Be Careful Who You Donate To

Be Careful Who You Donate To

Ramadan is here again and worship and the reward for charitable acts are multiplied.  Understandably,  we take advantage of this opportunity to do additional good deeds and worship.  It’s also when Muslim organizations ramp up their charity campaigns.  While many causes are noble and good and there are many excellent and trustworthy organizations to give to, there are others that, year after year, prey on Muslims who want to do good deeds. This includes global and local charities, institutions, and educational efforts. 

So how do you know if an organization is careful with donations and its revenue and which ones squanders their funds? As I’ve written extensively in this previous article, it comes down to transparency.  I cannot stress enough the critical need to never rely on the reputation of those soliciting funds or the personalities they have sponsoring their causes.    We have seen hate crimes and the misery of refugees used to prey on the empathy and good nature of Muslim donors.  When such emotionally charged events occur, people want to do what they can to help and bring closure to those suffering. This humane desire is manipulated by predatory fundraisers who see your empathy and humane emotional state as an opportunity to solicit funds without any transparency or accountability.  

I even received a text message to my business number (despite unsubscribing from the list years ago) from a thoroughly financially corrupt organization for which I volunteered now saying that we are in a ‘faith pandemic’ (whatever that means) and that we must ‘urgently’ support scholars in need to spread prophetic light, which will cure the pandemic.  Far too often, the good work, reputation of others who vouch for or even share such pleas on social media (sometimes unwittingly) all make the average donor trust their money is being properly handled.  Oftentimes even individuals who acknowledge financial corruption of certain organizations will support that corrupt organization once that organization gives them a platform. We have to use our own judgement which is a simple matter of being procedural in transactions.  This is an easy con, but the good news is donors can easily avoid being fooled by just asking some basic questions and requesting audited financial reports that detail past revenue and spending.

Pictures of smiling orphans, happy refugees, or of women benefiting from ‘female scholars’ are all heart-warming visuals. Fundraisers know this, and count on you to see such images or read buzzwords and not ask any questions. In fact, just using a hashtag like #supportfemalescholarship is enough to gain support from female scholars and supporters.  Many are using our human sentiments as a way to solicit funds with no transparency and are laughing all the way to the bank. 

I urge you to read the following in detail and apply to it any cause you wish to donate your money, even if the ones soliciting funds are your most beloved religious leaders. 

You can contact Danya directly at

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2 Replies to “Be Careful Who You Donate To”

  1. Thanks for taking the time to in trying to educate Muslims on protecting themselves from being emotionally manipulated into donating. Not only does this information make Muslims aware of situations it also makes organization on high alert that the free lunch days are over and the good amongst them can try to make good on their initiatives going forward with transparency. Your efforts are making a difference and is very important. May Allah grant you and your loved ones the best of both worlds. I am proud to see sincere counselling to the masses from you. Barak Allah feeki.

  2. Dear Danya,
    Thank you so much for the effort you are exerting to shed light on the issue of financial corruption/mismanagement within muslim organisations/charities. If people really knew the extent of the problem, they would be horrified. I personally worked for one of the biggest muslim charities in the UK and was revulsed by what I experienced. It has shattered the trust I had in muslim charities and I will never take any of their claims at face value anymore.
    Best wishes to the whole team and may Allah reward you for your effort.

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