Even though women’s and girls’ issues have received increased attention from the media and policymakers in recent years, charitable organizations addressing these issues are still underfunded.
About 45,000 U.S. charities are dedicated to serving primarily women and girls, or are collectives of women and girls that serve general philanthropic purposes, accounting for 3.3% of all nonprofit organizations in the U.S., according to the inaugural Women & Girls Index released by the Women’s Philanthropy Institute Thursday.
These charities received a total of $6.3 billion in charitable contributions in 2016, 1.6% of all donations made by individuals, foundations, and corporations that year.
“These nonprofits achieve powerful results, driving significant progress for women and girls while operating with lower levels of philanthropic support and fewer staff resources than many other charities,” says Andrea Pactor, interim director of the Women’s Philanthropy Institute.
While most previous research has focused on donors to women’s and girls’ causes, the new report focuses on the recipient side of the equation, she says.
Women’s and girls’ organizations that focus on general women’s health receive the largest amount of philanthropic support, totalling $1.2 billion in 2016. Charities addressing reproductive health and family- and gender-based violence also receive large amounts of donations, according to the report.
The Women’s Philanthropy Institute at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy is funded by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the world’s largest philanthropy. The foundation’s co-chair Melinda Gates announced Wednesday that she is committing $1 billion to accelerate gender equality in the U.S. over the next 10 years.