June 23, 2009

Grants for Women and Girls Grow Faster Than Other Foundation Giving, Study Finds

Giving by grant makers who specifically focus on helping women and girls has grown more rapidly in recent years than giving by all foundations, according to a new study released today by the Foundation Center and the Women’s Funding Network.

From 1990 to 2006, the latest year for which data are available, grants directed at women and girls grew to $2.1-billion, a 223-percent increase after inflation. Meanwhile, foundation giving overall grew by 177 percent after inflation, to $39-billion in 2006.

As a share of all foundation grant making, grants to benefit women and girls reached a high of 7.4 percent in 2000 and 2003 and has hovered between 5 and 6 percent since 1990.

A closer analysis of 55 women’s funds, established specifically to benefit women and girls, found that their grants increased by 24 percent, to $35.6-million, from 2004 to 2006,while foundation giving overall grew by 14.8 percent in the same period.

The 55 women’s funds have also seen double-digit fund-raising gains in recent years. In 2006, they raised $101-million, up from $72-million in 2004, a 31-percent increase after inflation. Their assets also grew by 17.4 percent, from $215-million in 2004 to $270-million in 2006.

Since 2006, women’s funds have continued efforts to step up their fund raising. For example, in 2007 the Women’s Funding Network, which represents 145 women’s funds worldwide, announced a campaign to raise $1-billion in gifts of $1-million or more from individuals. That campaign has raised $180-million to date.