Creating a Gender-Sensitive Approach

Effective philanthropy understands that the needs of women and men are different and that in order to treat them equally, their distinct circumstances must be addressed. When philanthropists give gifts, they mostly support mainstream projects that don’t differentiate by gender, such as ‘youth’, ‘medical research’ or the ‘arts.’ They assume these projects benefit the sexes equally but sometimes they do not. Often women and girls are overlooked because they lack the power, visibility or opportunity to voice their needs or opinions. As a result, mainstream projects become less effective and philanthropic impact is lessened.

Giving circles are an effective vehicle to increase focus and investment in women and girls. Research in the US indicates that giving circles are more likely to fund programs benefitting women and girls. To learn more about the concept of gender and how it extends into philanthropy visit Gender Lens section, click here.

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