them to 2015 and 2017, researchers found no evidence for “rage giving,” at least when it came to overall charitable giving. In fact, there was actually a dip in overall giving right after the 2016 election, concentrated among men.
But women stepped up their giving significantly to a certain category of nonprofits: those that had a progressive bent and worked on issues debated during the campaign, like Planned Parenthood and the National Immigration Law Center.
“If you’re feeling like your voice isn’t heard, maybe charitable giving is a way to enact those values,” said Jacquie Ackerman, assistant director for research at WPI.
In the week before the election, women gave an average of $184 more than men to this category of groups, the WPI report found. In the week after the election, that difference increased nearly six-fold to $1,098. There was no statistically significant difference in giving during that same period to conservative groups or nonprofits with a neutral political bent, the study added.
Though the study didn’t examine why women were more motivated to give post-election, previous research has suggested there’s a gender gap in how women and men approach philanthropy.
Women tend to be more empathetic than men and are more motivated to give to causes when they can identify directly with the recipient, Ackerman said. That could explain why women were giving money to groups working on issues like reproductive rights, she said.
Overall, women are more likely to give to charity and they give higher amounts than men do when researchers control for factors like income, education and wealth, previous research from WPI has found.
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