Gift launches multi-state project as part of Muslim Philanthropy Initiative at Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy
Muslim American nonprofit organizations in several areas of the U.S. will be better equipped to expand their ability to collaborate and raise funds in support of their missions as a result of a generous gift from the Waraich Family Fund to the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI.
The gift creates and supports the Community Collaboration Initiative (CCI) of the Muslim Philanthropy Initiative (MPI) at the school. The CCI is a three-year project that will enable 25 Muslim American nonprofits in Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Indiana, California and Washington, DC, to acquire additional knowledge and training that will help them further serve their local communities and carry out their work more effectively.
“Many Muslim American nonprofits are under-resourced and under high levels of stress. Collaboration among nonprofits can increase efficiency, decrease costs and strengthen missions, but nonprofit leaders often find collaboration difficult and risky,” said Shariq Siddiqui, Ph.D., director of the MPI. “Research suggests that due to heightened external scrutiny, Muslim American nonprofits have been very effective in interfaith collaboration due to the need to have external legitimizing partners. However, meaningful intrafaith collaboration is important too, and it can help these nonprofits strengthen their missions, develop specialization, create economies of scale and build more effective nonprofit organizations. We thank the Waraich family for this generous gift, which will not only help make such collaboration possible but also help us learn how a highly diverse, under-resourced and scrutinized minority can collaborate. This knowledge will help develop new models of collaboration.”
Three key themes stood out from a Waraich Family Fund survey to its Muslim American nonprofit grantees. First, many of the nonprofits reported that they want to collaborate with other nonprofits but don’t have the time and resources to implement this initiative. Many also would like to learn more about fundraising and be more strategic in their fundraising efforts. Finally, many of the nonprofits surveyed recognize the importance of increasing diversity, equity and inclusion in their organizations and want to be more inclusive, and are working to implement such initiatives.
“Our gift comes from the understanding of Zakat—one of the five pillars of Islam. It is a responsibility of a Muslim’s faith to create positive changes during our lifetime,” said Dilnaz Waraich, spokesperson for the family fund. “There are many Muslim American organizations that have empowering missions that drive social impact. Our family works towards using our resources to uplift missions that apply innovative thinking to old problems, processes and systems. We are pleased to make this gift, which is a vehicle for social change that is motivated by our faith.”
The CCI brings together board members and staff of Muslim American nonprofits that are serving the same types of constituents or issues so that they can collaborate on one shared project to solve a common problem. Participating nonprofits work in one of five organization types that comprise the project: community organizing organizations; public policy and advocacy organizations; legal organizations; Masjid/Community center organizations; and wellness and welfare organizations. Over the course of the project, participants will work with conveners from the MPI and other organizations to create useful intra-sectoral collaborations by building trust, creating programming and developing sustainability. The initiative is organized in partnership with the Pillars Fund and the Center on Muslim Philanthropy.
“We appreciate the vision and support the Waraich family has provided to make this innovative new effort a reality,” said Amir Pasic, Ph.D., the Eugene R. Tempel Dean of the school. “Increasing understanding and advancing the practice of philanthropy within and across diverse cultures and communities is at the core of our school’s mission. This thoughtful gift offers a great opportunity to accelerate the work of our Muslim Philanthropy Initiative, and we look forward to the achievements of the nonprofits who are joining us in this new endeavor.”
The Muslim Philanthropy Initiative at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy focuses on understanding and helping further enhance contemporary and traditional aspects of Muslim philanthropy in all its facets. A project of the Dean’s office and Lake Institute on Faith & Giving, it convenes scholars and philanthropy professionals to explore issues and research in the field, hosts symposiums and seminars, and provides education and training. By seeking to further research in this under-studied area, helping to develop thought leadership and inform conversations, and training philanthropic and nonprofit leaders within Muslim philanthropy, the initiative helps build capacity in the Muslim philanthropy sector while adding to the body of knowledge about the rich tradition and practice of philanthropy in Islam.
About the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy
The Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI is dedicated to improving philanthropy to improve the world by training and empowering students and professionals to be innovators and leaders who create positive and lasting change. The school offers a comprehensive approach to philanthropy through its academic, research and international programs and through The Fund Raising School, Lake Institute on Faith & Giving, the Mays Family Institute on Diverse Philanthropy and the Women’s Philanthropy Institute. Follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram and “Like” us on Facebook.