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The Power of Women for Women in Philanthropy

by Rachel Greenman March 07, 2024 2 min read

Women for Women India
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When you think of a philanthropist, what comes to mind? Historically, men have been at the forefront of philanthropy — especially in the US. Today, that’s quickly shifting toward a new powerhouse demographic: Women. 

Just a decade ago, the majority of donors giving to charity were successful men in executive positions — and although there are still more men in the sector, the face of wealth and giving is changing. Women now comprise 47% of the country’s top wealth holders, controlling nearly $5 trillion in assets.

Not only are women bringing more money to the table than ever before, they are bringing new perspectives, priorities and passions. They are going past writing checks and actively involving themselves in the conversations that drive change. 

“The most important thing we can do is unleash the full power of half the people on the planet—women. We know that women need the tools of development, but development needs women.”
— Judith Rodin, President of The Rockefeller Foundation

Women are more likely to fund chronically underserved causes and populations

And one thing we know for sure is that women fund differently than men. Not better or worse, just differently. They are more likely to fund chronically underserved causes and populations. Every dollar that is donated is changing the role of gender in addressing some of the world's largest issues — and it will continue to trend upwards. 

The Association for Women’s Rights in Development found that women are more committed to supporting gender equality causes, and supporting women and girls. From ‘aid to investment’ and ‘writing a check’ to ‘being a voice,’ women search for deeper solutions to development problems — and at the center of most is gender equality. 

At One Tree Planted, we work at the nexus between climate action and women's empowerment. Many of our projects center around women leading community action. We know the importance of putting women at the forefront — and so do our donors. 

Woman holding seedlings

When it comes to building climate resilience in communities, involving women is crucial.

In fact, 17 studies from around the world identified significant improvements in natural resource governance and conservation when women participated. Including women resulted in stricter and more sustainable extraction rules, greater compliance with conservation laws, greater transparency and accountability, and better conflict resolution.

We need women, in all their diversity, involved at all levels – from climate negotiations to boardrooms, and from philanthropy to forests and fields. 

In celebration of International Women’s Day, One Tree Planted has established the Women’s Empowerment Fund. With an ambitious goal of raising $500,000 during the month of March, the fund will support reforestation projects that have a focus on empowering women.  

Beyond simply planting trees, these reforestation initiatives benefit women and their families, mitigate climate change, and improve biodiversity. Join us in seeding the Women’s Empowerment Fund to improve the lives of women, their children, the natural world around them, and the planet as a whole.

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Rachel Greenman
Rachel Greenman

Rachel is our reforestation storyteller, helping donors and foundations make a positive impact. With a background in Geography & Environmental Science, she is a huge advocate for conservation and climate action, and believes the first step in restoring the planet is creating mission-driven communities and partnerships!