High net worth women are responsible for the majority of wealthy family’s philanthropic decisions and often take a more cautious approach to giving than men, according to research by Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
The 2011 Study of High Net Worth Women's Philanthropy, released on 12 December, found that in 90% of high net worth households, women either make decisions about giving to charities on their own or as an equal partner.
They are more likely than men - 78% compared to 72% - to develop a philanthropic strategy or budget, and also spend more time on due diligence before giving to a charitable cause.
However, women expect a “deeper level of communication” with organisations they support and are more likely than men to stop supporting a cause they had previously been involved with, found the study, which was carried out in partnership with the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University.
"Women's increasing visibility and impact in philanthropy has important implications for the nonprofit sector,” said Dr Una Osili, director of research for the Center on Philanthropy, in a statement.
“Charities need to better understand the different motivations that drive high net worth women's philanthropy, their more strategic approach to giving, and their desire for a deeper, more collaborative experience with the organisations they support," she added.
The study also found that wealthy women (91%) were more likely to ask for a receipt for tax purposes than their male counterparts (83%).