[NPFX Ep. 22] Engaging Women Philanthropists to Improve Donor Retention (with Linda "Mac" Perlich and Trish Stark)

donor retention nonprofit fundraising nonprofit strategy podcast

Welcome to The Nonprofit Fundraising Exchange, a podcast from IPM Advancement. Our mission is to help you raise more money so you can make the world a better place.

Today’s topic: Engaging Women Philanthropists to Improve Donor Retention

Outdated and inaccurate ideas that emphasize men as the primary philanthropists in the household have led many nonprofits to largely ignore women in their fundraising strategies. In today’s podcast episode, we’ll explore why women are such an important force in philanthropy today, the reasons they give, what women expect in return from the organizations they support, and how your nonprofit can boost donor retention by engaging women to become long-term partners in advancing your mission.

Time-Stamped Episode Shortcuts:

  • Introductions [1:27]
  • The unprecedented wealth transfer to women [3:08]
  • A brief history of women's role in philanthropy [4:07]
  • How women-focused philanthropy is connected to donor retention [7:08]
  • Examples of how women make philanthropic giving decisions [9:37]
  • Differences between men and women in philanthropy [13:11]
  • Examples of ways nonprofits don't connect with or even alienate women [16:10]
  • "Tried and true" fundraising strategies that don't work with women today [20:12]
  • Examples of how some nonprofits do connect with women donors [23:23]
  • Ways "simple things" can make a big difference [26:42]
  • Best practices for nonprofits to engage and retain women philanthropists [28:37]
  • More examples of how nonprofits engage women donors [32:33]
  • The importance of building genuine relationships [35:48]

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Michele Rebeor has been a development and nonprofit profit professional for nearly 30 years. Offering a niche expertise in women-focused strategies, she's been studying women-focused philanthropy research trends and behaviors for the last 15 years, and is a frequent conference workshop presenter on this topic. Much of the data referenced by Michele in this episode comes from the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.

Linda "Mac" Perlich is CEO and Publisher at ON Media, and Founder of Act One, a nonprofit organization that provides meaningful arts experiences that enhance the academic and creative potential of children and families in Arizona. A lifelong philanthropist, Mac's two greatest passions in the nonprofit world are education and the arts.

Trish Stark is Managing Director for First Western Trust, a boutique private bank and wealth management firm that focuses on working with women in the financial arena. Since college, she's actively worked to support many organizations in the nonprofit sector, including Phoenix Children's Hospital, Arizona State University, ASU Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation, McDowell Sonoran Conservancy, and Arizona Community Foundation.


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