For as far back as I can remember, my desire to help people has influenced many of the big life decisions I’ve made.  Whether it was choosing an afterschool activity or picking a major in college, I opted for the choice that would bring meaning to my efforts even when choosing to pursue a degree in social work cost me credibility with my socially conservative parents.

This past month, I was delighted to learn that I was not alone in the belief that even if you helped just one person in the world, it was worth all the sacrifice.  According to new data released by Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide and Georgetown University’s Center for Social Impact Communication,  I am among 80% of American women that believe that supporting causes creates a sense of purpose and meaning in life.

In addition, American women are strong believers in the power of individuals to make a difference by supporting causes, while their male counterparts are more likely to view supporting causes as a fad.  More than four in ten Americans (45%) are actively involved with supporting causes, and women make up a significantly larger part of this group than men.  According to the study,

“When it comes to social media, women are more likely than men to recognize the role that sites like Facebook can play in facilitating cause involvement.  Two-thirds of women believe that social networking sites can increase visibility for causes, and six in ten believe they allow people to support causes more easily.  It comes as no surprise, then, that women are more likely to support causes through promotional social media activities than men.”

At Sunshine Avenue, we have witnessed both the power of leveraging social media and messaging tailored towards women donors.  The Sunshine Avenue team has worked with a wide diversity of organizations that have fundraising as a core strategy to fulfilling their mission.  Customizing your marketing approach and message for your target audience is critical – particularly as it relates to gender, age and ethnicity.

Check out more information about how different ethnicities are engaging with causes in Georgetown’s supplemental study.  And here’s a big shout out to Georgetown and Ogilvy for helping us learn about how to help more people through our work.

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