Report celebrates the contributions of Muslim charities
A new report celebrates the significant contributions Muslim organisations make to British society and describes some of the hurdles they face.
The ‘Bridges of Hope’ report by the Muslim Charities Forum found that Muslim organisations in Britain engage in a wide variety of social action projects, including arts and literacy development, food banks, sports associations, youth and community centres, women’s groups and community kitchens.
Some of the key findings in the report include:
- 45% of British Muslim social action organisations are women-led
- These organisations are generally very small with 42% having no paid staff.
- Muslim social action organisations collaborate with various institutions within the public and private sector to help their local communities.
- Almost half (42%) of the organisations have a beneficiary base who are not necessarily Muslim.
- Many have an over-reliance on donations from Muslim individuals and households: 30% receive all of their income from private donations alone, with no help from other funding bodies. Even though Muslim charities strive hard to serve and support their communities, they do not receive outside financial support that is reflective of the quality and reach of their work.
The report says the largest challenge for Muslim organisations working in Britain is the increasing demand for support while the funding is not matching the need.
For example, the youth organisations who responded to the survey experienced difficulty securing funding for core costs. Aside from securing funding for core costs, which affected 70% of all organisations surveyed, securing funding for projects was a problem for 63%, and 67% were under-resourced.
Recruiting volunteers is not a problem for Muslim organisations, with an average of 68 volunteers per charity.
Despite the challenges, the report says these organisations are well-connected and embedded in their communities. The report showcased several case studies of charities and the good work they do in their local community.
"This report details some of the amazing work of Muslim charities and organisations around Britain who answer the call to help their neighbours in need. They are great examples of good citizenship and solidarity in action as they give countless hours and limitless efforts to provide a ray of hope to communities around the country,” says the report.
“Muslim social action organisations are supporting people around Britain to be well fed, educated, housed in safety and security, healthy, active and prosperous. Religiously inspired with a universal outlook of compassion, these organisations are building British civil society for the benefit of everyone,“ it adds.