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PARSA CF University: Resources for Connecting to Iranian Nonprofits Worldwide

Source: PARSA Community Foundation

Kahrizak Charity Foundation

Omid-e-Mehr Foundation


Popli Khalatbari Charitable Foundation

Mehr Charity Foundation

Iranians often face a challenge in locating and contributing to Iranian and Persian cultural nonprofit organizations both in their local communities and abroad. But increasingly there are resources and means for doing so. When identifying a nonprofit that you are interested in donating to, some questions to consider are:

  • What country is the organization based in? Is it incorporated in the United States, Canada, a European country or Iran?
  • If it is located in a different country, does it have a "Friends of" or supporting organization that operates in the country where I live?
  • How can I tell if it is legal for me to make a contribution to the organization?

If you are a U.S. citizen or resident wanting to make a financial contribution to a charity operating inside Iran be sure to verify that the charity has a valid "OFAC license" (permission from the U.S. Treasury Office of Foreign Asset Control) so that you can make your contribution legally. The Iranian American Bar Association provides more information on these rules.

Ways to Give Internationally
Many U.S. and European-based charities operate programs or make grants for humanitarian causes in other countries. For example, Relief International, which draws a lot of support from Iranian-Americans, carries out programs in countries as diverse as Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia and Bangladesh.

Friends Of Organizations
In the wake of heightened national security concerns, especially in the U.S., if the organization you are interested in making a donation to is indeed based outside of your country you may want to consider giving through a "Friends of" organization. The term "Friends of" originates from the fact that most organizations that support foreign charities include the phrase.  For example, American Friends of the British Museum supports the museum in London. Some "Friends of" organizations, however, do not use the "Friends of" terminology, such as the University of St. Andrews American Foundation, which represents the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. These organizations help people make international donations with greater ease and administrative efficiency. Because "Friends of" organizations work continuously with their partner nonprofit overseas, they are able to conduct due diligence and obtain reports on funding that you may not be able to do as an individual.

Supporting Organizations
Many charities that are based in Iran have a supporting organization in another country. Examples of these include Iran-based Omid-E-Mehr Foundation, which helps disadvantaged young women in Tehran. Omid-E-Mehr Foundation is supported by the Omid Foundation in the United Kingdom. Kahrizak Charity Foundation, which provides care and opportunity to the elderly and people with disabilities inside Iran, is supported by Kahrizak Foundation of Canada, as well as Kahrizak Charity Foundation, a California tax-exempt corporation that has an OFAC license.

Resources and Tools for International Philanthropy
If you are interested in learning more about Iranian or Persian-focused nonprofit organizations around the world, there are now searchable directories of organizations online:

NGO Directory
PARSA Community Foundation's online NGO (non-governmental organization) directory connects donors, grant seekers and volunteers with nonprofits serving the Iranian diaspora community around the world. The directory is searchable by country, field and organization name, making it easy to locate institutions as varied as Persian Studies programs in Canada or nonprofit organizations promoting the welfare of children in the United Kingdom. PARSA CF invites nonprofits to add their organization to the NGO directory.

Project Connection
Project Connection enables second-generation Iranians in the diaspora to volunteer with institutions inside Iran, such as schools and non-governmental organizations. The project is a collaboration between Iranian Alliances Across Borders and the Iranian Studies Group at MIT. By providing this resource, Project Connection benefits both Iranians in Iran and Iranians around the world with very little cost.

These tools and resources serve to streamline and strengthen the process of connecting nonprofits with donors, volunteers and other non-profits by providing the information needed to maximize the power of each dollar donated, each dollar spent and each hour volunteered. Through leveraging our access to nonprofit networks, we can tap into valuable resources and services and help strengthen the voice of the global Iranian nonprofit community.

... Payvand News - 02/25/09 ... --

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