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Episode 22: The Women & Girls Index

About $1.60 of every $100 in charitable giving in the United States goes to an organization exclusively dedicated to women and girls. A new report estimates that more than 45,000 nonprofit organizations are dedicated to women and girls and receive about $6.3 billion in charitable contributions. That makes up about 3.3 percent of all charities and 1.6 percent of overall giving in the United States, according to the first “comprehensive landscape of charitable organizations dedicated to women and girls in the U.S.”

Tessa Skidmore

Tessa Skidmore, visiting research associate at the Women’s Philanthropy Institute (WPI), is the writer and project manager of “The Women & Girls Index: Measuring Giving To Women’s and Girls’ Causes”. The 38-page report from the WPI at Indiana University’s Lilly Family School of Philanthropy was completed with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Skidmore joins the podcast this month to talk about the details of the report and breaks down statistics to paint a picture of how prevalent organizations dedicated to women and girls are among  various nonprofit subsectors, like health, human services, and public-society benefit, but also how they compare to the sector at large. The report is meant to establish a baseline for these causes among charitable giving and philanthropy in the United States.

The index found that, on average, nonprofits focused on women and girls are smaller, with about a quarter of the revenue and expenses, and across many other metrics, including assets, number of employees, employee compensation spending, or philanthropic support. Donor-advised fund grants received by these organizations totaled $575 million of the $18.6 billion in overall DAF grants in 2016. Those numbers are on a slight uptick relative to the percentage of total DAF grant dollars received, up from 2.7 percent in 2012 to 3.3 percent in 2015.

The report’s data primarily come from 2016, which precedes the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements of late 2017 and early 2018. Last year, the largest campaign on the GoFundMe crowdfunding platform was the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund, raising more than $22 million.

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