Q: How much of the donated money is spent on administration of the service you provide?
To answer this question we must first back track a bit and give you an overview of how charities work and how the funds are divided in order to paint an entire picture rather than giving you a figure which may be correct but not entirely honest.
There are 5 groups of expenses which need to be noted:
1. Distributed Funds & Project Pipeline
3. International Projects Support
4. Marketing & Fund-raising
5. Community Development & Education
This, typically is how funds are pooled into groups, so when you ask someone for their ‘Admin’ fees, they may only give you their ‘Admin’ fees without the need to disclose other deductions associated with your donation.
Now as for MAA we give a figure which combines the 4 expenses together without the need to segment them if asked. Our total ‘Administration’ costs which include: Program Implementation costs, Marketing, Fund-raising & Administration is a mere 9.7% alhamdulilah and is continuing to drop each year.
From this 9.7%, we use only 0.99% for Marketing & Fund-raising and 6.3% is used for Administration costs.
Two important points to keep in mind however is, the 9.7% is only derived from donations marked as a ‘General Donation’, all other donations which are Campaign or Program specific are entirely distributed without the need for any cost recovery alhamdulillah. For further information please see our Reporting Page.
Q: Do you have an external auditor who verifies the financial/project work that you perform?
Yes, alhamdulillah, MAA is the only Comprehensive’ Muslim organisation who hold the DGR Status. This means that all your donations which are $2 or more are tax deductible across all our campaigns and not only selected ones.
Organisations who hold a DGR status are subject to mandatory Audits on a regular basis in order to maintain a High level of Trust, Transparency & Integrity amongst their donors, field partners, sponsors which in return will directly affect the performance/quality of aid being organised and distributed abroad.
Q: How are projects selected and who confirms that the projects are as per Islamic requirements?
In terms of our project selection, we have been working on the ground in countries all over the globe for the past 25years. In this time we have developed strong relationships with field partners who most importantly share the same values as us and know the local needs.
MAA works independently from our sister organisations in the UK & Malaysia, this means that we have full control of the projects we fund and also give us the ability to actually design the projects taking it from a conceptual stage right through to implementation and delivery.
We select various projects which will enhance the livelihood of those in need and create a sustainable option where available to make the donations work smarter, longer.
As for the Islamic requirements, we have a dedicated team who uphold, implement and love strict Islamic values and this is stretched to our field partners who are assisting with our projects. Our CEO, Sheikh Hassan Elsetohy is a qualified sheikh from Al-Azhar who has many years of experience dealing with the needs of our community and has become a very trusted and respected figure amongst any individual, group or organisation alhamdulillah. Furthermore, Sheikh Hassan comes from a corporate background serving 20yrs as a Chief Architectural Engineer and has brought his wealth of knowledge from the corporate sector in the NGO sector, really setting the bar high and setting many standards.
One of these standards is the design and creation of the world’s first Shariah Compliant Donation system which we have implemented into our website and mobile app. This system was designed to adhere various Islamic Fiqh guidelines as to how money can be distributed depending on where the money was derived. For instance, if someone has money which may have been accumulated from an interest bearing account, these funds cannot be given to say, orphans, they must follow our shariah model and be placed/distributed to the Islamically approved and accepted fund pool.
This is truly an innovative concept and one which shows that the underlying intent of our organisation is that of ensuring we first and foremost please Allah with the works carried out, ensuring that we apply our utmost best in every aspect insha’Allah. In return, the donors and beneficiaries will feel at ease knowing that they are donating to a trustworthy organisation and from the beneficiaries perspective, knowing that they are being assisted by funds which contain barakah insha’Allah.
Q: What is Fitrah?
Fitrah is also often referred to as Sadaqat al-Fitr. The word Fitr means the same as Iftaar, “breaking a fast”, and it comes from the same root word as Futoor, meaning “breakfast”. Thus, in Islam, Fitrah is the name given to the charity that is distributed at the end of the fast of Ramadan.
Q: How is Fitrah calculated?
The amount of Fitrah payable is called a “sa’a”, ie the minimum prescribed amount. It is the same for everyone, regardless of their different income brackets. One sa’a is traditionally (two handfuls or 2.176kg, approximately) of food, grain or dried fruit. This calculation is based on Ibn ‘Umar's report that the Prophet (SAW) made Fitrah compulsory and payable by a sa’a of dried dates or a sa’a of barley.
Q: What is the status accorded to Fitrah?
It is a duty that is compulsory on every Muslim, whether male or female, minor or adult as long as he/she has the means to do so. The head of the household may pay the Fitrah on behalf of family members.
In reference to this, Abu Sa'eed al-Khudree said, "On behalf of our young and old, free men and slaves, we used to take out one sa’a of grain, cheese or raisins during Allah's Messenger's (SAW) lifetime". [Sahih Muslim 2:469 (2155)]
Bear in mind that Fitrah is only compulsory for a particular period of time. If one misses the time period without a good reason, he has sinned and cannot make up for it. This charity becomes obligatory from sunset on the last day of fasting and remains obligatory until the beginning of the Eid prayer (that is, shortly after sunrise on the following day). However, it can be paid prior to the above mentioned period, as many of the companions of the Prophet (SAW) used to pay Fitrah a couple of days before Eid.
Q: What is the main purpose of Fitrah?
The main purpose of Fitrah is to provide those who fasted with the means of making up for their errors during the month of fasting, thereby purifying their Ramadan fast. Fitrah also provides the poor with a means with which they can celebrate with dignity the Eid-ul-Fitr festival that concludes the end of Ramadan together with the rest of the community.
Q: Is it permissible to pay Fitrah in cash?
Nowadays, Muslims are generally allowed to pay in cash an equivalent value of “one sa’a” of Fitrah. Scholars opined
that Fitrah can be paid in cash if it is better from the point of view of the recipients. If one who gives Fitrah is relatively wealthy, it would also be better for him or her to pay more than the amount of a sa’a..
Q: Who are the recipients of Fitrah?
The recipients (asnaf) of Fitrah are the same as those of Zakah.
Q: What is Fedyah?
For those who are unable to fast (eg. the elderly, sick, handicapped, etc.), compensation must be made by feeding a poor person for every day of fasting not observed. At the same time, however, the young and able should still make up their missed fasts(ie in case they were sick or travelling). Abdullah bin Ma'qal narrated: I sat with Ka'b bin 'Ujra and asked him about the Fedyah. He replied, "This revelation was revealed concerning my case especially, but it is also for you in general. I was carried to Allah's Apostle and the lice were falling in great number on my face. The Prophet SAW said, "I have never thought that your ailment (or struggle) has reached to such an extent as I see. Can you afford a sheep?" I replied in the negative. He then said, "Fast for three days, or feed six poor persons each with half a sa’a of food." [Sahih Bukhari 3:28 (43)]
Q: How is Fedyah calculated?
The price of Fedyah for each day of missed fasts is either to feed a poor person two meals in a day, or to supply wheat enough to feed a poor person twice in a day. The Fedyah rate should be calculated based on the local prices of whole wheat in the location the person resides.
Q: What is Kaffarah?
The prescribed way of making amends for wrong actions is Kaffarah. For example, if a person promises to do something, but later finds out that he is not in a position to keep that pledge, then he/she must pay a Kaffarah. MAA arranges the distribution of Kaffarah by feeding the poor on your behalf.
Q:Should I contact MAA before organising my fund-raising activity?
and groups: If you are an individual or a group and have questions which are not covered by these guidelines, please contact our Fund-raising & Marketing Team on 02 8016 9500.
: If you are planning to fund raise through your business, please call us (on the above number) as these guidelines only cover non-business fund-raising activities.
: If your Mosque is planning to organise a fund-raising activity, please call us (on the above number).
Q: Will MAA approve my fund-raising activity?
Your fund-raising activity will not be an official MAA activity. We cannot formally authorise you to act as a MAA agent and we will not be responsible for the management or conduct of your fund-raising activity. You will need to consider key matters such as insurance, venue hire and how you will collect donations safely. We will not be able to provide direct assistance with these matters and our insurance policies will not cover your fund-raising activity.
Q: Can I use the MAA logo or other MAA resources for my fund-raising activity?
You can use our name by stating that the proceeds from your fund-raising activity will be going to “MAA”. There are also some resources available on our website. For example, if you have a webpage, you can create a link from your web page to our website. (Please note that we do not create links from our website to websites of members of the public fund-raising for us).
Where you use images sourced from other locations, you must only use photos and graphics as legally permitted and you should name the source of your images. You must also include a statement that these images are not endorsed by MAA. Such a statement can be as follows:
“This picture is sourced from the Reuters website, on [insert date] and is not endorsed by MAA”.
Q:Can donors receive a tax deductible receipt?
If a donor wishes to receive a tax deductible receipt from us, we recommend that you advise them to make their donation directly to us via our website or by calling us on 1800 100 786.
However, please note that some state and territory fund-raising laws also require you to issue a general receipt to the donor at the time you receive the funds.
Q: How should I collect donations?
We recommend that you carefully consider the risks associated with collecting cash and, where possible, enable people to donate directly to us on-line by, for example, having a laptop set up at your fund-raising event or asking people to write you a cheque instead. Where you do receive cash, we recommend that you convert it to a bank cheque or money order as soon as possible. Please do not bank it into your own bank account, as this is prohibited by fund-raising laws in a number of jurisdictions.
Q: How and when should I provide the funds raised to MAA?
You should remit funds raised to us as soon as practicable. If you are fund-raising in Western Australia, this must be no more than 14 days from the date you receive funds. Please securely post cheques, bank cheques and money orders to 87-89 Rookwood Rd, Yagoona 2199 NSW with details of the appeal for which the funds were raised and your contact details (in case we need to call you to clarify anything)