Giving by and for women grows

While still a small part of overall giving by U.S. foundations, charitable giving by and for women and girls is outpacing other types of giving, a new study says.

Private and community foundations throughout the U.S. awarded almost $2.1 billion in 2006 for activities benefiting women and children, up from about $412 million in 1990, says the report from the Foundation Center and the Women’s Funding Network.

That’s an increase of 223 percent, after adjusting for inflation, compared to growth of 177 percent for overall foundation giving.

In addition, the 145 members of the Women’s Funding Network award a total of about $60 million in grants annually.

“Women are a rising force in philanthropy,” Christine Grumm, president and CEO of the network, says in a statement. “This report demonstrates the power women-led solutions have in creating sustainable change in communities.”

Women’s funds tend to support social change by targeting funding to human rights, health and economic empowerment.

Foundations, however, focus more on health, with almost half their grant dollars for women and girls directed to health-related efforts.

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