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The Indiana Hoosiers celebrate after the NCAA Women's College Basketball game. Photo: Bobby Goddin/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Former female athletes are donating millions of dollars to build facilities, endow scholarships and support coaching positions at their alma maters, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: Participation in women’s college sports teams is at an all time high, outnumbering men's sports for more than 20 years. And yet, the marketing and sponsorships from benefactors for college female teams has caught on slower than men's sports.

Background: Title IX required schools to provide equitable opportunities, including funding, for both male and female student athletes. The law helped kick-start varsity women’s teams with more resources and salaried coaches.

  • The NCAA doesn’t track philanthropy by gender, but universities do. And some athletic directors have said they’re experiencing an uptick in women asking how they can support these programs.

By the numbers: Today, 10,586 women’s teams compete in NCAA championship sports, compared to 9,159 men’s teams. Women’s NCAA teams increased by 64 in 2017, according to NCAA's most recent stats.

  • Turnout for national women's sports grew at an average of almost 40% since 2013, according to a study by sports marketing agency Two Circles.

Contributions to U.S. colleges and universities came to a record $46.73 billion in fiscal year 2018, according to a report from the Voluntary Support of Education survey by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.

  • At Indiana University: Women make up half of the philanthropic funding sources routed toward athletics — about $52 million. That money has been earmarked for a women's sports center focused on physical and mental wellness, nutrition and leadership and life skills.
  • At Drake University: Suzie Glazer Burt, a third-generation member of the school's board of trustees, gave the school's largest noncapital donation to the women's basketball program, totaling $5 million for the head coach’s salary, another coach hire and to help the team travel more by plane, the Des Moines Register reports.
  • At Queens University: Chief technology officer at Bank of America Cathy Bessant donated $1 million for a $2.4 million field hockey field house, the Charlotte Observer reports. Her daughter played field hockey and graduated from there in 2018.

The bottom line: 51% of personal wealth in the U.S. comes from women, based on data fro 2015, and is expected to keep growing.

  • Per NYT: "Sports philanthropy reflects that women who have made their own money, inherited fortunes or outlived their spouses are controlling more wealth than ever in the United States and are directing it to their favorite causes."

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Toyota to build $1.3 billion U.S. battery plant in North Carolina

The all-electric Toyota bZ4X, the company's first battery-electric vehicle, at the Los Angeles Auto Show in Los Angeles, California on Nov. 17. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

Toyota announced Monday it's investing $1.3 billion to construct an electric vehicle battery "megasite" near Greensboro, North Carolina, set to open in 2025.

Why it matters: Toyota's Prius hybrid won environmental plaudits when it launched in 1997, but it has since lost ground to electric vehicle world leader Tesla, per Axios' Joann Muller. This battery plant will be the first to produce automotive batteries for Toyota in North America.

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Congress hunts for shortcut to pass defense funding, debt limit combo

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer returned to his office Monday. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

The scramble in Congress to pass the National Defense Authorization Act is being complicated by an effort to tie it to a needed hike in the federal debt limit.

Why it matters: The House and Senate are rapidly coming up against a series of deadlines they must address before the end of the year — or risk disrupting crucial military funding and upending the economy. Congressional leaders are now hoping they can knock out both "must-pass" priorities in one, complex swoop.

Scoop: Inside Jake Sullivan's call with U.S. hostages' families

Photo: Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA/Bloomberg via Getty Images

National security adviser Jake Sullivan spoke last week with relatives of U.S. hostages and others wrongfully detained abroad, after more than two dozen families expressed frustrations about their inability to get a meeting with him or President Biden, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: Participants on the video call, which began at 7pm ET Friday and lasted more than an hour, told Axios they didn't get satisfactory answers to many of their questions. Nonetheless, they were encouraged by Sullivan's commitment to follow up and pledge to be personally available to them and others going forward.

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