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Charity Gender Study: Older Women Donate 89 Percent More Than Men

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The fact persists that women are the more giving sex -- in all the right ways.

Even though women earn less than men and have less saved, baby boomers and older women give a whopping 89 percent more of their income to charity than men, according to a new study from the Women's Philanthropy Institute at Indiana University.

"We did find that women are more generous," Debra J. Mesch, institute director, told Gannett. "We're not saying that women are better or men are worse but that [charities] need to think about the differences in giving patterns and behavior of men and women."

The Women's Philanthropy Institute report, which surveyed strictly homes in which women are heads of the households, also found that females are more likely than men to give to charity in all income brackets.

To be sure, women now have the economic power to influence giving in unprecedented ways -- with greater career success and savings than ever before, the study points out.

Women of all demographics are influencing philanthropy in new ways through technology, family foundations and an insider "culture" of giving that includes using groups to fundraise, Reuters points out.

Women who make up the Tiffany Circle, the Red Cross women's program, cited an anecdote during which the group reeled in new members by raising the bar in terms of fundraising goals three years ago.

"We raised over $6 million in 30 seconds," Melanie Sabelhaus, a former deputy administrator at the Small Business Administration who heads the Tiffany Circle, told Reuters. "And not one of the women picked up the phone and asked her husband."

Women are also empowering other female activists and focusing funds on new models in medical research grants important to women -- areas such as lupus, which affects women during child-bearing years, according to the news outlet.

And some female do-gooders don't just see charity as a service, but as a vocation.

At a recent gathering of top women in philanthropy at the Aspen Ideas Festival panel, the philosophy wasn't one of simply being incidentally charitable -- women shared ideas on taking on causes that truly matter as a career, the Atlantic reported.

Merle Chambers, creator of the Chambers Family Fund, offered an important reminder: "This work is so wonderful, and you always get so much more from it than you think you give. It's always important to remind ourselves that we are doing something of tremendous value and worth in this world, and it's all right to enjoy it as well."

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