Academics

Offering graduate certificate programs designed to strengthen leaders and innovators in the humanitarian and philanthropic fields.

Overview: There are nearly 700 million people around the world that live in extreme poverty and nearly another 80 million people that have been forcibly displaced from their homes. Despite rapid advances in technology, communication, and global economic development, basic human insecurity seems to be expanding just as quickly. By including stakeholders and listening to those directly impacted, the Zakat Foundation Institute believes that with the right mix of innovation, applied research, and will power the international community can overcome the greatest humanitarian challenges facing the 21st century.

With that vision in mind, The Institute offers graduate certificate programs designed to strengthen leaders and innovators in the humanitarian and philanthropic fields. It does so by creating education and training programs led by cutting edge researchers, seasoned practitioners, and accomplished scholars, thus ensuring their education is grounded in practical experience and academic excellence.

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Graduate Certificate Programs

Learn about our fellowship program that awards a full tuition for an 18 credit program and our 2 certificate programs.

Indiana University Fellowship

We offer 10 Muslim Philanthropy and Humanitarian Studies Fellowship awards to prospective students who have excelled in their service to Muslim charities.

How It Works

The Fellowships are fully funded by Zakat Foundation of America, the global charity that created the Institute as an independent nonprofit graduate school to professionalize Muslim charitable work.

Each Fellowship award pays the full tuition costs of its selectee to complete a one-year, three-semester program of coursework – 18 credit hours – at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, as part of the Lily School’s Muslim Philanthropy Initiative, which grants successful candidates a Graduate Certificate in Philanthropic Studies from Indiana University. The philanthropy sector recognizes a Lilly School education as elite training in the field.

Fellows complete 12 credits of Indiana University coursework and 6 credits from Zakat Foundation Institute’s core curriculum and capstone courses. 

Zakat Foundation Institute recruits Fellowship candidates from disenfranchised communities in the US and abroad who will use the training and expertise they gain through the program to develop humanitarian solutions to ameliorate various social and structural challenges in their communities.

Course Breakdown of Fellowship Program

FIRST SEMESTER

Fellows begin their studies with:

  1. An in-depth course on the Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector along with;

  2. An offering on Muslim Philanthropy and Humanitarian Sector in Crisis (required of all Zakat Foundation Institute students.) 

SECOND SEMESTER

Second semester studies entail two courses:

  1. Applying Ethics in Philanthropy and;

  2. An extensive investigation of Muslim Philanthropy. 

SUMMER SEMESTER

The final summer semester – in addition to the capstone practicum required of all students – includes:*

  1. Principles and Practices of Fundraising and also;

  2. Directed Readings in Philanthropic Studies.

*These two classes account for the extra 3 credit hours of study (for a total of 18) that the Fellowship track entails. 

Certificates

Zakat Foundation Institute offers graduate certificate programs designed to strengthen leaders and innovators in humanitarian and philanthropic fields. Learn about our fellowship and certificates.

Certificate

Global Refugee and Humanitarian Policy

This certificate specialization introduces students to the emerging field of humanitarian policy advocacy and development.

This certificate hones students’ public communication capacities, policy research acumen, and issue advocacy skills. It also provides students with a hands-on understanding of the geopolitics of the aid and development system as well as the role of religious actors therein.

All students, including Fellows, complete white papers on topics in their field of study and a chapter for a book that Zakat Foundation Institute will publish at the completion of the program. 

Get Application For application, please email [email protected]

Certificate

Community-Based Aid and Development Practice

This training qualifies students with professional, management, and business-skill backgrounds for work in the humanitarian aid and development sector, with a particular emphasis on operational infrastructures of relief and charitable organizations and their target populations, spheres, or regions.

This certificate prepares students in the subject areas of global aid institutions, the mechanics of relief and development, and the localization agenda. 

Like the Fellowship track, the Policy and Practice courses of study are three-semester programs that commence with the Muslim philanthropy and humanitarian sector in crisis and end with the capstone practicum. 

All students, including Fellows, complete white papers on topics in their field of study and a chapter for a book that Zakat Foundation Institute will publish at the completion of the program. 

Get Application For application, please email [email protected]


Accreditation

Zakat Foundation Institute is seeking accreditation for its education programs through appropriate higher education authorities in the US. Until it receives accreditation, Zakat Foundation Institute has entered a partnership with the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. Through this agreement, Zakat Foundation Institute students receive course credit and appropriate academic credentials through Indiana University. Graduate Certificate in Philanthropic Studies is from The Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University. The Certificate in Humanitarian Studies is granted from Zakat Foundation Institute.

Eighteen (18) graduate credit hours from The Lilly Family School of Philanthropy that can be used towards the Main Philanthropic Studies at The Lilly Family School of Philanthropy should students be admitted into the MA degree program.

Note: The MA is 36 credit hours total.

Academic Calendar

Course 1

Course 2

FALL

Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector
(3 credits)

Students examine issues of why people organize, give, and donate time; theories of the sector; policy formulation in the sector, etc., with the objective of becoming “philanthropically literate.” The preferred first course in the program.

Muslim Philanthropy
(3 credits)

This course examines the traditions of giving and receiving charity and philanthropy of Muslims. It takes a comparative approach to giving including different historical contexts and traditions. Among the topics covered will be donor motivations, definitions of need, identity formation, and philanthropy, politics, and social change.

SPRING

Applying Ethics in Philanthropy
(3 credits)

This course reflects an inquiry into the ethics and values of philanthropy rooted in a general understanding of philanthropy, as voluntary action for the public good, as an ethical ideal. Students consider philanthropic activity in light of this ideal.

Muslim Philanthropy and Humanitarian Sector in Crisis
(3 credits)

This course covers the history of international humanitarian assistance during the 19th and 20th centuries. Its focus is on the movements and activities that developed in wealthier countries (Europe and the U.S.) during this period which attempted to help those in other lands in need of assistance (e.g., food, shelter, medical care). These needs arose from a variety of causes, both natural and man-made, such as famine, flood, epidemics, earthquakes, and volcanoes as well as wars and government oppression. The responses took many forms, governmental and non-governmental, in a world that underwent very dramatic changes during the 19th and 20th centuries.

SUMMER

Principles and Practices of Fundraising
(3 credits)

The course covers the salient aspects of the fundraising process as organized carried out by nonprofit organizations – its base of core values, preparing a case for philanthropic support, relevant techniques and strategies, assessing potential sources of support, effective engagement of human resources, and process management. The course includes relevant theory to undergird practice, examination and analysis of current practice, a proposal of practice standards, and discussion and examination of ethical problems in fundraising.

Directed Readings in Philanthropic Studies
(3 credits)

Content out of our Variable Topics (including Community Foundations, Philanthropy Ethics–East and West, Religion and Philanthropy, Effectiveness in Philanthropy, Philanthropy, and Public Policy: The German Context, Leadership in the Philanthropic Sector, and Racial Equity and Philanthropy). Students also complete a white paper and a book chapter that will be published by Zakat Foundation Institute at the conclusion of the fellowship.