Press Release

State of Indiana authorizes Zakat Foundation Institute to open doors in August 2021

Offering Graduate Certificate program in Humanitarian Philanthropy

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March 19, 2021, Indianapolis, Indiana. 

On March 2, 2021 the Indiana Board of Proprietary Education, a division of the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, granted initial institutional authorization to the Zakat Foundation Institute during its first quarter public meeting. Zakat Foundation Institute, a new online graduate certificate program focused on training leaders in faith based humanitarian philanthropy in and around the Muslim world, will now officially launch in the fall semester of 2021 and can begin recruiting dedicated students from the US and abroad. 

What is the Zakat Foundation Institute? 

Zakat Foundation Institute offers graduate certificate programs designed to build leaders and innovators in the humanitarian and philanthropic fields equipped to take on the toughest challenges facing the 21st century. 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. 

What does BPE Authorization Mean? 

“We are thrilled. This is a critical step ensuring that Zakat Foundation Institute is on its way to building a world-class program, bridging academic research and professional practice, in humanitarian and philanthropic practice in and around the Muslim world,” said Abbas Barzegar, Academic Director of the Zakat Foundation Institute. 

Rasheed Ahmed, Executive Director of Zakat Foundation Institute, stated: "Muslim humanitarian organizations play a critical role in the United States and globally, Zakat Foundation Institute aims to narrow a gap in the field of applied research and public policy in the humanitarian field. ZFI students and alumni are likely to both elevate professionalization of Humanitarian organizations and their policy discourses from practitioners perspective." 

Zakat Foundation Institute, a new initiative of Zakat Foundation of America, launched a scholarship program in 2020 in collaboration with the Muslim Philanthropy Initiative at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University-Purdue University Indiana, that has sponsored nearly 20 graduate students in the pursuit of a graduate certificate in philanthropy. Students in this program earn a certificate in philanthropy with a concentration in Muslim world affairs. 

Shariq Siddique, Director of the Muslim Philanthropy Initiative said: "This is a significant milestone and moment in history--both in terms of the professionalization of philanthropy and its study as well as in terms of the continued growth of American Muslim institutions of higher education." 

In 2021, Zakat Foundation Institute will offer two independent certificate tracks, concentrating on humanitarian affairs: 

  • Global Refugee and Humanitarian Policy

  • Community-Based Aid and Development Practice 

Learn more about the scholarship program from Indiana University
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