The results are in: girls’ school tops the chart in Australian #GivingDays

It’s a common misconception amongst girls’ schools that they have more difficulty attracting philanthropic revenue than their male counterparts, based on the gender of their students and alumnae.

The facts, however, tell a different story. Charidy has this year run a number of #GivingDays across Australia, and a girls’ school is at the top of the leader board for results to date:

  1. Melbourne Girls Grammar School – $638,550 (Girls)
  2. Caulfield Grammar School – $520,750 (Co-Ed)
  3. St Andrews Cathedral School – $501,701 (Co-Ed)
  4. Ruyton Girls’ School – $380,650 (Girls)
  5. Brighton Grammar School – $373,186 (Boys)
  6. St Joseph’s Terrace – $209,184 (Boys)
  7. International Grammar School – $101,331 (Co-Ed)
  8. Citipointe Christian College – $60,674 (Co-Ed)

In fact, statistically, women are not only more philanthropic than men, but also more likely to give to education. The Giving Australia 2016 findings underline what is also shown in the Northern Hemisphere:

  • 90% of Australian women donate, compared to 84% of men;
  • While Australian women donate smaller amounts than men (21% less), their donation is a higher proportion of their taxable income (0.37% vs 0.31%);
  • In nearly 90% of high net worth households, women are the sole decision maker or an equal partner in charitable giving;
  • Australian women give twice as much to education as men.

Over the past 50 years, the growing education and economic power of women, combined with higher characteristic selflessness, empathy and generosity, has, in turn, increased women’s inclination and capacity for philanthropic support (Gender differences in charitable giving). For this reason, the 21st century is predicted to be the age of women in philanthropy.

So, why do some girls’ schools still struggle with fundraising?

The challenges girls’ schools face are much more likely the result of low confidence and lack of investment in infrastructure. This creates a self-fulfilling prophesy, as girls’ schools so often treat low results as a justification for NOT investing in a strategic fundraising program.

How can girls’ schools leverage better results?

  • Invest in professional staffing for your fundraising operation—and ensure they are not multi-tasking across a range of other functions. Major gift fundraising is a full-time job.
  • Invest in appropriate technology to support your program—is your CRM ideally geared for detailed prospect and donor tracking?
  • Actively engage with your alumnae—they are your lifelong supporters.
  • Invest in a Bequest Program—bequests have the highest return on investment of any form of fundraising, and within the next 15 years, the largest and wealthiest generation in human history, the Baby Boomers, will be contemplating their legacy to the world. Baby Boomer women are more likely to give than all other gender and generation groups.
  • Understand the power of your school’s story—and tell it!
  • Be brave about “asking”.
  • Don’t let your “gender confidence gap” determine the level of support your students receive.


Chanel Hughes is a Senior Consultant and Head of Marketing (Australia) for Global Philanthropic.