The New Zealand Herald article Charity collector gives tight-fisted men the Christmas grinch title suggests that women give more, more often and that men walk passed collectors, trying to ignore that they are there.

The article goes on to suggest that men, if they give, drop coins into collection buckets whereas women will often drop in a note. 

The article also quotes South Auckland psychologist Barry Kirker who said “… research indicated that if a wife asked her husband’s advice on making a charity donation, she would be talked into giving less.”  

Barry Kirker further says “If the woman is in sole charge of the finances, it’s more likely a higher percentage will go to charity.

“If she asks her husband about it, that percentage will go in a downwards direction.” 

Mr Kirker said women were more likely to give well to several charities, whereas men tended to be either very generous or very selfish. “So if you’re a charity calling for money, make sure you ask to speak to the woman.” 

And Auckland University of Technology professor of psychology and public health Max Abbott said the reason for the difference could be simply that women cared more than men. 

The comments from both Barry Kirker and Max Abbott are likely to be right, and are similar to what I’ve noticed when it comes to who gives and why. And this is that women tend to give more, more often because they’re more aware of what is happening, they hear about appeals more often and listen to the message behind the appeal. 

Women (mums) also hear stories from their children about causes which may have been discussed at school. Women tend to also talk more about causes with their work colleagues, men on the other hand tend not to. 

New Zealand is not alone when it comes to a gender imbalance when it comes to giving. The Global Giving Index produced by the Charities Aid Foundation in 2010 from research undertaken through Gallup’s WorldView World Poll shows that:  

Research in countries with long-standing annual surveys into giving money show a marked trend for women being more likely to give money than men, but comparative international data on this scale has not previously been reported. This survey found that globally women are more likely to give than men, but only just – 30% versus 29%. However, this pattern varies from region to region.  

…more women than men give in eight of the thirteen regions of the world. The largest difference in giving between the genders was seen in Australasia where 74% of women give compared to 64% of men. 

With few exceptions in regions where more women give money than men the overall percentage of giving is higher. The exceptions are Western Asia/Middle East and Northern Africa.  


A survey I conducted in the middle of 2010 showed that 53% of women who responded give to charity versus 47% of men, it’s a gender imbalance, but given all the international research it’s a norm. 

Something else charities need to take into consideration when wondering why men may drop only a few coins in a bucket is perhaps men carry less coins than women. If this is the case then it would make sense for more organisations to look at mobile eftpos facilities to help with the convenience to giving.


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