Fidelity Charitable Study Shows Millennial Women Are Changing the Giving Landscape, Baby Boomer Women More Satisfied

Millennial women are listening to their hearts and their social networks as they embrace new ways of giving, but Boomer women are more strategic and satisfied, according to a new study by Fidelity Charitable®. The Women and Giving study examines attitudes, strategies and priorities around giving across generations and gender.

Donors Cindy and Gabriela Citrone are a perfect example of how two generations of philanthropists interact and benefit from one another. The mother and daughter echo many of the report findings in their own approach to philanthropy, while also demonstrating best practices for generating impact.

Cindy Citrone always saw philanthropy as an integral part of imparting her values to her children – an approach she learned from her own parents. As she taught her children these values, her giving evolved. She took an idealistic view to giving in her 20s but chose to be more focused and metrics forward as she matured as a philanthropist.

“In my early 20s we were young and idealistic. Every cause was equal, every cause was important and, of course, we wanted to do everything. We began spending more time looking at missions and metrics and realized that each organization was different, even if they were trying to solve the same problem. Now, when I give, I really want to be a part of the direction, I want to be a part of the impact,” said Cindy Citrone.

She has learned at least one way to drive impact from her daughter.

“My generation chooses to give quietly. My daughter is incredibly vocal on social media, bringing people together to a cause. She is teaching me how to make social media a part of my giving,” Cindy said, on helping to drive collaboration between nonprofits.

Gabriela Citrone, a senior in college, has already completed internships at numerous nonprofits that include the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and The Pink Agenda, to name only a few. She credits her mother for teaching her how to focus on specific causes.

“My mom goes above and beyond for the causes and charities that she’s involved with and that has really shaped the way that I give, always looking to push myself – from donations to volunteering,” said Gabriela Citrone. “I definitely learned more about due diligence, risk scans and investigating everything I can about organizations I might support.”

Different generations of women give in different ways

Millennial women are modernizing giving, updating the approach of their Baby Boomer predecessors.

This social generation is more likely to talk about their giving and encourage others to support the causes they care about. In addition, Millennial women support a wider range of causes than Baby Boomers and are more likely than Boomers to use new forms of giving, such as crowdfunding and giving circles. Seventy-five percent of Millennial women said they are more likely to lead with their hearts than their heads when it comes to their giving, compared to 62% of Baby Boomer women.

Baby Boomer women, in contrast, are more strategic in their philanthropy, give to fewer causes – and report higher satisfaction. Fifty-five percent of Millennial women say they are satisfied and happy with their giving compared to 72% percent of Baby Boomer women. These differences suggest that a more focused approach to philanthropy could lead to a higher level of satisfaction among women donors over time.

Men and women also give differently

Women are more spontaneous and empathetic, and are likely to give to more sectors than men. For instance, 64% of women say they are motivated by their heart (vs. head) when it comes to giving decisions, compared to 53% of men. Women, who prefer to use experts to inform their decision-making, are more confident than men when it comes to which charities to support. However, men are more confident than women when it comes to decisions about more of the financial aspects of giving, such as which tax strategies to use.

Key findings on the generational differences among women:

  • 75% of Millennial women said they follow their hearts when giving.
  • 55% of Millennial women support a wide variety of causes, compared to 33% of Boomer women.
  • 51% of Millennial women encourage others to donate to the same causes, compared to 30% of Boomer women.
  • 72% of Boomer women say they are satisfied with their giving, compared to 55% of Millennial women.
  • 63% of Millennial women report being torn between a desire to make a charitable donation and the need to hold on to money for personal needs, compared to 41% of Boomer women.

Key findings on the differences between men and women:

  • 64% of women are motivated by their heart (vs. head) when it comes to giving decisions, compared to 53% of men.
  • 51% of women are often motivated to give in the moment (vs. being strategic), compared to 40% of men.
  • 73% of women are confident about which charities to support, while only 40% are confident about which tax strategies or methods to use for giving.
  • 62% of men are confident about which charities to support, while 52% are confident about which tax strategies or methods to use for giving.


Fidelity Charitable has created guides for Millennial and Boomer women based on findings in the study to help each generation maximize their giving and find greater fulfilment.

For the full report, visit:

For giving tips for Baby Boomer women, visit:

For giving tips for Millennial women, visit: