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Halal Industry

Ramadan charitable efforts underscore huge Muslim philanthropy potential

Philanthropy and the notion of helping the less fortunate is ingrained in a Muslim’s DNA owed to its momentous importance in Islam. 

These altruistic initiatives and efforts significantly increase during Ramadan as Muslims see charitable acts as a way of amplifying the spiritual benefits of fasting and worship in the holy month. As a result, Ramadan is often the busiest time of the year for charitable foundations.

Individuals are more cognisant and willing to pursue charitable efforts during the holy month. This is prevalent especially across Muslim majority countries. 

YallaGive, a UK-headquartered online donation and crowdfunding platform that is registered in several Muslim countries including Turkey, Malaysia, and the UAE, has consistently witnessed an uptick in activity during Ramadan.

“On average, we observe a significant increase ranging from 30% to 50% in charitable donations and campaigns during Ramadan compared to other months of the year. This surge underscores the generosity and spirit of giving that permeates communities during this sacred time,” Nabil Boubker, director of strategy and business development at YallaGive told Salaam Gateway.

“Fasting during Ramadan fosters empathy and a deeper understanding of the struggles faced by those less fortunate. This heightened sense of compassion often translates into increased generosity towards charitable causes, as individuals strive to alleviate the suffering of others and contribute to their well-being,” said Boubker.

UAE-based Gulf for Good is one of the non-profit organizations that used YallaGive for its 2024 Ramadan campaign.

The NGO, which focuses on raising money to support underprivileged children around the world, launched the ‘Gift of Giving’ social media campaign in support of The Citizens Foundation that aims to empower 180 Pakistani students in a rural village in Nowshera, a city in the country's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.  

“We have a long-standing relationship with YallaGive and use them as our official fundraising platform. With their help, we’re able to welcome all contributors, local and international, allowing us to reach a broader audience and garner support from around the world,” Kat Kearsey, chairwoman of Gulf for Good in the UAE told Salaam Gateway.

She said that Gulf for Good increases its fundraising activities substantially during Ramadan to capitalize on the spirit of giving that defines the holy month. 

“We generally see a significant increase in donations during Ramadan, reflecting the increased spirit of compassion and philanthropy during this period. This uptick in donations is consistent with the generosity we witness from our community during Ramadan compared to other times of the year,” said Kearsey.

Global imprint

The impact of Ramadan on donating behaviors is profound in non-Muslim majority countries, too, with Islamic charity foundations raising the lion’s share of their annual funds during the holy month.

According to the Muslim Philanthropy Initiative (MPI), Muslim Americans gave an estimated $1.8 billion in Zakat donations in 2022, with most of these funds given during Ramadan to support causes such as hunger and poverty alleviation, and immediate relief.

Similarly, the National Zakat Foundation (NZF) Canada collects more than 75% of its total Zakat revenues and 50% of other forms of charity during the month of Ramadan. Over the past two years, donations amounting to nearly 9 million Canadian dollars have enabled NZF to assist around 25,000 people across four provinces in Canada with food, housing, and essentials.

Given the charitable significance of this period, the charity begins its Ramadan activities three months prior to the holy month.

“The majority of our efforts are based in the month of Ramadan and the few months leading up to it. We spend between 60-70% of our annual marketing budget during this time on both online and offline marketing activities,” said Zubair Qasim, CEO of NZF Canada.

Meanwhile, Muslims are estimated to pitch in more than a 1 billion British pounds annually to causes in the UK and abroad each year. Muslim international giving is estimated to cross 4 billion British pounds by the year 2051. 

Furthermore, Muslims are just as likely to give to causes outside their faith as those within – and of all faiths, are the most likely to give to poverty causes outside their religion, according to Shariq Siddiqui, assistant professor and director of the Muslim Philanthropy Initiative.

“For organizations that are not considered Muslim-led, if they don’t do outreach to Muslims during Ramadan, they are less likely to raise money effectively from a small but generous population.”

Given their charitable endeavours, the influence of Muslims on philanthropic activities cannot be understated. 


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