Our Partners

Meet our leading partners who contribute to the Zakat Foundation Institute's mission in providing advanced degrees in humanitarian and development studies that serve Muslim charitable work.

Center for Muslim Philanthropy

Develop a Muslim philanthropic ecosystem by bringing together the academia, researchers, philanthropists, social entrepreneurs and nonprofit practitioners that Muslim Nonprofits and Philanthropists can serve their missions effectively and have greater impact to make this world a better place.

The following is a summary of activities to further our mission of developing a philanthropic ecosystem:

  • Convened roundtable discussions among leaders in Muslim Philanthropy

  • Organized symposium where the leading researchers and academia presented their papers on Muslim Philanthropy

  • Launched a Book Series, the first book “Islamic Education in the United States and the Evolution of Muslim Nonprofit  Institutions” published in 2017.

  • Established Muslim Philanthropy Archives at IUPUI University Library, Indianapolis, Indiana

  • Established Muslim Philanthropy Initiative at the Lilly family School of Philanthropy at the Indiana University.

Zakat Foundation of America

Zakat Foundation of America was founded in 2001, in the United States by Khalil Demir. Inspired by the Muslim charitable practices of zakat and sadaqah (obligatory alms-giving) and by Islam’s principles of stewardship and service to humanity, Zakat Foundation is a leader in humanitarian aid. The foundation fosters charitable giving to alleviate the immediate needs of poor communities and to establish long-term development projects that ensure individual and community growth. 

Zakat Foundation is an exceptional relief and development organization that deploys sustainable methods and models the spirit of cooperative internationalism that is essential in an increasingly unstable world. 

Their leadership and staff are guided by a strong commitment to peace, dignity and social justice. They are also keenly aware that bringing hope and opportunity to some of the most embattled regions of the world is paramount to combatting unrest and radicalism. 

Zakat Foundation’s dynamic portfolio of grant support and programming in the United States and abroad, includes refugee programs, mental health services, education, disaster assistance and food assistance. Among many accomplishments, Zakat Foundation has a proven track record of successfully navigating the extraordinary complexities of centuries-old politics and cultural norms in the Middle East.

MPI/Lilly School of Philanthropy

The Lilly Family School of Philanthropy is the world’s first school dedicated solely to the study and teaching of philanthropy.

Established in 2012, the school was inaugurated in 2013 and named for one of America’s great philanthropic families in honor of their generations of generosity and leadership. 

Indiana University has been at the vanguard of philanthropy education since the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University was founded at IUPUI in 1987. Led by the center, IU established the field of philanthropic studies; established the nation’s first bachelor’s, master’s, and Ph.D. degrees in the field; and created the nation’s first endowed chair in philanthropy.

An extraordinary synergy of visionary people and powerful ideas, needs, and opportunities gave life to the center and the field. By the mid-1980s, there was a growing recognition of the need for greater knowledge about philanthropy and for more and better trained people to work in nonprofits. To meet those needs, Indiana University proposed the establishment of a center that would include The Fund Raising School, which had been founded in San Francisco in 1974. Lilly Endowment Inc., which had a history of helping nonprofits become more effective and self-sustaining, agreed to provide the initial funding.

Working together, leaders from the university, The Fund Raising School, and Lilly Endowment developed a vision for a university-based center that would serve the nonprofit sector, create a new academic field of study, and examine and perpetuate philanthropy through teaching, research, and service anchored in the liberal arts.

To further advance understanding of key aspects of philanthropy, Lake Institute on Faith & Giving was established in 2002 and the Women’s Philanthropy Institute became a part of the organization in 2004.

Today, the school plays a leading role in moving philanthropy forward across the country and around the world because of the vision and generosity of the founders and leaders who foresaw the need to study, understand, and teach about this integral component of life and society.