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Gender and charity – Feelings spur female donors

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Feelings, not tax benefits, are key to donations by women, a new survey says.

The survey by Harris Interactive Inc., a New York market-research and polling firm, says wealthy women are less motivated by tax benefits in their charity than are men, The Wall Street Journal reported April 13.

The survey also says donations by wealthy men are more likely to decline if the repeal of the estate tax proposed by President Bush triggers a drop in charitable giving.

The study looked at the financial behavior of adults 21 years or older with household income of at least $150,000 and net assets of $500,000 or more.

One of four wealthy women agreed with the statement “tax and estate laws provide me with a huge incentive to give,” compared with four of 10 wealthy men, the Journal said.

And four of 10 wealthy men said they were motivated by a tax benefit, compared with three of 10 wealthy women.

“I think what’s most important is that women are provoked by this idea of a larger good because of something beyond tax or estate planning,” Meghan McCleary, deputy director of Women & Philanthropy, a group of grantmakers based in Washington, D.C., told the Journal.

Eighty-six percent of wealthy women said they were moved to give because of strong feelings about a cause, compared with 66 percent of wealthy men.

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