Do women "do good" better than men?

Who’s more philanthropic--women or men? If you guessed women, you are correct.

Most people have a general sense that women are more likely than men to get engaged with their favorite causes. What might surprise you, though, are the statistics showing the economic impact of women’s purchasing power when they buy products that support a cause.

It starts with the preferences of all consumers:

  • 79% of consumers said they would likely switch brands based on associations with a good cause, when price and quality are equal

  • 85% of Americans say that they have a more positive image of a product or company when it supports a cause they care about

  • 85% of consumers say it is positive for companies to involve causes in their marketing

So how do women figure into the equation? Women tend to align their lifestyles with social impact activities to a greater degree than men. Not only are women more likely than men to give to charity in the first place, but when they do give, they are likely to give more, especially by exercising their buying power. Women influence or make 85 percent of all consumer purchases, according to Greenfield Online for Arnold’s Women’s Insight Team, and Check out how that breaks down in major consumer spending categories.

Women influence or make purchasing decisions for:

  • 91% of new homes

  • 66% of personal computers

  • 92% of vacations

  • 80% of healthcare

  • 65% of new cars

  • 89% of bank accounts

  • 93% of food

  • 93% of over-the-counter pharmaceuticals

What this means is that savvy brands who target consumers through cause marketing efforts are especially successful when they focus their campaigns on women.

This also means, if you are a woman, remember that your purchasing power counts as doing good! Buying products that support a cause can really add up at the checkout counter, which means you’re making a big difference in the lives of others.

Finally, keep in mind that connecting the dots across all of your charitable giving activities--including purchasing--will help you see the big picture of the difference you're making in your community. Your community foundation is your partner in philanthropy as you and your family celebrate all the ways you are doing good.   


This is a terrific article to kick off a campaign to get women philanthropists even more involved. If you haven't already, build an email list of just women--donors, daughters of donors, women civic and business leaders, women in nonprofit leadership. Push the article in an e-newsletter to this group, or as part of an invitation to a Women in Philanthropy Roundtable.