Donor Engagement of Women in Canada

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Insights on Fundraising Programs and Practices

Donor Engagement of Women in CanadaPhilanthropy for social change and gender equity have long been two of my professional passions. But more and more I heard the same conversation in Canada, about how women and men tend to give somewhat differently and about the positive potential of women’s growing wealth and financial decision making power. These are interesting insights and exciting trends. But what can social change organizations do with them?

I was inspired to create this research project on donor engagement of women in Canada by practical questions: How are Canadian nonprofits working for social and environmental well being and justice engaging women and donors? And what are they learning from their practice?

I received generous support from an AFP Foundation – Canada research grant to study the topic. For the study I analyzed:

  • 72 examples of initiatives that specifically engage women donors across Canada
  • interviews with 16 fundraising professionals who had been actively involved in a women-focused donor engagement program
  • interviews with 8 women who were major donors
  • focus group with 8 Canadian practitioner-experts in philanthropy, gender and inclusion
Feminism is about shifting the way things are done, not just quantitative representation of women and other groups marginalized in our society. Collaborative, power- and privilege-aware, humble, inclusive, equitable, supportive, holistic and healthy workplaces, relationships and methods are possible in the field of philanthropy, and that is just what I and many of the key informants are working towards. Consult the interview I did for PhiLab on gender-lens philanthropy, as well as a recent report published by PFC : Gender-Lens Philanthropy: A practical guide for Canadian foundations
Stay tuned for more articles I will release later this year that explore Canadian fundraisers’ insights about feminist approaches to fund development.
For the full report, please visit my site:



Would you like to share your thoughts or insights on the donor engagement of women in Canada? Write to us at , we would love to hear from you!