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The Development of Arabic Philanthropy

In her book “Diversity and Philanthropy” Lilya Wagner writes that Arab-Americans consider themselves philanthropists who give time, expertise, cash and more but because they are only recently engaging in formal philanthropy they do not yet think strategically.

The Center for Arab American Philanthropy advises donors on how to think of donations as investments rather than gifts, to expect results, be proactive instead of reactive, request information on minimum impact and ask “What difference does my gift make?”

Arab Americans consider several factors before donating:

  • Level of trust is important;
  • Personal relationships with organizations are important;
  • Arab-Americans do not confine giving to just Arab-American organizations but also to mainstream U.S. and international causes;
  • Primary among giving preferences are education, youth development, humanitarian aid and religious institutions; and,
  • * Important for giving decisions are leadership, accountability, reputation and types of programs.

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