Gender Matters 

A Guide to Growing Women’s Philanthropy 


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New research shows women are the drivers of their families’ philanthropic decisions. Women give more than men—and when they give, they give differently. 

And yet, most nonprofits and educational institutions are still using tried and true fundraising practices that either alienate women or gain only minimal support from them. Better results are possible when fundraising methods adapt to the new donor realities. 

In this new book, Kathleen Loehr focuses on the specific individual, team and organizational adaptations necessary to increase philanthropic support from women. Loehr breaks through ingrained fundraising behaviors and blind spots that are preventing fundraising teams from reaching new levels of growth in women’s philanthropy. Designed as a catalyst for changing behavior, Loehr makes a compelling case that focusing on women donors gets results, and provides many specific adaptations for doing so. 

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Gender matters. After a decade of important research by scholars we know that gender impacts philanthropy and giving decisions. The genius of Kathleen Loehr is to both summarize and analyze the research and then turn it into action steps that will change the face of fundraising for the generation ahead. This is the most important book on philanthropy that I have read this decade.

Bruce Flessner, Principal, Bentz Whaley Flessner and Member, and Women’s Philanthropy Institute Advisory Board Member


The modern field of women’s philanthropy is thirty years old – some naysayers say women are full partners now in philanthropy and no emphasis is needed to address gender anymore. Not so, says Loehr. She so aptly points out that issues still exist, and we must face what we in the field have known all along: women are still not being asked to their potential. The challenges facing society need women’s perspective and money. By following the directives in Loehr’s book, development directors and others will help unleash and empower women to strengthen not just their own institutions but also our democracy through philanthropy and create a more civic society, benefitting all. This is what our nation and world need now.

Martha Taylor, co-author of Reinventing Fundraising: Realizing the Potential of Women’s Philanthropy (1995), and Women & Philanthropy: Boldly Shaping A Better World (2010)


“They” have been writing large checks for years. The actuarial statistics have told us that women outlive men and often give longer and more over time.

The time for authentic data and direction on this topic is now; the book is here; it is called Gender Matters, and the person to tell this story is Kathleen Loehr. This treatment of this subject will guide professional and volunteer thinking on women in philanthropy for the coming decades and reflects Kathleen’s rich experiences in this arena. Read it for sure, but most vitally, put its wisdom into your planning. The results will speak for themselves because gender really does matter!

Bob Carter, Past Chair, AFP International Board; Past CEO. Ketchum, Inc.; Chair & Founder, Carter.Global


Kathleen Loehr’s work is genius – it raises the curtain on how women are absolutely central to successful fundraising endeavors at universities and organizations around the globe. Kathleen provides practical advice for fundraisers as they create a robust roadmap for their women and philanthropy efforts.  This is a must-read book.

Sue Gerdelman, Chair, For the Bold Campaign, The College of William & Mary


At the National Coalition of Girls’ Schools, we know beyond a doubt that gender matters in school, work and life. I also know that it matters in philanthropy – women do give differently. I am grateful that Kathleen Loehr provides a clear and compelling guide to help us all grow the varied resources women can provide to create lasting change. The leaders of girls’ schools have been asking for a specific manual on how to adjust our fundraising practices for women – we now have it thanks to this book.

Megan Murphy, Executive Director, National Coalition of Girls’ Schools


Kathleen provides incredibly unique insights to women’s philanthropy.  I have learned from her that women view philanthropy in a manner that bucks the traditional male driven approaches, including means of engagement, stewardship and donor solicitation.  We have partnered on many assignments that have capitalized on this skillset and as a result, I have adapted my approach and have become more sensitive to the interests of women who want to have a greater impact.

Stephen K. Orr, Managing Partner and Co-Founder, Orr Associates, Inc. (OAI)