2020 Annual Report

July 2019 – June 2020

Even in a worldwide pandemic, you kept shining through! From the bottom of our hearts, thank you

Since 2001, we have empowered millions of people to recover from disasters and escape poverty by taking control of their own lives. We address the immediate needs of poor communities worldwide and establish long-term development projects that ensure individual and community growth.

People Reached
Breakdown of people reached

COVID Related

  • Argentina: 150
  • Middle East: 33,472
  • Asia: 28,600
  • Africa: 11,793
  • US: 2,280,975


  • Winter: 8,000
  • Kashmir siege: 875
  • India mobs: 15,000
  • Ethiopia: 2,580
  • Pakistan avalanche: 4,500

Emergency Relief

As we faced a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic, we combatted the spread and suffering caused by the coronavirus in more than 11 countries throughout Africa, Middle East, and Asia through emergency response distributions of food, personal protection equipment (PPEs), hygiene kits, preventative education, and awareness, COVID-19 testing, mental health counseling, warm meals, shelter, and cash assistance.

Your donations brought relief to impoverished communities and medical clinics around the world including Palestine, Kenya, Yemen, Mali, Uganda, Morocco, Pakistan, India, and more.

United States

United States

You helped reach 2.3 Million American citizens in 62 cities across 15 states who were most affected by the pandemic, global lockdown, and economic recession.

You helped us package, truck, unload and distribute more than 1,300 tons (2,426,579 lbs) of farm-fresh produce, 15,270 gallons of milk, 105,000 lbs of dairy products, 70,650 lbs of non-perishable foods, 14,301 hygiene supplies, nearly 103,950 personal protective equipment (PPE) including N95 masks and medical gloves, and in emergency financial assistance, reaching a total of 2,280,975 people from coast to coast in the heart of store-shuttered, food-barren, protest-hit cities across the United States.

Several elected officials including U.S. Congressional Representatives Ilhan Omar, Marie Newman and Jesus "Chuy" Garcia, and over 70 corporate and non-profit partners joined us in the hand-delivery of relief packages to Americans in need.



Zakat Foundation of America donors have supported Kashmiris — including orphans, widows, the poor and students in need — for more than a decade now.

This reporting year, Kashmir became the most militarized place on the planet as India’s nationalist government forced the entire country of Kashmir into lockdown after adding 28,000 terrorizing soldiers along with the 670,000 armed military already there. Thousands of Kashmiris were arrested, most of them young men, seized in the night in their homes, beaten, then flown into India because Kashmir has run out of prison space.

In swift response to the siege, we worked with our local partner to break open a humanitarian corridor and reach 875 of Kashmir’s victims with critical aid — including storable staples of food, as well as water, blankets, and heating resources.



Savage riots against Muslims in northeast Delhi early last year left many mosques, homes and businesses torched and reduced to ashes. Families became homeless overnight, with nothing to eat. Victims fled to makeshift shelters in Mustafabad, and we immediately rushed to meet them there with life-saving food packs containing high-nutrition staples including rice, lentils, oils, masala spice powders, turmeric, flour, sugar, salt, and tea. Your donations provided this relief to 15,000 of India’s victims


Your generosity helped us provide emergency food aid to 900 displaced and traumatized families in the Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Azad Kashmir, and Gilgit-Baltistan provinces, benefitting a total of 4,500 people.


With your generous donations, Zakat Foundation was able to rush relief to 2,580 people in the form of rice, milk, oil, and basic hygiene and household materials to the Tuli-Guled district of Ethiopia.

Food Security

For those who already live on the edge of starvation, the pandemic has been catastrophic. With your support, we delivered 8,383,277 life-saving meals in five continents, and we heard their grateful, passionate prayers for you. But we don’t only relieve hunger, we make sure that our agriculture programs secure long-term food supply for a sustainable solution to the hunger problem.

Million Meals Donated
Ramadan & Udhiyah

Ramadan & Udhiyah

The challenge of a worldwide coronavirus pandemic did not stop our Zakat Foundation workers from delivering your Ramadan and Udhiyah packages to the most vulnerable in 46 countries and five continents last fiscal year, reaching nearly 1 million of the world’s most destitute in Ramadan, and more than 250,000 udhiyah recipients of your gifts of fresh — never frozen, never canned — sacrificial meat.

Three Million Pounds of Food

Three Million Pounds of Food

Zakat Foundation successfully delivered over 3 million pounds of food to the homes and hands of children, women, and men; those homeless or in make-shift shacks, jobless or financially insecure; here at home and across borders abroad, regardless of creed or color; day after day, month after month from the start of the pandemic and still ongoing!

Hot Meals Year-Round

Hot Meals Year-Round

For over a decade, we have been providing hot meals to Haiti’s malnourished and impoverished school children and their families in the Ti Plas Kazo community of Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Last year, we provided 48,000 meals total. These now well-nourished children can focus in class and gain an education for a hopeful future because of your support.

Greenhouse Gardens

Greenhouse Gardens

2020 marked the third year of our Gaza Greenhouse Home Gardens project benefitting 384 Gazans with a 25 square foot greenhouse; along with fruit and vegetable seedlings; farming equipment; and greenhouse training on gardening, composting, pest control, and water conserving irrigation techniques for days when the water is cut off - a frequent occurrence in Gaza. This year we witnessed an increase in yield, year-round access to nutritious foods, and extra profit from sales which nearly doubled each household’s income!

Sadaqah Jariyah

The Ever-Flowing Charity

The beloved of God (peace be upon him) was asked, “Which charity is best?” He simply replied, “Water.”

Of all good things, among the best one can give to others is free-flowing fresh water, and a peaceful place to worship. This is a charity that gushes ever-flowing blessings into your afterlife, while benefiting the living poor.

People with Clean Water

Clean Water

Our water wells were already providing 36,500 people around the world with clean water. This reporting year, our donors dug 180 more wells in honor of their loved ones. We dug them in Kenya, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Bangladesh,Pakistan, India, Cambodia and Nepal, giving 44,572 more people access to fresh flowing water, every single day. That’s 44,572 people who no longer rely on contaminated water to quench their thirst; at least 15,000 girls who no longer miss school to walk miles for fetching their family’s daily water supply, more than 25,000 children who are no longer susceptible to life-threatening water-borne disease, and countless animals who can now stay hydrated and healthy, offering their fresh dairy for consumption.

For every human, plant, and animal that is quenched from your gift, we pray that you and your late loved ones receive infinite rewards.

Clean Water
Masjid Construction

Masjid Construction


In the town of Pandami, in Sulu province of the Philippines, there was a small shack of a mosque made only of cogon leaves. Worshippers did not have the financial means to repair or build a more solid structure to withstand rain and wind. Our generous donors stepped in and built a dream mosque that can accommodate 200 worshippers and has brought immense joy to this minority Muslim community. It has become a gathering place for women’s leadership groups and youth activities. Children’s Arabic and Quran classes are offered; and interfaith and government officials are often invited for strengthening relationships with the broader community.


In the small village of O Preah in Kratie Province, Cambodia there is a new Muslim community of 63 families and growing. They have deep faith, but were without a proper community mosque to perform congregational prayers. With the support of your generous donations, we have begun constructing a peaceful place for worship and community wellness which is projected to be complete and in full operation this year.


A man in need once came to the Prophet, peace upon him. With his own blessed hands, he bound an ax-head to a handle and gave it to him. With this tool, the man fed, clothed, and sustained himself and his family.

You have given 14,672 poor people (particularly women) the means to uplift themselves and their families to financial independence so they can afford better health, nutrition, and education, and no longer need your donation. How? Through our thriving Livelihoods programs including animal husbandry, agriculture cooperatives, and vocational and entrepreneur training.

Lifted from Poverty
Entrepreneurship & Vocational Training

Entrepreneurship & Vocational Training

Your donations lifted 3,882 people out of poverty by teaching them marketable skills such as sewing and stitching, artisanry and craftsmanship, calligraphy, baking, web development and design, auto mechanics, computer skills, and more. With these empowering skills they have regained their confidence, entered the workforce, and now stand on their own two feet, no longer in need of your Zakat.

They are Syria’s displaced and widowed mothers of orphans struggling to start over in Jordan and Turkey; they are Ghana’s impoverished young men and women who cannot afford education; Bangladesh’s mothers residing in shanty slum-dwellings; Kenya’s refugee girls as young as 13-years-old fleeing rape and war; and poor women heads-of-household in the Dominican Republic looking for a sustainable livelihood. With proper training and tools now in hand, their lives are on the way to transformation — thanks to God’s Grace, and to you.

Job Placement for U.S. Refugees & Asylum Seekers

Job Placement for U.S. Refugees & Asylum Seekers

Through our partnership with Upwardly Global, we have eliminated employment barriers for immigrant, refugee, and asylum-seeking families with professional qualifications by offering job training and placement, facilitating 1,543 people’s transition to financial security and socioeconomic integration into their newly adopted home country, the United States.

Animal Husbandry

Animal Husbandry

Last year, your livestock gifts benefitted 8,503 people, including war-afflicted Yemenis in the cities of Al-Hudaydah and Dhamar; widowed mothers and guardians of orphans in Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia; Internally displaced people (IDPs) of the Central African Republic and Ivory Coast; and the impoverished in Mali, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Niger, India and Bangladesh.

Our livestock husbandry program has saved many lives. We find the poorest of people off the charity-beaten path, those most marginalized and hardest to reach. Our field workers trek through vast rough pastures to find them, and when they do, they find families on-the-brink-of-death, in utter despair. We hand-deliver your gift of a mating pair of goats and then watch the family’s transformation from poor, malnourished and hopeless to food-secure, self-reliant and a restored sense of dignity. The goats produce offspring to grow a herd and provide a daily supply of dairy-foods, some to eat and some to sell for profit. Most beneficiaries have demonstrated business savviness with your livestock gift; saving and investing in more income-generating assets until they become free from poverty, self-sufficient. Some have even become Zakat Foundation donors in return!

Women's Agriculture Cooperatives

Women's Agriculture Cooperatives

We continue to give people access to a dignified livelihood through our agriculture programs. This year two farm cooperatives continue to benefit a total of 744 rural Ghanaians; turning the village women into business owners who now support themselves, their elderly, and their children, enabling them to go to school.

In the Jugboi and Bole districts of northern Ghana, these women process cassava — a carbohydrate-rich staple crop tolerant of seasonal drought — into flour, which is used in an array of local recipes from bread to pudding. With the training and equipment you provided them years ago, they continue to increase their production making the mills profitable for the entire community.

Orphan Care

One child dies every three seconds due to poverty, poor health care, and hunger. This makes an average of 10,000 child mortalities every day — most of whom are orphaned and abandoned children. Last year, your donations helped us reach 634,116 vulnerable children with life-saving aid.

Almost 10,000 children become orphans every day, according to UNICEF. There are at least 150 million orphans in the world, and actually, compelling evidence shows that this number is much higher — some say twice that number — as there are millions of more orphans not included in official statistics.

In this reporting year, Zakat Foundation of America’s orphan sponsorship program benefited 6,726 poor and destitute orphans in 15 countries, providing nutrition, health care, education fees, and in some cases shelter. Your donations also reached more than 600,000 vulnerable or abandoned children with food, health and education programs.

This year we are significantly expanding our orphan care services to reach more children in need; we have already dedicated a staffed and well-trained department devoted solely to this purpose. Your continued support will be pivotal in helping us reach more children in need.

Children Reached
Orphan Care Shopping
Orphan Care Child

Health & Well-Being

Khalil Center, a Zakat Foundation project, is a psychological and spiritual wellness center that fuses modern psychology with Islam’s rich tradition of mental health sciences and treatment.

Khalil Center’s eight clinics throughout North America — and the rest of our mental health and special needs programs all over the world — have witnessed an increasingly dire demand for therapy services during this year of the pandemic with ever-growing waitlists of suffering people looking for specialized faith-based treatment. With your support, we have duly delivered. 193,306 people with mental health concerns and special needs have benefitted from our programs worldwide.

People Benefited

Mental Health & Special Needs

The number of beneficiaries served at this professional mental health care center that specializes in Traditional Islamically Integrated Psychotherapy (TIIP) has grown exponentially as compared to the last report period. Nearly 15,364 people received direct counseling services at Khalil Center’s multiple locations including Los Angeles, Bay Area, New York, Toronto and Chicago.

To meet the demanding rise of depression/anxiety and an ever-increasing waitlist during this unforgiving pandemic, Khalil Center quickly hired more qualified professional staff and shifted to virtual platforms, making services accessible to the growing number of Muslims in need.

In addition to the full schedule of web therapy sessions, Khalil Center’s outreach and education programming reached 174,587 beneficiaries through virtual support groups and webinars coaching people how to manage mental health and family dynamics during the unfolding pandemic, and how to cope with anger and grief around this year’s tragic accounts of systemic racism and police brutality. Islamic and public school staff received training on how to support student stress related to academics and social isolation; community leaders and imams received training on suicide prevention and other mental health matters.

Zakat Foundation’s partnership with MedStar Georgetown University Hospital (MGUH) and Palestinian Medical Education Initiative (PMED) provided mental health counseling and training sessions for Palestine’s school teachers, students, and counselors to restore the emotional reslience and behavioral health of Palestinian children — a population suffering some of the world’s highest PTSD rates.

Your donations toward health care have served the homeless and impoverished in five community health centers in Mali, four health facilities in Kenya, and a hospital unit in Sudan. They collectively deliver an array of services including reproductive care, nutrition counseling, chronic illness treatment, immunizations against preventable diseases, cancer screenings, general health care, and deliveries for pre- and post-natal mothers reducing maternal mortality. A total of 35,136 patients were treated through these services in this reporting period. Also, $600,000 worth of medical equipment was provided to the four health facilities in Kenya, benefitting a population of 400,000 underserved people.

For child victims of Syria’s traumatic war, we provided life-changing psychological and rehabilitation treatment in Turkey’s Southeast provinces of Gaziantep, Hatay and Mersin. Our free clinics treated 350 Syrian refugee children suffering developmental, sensory and brain trauma including hearing, speech, vision and cognitive loss due to war.

You helped us deliver direct lifesaving intervention treatment to 356 young at-risk mothers in Nairobi through our partnership with RefuSHE. Your support also reached 2,649 at-risk girls and women equipping them with sexual and gender-based violence prevention training through focus groups and community forums.

Health & Medical Care

Zakat Foundation medical centers around the globe have served a total of 54,735 homeless and severely impoverished women, children and men in some of the most marginalized and forgotten corners of the earth.

Our five health centers in Mali; our Mother & Child Health Care Center, mobile clinic, and extended at-home services in Bangladesh serving over 50 moms and tots each day; and the Ehsas free health clinic in Delhi India provide treatment for malnutrition, chronic illness, preventive care, maternity and reproductive health, free screenings and medications, basic health and sanitation education, and much more.

These health services you helped us to provide are a dream-come-true for people who lack access to safe water and sanitation and live in poor quality slum housing, or no housing at all.

You also helped us ship 12,000 medical supplies and equipment including transport hospital beds and specialized surgical and dental instruments to our health care programs in Bamako, Mali.


You helped us give 19,743 of the world’s most vulnerable people their dream of going to school.

Now they can imagine a better tomorrow — a future free from poverty. From early childhood education to primary and secondary school, and on through college graduate degrees and professional programs, our education services remain a critical cornerstone of our humanitarian work.

Icon of Books
Given Education Access
Educating Girls...

Educating Girls...

In Afghanistan, this year marks the 10th year we support the Farda-e-Afghan girls’ school by funding tuition for 83 students, staff and teachers. Because of your unyielding support over the years, we’ve graduated 1,186 sharp and talented girls who are now economically independent and active contributors to the advancement of their society.

In India, you helped us educate 50 girls at the Jamea-tus-Salehat school founded by scholar Mawlana Yusuf Islahi motivated by his belief that educating girls can transform society. We too share his sentiment, that’s why we partnered with Jamea-tus-Salehat to fund poor students’ tuition and 10 teacher salaries.

The Displaced…

The Displaced…

Since the start of Syria’s refugee crisis, Zakat Foundation stepped in to quickly fill the gap for millions of students — primary grades through college — whose education had been interrupted due to war. This last fiscal year, we continued to serve the internally displaced and refugee population with our education programs reaching a total of 19,206 displaced Syrians in Turkey, Jordan, inside Syria, and some knowledge-seeking Turkish students too which has helped to build bridges between the refugee and local population. You helped build their capacity to learn and lift themselves out of despair, gave a voice to the once-silenced, and you shared our belief that education creates a powerful antidote to unrest, distrust, and war.

… And the Disadvantaged

In Ghana, a school we built in 2016 for a remote and marginalized community enjoys its fifth year of earning top ratings in the country. Its students are a clear example of what children can achieve if given an opportunity. Built by our donors as a sadaqah jariyah, the blessings of this school continue to lift and empower its students who may now look forward to a hopeful future.

Orphans in Nepal and children living in slums of Bangladesh also attend Zakat Foundation’s full-time quality education programs equipping them with the necessary foundation for a successful, self-reliant, poverty-free future.

In U.S. innercity communities, our continued support for Chicago Youth Centers serving Chicago’s distressed and underserved south side neighborhoods has empowered youth through STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) developing their skills and ensuring access to these critical and competitive academic subjects so they may dare to dream for a hopeful tomorrow.

In Dominican Republic, our very popular after-school English classes give elementary and junior high school students the critical and rare advantage of attaining English fluency, which is recognized by the community as a key skill for escaping poverty. This service has been offered for 6 years now and has graduated 420 children total.


Protecting the Right to Give

Zakat Foundation is honored to advocate for your philanthropic rights by representing your voice in thought leadership, charity coalitions, and advocacy work.

Advocating for Your Right to Give


Zakat Foundation is an active member of InterAction — a coalition of nearly 200 U.S. non-governmental organizations (NGOs) working to eliminate extreme poverty, safeguard a sustainable planet, and ensure dignity for all people.

Our participation with InterAction provides us a platform to learn and share best practices, nurture partnerships with global leaders in humanitarian service, and to share our Muslim-American story with fellow faith-based and other American charities. On your behalf, we have built critical alliances with global leaders to help open the channels for just and fair treatment to overcome the unique obstacles Muslim charities face.

Together Project

Zakat Foundation is also a founding member of the Together Project — a coalition of U.S. Muslim charities to lift the profile and facilitate the integration of Muslim-run charities with other faith-based humanitarian organizations.

Last year marks five years of our continued efforts to meet with members of Congress to nurture understanding and protect funding for our humanitarian work. Not only have we created awareness about the domestic and international impact of Muslim-American giving, but we also successfully collaborate to address misinformation and political attacks against any associate charity.

Charity and Security Network

In Zakat Foundation’s capacity as an advisory member of the Charity & Security Network, we meet with agencies, lawmakers, and government to make laws easier for U.S. citizens who would like to donate to fragile political areas including Syria, Yemen, Occupied Palestine, Congo, Venezuela, and Iraq. Because of our policy recommendations, laws are in the process of changing to make it easier for Americans to give to Muslims in need abroad.


The Zakat Foundation of America Statement of Activities

For the year ended June 30, 2020

Support And Revenue:
Contributions$ 12,914,855
In-Kind Contributions$ 426,396
Investment return$ 3,446
Miscellaneous income$ 6,945
Total support and revenue$ 13,351,642
Program services$ 9,250,919
Management and general$ 1,351,318
Fundraising$ 865,106
Total expenses$ 11,467,343
Change in net assets(1,884,299)
Net Assets
Net Assets at Beginning of Year:$ 7,608,786
Net assets at end of year$ 9,493,085
81% Programs & Services, 12% Administrative, and 7% Fundraising
Rooted in Transparency

In 2020, 81¢ from each dollar donated went directly toward programs serving those in need. 12¢ went to administrative costs & 7¢ went to fundraising costs.

  • Combined Federal Campaign Logo
  • GuideStar Logo
  • Charity Navigator Logo
  • Interaction Logo
  • Better Business Bureau Logo
  • Great Non Profit Logo

Board of Directors

Executive Director

Halil Demir

Chair of Board

Hasan Arslan

Vice President

Mehmet Tarhan


Aidah Abdallah


Sawsan Habali

Board Member

Fatima Khalil


  • ADAMS Center
  • ANC,Advisory Neighborhood Commissions DC
  • ANERA,American Near East Refugee Aid
  • ARISE Chicago
  • Bloom Township Food Pantry
  • Bridgeview Village Mayor’s Office
  • C&SN, Charity & Security Network
  • CAIR MN, Council on American Islamic Relations
  • Chicago Council on Global Affairs
  • Chicago Dream Center
  • CIOGC, Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago
  • Chicago Youth Centers
  • Downtown Cluster of Congregations
  • Duke University
  • DuSable Museum of African American History
  • Episcopal Relief & Development
  • Family Promise of Delaware County
  • FDLA, First Defense Legal Aid
  • Feed the Children
  • Gorham United Methodist Church
  • Grace and Peace Church
  • Heartland Alliance
  • Illinois VOAD,Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster
  • Indiana University: Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, Lake Institute on Faith & Giving
  • InterAction
  • IOM, International Organization for Migration
  • IRC, International Rescue Committee
  • Islamic Center of Detroit
  • Islamic Relief
  • Jewish Voice for Peace
  • Lakeview Pantry
  • Lincoln United Methodist Church
  • Mercy Corps
  • MGUH, MedStar Georgetown University Hospital
  • NGO source
  • Northern California Islamic Council
  • PCRF, Palestine Children’s Relief Fund
  • Pilsen Neighborhood Community Council
  • PMED, Palestinian Medical Education Initiative
  • Proviso Baptist Church
  • RefuSHE
  • Relief International
  • Ronald McDonald House Charities
  • SOS Children’s Villages
  • Spanish Community Center
  • Stanford University Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science Muslim Mental Health Lab
  • TechSoup
  • The Resurrection Project
  • Thornton Township Food And General Assistance Center
  • UNHCR, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
  • UNICEF, United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund
  • UNRWA, United Nations Relief and Works Agency
  • Upwardly Global
  • USA for UNHCR, the UN Relief Agency
  • USDA, United States Department of Agriculture
  • What If Foundation
  • Cricket Wireless
  • Dearborn Wholesale Grocers
  • Desert Ridge Packaging, LLC.
  • Foster-Caviness Company, Inc.
  • Global Trading Enterprises, LLC
  • Gourmet Gorilla
  • Hyer Farms
  • Liberty Fruit Company, Inc.
  • Luberski, Inc.
  • Pita Inn
  • Produce Alliance, L.L.C.
  • Produce Source Partners, Inc.
  • Seashore Fruit & Produce Company
  • Tomato Thyme Corporation
  • Warden Hutterian Brethren Company
  • Ziyad Brothers Importing