Breaking Up the Philanthropy ‘Boys Club’

Andrew M. Santos

“We’ve heard about all these major investments but we need to see if they really moved the needle or if they are just keeping up with the overall increase in philanthropy,” Ms. Sager said.

But on a cultural level, according to Ms. Sager, women philanthropists have already changed the way their field operates. Research from the Indiana University institute shows that female philanthropists tend to be more focused on forging relationships with their grantees and amplifying the voices of those closest to inequities and social issues.

“Women don’t simply want to write a check,” Ms. Sager said. “The relationship building is important to them. They’re motivated by the stories of the people being served.”

The National Domestic Workers Alliance, a nonprofit which aims to raise labor standards for care workers, is one of the women-led organizations that has benefited from this model of philanthropy, which centers relationships with grassroots communities.

Read More