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This paper examines the mechanisms for giving by investigating the psychological and values differences between men and women's motivations for giving. We explored two of the eight mechanisms for giving developed by Bekkers and Wiepking as a framework for why people give—principle of care and empathic concern. Are there differences in these motives for giving by gender, and can these differences in values and the psychological benefits that people receive when making donations explain gender differences in charitable giving? Are women more likely to give and give more than men because of their higher levels of empathic concern and principle of care? We used two US national data sets to test our hypotheses. Our results for both data sets indicate significant differences in motives by gender, as well as differences in the probability of giving and amount given by gender, even after controlling for empathic concern and principle of care measures. Our findings are discussed in terms of the importance of viewing charitable giving through a gender lens as well as practical implications for practitioners. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.