Gender Differences in Charitable Giving Around Retirement, Study Finds

Philanthropy News Digest | July 25, 2018

Gender Differences in Charitable Giving Around Retirement, Study Finds
Although most households scale back their spending leading into retirement and after, they generally maintain their charitable giving levels, a report from the Women's Philanthropy Institute at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy finds. Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the report, How Women and Men Give Around Retirement (32 pages, PDF), is the first scholarly research examination of how retirement affects charitable giving. According to the report, both men and women maintain their charitable giving as retirement approaches, especially compared to other types of spending, which typically falls at the retirement stage in life. The report also found that single women and married couples are more likely to give and give more than single men; that giving by single women and married couples is more stable than giving by single men; and that the likelihood and amount of a single man's giving varies widely from year to year, compared to those of single women and married couples. In addition, the study found that single women and married couples are more likely to volunteer, and that their likelihood of volunteering is more constant over time, than are single men. "The findings show that retirees continue to be generous during their retirement even as other spending decreases and that the way women and men address charitable giving later in life is a continuation of patterns established much earlier," said Debra J. Mesch, director of the Women's Philanthropy Institute and the Eileen Lamb O'Gara Chair in Women's Philanthropy at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI. "With an unprecedented number of people retiring and women's health on the rise, these findings underscore how important it is for the philanthropy community to understand how women and men give around retirement and consider evolving their strategies accordingly."

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