Research tracks gender differences in giving

Differences in income among women and men shape overall giving by couples, as well as the causes they support, new research says.

An increase in a man’s income, for example, tends to make it more likely a couple will give to religious, youth, international and combined-purpose groups such as United Way, or give larger amounts to those causes, or both, says research from the Women’s Philanthropy Institute at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University.

An increase in a woman’s income makes it more likely a couple will give, and give a larger amount, to charities that provide for basic human needs, the research says.

The research, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, included a review of interdisciplinary literature on women’s giving and philanthropic behavior.

It also included analysis of data from the Philanthropy Panel Study, Bank of America/U.S. Trust Studies of High Net Worth Philanthropy, and Million Dollar List. Among the findings:

Marital status

* Single women are more likely than single men to give, and to give higher dollar amounts.

* Women who are divorced, separated, never married or widowed are more likely to give and to give higher dollar amounts than their male counterparts and among men overall.

* Single women are more likely than single men to give to nearly every charitable sector, except sports and recreation.

* Married couples tend to give more than single households headed by males or females.

* When men marry, they are more likely to give to charity and to give higher amounts.

Charitable decision-making

* Most married couples decide on charitable giving jointly.

* Households in which the male makes decisions on charitable giving make larger donations than couples in which those decisions are made by the female or jointly.

* For couples with one person making decisions on giving, the decision-making spouse is likely to have had more education, while in couples that make those decisions together, both individuals have high educational attainment.

Volunteering and giving circles

* Women are more likely than men to volunteer, and to volunteer more hours, with single women volunteering at nearly twice the rate of single men.

* Women represent the vast majority of participants in giving circles, more than half of giving circles in the U.S. involve only women, and issues that affect women and girls are the priority for many giving circles.

* Less than 10 percent of all foundation funding supports organizations run by and for women and girls.

Selecting charitable causes

* Women tend to spread their giving across more organizations, while men tend to concentrate their giving.

* Among high net worth individuals — those with $250,000 or more in income, or $1 million or more in assets not including their principal residence, or both — single women are more likely than single men to give, and give more to arts and the environment, while high net worth single men are more likely to give, and give more to combination organizations such as United Way.

* “Female-deciding” households are more likely to give to youth and family, health and international causes, while “male-deciding” households are more likely to give to religion, education and other causes.

* High net worth female-deciding households are more likely to give to youth and family services and religious causes, while male-deciding households are less likely to give to basic-needs organizations, and give lower amounts to those organizations.

* Single women spread out their giving more than do single men, although high net worth single women and men are similar in the concentration of their giving.

* Single women are more likely than single men to make women’s rights a priority, and less likely to make the economy and veterans’ issues a priority.

* Compared to couples that are “joint deciders,” a couple with the husband as sole decider is more likely to make the arts a priority as a social issue, while a couple with the wife as sole decider is more likely to make animal welfare a priority and less likely to make veterans’ issues a priority.

* Compared to joint deciders, a high net worth couple with the husband as sole decider is more likely to make the economy a key issue and less likely to make poverty a key issue, while a couple with the wife as sole decider is more likely to make human rights a priority.

Motivations for giving

* Single women are more likely than single men to cite their political or philosophical beliefs, and serving on a board or volunteering, as motivations for giving.

* In couples with the wife as sole decision-maker on giving, the household is more likely than joint-deciders to be motivated to give by spontaneously responding to a need, believing their gift makes a difference, and as a result of their political and philosophical beliefs, and less likely to be motivated by religious beliefs.

* In couples with the husband as sole decision-maker on giving, the household is less likely than joint-deciders to be motivated to give by setting an example for future generations, religious beliefs and the personal satisfaction of giving.

* For million-dollar donors’ gifts, individual women tend to mention “scholarship and “student” more than men do, reflecting a focus on the people their philanthropy can affect.

* Women are the only type of donor to have the term “unrestricted” appear in their top keywords.

* As women’s income rises, they become more likely than their male counterparts to give to charity.

Giving to secular and religious causes

* For the top 60 percent of income earners, women are more likely than their male counterparts to give to secular causes, and to give more.

* Millennial, Boomer and older women are more likely than their male counterparts to give in general and to secular causes.

* High net worth single women and single men do not differ significantly in their incidence of giving or the amount they give, either in total giving or in giving to religious or secular causes.

* A married person is more likely to give and to give more than a person who is not married.

* Single females are most likely to give to secular causes, and give more than do single men, married men and married women.

* Among high net worth households, being married does not increase the likelihood of giving, although married couples tend to give higher amounts overall and to secular causes than do single men and women.

* For giving to religious causes, households in which the husband is the sole decision-maker on giving are most likely to give.

* Compared to joint deciders, households in which the wife is the sole decision-maker on giving, and those with separate deciders, give less to to religious causes.

* Female-deciding households and and joint-deciding households are more likely to give to secular causes.

* Compared to joint-deciding households, only households in which men and women make giving decisions separately are statistically more likely to give higher amounts to secular causes.

* When either a wife or husband is a sole decision-maker, the amount of giving for religious purposes is lower than in jointly-deciding households.

Donors’ income and education levels

* A households in which the husband has unearned income from trusts or investments is significantly more likely to give to charity, while a household in which the wife has unearned income has no significant impact on whether the household will give to charity.

* An increase in men’s income tends to increase the likelihood and amount of giving to nearly every charitable subsector, while an increase in women’s income tends to increase the likelihood of giving to education, the environment, and organizations that address basic needs.

* The respective income of a husband or wife does not affect whether high income households give.

* The income of a high net worth husband is related to the amount of giving from the household, both overall and to secular giving.

* Education within a household generally does not affect the incidence or amount of giving for either the general population or high net worth households.

Todd Cohen

C Foundation works to assist breast-cancer survivors

By Todd Cohen

GREENSBORO, N.C. — In October 2012, during a 10-month period when she was undergoing treatment for breast cancer, Christie Lee of Greensboro attended Pink in the Park, an event to raise awareness of breast cancer that was sponsored by The Breast Center of Greensboro Imaging.

At the event, visiting a vendor table for Susan G. Komen for the Cure, a nonprofit that works to fight breast cancer, she was invited to apply to be Komen’s Face of Breast Cancer for Guilford County.

She was selected for 2013, and in that role began to receive product donations from companies. So in May 2013, she formed the C Foundation, which provides donated products, financial assistance, discussion groups and information for breast-cancer survivors.

In the past two years, the Foundation has received donations worth $15,000 to $20,000 from over 30 vendors and served at least 3,000 patients, says Lee, who is senior technical team lead at AT&T and works on a volunteer basis as founder and director of operations for the Foundation.

“We are trying to eradicate the financial responsibility” to pay for medical costs, daily living and needs such as prostheses, she says.

The C Foundation has landed two official product sponsors, including K-Y and Priscilla McCall’s, and provides patients with donated products ranging from those related to female libido to makeup, footwear, exercise apparel and books.

The Foundation, which counts on 10 volunteers plus Lee, also sponsors Let’s Talk, a bimonthly forum that meets at Greensboro restaurants, beauty spas, community centers and hotels, and typically attracts 20 to 30 people.

“We discuss common side effects that are being experienced by most of the survivors,” Lee says. “We then give them products to help assist.”

The next forum, which will focus on skin and hair care, is scheduled for June 20 at the Double Tree on High Point Road.

C Foundation is expanding beyond North Carolina, and has begun introducing itself in Virginia and in New Orleans, says Lee, who devotes about 15 hours a week, during the evening, to the charity.

It will hold a fundraising events in October at a restaurant in Alexandria, Va., and in November at the same jewelry store in Woodbridge, Va., where it held an event last year that raised $1,000.

And in April, Lee and two other volunteers visited New Orleans to talk to breast-cancer centers and to vendors.

She also hopes to begin working with hospitals that have treatment centers for breast cancer, along with support groups for patients and survivors.

Lee, whose treatment included chemotherapy, a lumpectomy and radiation, and ended in December 2012, says she now is considered cancer-free.

“The experiences from one survivor to another are unique,” Lee says. “We aim to ensure that we broadly help all those involved.”

Girls on the Run running faster

By Todd Cohen

DURHAM, N.C. — Juliellen Simpson-Vos did not start running until after college, and while she is not fast, she “can put in the miles, go the distance,” she says, and has learned through training for several marathons that “you have to have multiple strategies to approach the challenge, but can be successful, which isn’t measured by winning but by how you approach it.”

That philosophy helps drive Girls on the Run of the Triangle, a Durham nonprofit Simpson-Vos heads that uses physical activity and running as tools to help girls throughout the region build character and courage.

“Our society is constantly hurling new facts, new ideas, new concepts, new challenges, and our girls need to be able to have a resource and a core they can go back to so they have an approach to handling it and feel confident in addressing it, with support systems, and understand why they approach it the way they do,” she says.

Founded in 2000, the nonprofit is an independent council of Girls on the Run International, which grew out of a nonprofit formed in Charlotte in 1996.

Counting on over 55,000 volunteers, Girls on the Run programs now serve over 130,000 girls in more than 200 cities in North America each year.

Girls on the Run of the Triangle operates with an annual budget of $450,000, a staff of three full-time and three part-time employees, and roughly 600 volunteers, and will serve 1,600 girls in grades three through five this year, three times the total it served four years ago.

Two-thirds of the girls are from Wake County and the others are split roughly evenly between Durham and Orange counties.

Girls participate in a 24-course program offered over 12 weeks in the fall and again in the spring, and hosted at public and private schools, after-school youth programs, and churches. Each program culminates with a 5K event.

While girls train for the 5K, they also learn about and practice strategies and skills such as goal-setting, communication and teamwork to build their confidence and self-esteem and address problems such as conflicts, bullying and peer pressure.

A group of four girls might be given a scenario, for example, in which a boy seated behind them in class is copying their work. Each girl then would be asked, while running a lap, to compose a phrase to respond to the boy. On completing the lap, the girls would share their responses, and then would be given a new scenario for their next lap.

“They’re thinking and doing something while running,” Simpson-Vos says.

Girls on the Run generates 65 percent of its revenue through fees and the rest through contributions. Participation in the 12-week program costs $200, and one-third of the girls receive a scholarship. Top sponsors include Quintiles and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina.

The nonprofit aims to be serving nearly 2,200 girls a year in 2017, and to expand the program to include older girls and women, beginning with a pilot this fall that will add one middle school each in Wake, Durham and Orange counties, and adding another 10 to 12 middle schools the following spring.

Eventually, Girls on the Run will expand to include high-school girls as “junior coaches,” more college girls as coaches, as well as mothers who serve as coaches or encourage their daughters to participate.’

“The idea is to provide programming that serves the entire life cycle of a girl and a continuum of these ideas and values,” Simpson-Vos says.

“The thing we’re doing is building strong, courageous girls,” she says. “Having the ability to understand who you are and what you’re made of and what your values are is the foundation for courage.”

Center serves victims of domestic and sexual violence

By Todd Cohen

DURHAM, N.C. — Every year, over 157,000 adult North Carolinians are victims of domestic violence, costing the state nearly $307.9 million, or $32.26 per resident, excluding the cost of emergency shelters, according to a study last year at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

Helping to address the needs of women and children in Durham County who are victims of domestic violence or sexual assault is the Durham Crisis Response Center, which focuses on advocacy, education, prevention and support.

The Center, which was created in February 2001 through the merger of Rape Crisis of Durham and the Orange-Durham Coalition for Battered Women, has served over 20,000 women and children, including 237 women and children who stayed at its 18-bed shelter and another 3,800 who called its crisis line.

“There’s no wrong door where a victim can come to us,” says Aurelia Sands-Bell, the Center’s executive director.

Since she joined the Center in July 2006, its annual operating budget has doubled to just over $1 million, it has trained its staff of 8 full-time and 12 part-time employees, and its volunteers, to handle clients with a range of needs, languages and cultural backgrounds, and it has expanded its services and its collaboration with partner agencies.

In addition to its shelter and 24-hour, confidential crisis line, services include accompanying clients to the hospital and court; legal clinics with local lawyers; support groups; counseling; and referrals for job training, housing, child care, and other community services.

The Center also offers workshops and training for service providers, churches, schools, police, hospitals, civic groups and other community members.

The Center has added Spanish-speaking staff to field calls on its crisis line; expanded its counseling for individuals and groups; added legal advocates and a sexual assault investigator; and is working more collaboratively with law-enforcement and criminal-justice officials, schools, and the Durham County departments of public health and social services.

Law-enforcement officials and Duke Medical Center have been strong partners of the Center, she says.

It also is partnering with schools, faith-based communities and youth organizations to provide a six-to-eight-week pilot program to help 80 students in middle school and high school see the link between alcohol and sexual violence.

The Center counts on government and United Way grants for half its funds; contributions for 20 percent; events, including a spring golf classic, for 10 percent; and a thrift store at 2715 Chapel Hill Blvd. for 20 percent.

One of every four women in the U.S. is the victim of violence at the hands of an intimate partner during her lifetime, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And the number of clients the Center serves has increased by roughly 25 percent since she joined the organization, Sands-Bell says.

The Center is in the planning phase of an effort to expand its shelter.

Sexual violence is “far more widespread than people want to think or believe” and is tied to other community problems, she says. Many women are homeless, for example, as a result of domestic or sexual violence, she says.

More victims are seeking assistance from the Center and other agencies because of increased awareness about the problem of domestic and sexual violence and a greater sense of “being believed and knowing they can get help,” she says.

It also is important to “have honest conversations with our young people about sexual assault and violence and really address the impact of violence on the lives of children,” Sands-Bell says.

Yet it can be tough for communities to talk about domestic or sexual violence or support efforts to address the needs of victims because the issue is “taboo” for many people, with victims often feeling a “sense of shame, of not being believed,” and perpetrators not wanting to “own up to this problem,” Sands-Bell says.

“We have to look at domestic violence and sexual assault as a community issue, a societal issue,” she says, “not simply as a women’s issue.”

Wake Salvation Army fights human trafficking

By Todd Cohen

RALEIGH, N.C. — In 2011, when Salvation Army of Wake County launched a program to rescue foreign-born victims of human trafficking, it served 12 individuals in its first three months — a number it had expected to serve in its first two years.

So it expanded the project, known as Project FIGHT, to include clients born in the U.S. and now has served 207 individuals, including victims and their family members. It also has trained over 4,500 people across the state to help identify individuals caught in the web of human trafficking, and raise awareness about the issue.

Now, with a two-year, $458,000 federal grant, the Salvation Army is expanding the program to New Bern and Salisbury.

“It’s modern-day slavery, which a lot of people don’t realize still exists,” says Christine Shaw, director of social ministries at Salvation Army of Wake County. “There are more slaves in the world that at any other time in history.”

Wake’s Salvation Army first got involved in statewide anti-trafficking efforts in 2005.

“Those efforts were mostly focused on foreign-born victims,” Shaw says. “But we quickly began to realize the domestic side as well — trafficking within our own borders.”

Foreign-born victims, many of them from Latin America, South America and Asia, often arrive in the U.S. “believing they are coming legally,” she says. Their families often pay for their travel, and they believe they are coming to work in a hotel or restaurant or as a nanny, for example.

But once in the U.S., many victims are put into organized brothel rings that may move them frequently up and down the East Coast. They are cut off from their families, and threatened that if they don’t do what they are told and pay off what they are told is their “debt,” their families will be hurt. And room and board are deducted from whatever “pay” they may receive.

Victims born in the U.S. often are befriended by someone who becomes a “boyfriend” before making the relationship commercial.

Most cases, especially in the Triangle, involve forced or coerced prostitution or pornography, Shaw says. Some cases involve labor trafficking.

Project FIGHT — an acronym for “Freeing Individuals Gripped by Human Trafficking” — partners with 150 groups such as hospitals, clinics, domestic-violence shelters, and agencies that focus on law enforcement, legal services, job-readiness and emergency assistance for needs such as clothing, food and housing.

For foreign-born victims, Project FIGHT works to get their documentation for residency.

And working with the North Carolina Coalition Against Human Trafficking, Wake’s Salvation Army is part of an effort to create teams of professionals across the state that can respond within 24 hours after a victim is found.

“We first try to stabilize people, make sure they have services they need,” Shaw says.

Operating with an annual budget of $350,000 and a staff that will grow to five people from three, Project FIGHT raises money through grants, contributions and an annual event, Just Art, a project of Red Light Film and Art, a nonprofit arm of Ekklesia, a Raleigh church.

In 2014, Project FIGHT served 66 victims, and likely will serve 75 this year. Just over a fourth of its cases involve minors, 37 percent are ages 18 to 25, and most victims trapped in commercial sex trafficking began at ages 12 to 14, Shaw says.

What is driving human trafficking, she says, is “the demand for cheap labor and commercial sex.”

Girl Scouts chart path for growth

By Todd Cohen

 RALEIGH, N.C. — As a first grader in rural western Canada, Lisa Jones joined the Girl Guides, the Canadian sisters of the Girls Scouts, where one of the first merit badges she earned was for drama. The experience changed her, she says, and led to a career in theater management.

“It led me to an interest in the performing arts, which I had not been exposed to from our rural upbringing,” says Jones, who joined the Girl Scouts – North Carolina Coastal Pines as CEO in January 2013 after 15 years at Carolina Ballet, including 12 as executive director.

Now, Jones wants girls throughout the 41 counties the Raleigh-based Council serves to have the same kinds of opportunities she found in Scouting.

Guided by a three-year strategic plan it developed last year with input from volunteers, board members, girls and staff, the Council aims to boost training and support for volunteers; strengthen traditional troops, particularly for younger girls; recruit more alumnae and strengthen the bond of Girl Scouting; focus on underserved regions and the potential for growth; and diversify its funding.

With nearly 29,000 Scouts and nearly 9,800 adult volunteers, the Council operates with 243 employees, service centers in Raleigh, Goldsboro and Fayetteville, and four camps. It plans to open a fourth service center in Wilmington by this fall, and is trying to sell a fifth camp.

The effort to boost its traditional troops program has intentionally resulted in a short-term reduction — from 33,500 two years ago — in the number of the Council’s girl members overall, Jones says. That mainly reflects a decline to 45 percent from 60 percent in the share of girl members participating in “outreach” programs, compared to traditional troops.

For girls who participate in its outreach programs, which are designed for girls who otherwise could not afford to participate in a traditional troop, particularly in rural and low-income urban areas, the Council subsidizes its $15 annual membership fee with funds it raises privately.

“We were willing to decrease total membership, short-term, to allow us to focus on our core business, which is building that K-5 traditional troop experience,” Jones says.

“It’s critical to do both” for the long-term, she says. “We want to be able to serve all 41 counties and assure that all girls are receiving a fantastic Girl Scout experience.”

To boost its traditional troops program, the Council hired a program director for girls in kindergarten and first grade, known as Daisies, and in first and second grade, known as Brownies.

The Council also has formed partnerships with Golden Corral and Capitol Broadcasting Co. to pilot year-long outreach programs for girls living in public housing communities.

It has hired volunteer recruitment directors, all new positions, for markets it has targeted for growth in Wake, Cumberland, Pitt and New Hanover counties, as well as outreach coordinators, also new positions, to assist volunteers in Wake, Cumberland, Johnston and Pitt counties.

And it has hired a corporate gift officer and an individual gift officer, both new positions, to secure gifts of $5,000 or more and help increase overall contributions to $1.4 million from $1 million within at least two years.

A key fundraising initiative, Jones says, will be to support the purchase of a bus to deliver materials to community partners in regions, particularly in rural counties, where a lack of transportation may keep girls from participating in day-long programs that are more easily accessible to girls in traditional troops.

The Council also is investing just over $1 million for improvements to its camps.

“The key for us is having Girl Scouts be a philanthropic priority for our communities,” says Jones, who expects to spend 50 percent to 60 percent of her time on fundraising, compared to 40 percent of her time at Carolina Ballet. “We haven’t told our story, and it’s an incredible story.”

Eighty percent of all female corporate executives in the U.S., as well as two-thirds of women in Congress, were Girl Scouts, as were 12 astronauts, eight First Ladies and a member of the U.S. Supreme Court, Jones says.

Girl Scouting now involves 3.2 million girls and women, and its cookie program is the largest girl-led business in the world, generating $790 million in annual sales — and accounting for nearly 65 percent of the local Council’s annual budget.

“We build girls of courage, confidence and character,” Jones says. “It’s critical for our future leadership in the U.S. that girls have that level of confidence to truly make a difference.”

Girls Rock NC uses music to build character

By Todd Cohen

DURHAM, N.C. — As a sixth grader in Reidsville, Amelia Shull wanted to play drums in the music program at her middle school. But because her parents could not afford to buy a drum set, Shull ended up playing the flute, thanks to a donor who contributed one to the school.

“Although I was a kid who couldn’t afford an instrument, I was given an opportunity to be part of the orchestra,” says Shull, Upper School visual arts teacher at Carolina Friends School in Durham.

For the past 10 years, through Girls Rock NC, a Durham nonprofit she founded and co-chairs, Shull has worked to give girls a chance to experience the joy of music she discovered through her parents, who are songwriters and folk musicians.

Operating with an annual budget of $65,000, most of it generated from tuition of $325 per camper, Girls Rock NC has provided a summer camp for well over 1,000 girls, along with an after-school program it launched in 2011.

The summer camp has expanded from Durham to include sites in Raleigh and Chatham County.

Girls Rock NC is one of 43 independent programs that are part of The Girls Rock Camp Alliance, an international coalition of organizations that use music education to empower girls and women and to foster self-esteem and confidence.

The local group focuses on “encouraging girls to use their own voices,” says Shull, who as an 10th grader, confined to a wheel chair for several months after breaking her pelvis in a car accident, “recognized that, when you have strong feelings, when you’re hurting, when you’re trying to find a way to connect, music was the place that felt the most powerful.”

Girls Rock NC offers two summer camp sessions of one week each at Saint Mary’s School in Raleigh, Triangle Music School in Durham and Woods Charter School in Chatham County.

Each session has room for 40 girls, with the first session for girls age seven to 10, and the second session for girls age 11 to 15.

In May, Girls Rock NC will hold an overnight weekend program for 12 to 15 women age 18 and older at The Stone House that will culminate with a performance.

Girls Rock NC provides instruments for girls who need them, and adults from a corps of nearly 100 volunteers lead sessions on a broad range of topics, including forming and naming a band, writing music and lyrics for songs, and performing.

With women who work at the Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture at Duke, the girls also make zines, or magazines without ads.

They create their own t-shirts and other apparel; study dance, stage presence, yoga and “body confidence;” learn about self-defense, making choices, and team-building; and work to develop skills in media literacy so they can “be critical thinkers when viewing images of girls on TV and in the media,” Shull says.

The after-school program, held once a week for 10 weeks at The ArtsCenter in Carrboro and at Hayti Heritage Center in Durham for 12 girls each, focuses mainly on helping girls develop skills as musicians.

Girls Rock NC, which in January hired its first paid staff, including a full-time director of operations and a part-time program director, also in December held its first fundraising  appeal, generating $6,000.

It plans to hold a social-media “crowdfunding” campaign this spring, is looking for sponsorships and scholarship support, will partner with the mother of a former camper who this summer plans to launch a Girls Rock camp in Charlotte, and in October will hold a 10th anniversary Community Girls Rock Fest at The ArtsCenter and Cat’s Cradle, both in Carrboro.

“We just want to be sure that every kid gets to have the experience of exploring creative outlets for expression,” says Shull, whose seven-year-old daughter will be eligible for the first time this summer to attend Girls Rock NC camp.

“She wants to sign up,” Shull says, “and play, no surprise, the drums.”