Registered Muslim Women Voters Lead in Charitable Giving and Volunteering

Muslim women registering to vote are significantly more likely to donate money and volunteer than their nonvoting counterparts.

This is a key finding from research conducted by the Muslim Philanthropy Initiative at Indiana University.

Contrary to common assumptions, civic engagement, rather than religiosity, strongly correlates with charitable giving among Muslim American women.

In Islam, zakat is an obligatory form of giving, requiring Muslims to donate 2.5% of their surplus wealth annually to charities.

Our study revealed that 87% of zakat contributions from Muslim American women came from those who are registered voters.

This percentage exceeds the 82% eligibility rate for Muslim American women voters identified in a 2017 survey.

Additionally, registered Muslim women are 15 times more likely to volunteer than non-registered women.

Among the participants, 61% of those who volunteered contributed nearly 94% of the total zakat in 2022.

The research highlights three primary motivations for charitable actions among U.S.-based Muslim women: compassion for those in need, the belief that their contributions can make a difference, and a sense of religious duty.

Social Science Research Solutions gathered the study’s data by surveying 3,355 adults, including a representative sample of Muslim American women, between February and April 2023.

Our findings underscore the importance of engaging with Muslim American women for nonprofits eligible to receive zakat funds.

Nonprofits that overlook this demographic lack significant financial and volunteer resources.

This study aligns with research showing positive correlations between volunteering, giving, and civic participation.

For nonprofit leaders, building strong relationships with volunteers is crucial for effective fundraising strategies.

The Muslim Philanthropy Initiative is expanding its research through additional surveys and focus groups.

This next phase aims to identify the causes most supported by Muslim women through their charitable giving and volunteering.

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