Gender Bias in Grant Making

In the June 4 issue of The Chronicle of Philanthropy, Alex Daniels reports on efforts by The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to find out whether their own team’s evaluation of grant applications was colored by gender bias. To answer that question, researchers performed a review of 6,794 proposals from the foundation’s Global Challenges (2008 to 2017). Their finding: Women applicants were 15 percent less likely than men to receive a “silver” rating and 20 percent less likely to receive a “gold” rating from the reviewers. A big reason was that the men tended to use “broad” words to describe the sweep of their work, while women researchers stuck close to “topic-specific” vocabulary to describe how their work would advance causes like agriculture, nutrition, and disease research. I so appreciate the Gates’ Foundation’s reflective efforts to address gender bias internally as well as globally.

Beware Deceptive Fundraising

Telemarketers at InfoCision

The Chronicle of Philanthropy today shared a must read Bloomberg Markets story on deceptive fundraising by InfoCision, a telemarketing company that reaps far more money for itself than the charities with which it contracts. By example, they cite an American Cancer Society campaign in which donors were told that 70 percent of their gifts would go to the charity when, in fact, not one percent of the $5.3 million raised actually did. Greg Donaldson, a senior vice president at the cancer society, told Bloomberg that charities consider telemarketing arrangements to be long-term investments, “loss-leader strategies, to engage people in long-term meaningful relationships,” he says. Inform and arm yourself against misleading fundraising, and give with confidence by giving directly to the charities of your choice.