The “Forgotten Men” of Charitable Giving


It’s no secret in the non-profit community that men tend to respond more to logic in messaging, while women tend to be more emotional. So then the question for us in the non-profit sector becomes, when focusing on a cause based campaign, how hard do you try to reach the number crunching male population?

According to a new study “The Forgotten Man,” released by Good Scout, a social good consultancy group, 73% of the more than 1,500 men in the study said they have given or are currently giving money to charity.

Who are men giving to?

Depending on their age, there was some difference in the focus of the mens giving when it came to their second and third most supported causes.

For example, millennials chose advocacy and social service for their second and third most supported areas. Middle aged men focused more on disaster relief and education as their runner ups. And the senior age group leaned more toward church and health related causes.

But, for every group, the number one cause, without exception, was children. No matter if the men were 18 years old or 78 years old, their number one category of donation was charitable efforts that helped kids.

This may be a purely logical choice as there is more room for growth and more potential for children because of their age, but it might also mean that men aren’t completely without emotional motivators.

Why are men forgotten?

A big difference between men and women when it comes to charitable giving, especially on social media, is how vocal they are about their giving. Good Scout’s report says that 71% of the men that donated did NOT share it on social media.

In general, men see social media as a place to absorb news, do research, or watch videos, while women see it as a place to socialize, talk about important issues, and get their friends opinions.

This can mean that men are left out or “forgotten” when we plan our cause based campaigns because we don’t “see” the result in the same way we do with women. While likes, shares, and reposts are important when fundraising, we must also strive not to forget those men who are ready to give, but not eager to post.

So what does this mean for you?

This might mean it’s time to take a second look at how you are structuring your messaging. Are you following the trend of a more female focused messaging plan and “forgetting” about the men that could potentially be your loyal donors?

While targeting your messages based on audience is still very important, it may be equally important to make sure you aren’t excluding men simply because you don’t see them posting about their donation on Facebook.

It might be necessary to look beyond social media platforms to reach the men that will support your cause. Reaching out through texting, networking, and fundraising events could open your organization up to a whole new donor group that’s ready and willing to lend a hand.


About the author: Olivia is a senior at the University of Iowa pursuing a degree in journalism and mass communication as well as a certificate in writing. She is interested in how effective writing can benefit non-profit causes as well as traditional media. In her free time she enjoys reading, and photography, and has a passion for travel. 


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