Thursday, February 29 2024 10:33

Women in Nonprofits and Philanthropy

Written by Beth Krallis

Giving their time, talent and treasures to causes they love

Participants in Get on Board training

The nonprofit space is a professional field with a tremendous number of talented women. In fact, in the United States, nonprofits and philanthropy are dominated by women. An estimated 75% of the nonprofit workforce in the U.S. is made up of women.

Why such a super majority, you may ask? The answer is both simple and complex.

In many cases, nonprofits draw women into causes that interest them and match their core values. The majority of nonprofits serve children, the elderly, veterans, animals and some of the neediest members of society as they provide essential services like healthcare, education, housing and more. In addition, social justice nonprofits work to eliminate inequitable conditions in our society, while arts, culture and heritage nonprofits preserve, protect, educate, communicate and create.

In short, nonprofit work enables women to make the world a better place by positively contributing to society each and every day. What an empowering way to earn a living!

Many women provide direct programs and services, and many also have careers in the business side of nonprofits, including development, communications, marketing, finance and human resources. Working among value-driven, like-minded women is a unique opportunity within the nonprofit sector, which in turn promotes organizational camaraderie difficult for some to find in other sectors.

West Chester Downtown Foundation fundraiser, Up on the Roof

Nonprofits also rely on volunteers to orchestrate events, perform office functions and solicit donations. Volunteering requires a strong work ethic, time management, multitasking, problem solving and teamwork. Since many women are philanthropists at heart, it’s no surprise they want to give their time, talents and treasure to support causes they care about.

Nonprofits are fueled in large part by philanthropists. As women gain financial power, diverse female voices are strongly influencing philanthropic decision making. High-net-worth female donors with substantial wealth are key drivers of this trend. Female philanthropists who currently lead the way include Melinda Gates, Oprah Winfrey, Dolly Parton, MacKenzie Scott and Beyoncé Knowles-Carter.

Women are increasingly stepping out from the shadows to claim their positions as influencers and leaders, willing to be named and recognized for their giving and community impact. Please join them.

To become more involved in philanthropy, volunteering, board service and nonprofits overall, contact local nonprofit groups directly or the Chester County Community Foundation at