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WHAT IS THE ISLAMIC SCHOLARSHIP FUND (ISF)?


The Islamic Scholarship Fund (ISF) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) entity founded in 2009 whose mission is to address the underrepresentation of American Muslims in the fields and occupations that influence public opinion and make public policy. Our belief is that fostering education and improving Muslim representation in all walks of life including media and politics will lead to better understanding of Muslims and fair and just policies.

ISF addresses this underrepresentation by providing academic scholarships, congressional internships, congressional fellowships, film grants and mentorships to Muslim students in the fields of media, policy, law and film. Our goal is to encourage and support Muslim students to become future lawyers, politicians, journalists, film makers, and academicians that properly represent Islam and Muslims in the US.

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WHAT IS AN ENDOWMENT FUND?


An endowment is an investment that grows over the long term, where the principal remains intact and the earnings are used for charitable causes. This protects the earning power and enables donors and nonprofit organizations to continuously donate earnings, or grow endowments by reinvesting them in the principal. Endowment Funds are mostly permanent, but the donor may require timeframes for the distribution of funds. The Sustainers Circle Endowment Project follows Islamic principles of endowments, also known as a Waqf. A Waqf is a religious endowment that is voluntary, permanent and irrevocable. One dedicates a portion of their wealth, in cash or in-kind (such as a house or garden), and its disbursement, for shariah-compliant projects. Once a Waqf is created, it can never be donated as a gift, inherited, or sold.

The establishment of a Waqf provides an opportunity for recurring charity (Sadaqah Jariyah). A well known hadith from the Prophet Muhammad (saw) states, “When a man dies, his acts come to end an except for three things: recurring charity, knowledge by which people benefit, and a pious child who prays for him (the deceased).” The establishment of a Waqf through ISF’s Sustainers Circle not only creates a continuous charity that brings ongoing contributions to the organization for perpetuity, it also promotes the seeking of beneficial knowledge and is a means of ongoing gratitude and duaa for the donors from the many students their endowment will benefit for the life of the organization and beyond.

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WHAT IS THE SUSTAINERS CIRCLE?


The Sustainers Circle is a distinguished group of influential donors who are dedicated to the vision and mission of ISF. The Sustainers Circle Endowment project offers an exclusive opportunity for our most esteemed supporters to invest in the long-term stability of the Islamic Scholarship Fund through a religious endowment (or a Waqf). Your endowment will allow the organization to be sustained as we grow, expand, and meet new challenges in furthering our mission. Additionally, establishing an endowment ensures that your values and priorities, as a donor, are maintained by the organization for perpetuity. Through this, even as organizational focus and priorities may change, your vision and mission for ISF continues to be carried out through the endowment fund.

WHY WOULD I WANT TO ESTABLISH AN ENDOWMENT?


There are many benefits to joining the Sustainers Circle by establishing an endowment fund with ISF. If you are passionate about the mission and vision of our organization and would like to leave behind a legacy, the Sustainers Circle may be an ideal investment. Here are a few reasons why our endowment fund opportunity may be right for you.

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LEAVE BEHIND A LASTING LEGACY

Donations to endowments survive beyond the lives of their givers, creating a true legacy that will honor your values and preserve your name for generations to come.

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PRESERVE YOUR PRIORITIES & VALUES

An endowment fund ensures that the programs that are important to you will always remain in place, ensuring that your own priorities are sustained in the organization.

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ESTABLISH A SADAQAH JARIYAH

An endowment fund allows you to establish an ongoing charity, a gift that not only benefits the organization, but continues to bring you reward, in this life and the next!

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SUSTAIN ISF FOR FUTURE GROWTH

Your endowment fund creates a safety net that allows the organization to expand and grow while programs that you value are not put at risk due to increased funding needs.

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EASY INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT

An endowment fund allows you to make a meaningful investment without the burden of managing those funds, as all of the administrative work is handled by ISF.

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WHAT ARE THE STEPS?


There are three simple steps to establishing an Endowment Fund through our exclusive Sustainers Circle program:

  1. STEP ONE: Determine the amount of your endowment. Endowments have a minimum required investment of $25,000. To create a named scholarship, a minimum of $50,000 is required.

  2. STEP TWO: Contact us to determine your funding options. Reach out to our Director, Somayeh Nikooei at snikooei@islamicscholarshipfund.org, or schedule a call here to learn more:___________ (Hanni to put button) when you are ready to discuss your options and we will walk you through the process.

  3. STEP THREE: Review and sign the agreement. The agreement will be drafted per the options you select and will be emailed back to you for you to approve and sign.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF JOINING THE SUSTAINERS CIRCLE?


Besides the general benefits mentioned above and the tremendous blessing and reward in establishing a recurring charity, ISF offers exclusive program benefits to our Sustainers Circle members. As a Sustainer, you will:

  • Receive a special annual Sustainers Circle report that discusses the impact of your waqf. 
  • Receive exclusive VIP Tickets to your first ISF annual banquet dinner, after becoming a Sustainer.
  • Receive special recognition as a member of the Sustainers Circle.
  • When donating as a business sponsor, receive special marketing rights to promote your investment as a part of your philanthropic activities, allowing you to share with your clients and customers your commitment to the community.
  • Receive recognition as a distinguished supporter with an elegant Sustainers Circle plaque.
  • May create your own scholarship(s) and name the awards in honor/memory of a loved one.
  • Receive bi-annual reports and video messages from your sponsored scholars so you can see, firsthand, the impact of your giving. You may also inspire others to pay it forward by sharing these reports and inspiring videos with family, clients, or customers, extending the influence of your giving far beyond the scholarship recipients themselves.

QUESTIONS?


We appreciate the opportunity to explain our program and look forward to working with you on this project. Should you have any questions regarding setting up an endowment, please contact us at contact@IslamicScholarshipFund.org or 650-995-6782

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Can funder be involved in the selection process?

No. Fortunately, we are working with a professional and highly skilled selection committee, who represent the various majors we support. For example, we have attorneys who evaluate law students and filmmakers who evaluate film students. All judges sign conflict of interest and confidentiality form prior to the evaluations.

Can a funder be in direct contact with a scholarship recipient?

Yes. However, we ask that an ISF representative is present.

Will ISF update me on the progress of my funded scholars?

Yes!. During the first year, you will receive two updates and after the first year we will send you annual updates.

Is there a minimum required to invest in the ISF Sustainers Circle Endowment Fund?

Yes, the minimum amount is $25,000.

Is there a minimum required to invest in the ISF Endowment Fund and to create a named scholarship?

Endowments have a minimum required investment of $50,000 for a named scholarship.

Are the investment vehicles used by ISF Sharia compliant?

Yes, we use Sharia investment vehicles.

What is the average investment return?

Historically our returns have been not lower than 10%; however, the economy is unpredictable and interest rates can fluctuate.

Will I have my own endowment fund?

No. We invest funds in the ISF endowment fund and provide annual reports for the fund.