A new report finds that American philanthropic support dwindles when it comes to nonprofits dedicated to addressing breast cancer, women’s entrepreneurship, domestic violence and childhood malnutrition — all primarily women’s issues.
According to a comprehensive report released Thursday from the Women and Girls Institute, Americans gave $6.3 billion to nonprofits focused on women and girls in 2016, only about 1.6% of the total charitable donations made by Americans in 2016.
The Institute identified more than 45,000 organizations in the United States that it considered as “dedicated to serving primarily women and girls” or causes closely-associated with women and girls such as domestic violence, said Tessa Skidmore, the project manager for the report.
This includes organizations such as the National Women’s Law Center, the Planned Parenthood Federation, the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and YWCA chapters around the nation. Of the total charitable funding directed toward women and girls, the Women and Girls Institute found that the health-care sector received the biggest portion.
In 2016 American individuals, corporations and foundations donated a total of $396.5 billion, with the largest segment, $123.8 billion, pledged to religious organizations.
“There is a lack of investment in women and girls in this country,” said Teresa Younger, the president and CEO of the Ms. Foundation for Women. “The Women’s March and some of these other movements are heightening a conversation, but I’m not sure how that’s trickling down to the small grassroots orgs that are doing the work within their communities.”
About 71% of nonprofits dedicated to women and girls have budgets of less than $50,000, including staff wages and benefits. The report theorizes this may be due to a heavy reliance on volunteer work, but Skidmore says more research is needed.
Sources: The Women and Girls Index 10/3/19; CNBC 10/3/19