Charity Excellence Framework
Posted 1 year ago
I'm white and middle class, like far too many in the charity sector, but I've increasingly been working with Muslim charities. This article has been written to help raise awareness of the huge contribution British Muslims make to the charity sector and make fundraisers more aware of a missed opportunity.
Ramadan is the most sacred month of the year. This year it began on Sunday 4 May and will end on the evening on 4 June. Muslims observe the month of Ramadan, to mark that Allah, gave the first chapters of the Quran to the Prophet Muhammad in 610.
During Ramadan, Muslims fast, abstain from pleasures and pray to become closer to God. It is also a time for families to gather and celebrate. During Ramadan in the UK in 2016, the Muslim community gave approximately £100m to charitable causes.
Zakat, meaning to purify, is the third pillar of Islam. It denotes the amount of wealth that a Muslim is obligated to pay to underprivileged and disadvantaged people. Any Muslim, whose personal wealth exceeds the nisab (threshold of wealth) must pay Zakat, usually 2.5%, with exceptions for those who are unable to do so.
"On the other hand, Allah directs man to the spiritual purity through the act of giving that is represented by charity that the pious pays as "Zakat" and "Sadakat" almsgiving, and other financial obligations." Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah
Our Muslim Community
There are 2.7m Muslims in the UK, of which 47% are UK born, 68% are ethnically Asian and 33% are aged 15 and under.
The towns with large numbers of Muslims are Bradford, Blackburn, Luton, Birmingham, London and Dewsbury. There are also high numbers in High Wycombe, Slough, Leicester, Derby, Manchester and towns in Northern England.
The largest ethnic group are of Pakistani origin, followed by those from Bangladesh, but there are also groups of Indian, Somali, Turkish, white European, Mahgrebi and Nigerian Muslims.
Muslims are less well off than others, yet give at a higher value. Giving per head annually is £371, but many British Muslims donate single gifts of up to £30,000. They are more likely to donate during Ramadan, online and are family orientated – areas of interest include children with disabilities, disadvantaged families, homelessness, education and refugee families.
"Believe in Allah and His Messenger, and spend (in charity) out of the (substance) whereof He has made you heirs. For, those of you who believe and spend (in charity), for them is a great Reward." (Qur’an 57:7)
The work of Muslim charities within the international arena is well known, but perhaps less so their work in the UK and that many support people of all faiths, not just Islam. They also work incredibly hard to ensure that the maximum amount of money goes to those in need. Many of the smaller charities operate on a purely voluntary basis and the larger ones work hard to keep their administrative costs to an absolute minimum.
I know that we all say that and I'm well aware of the fantastic work done by those in non-Muslim charities, but it is true. I recently advised a start-up where the founder is insisting that he personally pay all running costs, so that every penny goes to those in need, and another running substantial international programmes, without a single paid member of staff.
This is a resource from my free charity online toolkit, which enables you to increase impact, your financial resources and performance, in every area. It works for any charity and users rate its ease of use as 9/10: set-up is 2 mins, each of the 8 questionnaires 30 and there are 4000+ links to resources, including 200+ organisations that provide free goods, services and support for the sector.
To help fund it, I'm available for facilitation and consultancy work. Find our more here.