Establishing a Masjid and Islamic Centre

Most projects that aim to establish a Masjid or Islamic Centre cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions. They typically involve building a new property or acquiring an existing one, which is usually followed with extensive renovations.

SNMC masjid built

South Nepean Muslim Community, Ottawa, Canada

Large payments are usually tied to a tight schedule, whether to meet a property closing date, or a contractor deadline, or a promised date for repaying a large loan, or something of that sort. Masjid administrations most likely depend on their local communities to raise funds to make these payments.

The Muslim community is in fact in a very favorable position when it comes to fundraising.

To begin with, Muslims are generally encouraged to give Sadaqah and believe that they will be rewarded for that manifold in the hereafter (and there is a specific reward for building a Masjid). So, right from the get go, you can expect that when you ask your local community to donate to a new Masjid project, they will respond well to your call. Whether or not you have a well thought-out fundraising plan, if you ask for donations after Jumuah prayer, or hold a fundraising dinner, you can expect some good donations.

But, what if your ask is just too big and the donations you receive are just not enough to reach the millions of dollars your organization needs to complete its project? What can you do?

Well, as a matter of fact, your organization is privileged by being a member of the non-profit sector!

Australian Islamic Centre

Australian Islamic Centre, Melbourne, Australia

While this may not come as a surprise to you, you may be encouraged to know that there are numerous other non-profit organizations that have successfully raised large amounts of funds and did that by following established fundraising techniques.

So, as a non-profit organization targeting the Muslim community, imagine complementing your existing fundraising initiatives with tried fundraising techniques from the non-profit sector? You are in for a ride!

In the articles below, we take a look at some of these established fundraising principles in the non-profit sector and explore how we can use them in raising funds for our Masjid projects.

Donor Stewardship

Once someone makes a donation to your Masjid project or Islamic School, what happens next? Do you thank them? Do you communicate to them regularly providing updates on the progress of the project? Have you ever looked at your donor database to determine how many of your donors are repeat donors?

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Storytelling in the Muslim Community
Storytelling in the Muslim Community

Storytelling is very big in the non-profit sector. It is the main technique used to trigger an emotional response from a target audience to solicit donations. Have you ever thought about the individual stories of the various people benefiting from a Masjid or Islamic School? Whether they are regular musallees, or reverts who took their shahadah at your Masjid, or parents of students attending an Islamic school, they all have a story that links them to your organization.

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