A Muslim Philanthropy Network Engaging Faith, Religious Values and Spirituality for Social Good
Funded by the John Templeton Foundation
This project will examine the relationship between spiritual values and Islamic discourses about social good in relation to nonprofit institutions and organizations in America. This project has five specific goals.
First, we will organize a spirituality, faith, and Islamic values track for Muslim philanthropists (including institutions) from Muslim-majority and minority countries at the biannual World Congress of Muslim Philanthropists (WCMP) in 2022.
Second, we will convene a diverse group of community and academic scholars on Islam who can translate Muslim theological ideas into modern-day conceptions of the more complete Muslim human being. This group will also identify and define concepts that fall at the intersection of Islamic values and Muslim philanthropy.
These concepts will be vital in developing a survey instrument. We will also organize panels at other Muslim philanthropy convenings like the Concordia Forum, a global network of cross-sector leaders from Muslim backgrounds with hundreds meeting annually at exclusive invitation-only retreats in Europe and North America to synergize their talents.
Third, we will conduct survey research on Muslim philanthropists (from Muslim majority and minority countries) who attend the WCMP and Concordia Forum to understand their perspectives on spirituality, faith, consciousness, and Islamic values and how these ideas connect to their philanthropy.
Fourth, we will establish a formal funders’ and scholars collaborative comprised of Muslim philanthropists explicitly motivated to support the development of Muslim thought and spirituality. This project will build on recent work of The Philanthropy Workshop and Synergos that was funded by the Templeton Foundation.
Finally, the dissemination of this research through scholarly and public channels, including a peer-reviewed journal published by Indiana University Press and a white paper and articles for The Conversation and Chronicle of Philanthropy. The research will also be presented at academic conferences. Further details about these goals are below.
Through this program we are partnering with World Congress of Muslim Philanthropists and Center on Muslim Philanthropy to launch an annual global “Muslim Philanthropy Week.” The Muslim Philanthropy Week (MPW) is scheduled to take place September 13-20, 2022.
MPW will have four components: first, it will ask Muslim philanthropists, nonprofits, and volunteers to engage in social good activities in their communities and to share these activities on a global virtual portal so that the world can witness the diverse and amazing acts of good by Muslims across the world. It is our hope to see #MuslimPhilanthropy and #SmilingisSadaqah to trend on social media that week (September 13-20, 2022); second, a convening of Muslim nonprofit organizations that will take place in Washington DC called Nonprofit Innovation Summit (September 17-18, 2022) and virtually to share best practices related to social good activities; third, a social good innovation exhibition where nonprofits and philanthropists can exhibit innovative social good projects or programs; fourth, the Global Donor Forum organized by the WCMP in Washington DC in September 18-20, 2022.
We are also working with Pope Francis team to host a meeting of Muslim, Christian, and Jewish philanthropists at the Vatican in May 2022.
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