Adult children more likely to give to charitable causes if parents do

A new report from the Women’s Philanthropy Institute has revealed that while all adult children whose parents give to charity are more likely to give, this relationship is stronger for daughters than it is for sons.

The report, Women Give 2018: Transmitting Generosity To Daughters and Sons, affirms that parents have the ability to influence children while they live in the same household, and that children can carry this behaviour into adulthood. The research, which is funded by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, has implications for parents, wealth advisors, family foundations, donors and others who seek to instil values of generosity in both daughters and sons.
“Women Give 2018 builds on previous research to underscore the importance of being intentional about the ways we transmit generosity. By exploring the relationship between parents’ and children’s giving through a gender lens, our findings can help parents be more effective as they pass on wealth and values to the next generation, which in turn can help increase charitable giving overall,” says Debra J Mesch, PhD, director of the Women’s Philanthropy Institute and the Eileen Lamb O’Gara Chair in Women’s Philanthropy at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI.
The Women’s Philanthropy Institute released the study at a national launch event in Denver, Colorado sponsored by Wells Fargo Private Bank.
Beth Renner, National Director of Philanthropic Services at Wells Fargo Private Bank, says: “We continue to see clients in high-net-worth families show an increased interest in philanthropy, especially in the context of the generational transfer of wealth. They understand that this transfer of wealth and values is a process – not a one-time event. The research from Women’s Philanthropy Institute, in the Women Give 2018 report and beyond, offers more insight to help us better serve and educate our clients as they navigate this journey. We’re so pleased to be able to support its release.”
The study used data from the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy’s Philanthropy Panel Study (PPS), the longest-running survey of philanthropy in the United States. Because the PPS links parents to children, Women Give 2018 is able to offer new insights on the relationship between parental giving and children’s giving, once those children are adults.
Women Give 2018 is the ninth in a series of signature research reports conducted at the Women’s Philanthropy Institute that focus on gender differences in giving to charitable organisations. Each report explores unique questions about the factors that shape gender-based giving patterns – including age, religion, income, marital status and more – in order to increase understanding about how gender influences philanthropy.