Engaging Women as Donors

Lilly Family School of Philanthropy

Lilly Family School of Philanthropy


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About the course

Learn how to build and sustain powerful relationships with women donors.

Women are changing the face of philanthropy! This course, designed through a collaboration of The Fund Raising School and Women’s Philanthropy Institute at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, will provide key insights into women’s philanthropy and women’s giving, allowing your organization to be successful in engaging women as donors.


Day One: Focus on the Woman

Introduction to the Course

  • Introductions
  • Expectations and Challenges

Understanding Influences and Influencers

Learning Outcome – Understand value of key women’s roles in shaping philanthropy; recognize or investigate role of women in history of your own organization.

  • Timeline and History

Challenging Assumptions

Learning Outcome – Examine research, practical cases, and transformative results of breaking these assumptions, and identify donor education program criteria to meet the needs.

  • Women are not as philanthropic as men.
  • Women don’t give big gifts.
  • Women defer to their husbands in charitable decision-making.
  • Women are afraid of outliving their resources.
  • Women aren’t asked to give.

Engaging Women

Learning Outcome – Understand how modern women’s movement is just beginning to influence philanthropic potential.

Exploring Demographics, Psychographics, and Capacity. Learning Outcome – Recognize how certain demographics and psychographics influence women.

  • Education
  • Family Structure
  • Leadership
  • Access to Wealth
  • Gender Comparisons
  • Generations

Understanding Attitudes and Behaviors

Learning Outcome – Understand attitudes and behaviors that keep women from engaging in giving; apply appropriate techniques to navigate the barriers


  • About Money
  • About Guardianship vs Ownership
  • About Risk


  • Volunteering
  • Impact

Vision, Values, Voice

Realizing Women Give Differently. Learning Outcome – Recognize how women give differently than men, what affects and influences these decisions, and how these behaviors are determined.

  • Motivations
  • Empathy
  • Barriers and Opportunities


Day Two: Focus on the Organization

Negotiating Organizational Barriers

Learning Outcome: Recognize barriers within the organization, and identify solutions to navigate these barriers for success.

  • Attitudes
  • Culture and readiness
  • Resources
  • Organizational structure
  • Leadership

Changing Organizational Behaviors

Learning Outcome: Recognize behaviors inconsistent with best practices for working with women donors in examples provided, within themselves, and in their own organizations, and select, model, and evaluate new choices based on information learned.

Data Management

  • Analyzing data
  • Measuring impact


  • Key gender differences


Changing Organizational Behaviors (continued)


  • Power of the network
  • Donor education
  • New trends

  • Solicitation

  • Recognition and Stewardship

Creating Long Range Impact in Women’s Philanthropy

Learning Outcome: Consider and define how changes in working with women donors will impact field of philanthropy and your own organization.

  • How will it impact the field, your area, your organization?
  • How will it change your fundraising?
  • How will it change the face of philanthropy?

Generating Action

Learning Outcome: Create a plan of action items to complete by evaluating the current state of your organization, and identifying key steps you will take as immediate action, 90 day actions, and longer term actions. Create goals, action steps, evaluation measures, and timeframes to implement these plans.

  • Action plan exercise
  • Final questions and answers

Course Wrap Up

  • Evaluation of expectations
  • Completion of course evaluations
  • Graduation


You’ll learn

  • How to work with women donors to clarify their philanthropic values, vision, and voice
  • The evolution of women’s philanthropy and women’s philanthropic capacity
  • How generational differences and family considerations impact women’s giving
  • Gender differences in communication styles
  • How to use donor education programs to engage women donors
  • Key considerations for building a women’s giving program at your organization

What you’ll receive

  • A comprehensive, easy-to-use study guide with background reading
  • A “Values, Vision, and Voice” assessment tool that you can use to deepen relationships with women donors
  • Tips for cultivating and soliciting women donors

Videos and materials

Engaging Women as Donors at Lilly Family School of Philanthropy

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Coursalytics is an independent platform to find, compare, and book executive courses. Coursalytics is not endorsed by, sponsored by, or otherwise affiliated with any business school or university.

Full disclaimer.

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