Consumer Comeback Blog

Baby Boomer Women Give More to Charity Than Men the Same Age

During the holiday season, some of the most important gifts are not the ones you find wrapped under the tree. The holidays are also a crucial fundraising time for the thousands of charitable organizations around the country.

You don’t have to be wealthy or donate millions to make a meaningful philanthropic gift. During the holidays, generosity comes in many forms. You can volunteer your time or try to make room in your budget for charitable giving.

When it comes to dolling out the donations, nonprofit organizations may have more luck seeking support from the fairer sex. A recent Women’s Philanthropy Institute study shows that women in the Baby Boom generation (born between 1946 and 1964) are more likely to contribute to charity than men of the same age range and women of younger generations.

The study used data from 2003 to 2007 to examine the combined effects of age and gender on charitable giving, controlling for financial resources over the individual’s lifetime and adjusting for life expectancy.

The 76 million Baby Boomers make up the largest generation, who hold 90% of the country’s net worth and 78% percent of all financial assets. So, it would stand to reason that this group would have the greatest ability to be philanthropic, given their sheer numbers combined with the general patterns of income stability found in people 40 and older. But that doesn’t explain the disparity between men and women in the same age range.

Despite research that shows that women tend to earn less money than men, have less saved for retirement, and have to allocate those retirement dollars across for generally longer life expectancies, women still continue to out-give their male counterparts. Baby Boom women across all income levels gave 89% more than men, and Boomer women and older generations in the top 25% of income give 156% more than men at the same income level.

“Our previous research has found that women tend to be more altruistic than men and that their giving frequently is motivated by the desire to make a difference in peoples’ lives,” Debra J. Mesch, Ph.D., director of the Women’s Philanthropy Institute said in a press release. “Additionally, women’s strong networks may keep them more connected to both the needs of others and to opportunities to give.”