I was reading an interesting analysis from a leading Muslim institutions accountant (Nasir Rafiq) recently. In it he made the point that Mosques and madrasahs rely heavily (75% of income) on Friday collections and madrasah fees . In particular the analysis says:
A three-month closure of the Mosque will drop the yearly income by at least 20% and this is without the Ramadan donation effect. The closure during Ramadan will eat away a big opportunity to raise funds – often for Mosque expansions.
That’s quite an important point – worth reading twice.
What that is saying is we have a major disaster looming for our community in the UK.
Our institutions – underfunded and limping along at the best of times – are now going to be underwater to the tune of 20-40% (adjusting for Ramadan) .
If we don’t do anything about it, our places, our spiritual watering holes, our sources of jama’ah and brotherhood and sisterhood will really suffer.
Because no-one is going to these places right now I don’t think we as a community have fully comprehended the enormity of the issue.
The team at Islamicfinanceguru and I have been wracking our brains on ways to solve this problem. In this article we share a few solutions, including a simple way in which we can help each of our local mosques, Islamic schools or institutions with up to £40,000 (or more).
So what are the solutions?
Mosques, Islamic schools, madrasahs and other Muslim institutions are going to be forced to use modern marketing tools if they are to survive. That means emails to mailing lists, social media campaigns, an online presence, and an innovative way to capture the public’s attention.
For those institutions that do not adapt well to this – they’ll struggle. But for those that do adapt – they’ll actually probably end up raising far more than they usually do. Because there are billions of people online and only a few hundred in the local mosque.
COVID-19 could actually therefore be a blessing in disguise. A mosque that upskills during this period could in the long-term permanently improve its finances.
Okay – but how can I attract attention to my Islamic institution?
There are a bunch of ways inshAllah:
- Take your madrasahs online with Zoom, Facebook Live, Youtube Live, or any other channel you like. Parents will pay for this. And don’t just do what you used to do, think about ways to upgrade your offering to the next level. You now don’t need to be restricted in terms of the number of people you teach, what you teach, and who you get to teach it.
- Take your regular classes online – and then set up a Gocardless account. At the end of each class you can ask people to sign up to a direct debit. The better the class the better the response will be iA.
- Bring out new classes. Everyone is at home. You have a captive audience during Ramadan – when people are interested in Islamic topics. These classes sell.
- Organise community-wide iftar session hosted by someone charismatic. You can get each local family participating to say some words. Build that community spirit. Make use of your Gocardless or Stripe account.
- Use IFG Wills to raise £40,000 (or more). Let us explain further.
IFG Wills – My Islamic Place Campaign
At IFG we wanted to help contribute in a meaningful way to what we think is one of the biggest hidden disasters that will emerge from this COVID-19 crisis.
One way we can do that is through our Wills platform. Hence, we are pledging to give 40% of all our revenues from IFG Wills to mosques, Islamic schools, madrasahs or Islamic institutions of your choosing.
All you have to do is put down the name of the institution in the referral section at the end of our Islamic Wills form, and we will donate 40% of the revenue from each such will to that institution.
Just follow the following simple steps:
- Share IFG Wills to your Islamic institution mailing list, whatsapp group or slack channel. Tell them to use the referral code. Here is an example of the message you could use:
*[Islamic institution name] needs your help with Ramadan – and there’s something in it for you*Usually we raise around [40%] of our entire yearly budget during the period around Ramadan. This year that hasn’t happened and we are headed for financial disaster as a community if we do nothing. But inshallah there is something we can all do.The guys at Islamicfinanceguru have offered to donate 40% from every Islamic Will to Islamic institutions that refer to them. All you have to do is the following:1. Go on http://wills.islamicfinanceguru.com/ and write your Islamic will. It is all online and takes just 20 minutes. They are qualified lawyers and get mufti approval for every will.
2. At the end you will see a question asking you who did you hear about IFG Wills from – put “[Islamic institution name] & [Islamic institution address] down for the answer.
3. That’s it! You will end up with an Islamic will – which every Muslim in the UK needs, and [Islamic institution] will get £40 donation.Please pass this message on to all your family and friends. We are aiming for  wills this Ramadan.
- Every person in your community then has the ability to complete their will. They will see this screen at the end of our form:
- They should fill that question in by giving the name and address of the Islamic institution. For example:
- We will then make the full payment at the end of Ramadan for all the wills that have been written.
There is no limit to this campaign. If you do 100 wills we will donate £4000. If you do 1000 wills we will donate £40,000.
Please make use of this campaign for your community. Please share this article with the relevant people in your local Islamic institution too. If you are a committee member or organiser you can do this campaign at a bigger level by filling out this simple form and submitting it to us so we know you have launched a campaign and we know where to send the money.
Please don’t leave it just to the community leaders to run this campaign either. They are often from an older generation and they are feeling a bit lost right now.
Now is the time for the new generation to step up to the plate. All you need to do is share this campaign and write your Islamic Will and mention your Islamic institution at the end.
: Muslims typically give to Islamic charities and institutions to the tune of around £400m a year (and likely far more). Of that amount, £100m is raised in Ramadan. So about 25% is given in charitable causes in Ramadan.