To celebrate International Volunteer Day, VITAMIN W's Editor Amy-Willard Cross reflects on her volunteer experiences and bonding with a family from Afghanistan. What will you do today to make the world a better place?
As corporations expand their philanthropic giving, an epidemic that affects millions of American women is being pushed further out of sight. Domestic violence threatens the security of entire families and communities—and all too often costs women their safety and their lives. The economic toll exacted by domestic abuse on our social service systems, workplaces, and on law enforcement is in the billions. Yet less than one percent of company-sponsored foundations currently registered with the Foundation Center even list domestic violence as a field of interest.
The project “A Minute of Your Day for Good” was launched in November 2011. Users of the platform can accrue “charity minutes,” which advertisers later honor in cash. Using this system, volunteer work hours are converted into donations to charity organizations participating in the project. For every charity, hosts a dedicated webpage with a description of the particular campaign, the names of its organizers, and the current status of donations.
A new study from the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University looks at trends among women charitable givers. The third annual Women Give study found that "Boomer and older women are more likely to give to charity and give more than their male counterparts when other factors affecting giving are taken into consideration."
"Welcome to the world of female philanthropy -- it's not your father's United Way," reports Reuters' Temma Ehrenfeld. "Women are exerting a greater influence on how philanthropy is done as they accumulate wealth and use their clout to change the way funds are raised and distributed....As more women give, they are likely to change not only what is funded but how they raise money, because female philanthropists often prefer to raise money in a group."

A new infographic from takes a look at the differences in charitable giving patterns for men and women. According to the graphic, which is based on recent data from Research Now, women are more likely to support animal welfare causes, while men are more likely to support environmental groups. However, both genders agree that health and human services is the area most worthy of charitable dollars. View the entire infographic after the jump.

This year's annual Bank of America Merrill Lynch Study of High Net Worth Women's Philanthropy finds that women are either the sole or an equal decision maker when it comes to philanthropy in high net-worth households. The study also found that women spend more time than men when making philanthropic decisions, they expect a deeper level of communication with the organizations they support, and they place greater importance than men on the efficiency and effectiveness of the organization and hearing about the impact of their gift. Women also value being actively involved with an organization and its mission. The report also found taht women are more strategic than men in their charitable giving.