9 Best Muslim Charities Making an Impact (Complete 2024 List)

9 Best Muslim Charities Making an Impact (Complete 2024 List)

By
Quynh Nguyen

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Despite efforts to create a more equal and just world in recent years, underserved communities are still finding themselves vulnerable to natural disasters, political unrest, poverty, and discrimination. Fortunately, many Muslim charities, driven by their faith, compassion, and values, are dedicated to providing essential support and bringing hope to those facing adversity. So, we had to ask: What are the best Muslim charities making an impact?

The best Muslim charities making an impact are Penny Appeal USA and Baitulmaal. Charities such as Life for Relief and Development and Rahma Worldwide work with various Muslim communities to provide spiritual and physical support. 

Whether you want to help people in need, combat antisemitism, or make the world a fairer, healthier, and better place for all religious communities, there is a charity for you. Keep reading to learn more about what the best Muslim charities are, how they work, and what your best way would be to contribute.

Here’s What All the Best Muslim Charities Have in Common

The charities on this list were chosen based on their mission, impact, and transparency ratings, and achievements. They operate all over the world, from North America to Asia.

They are dedicated to supporting Muslims as they strive for a prosperous, healthy, and happy life. 

Some charities focus on improving education, livelihood, and the acceptance of Muslims. Others provide material assistance and relief

Yet they all share the same goal of empowering individuals and building strong communities, often extending to people of all faiths and backgrounds.

These Are the 9 Best Muslim Charities Making an Impact in 2023

Below are our favorite Muslim charities (you can click on their link to directly jump to their section in this article):

(At the end of this article we’ll also share our six-step approach on how you can select the best charity to support.)

1

Penny Appeal USA: Creating a United and Strong World

Logo for Penny Appeal USA
This is Penny Appeal USA

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Their transparency & ratings:

Penny Appeal USA holds a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator. They also hold a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar

We take small change and make a BIG difference with it.”

Penny Appeal USA

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What they do:

Penny Appeal USA addresses critical issues within vulnerable and poverty-stricken communities, including communities of the Islamic faith. They do this by building deep water wells and providing hand pumps, solar panel water and power centers as thirst relief solutions. They also deliver food packs, sponsor orphans, provide healthcare services, support domestic violence and natural disasters victims, and run faith-based giving programs. Additionally, their income generation programs focus on providing rural communities with the tools and skills they need to escape poverty once and for all.

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What they’ve achieved:

Since their inception, Penny Appeal USA has helped more than 1 million people in vulnerable communities around the world. For example, in 2022, they provided emergency relief to 258,39 people and religious giving to 161,139 people. In the same year, they also formed sponsorship for 5,308 orphans, while their thirst relief program reached 90,064 beneficiaries. Furthermore, thousands of Ramadan food packs were delivered by Penny Appeal USA to vulnerable families across 15 countries. 

Ways to contribute:

You can donate to Penny Appeal USA directly through their website. Another way to get involved is to volunteer in their community activities, such as hosting a night for charity or organizing a run. 

2

Baitulmaal: Turning Compassion into Hope For Those in Need

Logo for Baitulmaal
Baitulmaal  / Thrive / 1 Million Meals Challenge

🔎

Their transparency & ratings:

Baitulmaal holds a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator. They also hold a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar

“We provide life-saving, life-sustaining and life-enriching humanitarian aid to under-served populations around the world regardless of faith or nationality.”

Baitulmaal

⚒️

What they do:

Baitulmaal helps underserved populations worldwide regardless of faith or nationality. They do this by providing emergency aid for communities affected by natural disasters. They also run poverty relief programs to provide food assistance, water access, healthcare services, and special winter aid to vulnerable and underserved communities. Moreover, they help orphans via sponsorships, school renovation projects, and back-to-school support. Other programs they run focus on education, economic development, and Islamic giving

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What they’ve achieved:

Since their inception, Baitulmaal has impacted the lives of thousands of individuals and their families. For example, they distributed 104,160 meals to families in Turkey and northern Syria, 201,000 meals to families in Pakistan, and 177,000 meals to families in Somalia in time for the 2023’s Ramadan season. They also pledged $250,000 in scholarships and graduation assistance to Palestinian college students.

Ways to contribute:

You can donate to Baitulmaal directly through their website. You can also support the charity by volunteering or hosting Baitulmaal in your local community. 

3

Helping Hand for Relief and Development: Integrating Resources For People in Need

Logo for Helping Hand for Relief and Development
Cyclone Amphan Relief - Helping Hand USA

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Their transparency & ratings:

The Helping Hand for Relief and Development holds a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator. They also hold a Gold Seal of Transparency from GuideStar

“We serve and uplift people around the world.”

Helping Hand for Relief and Development 

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What they do:

Helping Hand for Relief and Development provides immediate response and long-term relief and development support to people, including Muslims, affected by natural disasters and man-made emergencies. They do this by providing food, clean water, healthcare, and shelter to people affected by crises, such as the civil unrest in Afghanistan and Palestine,and the 2011 drought in East Africa. They also run an orphan sponsorship program in which the sponsored children receive food, education, healthcare, social uplift, and protection when needed. 

🚀

What they’ve achieved:

Since their inception, the Helping Hand for Relief and Development has helped millions of children and families affected by natural disasters and civil conflicts. For example, during Ramadan 2023, they provided financial support (Sakat) and other charitable offerings (Sadaqah) to 288,264 and 5,079 beneficiaries, respectively. During the same period, they also supported 26,815 people affected by the Pakistan floods and the Turkey-Syria earthquake. Additionally, their 2023 programs sponsored and supported more than 10,000 orphans

Ways to contribute:

You can donate to the Helping Hand for Relief and Development directly through their website. Another way to get involved is by volunteering

4

Life for Relief and Development: Bringing Hope Where it is Needed Most

Logo for Life for Relief and Development
Life Orphan Sponsorship

🔎

Their transparency & ratings:

Life for Relief and Development holds a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator. They also hold a Gold Seal of Transparency from GuideStar

“We provide essential life-saving aid to people regardless of race, gender, religion, and cultural background.

Life for Relief and Development

⚒️

What they do:

Life for Relief and Development provides assistance to vulnerable communities worldwide. They do this by providing emergency relief for communities affected by natural disasters. They also build wells for water access, provide healthcare, and construct schools for children from impoverished communities. In particular, they work to improve living conditions for orphans, vulnerable single mothers, and refugees

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What they’ve achieved:

Since their inception, Life for Relief and Development has helped millions of people in underserved and vulnerable communities. For example, they currently facilitate over 11,000 sponsored orphans. Furthermore, in 2021, they provided nearly $168,500 in emergency humanitarian relief to people affected by flooding—in Afghanistan, Senegal, Mali, and the US—and earthquakes—in Haiti and Indonesia. In the same year, they distributed over $10 million in health programs and medical supplies

Ways to contribute:

You can donate to Life for Relief and Development directly through their website. Other ways to help include volunteering or fundraising

5

Rahma Worldwide: Aid & Development For the Needy

Logo for Rahma Worldwide
Abo Nedhal's Short Story

🔎

Their transparency & ratings:

Rahma Worldwide holds a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator. They also hold a Gold Seal of Transparency from GuideStar

“We aim to aid the distress of individuals, through education and humanitarian work, locally and worldwide.

Rahma Worldwide

⚒️

What they do:

Rahma Worldwide provides aid and development to people of every age, interest, and need. They do this via a wide range of humanitarian, development, and environmental programs. In particular, they provide food, nutrition care, water assistance, shelter, medical supplies, medicines, and education for refugees and displaced children. 

🚀

What they’ve achieved:

Since their inception, Rahma Worldwide has improved millions of lives with humanitarian aid and development programs. For example, in 2020, they benefited 293,082 people through their food security program. In the same year, they delivered enough medicines and medical supplies to help 758,835 people. Additionally, their 2020 W.A.S.H program brought water supply to 109,360 people living under siege. 

Ways to contribute:

You can make one-time or monthly monetary donations to Rahma Worldwide directly through their website. You can also give a gift of donation on behalf of a recipient. 

6

Islamic Relief USA: For a World Free of Poverty

Our Story

🔎

Their transparency & ratings:

Islamic Relief USA holds a 3-star rating from Charity Navigator. They also hold a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar

“We work to empower individuals in their communities and give them a voice in the world.”

Islamic Relief USA

⚒️

What they do:

Islamic Relief USA responses to the needs of people living through disasters, conflict, and poverty. They do this by providing immediate disaster relief and long-term development assistance, including winter aid, water, food, shelter, healthcare, and education. They also work to support orphans and children, women, entrepreneurs, and people who want to acquire skills to earn a living.

🚀

What they’ve achieved:

Since their inception, Islamic Relief USA has provided essential humanitarian and development aid to people in need. For example, in 2021, they served over 4.6 million people in 37 countries, which includes 28,071 orphans. In the same year, their disaster response team made 13 direct responses, assisting 4,385 households in 6 US states. Additionally, in 2021, their volunteers raised more than $3.6 million through peer-to-peer platforms.

Ways to contribute:

You can make one-time or monthly donations to Islamic Relief USA directly through their website. You can also volunteer to help with their cause. In addition, they have a matching gift program where you can double your donation with your employer’s sponsorship. 

7

The Islamic Medical Association of North America: Medical Relief for People in Need

Logo for The Islamic Medical Association of North America
ServePakistan - Dr. Iram Abbasi

🔎

Their transparency & ratings:

The Islamic Medical Association of North America holds a 3-star rating from Charity Navigator. They also hold a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar

We foster health promotion, disease prevention, and health maintenance in communities around the world through direct patient care, health programs, and advocacy. The Islamic Medical Association of North America 

The Islamic Medical Association of North America 

⚒️

What they do:

The Islamic Medical Association of North America provides healthcare services and medical relief to vulnerable communities, including Muslim people. They do this by organizing medical relief, bringing timely and effective aid for the sick and injured in over 30 countries. They also offer a mentorship program, scholarships, grants, and other financial services for medical students and professionals. Additionally, they raise funds to address the health threats faced by millions as a result of climate change

🚀

What they’ve achieved:

Since their inception, the Islamic Medical Association of North America has provided medical support to underserved communities and development support to health professionals serving such communities. For example, they have treated over 3.7 million patients, carried out 273 medical and surgical procedures, and constructed 30 health centers. In 2018, they also ran 10 medical missions and 48 emergency relief missions, helping 260,633 patients.. 

Ways to contribute:

You can donate to the Islamic Medical Association of North America directly through their website. You can also volunteer to join their Medical Relief activities. In addition, they have a matching gift program where you can double your donation with your employer’s sponsorship. 

8

Islamic Scholarship Fund: Placing American Muslims in Positions That Matter

Logo for Islamic Scholarship Fund
Ramadan 2021: Shireen Alihaji, ISF Film Grantee

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Their transparency & ratings:

The Islamic Scholarship Fund holds a 3-star rating from Charity Navigator. They also hold a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar

“We increase American Muslim representation in the media and government to improve public policy and public opinion .”

Islamic Scholarship Fund

⚒️

What they do:

The Islamic Scholarship Fund provides financial assistance and support to Muslim students facing financial barriers to education. They do this by providing scholarships for American Muslim scholars studying and working in fields with the greatest impact on public opinion and policy. They also run internships, mentorship, and fellowships to help students gain valuable experiences and connect with their peers. Additionally, they publish educational webinars to share experiences of working in policy making with Muslim students. 

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What they’ve achieved:

Since their inception, the Islamic Scholarship Fund has granted hundreds of scholarships to American Muslims, placing them in the fields of policy, law, film, and media. For example, they have awarded $2.25 million in the form of over 575 scholarships and grants. In 2022 alone, they awarded 9 American Muslim filmmakers a total fund of $80,000, and hosted 30 webinars on writing and publishing, social justice, movement building, law and careers in government. They also placed and funded 7 trailblazing Muslims as congressional interns and a fellow on Capitol Hill. 

Ways to contribute:

You can donate to the Islamic Scholarship Fund directly through their website, where you can make a one-time donation or become a monthly donor. Other ways to help include creating your own scholarship or peer-to-peer fundraising

9

Zakat Foundation of America: Empower Communities 

Logo for Zakat Foundation of America
The Journey of Sharing I Qurbani 2023

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Their transparency & ratings:

The Zakat Foundation of America holds a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator. They also hold a Bronze Seal of Transparency from GuideStar

We collect Zakat payments and voluntary Sadaqah (charity) and distribute it to its direly needful and deserving recipients.”

Zakat Foundation of America 

⚒️

What they do:

The Zakat Foundation of America works to deliver charitable funds to communities, including Muslims, stricken by poverty, violent conflicts, and disasters. They do this by providing emergency relief to help victims of disasters and violent conflicts. They also deliver urgent food during Ramadan and all year round, as well as provide clean water, run health and wellbeing programs, and make schools and higher education available to many underprivileged groups, including orphans, widows, refugees, and displaced people

🚀

What they’ve achieved:

Since their inception, the Zakat Foundation of America has helped millions of people from poverty, conflict, and disaster-stricken communities. For example, in 2021, their emergency relief efforts reached more than 750,000 people in the form of essential medical assistance, critical food, and clean water. In the same year, more than 4.5 million meals were donated through their programs to families living in poverty. Additionally, they built 235 new wells in 2021, bringing clean water to at least 318,011 people, their animals and crops. 

Ways to contribute:

You can donate to the Zakat Foundation of America directly through their website. Other ways to get involved are volunteering with the foundation or fundraising for them. 

How Can You Select the Best Charities to Support?

The charities on the list are, we deem, the best Muslim charities. However, you may have a particular charity you want to support. Let’s look at what you can do to ensure your contribution has the most significant impact.

  • Check out the charity website. Charities that are worthy of your donations are transparent in their mission and their figures. Familiarize yourself with their history, mission, and values. Their website usually is the best place to start.
  • Identify the charity’s mission. Without a goal, the charity is likely to fail. If the charity’s mission isn’t clear, it’s probably worth looking for a charity that does have a clear mission. 
  • Check if the charity has measurable goals. An effective charity has clear goals. You want to know your donation will help the charity reach its goals. But if it doesn’t have targets, it’s likely to fail or squander your gift. The charity should be able to account for its spending and supply evidence of the work they do.
  • Assess the successes or goals the charity has achieved. You wouldn’t invest in a business if it kept missing its targets. In the same way, charities are like this too. If no one is assessing a charity’s progress in reaching its targets, the chances are they’re not making a substantial positive change.
  • Check the charity’s financials and stats. Trustworthy organizations will publish financial statements and reports each year. Some might be exempt from having to do so, but they should be able to provide them to public members who are interested in donating.
  • Locate sources who work with or benefit from the charity. Word of mouth and first-hand experience of a charity’s work lets you know the charity’s quality. If you’re able to do so, check out the charity for yourself or speak to someone familiar with it. This way, your donation will go to the right place. 

How Can You Best Support These Charities?

After you’ve made your decision, it’s time for you to decide on how you’d like to help the charities you’ve chosen. Check how you can help – each charity runs specific programs that have unique aims. Find out what the aim of such programs is and whether they are right for you. 

Here are a few ways you can help your chosen charity:

  • Donate money. You can find donation pages on the website of most charities. Your donation can be a one-time payment, or you can set it to be deducted regularly at different intervals. You can mostly pay via credit card, but some charities also take PayPal or Bitcoin payments.
  • Buy their official merchandise. Charities can also raise money by selling merchandise. So, you can support them by buying the mugs, shirts, caps, pens, pencils, and any other such items they may be selling. Ideally, you should buy as much as you can to share and spread the word about the charity’s activities.
  • Engage in volunteer work. As you’ve seen from our descriptions above, some charities engage in a lot of local and grassroots programs. You can help by taking on and organizing the program in your local area.
  • Help their fundraising efforts. You can spread the word about the charity in your workplace, school, church, etc., and hold creative fundraising drives on social media or offline within your small circles.
  • Share their stories. Most charities have compelling stories that you can share with your audience to attract more people to the cause.

Final Thoughts

Now it is up to you to select the charity that resonates most with you. And whichever charity you end up choosing and contributing to, we are sure that they will immensely appreciate your support. Hopefully, the information within this article has made this selection process a bit easier for you to support the best Muslim charities—based on the causes that matter most to you.

Stay impactful,



PS: Finally, I want to leave you with a thought-provoking TED talk from Dan Pallotta, a leading philanthropic activist and fundraiser, about what is wrong with the way we think about charities—and what we can do about it:

The way we think about charity is dead wrong | Dan Pallotta

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