Monday, July 23, 2012

Qualities Women and Men Bring to Family Philanthropy

I was fortunate recently to be a presenter at the Council of Michigan Foundation's Family Philanthropy retreat and was very interested in the results of a short questionnaire the attendees answered about what women and men bring to their families philanthropy.

According to those present, women bring these qualities to their family philanthropy:
  • Empathy, the ability to multi-task, relationship building, openness, compassion, sympathy, empathy, momentum, first hand experience, a greater commitment to the family than men, personal passion, emotional connection, things that might be overlooked, good problem solving, hands on, collaboration, want to see results, deep commitment, front line philanthropy, willing to readily seek outside help, an ability to network, balance, and behind the scenes work.
Men bring the following qualities to their family philanthropy:
  • More direct focus, math skills, egos, desire for documentation, financial management outlook, bottom line attitude, stability, networking ability, pragmatic approach to giving, strength, courage, risk, problem solving, impact, want the facts, historically were business owners and have a connection to others, can understand simple to complex situations, longevity, money, confidence, tradition, restraint, big picture.
In summary, we can say that most of the qualities each gender brings to philanthropy are absolutely necessary to the whole of the family's giving.  The results show that women are regarded as more driven by their heart in giving while men by their head.  But each is vitally important in understanding the different genders and the ways they give, as well as important to how all of philanthropy is conducted.

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