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$1.9 million grant to Women’s Philanthropy Institute will advance actionable, global research on women’s giving to inform and equip donors and nonprofits

Monday, August 24, 2020
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The Women’s Philanthropy Institute (WPI) at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI today announced a new $1.9 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The funding will fuel research on women’s giving both domestically and globally, and support WPI’s work to empower organizations, donors and fundraisers to put research insights into practice.

Since 2015, WPI has conducted research on gender and philanthropy that helps inform the foundation’s Giving By All initiative, which is focused on growing giving and helping donors give more effectively and strategically. WPI’s research to date has focused on a wide range of topics, from retirement to impact investing to giving to benefit women and girls. The new, three-year grant will allow WPI to expand this research and provide a deeper understanding of gender differences and their effects across philanthropy. Upcoming research will explore giving patterns among millennials and Gen Z, how women and men engage with crowdfunding, and more.

“Change is happening rapidly all around us: in philanthropy, technology, women’s wealth, and diversity and inclusion. Our research must facilitate understanding of these changes and meet the needs of today’s donors and practitioners. The support from the Gates Foundation will help WPI uncover relevant trends and insights about gender and giving that can ultimately fuel the growth of women’s philanthropy around the world,” said Debra Mesch, Ph.D., Professor of Philanthropic Studies at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy and the Eileen Lamb O'Gara Chair in Women's Philanthropy.

The grant will also support WPI’s collaborative work to translate research findings to practice, including developing materials for practitioners, presenting to relevant audiences, and working with partners to gather case studies and best practices.

“We are grateful for the Gates Foundation’s continued partnership and the opportunity to contribute to advancing knowledge about philanthropy,” said Amir Pasic, Ph.D., the Eugene R. Tempel Dean of the school.

“The power of WPI’s research is its potential to help increase giving by everyone. As part of this grant, we look forward to focusing more intentionally on gathering empirical evidence to show how organizations are incorporating research learnings into their work effectively — and then disseminating those stories to our broader community,” said Jeannie Sager, director of the Women’s Philanthropy Institute.

About the Women’s Philanthropy Institute

The Women’s Philanthropy Institute (WPI) is part of the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI. WPI increases understanding of women’s philanthropy through rigorous research and education, interpreting and sharing these insights broadly to improve philanthropy. By addressing significant and groundbreaking research questions and translating that research into increased understanding and improvements in practice, WPI helps to leverage new and expanded resources for the common good.

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