Islamic Scholarship Fund (ISF)

Amplifying the American Muslim Voice

Mission

The Islamic Scholarship Fund (ISF) increases American Muslim representation in film, media, and government and impacts public policy and opinion through undergraduate, post-graduate, and law scholarships, film grants, and our prestigious Congressional Fellowship and Internship programs.

Ruling year info

2007

President and Founder

Dr. Hamid Rezapour

Director

Somayeh Nikooei

Main address

1935A Addison St.

Berkeley, CA 94704 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

20-8540050

NTEE code info

Scholarships, Student Financial Aid, Awards (B82)

Freedom of Religion Issues (R65)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

An increase in demonizing rhetorics and policies targeting Muslims created the need and urgency to support American Muslim professionals working in fields that play a role in shifting negative narratives and correcting problematic policies. The Islamic Scholarship Fund identified the need to grow the number of American Muslims in public opinion and public policy influencing fields, so it began to provide academic scholarships, internships, mentorship, fellowships and film grants to American Muslim who are pursuing professions in fields such as journalism, film, media, law, public policy and related fields.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

ISF Scholarship Program

Since 2009 ISF has funded American Muslim scholars studying and working in fields with the greatest impact on public opinion and policy. Our goal: to improve negative portrayals of Muslims in the news, increase the number of Muslim policymakers, and invest in the creation of positive and engaging stories about American Muslims. Scholarships range from $3,000-$10,000.

Eligibility
- Muslim or active member of the Muslim community
- Enrolled at an accredited university in the U.S. by Fall semester
- An undergraduate (junior or senior) or of graduate standing (master's, PhD, or law degree)
- Majoring in an ISF-supported major
- Maintaining a minimum 3.0 GPA
- A U.S. citizen or permanent U.S. resident

Requirements
- Application form
- Resume
- Video introduction
- Essay questions
- College transcripts
- Work samples
- Two letters of recommendation by a professor, mentor, religious leader, and/or employer

Learn more at: programs.islamicscholarshipfund.org/scholarship

Population(s) Served
Ethnic and racial groups
Students
Muslims

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Average grant amount

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Ethnic and racial groups, Muslims

Related Program

ISF Scholarship Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

ISF's average scholarships are about $3,300 ranging from $3,000-$10,000

Total dollar amount of grants awarded

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Ethnic and racial groups, Muslims

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Since 2009, ISF has awarded $1.5 million in scholarships, film grants and internship stipends

Number of participants engaged in programs

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Ethnic and racial groups, Muslims

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Due to the pandemic, we had slightly fewer 2020 participants than in previous years.

Total number of grants awarded

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Ethnic and racial groups, Muslims

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Since 2009, ISF has awarded 400+ American Muslim students with scholarships and film grants.

Total number of filmmakers supported

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Ethnic and racial groups, Muslims

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Average online donation

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Muslims, Ethnic and racial groups

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Due to the global pandemic, ISF saw a change in donations as with most other nonprofits. We still met our fundraising goals, though funds were directed to us in other ways outside of our website.

Total dollars received in contributions

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Ethnic and racial groups, Muslims

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of students who receive scholarship funds and/or tuition assistance

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Ethnic and racial groups, Muslims

Related Program

ISF Scholarship Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Number of donations made by board members

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Ethnic and racial groups, Muslims

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of donors retained

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Ethnic and racial groups, Muslims

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Number of new donors

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Ethnic and racial groups, Muslims

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

The dramatic increase in donors relates to a crowdfunding campaign we completed through the online platform LaunchGood. During Ramadan especially, we received thousands of donations from new donors.

Number of convenings hosted by the organization

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Ethnic and racial groups, Muslims

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Due to our steady growth, ISF was able to hire a Program Manager who increased the number of events (largely online, due to the pandemic) we held in 2020. We plan to continue this growth in events.

Number of endowments

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Ethnic and racial groups, Muslims

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

With new staff, ISF recently launched a new endowment campaign, which will increase the number of endowment funders in the years to come.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

By empowering Muslim students to pursue degrees and careers in media and policy related fields, ISF has continued to develop an impressive alumni base who work as journalists, policy analysts, film makers, and advocates and are all committed to changing perceptions of Islam and Muslims. Thus, we believe that through our programs, we provide monetary support in addition to moral support and can increase the number of Muslim students who can go on to push back against problematic narratives and policies to help create a more inclusive Untied States.

ISF uses multiple strategies to fulfill its mission. The first includes providing scholarships to Muslim students pursuing degrees in journalism, law, public policy and related degrees.

We also provide film grants to aspiring filmmakers who are producing films that deal with the nuance and complexity of Muslim and Muslim American life as well as those which serve as a counter narratives of the dominant narrative that demonizes Islam and Muslims.

Furthermore, our internships and fellowship provide experiential support and facilitate future employment in critical public policy and media positions.

Additionally, we connect our alumni base of hundreds of students to one another for networking and mentoring opportunities.

ISF has two full-time staff who both direct and coordinate programming. In addition, ISF also has _____ consultants who provide support on fundraising, graphic design, and content management.

We also have many committed grassroots donors in addition to an endowment fund that helps support the organization financially.

Since 2009, for the last eleven years, ISF has awarded $1.3 million to 394 American Muslim students and film makers who have demonstrated a commitment to the mission of ISF to follow careers in media and public policy related fields.

In the years to come, ISF hopes to award an increased number of scholarships with a higher amount dedicated to each scholarship to better support Muslim students. We also hope to expand our film grant program in order to support greater outreach efforts and many more films that are changing perception about Muslims.

Furthermore, we are working on expanding our fellowship and internship programs to increase Muslim representation in media and policy related fields.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    We serve American Muslim undergraduate and postgraduate students, filmmakers, and young professionals from varying races, ethnicities, gender identities, and sexual orientations.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    SMS text surveys, Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Community meetings/Town halls, Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees, Suggestion box/email,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    We are implementing a comprehensive Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion strategy to ensure we serve American Muslims from varying racial backgrounds and gender identities. This strategy has already informed how we review applications--and the application questions themselves--and will further be implemented across our programming and operations over the coming years.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    It has helped us determine where we can improve and how we can better serve the American Muslim community.

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, The people we serve tell us they find data collection burdensome, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time,

Financials

Islamic Scholarship Fund (ISF)
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Islamic Scholarship Fund (ISF)

Board of directors
as of 6/8/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Hamid Rezapour

Dalia Fahmy

Ismail Mahomed

Hamid Rezapour

Salman Ravala

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 06/08/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Asian American/Pacific Islanders/Asian
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Asian American/Pacific Islanders/Asian
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Equity strategies

Last updated: 05/12/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.