Community Collaboration Initiative (CCI)
The goal of this project is to bring together Muslim American nonprofit organizations that are working within the same sector so that they can collaborate to solve a common problem. Research suggests that due to heightened scrutiny, Muslim American nonprofits have been very effective in interfaith collaboration. However, meaningful intrafaith collaboration can strengthen missions, develop specialization, create economies of scale, and build a more effective nonprofit organization.
Collaboration is the focus of much scholarly research. Since the Great Recession, we have seen an increased emphasis on nonprofit collaboration for a number of reasons. Resource dependence theory and transaction cost theory. The former proposes that a collaborative strategy is the result of organizational efforts to manage external dependencies and uncertainties in their resource environment, whereas the latter emphasizes collaboration as a mechanism to reduce transaction costs and thereby maximize economic or psychological benefits.
Despite their explanatory power, these theoretical perspectives have been criticized for their insufficient attention to those constraints on strategic choice that are embedded in an organization’s institutional environment, its structural context, as well as other contextual and organizational process factors.
This project will bring together Muslim American nonprofit organizations from Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Indiana, California, and Washington DC that are working within the same sector so that they can collaborate on one shared project to solve a common problem.
This project is funded by the Waraich Family Fund and is being organized in partnership with the Pillars Fund and the Center on Muslim Philanthropy.
MPI hosts an annual symposium on Muslim philanthropy and civil society at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy on the IUPUI campus in the fall semester. The symposium brings together scholars to share research related to Muslim philanthropy and civil society from across the world.
Research from the symposium undergoes double blind peer review before it is published in scholarly outlets like the Journal on Muslim Philanthropy and Civil Society published by Indiana University Press.
Journal of Muslim Philanthropy & Civil Society
The Journal of Muslim Philanthropy & Civil Society (JMPCS), is a bi-annual, peer reviewed, open access journal published by the Center on Muslim Philanthropy in partnership with Indiana University Press, Lake Institute on Faith & Giving, World Congress of Muslim Philanthropists, International Institute of Islamic Thought, and the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University.
JMPCS seeks original academic research examining the broad scope of Muslim philanthropy and civil society.
This peer reviewed online academic journal will publish research related to Muslim nonprofit, philanthropic and voluntary action. The terms “Muslim” and “philanthropy” are defined broadly to be inclusive of cutting-edge research from across the world and disciplines. JMPCS is intended to shed light on the dynamic practice and understanding of Muslim Philanthropy.
MPI provides professional development programs through Lake Institute on Faith and Giving and The Fund Raising School in partnership with the Center on Muslim Philanthropy, an independent nonprofit organization.
Lake Institute on Faith & Giving
Through Lake Institute on Faith & Giving, the Executive Certificate in Religious Fundraising (ECRF), a four-day intensive program with a practical application project, provides the research, tools, and customized training to meet the growing needs of leaders in religious communities and fundraisers of faith-based organizations.
The focus of the ECRF is on the cultural, organizational, and philanthropic practices unique to religious institutions that in turn enable donors motivated by spiritual and religious values to experience the joy of generous giving. This training has been customized for a Muslim audience.
The Fund Raising School
The Fund Raising School has been dedicated to the advancement of ethical fundraising for more than 40 years. The school offers 22 courses that will be offered to Muslim nonprofits through specially trained faculty who understand the Muslim nonprofit context and the course materials.
In partnership with the other units at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy (including the Women’s Philanthropy Institute, Lake Institute on Faith & Giving, and The Fund Raising School) the Muslim Philanthropy Initiative will develop customized trainings for Muslim nonprofit and philanthropic institutions based upon need. The Initiative will also develop trainings that will assist non-Muslim nonprofit and philanthropic institutions to better understand the Muslim context.
Muslim American Women Convening
The Muslim Philanthropy Initiative will be convening small groups of Muslim American women philanthropists and nonprofit professionals to have a facilitated dialogue that will result in white papers to guide future research, practice, and policy related to Muslim women and philanthropy.
The Muslim Philanthropy and Civil Society book series has been launched in partnership with nationally recognized Indiana University Press. The book series will publish books in this field with the aim of developing a framework and broader understanding of the Muslim philanthropic, nonprofit, and voluntary sector.
The Muslim Philanthropy and Civil Society book series presents critical research on how Muslims practice philanthropy as an important aspect of their faith. The series emphasizes engagement with Muslim practice by relating to, as well as challenging, conventional understandings of philanthropic and civic activity.
This series aims to encourage the growth of scholarly interest in the emerging field of Muslim philanthropic, nonprofit, and civil society studies. Created under the auspices of the Muslim Philanthropy Initiative at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University and the independent Center on Muslim Philanthropy, the series seeks diverse work written by scholars and practitioners to serve a growing readership of academics, nonprofit executives, trustees, and volunteer leaders.
The Ihsan Standard Leadership Excellence in Community-Based Nonprofits
Request a CLE Speaker, Research Presentation, or General information: email@example.com
The Ihsan Standard is a capacity-building legal and research project—dedicated to leadership excellence among minority-led and Muslim American nonprofits.
Muslim Americans, like other faith-based communities, rely upon the nonprofit sector to promote public good and build religious identity. The Muslim American nonprofit subsector is relatively young, diverse, and quickly expanding. Yet, it also experiences internal and external friction, including a disparate amount of scrutiny in law, policy, and practice. The Muslim American nonprofit subsector faces overlapping challenges with other minority-led nonprofits. Overall, it is under-resourced.
Legal advice and healthy governance practices can be critical to the success of nonprofits. The Ihsan Standard intervenes with legal screenings in support of healthy nonprofit practices. The Ihsan Standard also conducts research to understand and address the resource challenges of minority-led and Muslim American nonprofits.
Ihsan encourages continual growth toward the highest levels of excellence and beautification, including philanthropic giving. At The Ihsan Standard, we adopt the word ihsan to encourage the highest levels of leadership excellence.
- Elevate leadership excellence.
- Encourage effective organizational decisions that benefit programs and clients.
- Support operations within legal parameters and reduce scrutiny.
- Encourage better stewardship of organizational assets and mission.
- Promote community confidence.
- Support ethical decision-making and transparency.
- Promote the equitable participation of minority-led and Muslim American nonprofits.
- Provide thought leadership about Muslim American nonprofits.
- Develop capacity amongst legal providers—in support of nonprofits.
- Advance knowledge about diversity, equity, and inclusion.
- Unearth practices and challenges within the Muslim American nonprofit subsector.
Nonprofit Legal Screenings
We provide pro bono, confidential screenings to assess the legal health of a nonprofit organization. During the screening, we provide legal advice on governance, risk, and compliance matters. We also provide an individualized scorecard that reflects the legal health of the nonprofit. Further, we offer a leadership level training that addresses any legal gaps or exposure.
Corporate Law and Governance
- Understand the roles, responsibilities, and proper activities of a nonprofit board
- Evaluate potential liabilities of board of directors
- Operate within the law and its own bylaws
- Review of charitable registration, state, and federal reports
Employment and Volunteer Issues
- Review laws that apply (or don’t apply) to volunteers
- Review job descriptions for employees
- Evaluate distinctions between employees and independent contractors
Financial Oversight & Internal Controls
- Comply with fundraising laws and regulations
- Gifts, conflict of interest, and other policies
- Appropriate reporting to the IRS and donors
- Understand permissions and prohibitions on political activities
When needed, we connect clients with attorney referrals by jurisdiction and practice areas. For former clients, we offer access to a range of legal resources. We also provide ongoing legal workshops, ranging in topic from advocacy to governance.
Please go here to request a consultation for a nonprofit legal screening. Please note, a consultation does NOT create an attorney-client relationship.
Continuing Legal Education
To build capacity amongst lawyers, we provide ongoing continuing legal education (CLEs) about nonprofit laws, governance, diversity, equity, and Muslim Americans. We also work with lawyers to provide support for legal screenings across jurisdictions. For clients needing legal representation beyond our program, we connect them with attorneys by practice area and jurisdiction. Attorneys wishing to join our referral list should complete this form.
In addition to building legal capacity, we also engage in rigorous research. Our research meets IRB guidelines and includes surveys, focus groups, and interviews. The research design is participatory and community informed. Surveys go through multiple rounds of review and input from community leaders and researchers. Our research provides an opportunity to better understand Muslim American nonprofits. It also allows us to participate in the exchange of ideas to better our society. We invite Muslim American nonprofits to participate in this research by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shariq Siddiqui, JD, PhD
Shariq is assistant professor of philanthropic studies and director of the Muslim Philanthropy Initiative at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. Shariq has a Ph.D. and M.A. in Philanthropic Studies from the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. He also has a JD from the McKinney School of Law at Indiana University and holds a B.A. in History from the University of Indianapolis.
Shariq authors research on Muslim philanthropy and the Muslim nonprofit sector. Most recently, he conducted a national survey of full-time Islamic schools in the United States. This project resulted in the book (that he co-authored) Islamic Education in the United States and the Evolution of Muslim Nonprofit Institutions, published in November 2017. Shariq also serves as the co-editor of the Journal of Muslim Philanthropy and Civil Society, Journal on Education in Muslim Societies, and as the series editor of the Muslim Philanthropy and Civil Society Book Series. All three are published by Indiana University Press.
He has served as a nonprofit practitioner for over 20 years for international, national, regional, and local nonprofit organizations. Previously, Shariq served as the executive director of Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA).
Afshan Paarlberg, JD
Afshan Paarlberg is a visiting assistant professor with the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. She is also pursuing her PhD in philanthropic studies. Afshan’s research, publications, and practice focus on nonprofits, philanthropy, Muslim Americans, immigrants, and refugees.
Afshan holds a JD from The University of Houston Law Center. She also has a B.A. with Honors in Middle Eastern Studies and a B.B.A. in Finance, both from The University of Texas at Austin. In 2020, she was an inaugural Fellow with the Zakat Foundation Institute, obtaining a graduate certificate in Muslim philanthropic and humanitarian studies.
Her legal experience includes designing and implementing access to justice legal projects as well as governance, risk, and compliance measures for domestic and international nonprofits. Afshan also practiced immigration law for several years. She is a strong advocate for social justice. In 2008 before the U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, Afshan co-authored and co-presented a report highlighting domestic discrimination faced by Muslim and Arab Americans.
Afshan enjoys giving back to her communities. She serves as the president of a statewide refugee resettlement agency, Exodus Refugee Immigration Inc. She is a board member of the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding and advisory board member to The Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art and its diversity taskforce. She further holds membership with the International Society of Third Sector Research, American Bar Association, National Association of Muslim Lawyers, and the Association of Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action.
Sana Saleem, JD
Sana Saleem is a visiting assistant clinical professor with the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. Born and raised in the suburbs of Dallas, Texas, Sana has a B.S. in Public Relations from The University of Texas at Austin with minors in Business and Spanish. Sana went on to obtain her Juris Doctor from the University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law where she was the Candidacy Editor for the Denver University Law Review. She also participated in the Civil Litigation Clinic where she helped represent a client bringing a Title VII race discrimination case against a national retailer, and she completed an internship with the Executive Office for Immigration Review and an internship with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
After successfully passing the Texas Bar Exam, Sana was a staff attorney with the Muslim Civil Liberties Union where she advised clients, filed an EEOC charge of discrimination, and pursued post-litigation torts against a federal prison. Sana is licensed in both Texas and Indiana, and practices in the areas of nonprofit law and labor and employment law.
Sana resides in Carmel, Indiana with her husband and three active young sons. She enjoys traveling, baking, and being outside with her kids.
Zeeshan Noor, PhD
Zeeshan Noor is a postdoctoral research fellow with the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. He holds a Ph.D. in Public Affairs degree offered by the Public and Nonprofit Management program at the University of Texas at Dallas. His research is primarily focused on the use of digital media in the nonprofit sector and faith-based philanthropy. His other topics of interest include fundraising, human resource, and diversity management.
Dr. Noor serves as the Chair for the ARNOVA's Muslim Philanthropy and Civil Society Common Interest Group (MPCSCIG), Chair-Elect for ASPA's Section on Professional and Organizational Development (SPOD), and as a Co-Chair for the Annual ASPA Capstone Panel Committee. He will also be joining the Newsletter Committee for the ASPA’s Section on International Comparative Administration (SICA) for the 2021-2022 term.
Dr. Noor is a proud recipient of the 2021 ASPA SICA David Gould Scholar Award, 2020 ARNOVA Doctoral Fellowship, and 2019 ARNOVA Diversity Fellowship. He was also awarded the Doctoral Research Grant ($2,500) by the Center on Muslim Philanthropy and Young Muslim Scholars Development Grant ($1,500) by the Muslim Philanthropy Initiative, IUPUI. In addition, he received the 2021 Wallace O. Keene Conference Scholarship and 2018 WSSA-Travel Enrichment Experience Scholarship. Dr. Noor was inducted into the Pi Alpha Alpha Honor Society as a lifetime member in 2015 by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA).
Ifeoma Akobi is a second year MA student of Philanthropic Studies and a graduate assistant at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. She is also the Presidential Fellow for Advancement at the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site.
Prior to joining the school, she received a Bachelor’s degree in pharmacy and worked as a public health pharmacist overseeing the Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV/AIDS program, and the implementation of the Nigerian Government’s National Drug Distribution Guidelines.
She is passionate about deploying philanthropy as a tool for visionary leadership, economic development and systemic change. This is evident in her academic pursuits as well as her philanthropic work with the Colombia Club, Spirit of Life Church Indianapolis, and the Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana. She enjoys writing poetry, composing songs, and sharing her creative works.
Amal Siddiqui is an undergraduate intern with The Ihsan Standard. He is currently a double major at DePauw University studying Hispanic Studies and Political Science. Amal plans to sit for the LSAT soon with the hopes of attending law school after graduation. He would love to pursue a career as a corporate lawyer.
Amal has been volunteering since he was young; with various Islamic organizations, holding events at the local mosque, and volunteering and leading events in high school and college.
Steered By an Esteemed Advisory Council
Adeel Bashir, American Muslim Bar Association
Arshia Ali-Khan, Muslim Legal Fund of America
Asifa Quraishi-Landes, Muslim Advocates
Elvia Castro, BBB Charitable Giving Wise Alliance
Eric Amarante, University of Tennessee College of Law
Hiba Alami, IMAN Associates
Asad Rahman, National Association of Muslim Lawyers
The Honorable David Shaheed, Judge Emeritus
Supported with generous funding from the Muslim Legal Fund of America.
Muslim Philanthropy, Nonprofit, and Civic Archives
The Muslim Philanthropy, Nonprofit, and Civic Archives will be established at the IUPUI University Library in Indianapolis Special Collections. The Special Collections are home to the archives of the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA), the Foundation Center, and other important collections.
Five Muslim organizations have committed to house their archives in the collections, including the Islamic Society of North America and World Congress of Muslim Philanthropists. The archives will become a focal point for research of the important contributions Muslims are making through philanthropy, nonprofit and voluntary action.