Giving Compass' Take:
- Jeannie Infante Sager, director of the Women’s Philanthropy Institute (WPI), and Jacqueline Ackerman, associate director of WPI, discuss how they are working to increase women's visibility in philanthropy.
- What are the specific challenges for women donors?
- Learn more about gender and giving here.
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Jeannie Infante Sager is the director of the Women’s Philanthropy Institute (WPI) at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, which works to “conduct, curate, and disseminate research that grows women’s philanthropy.” A member of the executive leadership team and an associate professor at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, she teaches in the Fund Raising School.
Jacqueline Ackerman is associate director of WPI, where she manages all aspects of the institute’s research, which is primarily supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
In a joint interview, Infante Sager and Ackerman discussed their work to increase the visibility of women’s philanthropy, especially that of Black women; research findings about women’s motivations for giving and their implications; trends in giving led by high-profile women philanthropists such as Laurene Powell Jobs, MacKenzie Scott, Melinda French Gates, and Sheryl Sandberg; and prospects for “rage giving” and “feminist philanthropy.”
Philanthropy News Digest: Although women’s philanthropy dates back at least to the 19th century, philanthropy is often viewed as a paternalistic endeavor or one structured around couples. How has WPI worked to increase the visibility of women’s philanthropy as independent ventures, and in what ways has it been transformative for the sector?
Jeannie Infante Sager: Great question. It’s why we exist, right? We’ve known, and history has shown, that women have always been generous, and WPI has an opportunity to create visibility and encourage women to step into their power as philanthropists. We’re the only academic institute dedicated to furthering the understanding of gender in philanthropy—through research, education, and knowledge dissemination. Over the 30 years since WPI’s inception, we’ve put out several annual reports; our signature annual report is the Women Give report. The bulk of our research looks at women as donors, but we’ve recently started to do research around women and girls as recipients of philanthropy. Five years ago we created the Women and Girls Index, which allows us to track giving to women’s and girls’ organizations in the United States.
Read the full article about women's philanthropy by Lauren Brathwaite and Kyoko Uchida at PhilanTopic.