Women’s and girls’ organizations appear in every nonprofit subsector, spanning causes including education, health, the environment, and the arts. During the past five years, events like the Women’s March and #MeToo movement have shined a spotlight on gender-related issues such as reproductive rights and sexual harassment and abuse. More recently, the COVID-19 pandemic, racial justice movement, and climate crisis have highlighted inequities—including gender disparities—in the United States and around the world. Despite increased public attention to these issues, the Women & Girls Index (WGI), created by the Women’s Philanthropy Institute (WPI) in 2019 and updated in 2020, revealed that philanthropic support for organizations dedicated to women and girls makes up a small fraction of overall charitable giving.

The WGI is the only systematically generated, comprehensive Index of charitable organizations dedicated to women and girls in the U.S. WPI created the Index to provide philanthropy researchers and practitioners, as well as policymakers and the general public, with a deeper understanding of the landscape of women’s and girls’ organizations, particularly the level of contributions they receive from individuals, foundations, and corporations. The first WGI report provided a snapshot of this information for 2016; the 2020 report built on this groundbreaking research by adding data from 2012 to 2015 and 2017. The present report expands this longitudinal picture to include 2018, the most recent year for which finalized IRS data on charitable organizations is available.

Key Findings: 

  1. Philanthropic support for women’s and girls’ organizations surpassed $8 billion in 2018, and represents a small but growing share of overall charitable giving (1.9%).
  2. Women’s and girls’ organizations are growing faster than other charitable organizations along financial measures like revenue and expenses, indicating they are maturing as a nonprofit subsector.
  3. While philanthropic support for women’s and girls’ organizations increased across the board, particular types of organizations within this subsector— such as those focused on the environment (37.1%) and civil rights and advocacy (32.3%)—experienced especially strong year-over-year growth from 2017 to 2018.

View the full Women & Girls Index at the Women’s Philanthropy Institute.