Hindu American Foundation

aka HAF   |   Washington, DC   |  https://www.hinduamerican.org/

Mission

The Hindu American Foundation (HAF) is a non-profit advocacy organization for the Hindu American community. Founded in 2003, HAF's work impacts a range of issues -- from the portrayal of Hinduism in K-12 textbooks to civil and human rights to addressing contemporary problems, such as environmental protection and inter-religious conflict, by applying Hindu philosophy. Mission: Promoting dignity, mutual respect, and pluralism in order to ensure the well-being of Hindus and for all people and the planet to thrive.

Ruling year info

2016

Executive Director and Co-Founder

Ms. Suhag Shukla Esquire

CFO

Ms. Sheetal Shah

Main address

910 Seventeenth St. NW, Suite 315

Washington, DC 20006 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

68-0551525

NTEE code info

Civil Rights, Advocacy for Specific Groups (R20)

International Peace and Security (Q40)

Intergroup/Race Relations (R30)

IRS filing requirement

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

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Inaccurate, negative, and stereotyped understandings of Hinduism and Hindus are indicative of a systemic problem that results in ignorance, discrimination, hate, and even violence against Hindus in America and around the world. The problem is rooted in Hindus not having had a seat at the table of individuals and institutions of influence that form the narratives and shape policies that affect Hindus everyday. This void has led to narratives that don't reflect Hinduism and Hindus clearly, and policies that don't promote dignity, mutual respect, and pluralism, nor ensure the well-being of Hindus and that all people and the planet thrive. HAF seeks to fill this void.

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?

Education & Awareness

HAF works to improve the understanding of Hinduism and Hindus through K-12, Higher Ed and Media

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Adults

HAF works to ensure Hindus and other minorities in the U.S. and around the world are free, safe, and secure by engaging and working with key stakeholders.

Population(s) Served
Hindus
Ethnic and racial groups

HAF serves the community through unique opportunities and beneficial programs and promoting pluralism and mutual respect through intra and interfaith engagement.

Population(s) Served
Hindus
Immigrants and migrants

Where we work

Awards

Hindu Renaissance Award 2009

Hinduism Today

Affiliations & memberships

Member, International Religious Freedom Roundtable 2016

Member, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights 2019

Member, Committee on Religious Liberty 2019

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

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

Number of unique website visitors

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

Children and youth, Parents, Adults

Related Program

Education & Awareness

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

HAF's Hinduism 101 & Hinduism Essentials offer a content-rich experience to learn about Hinduism through a wide array of well researched and easy to understand resources. Metric: unique pageviews.

Number of policymakers or candidates reached

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

Adults, Ethnic and racial groups, Hindus

Related Program

Policy - Civil & Human Rights

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

HAF consistently educates and strategically engages policymakers about Hindu issues & perspectives thru in person meetings, briefings, testimony, interns, and newsletters. Metric: Federal/State/Local

Total dollar amount of grants awarded

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

Children and youth, Hindus, Victims and oppressed people

Related Program

Community Building

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

HAF's work empowers vulnerable Hindu communities & cultivates the next generation of Hindu American leaders through internships, scholarships, cultural grants, and humanitarian assistance. Metric: $$

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.

EDUCATION: Improve the understanding of Hinduism and Hindus.

1. Work towards an equitable and accurate portrayal of Hinduism in K-12 textbooks and in classrooms.

2. Promote a balanced understanding of Hinduism as a lived tradition in academia.

3. Improve narratives about Hindus and Hinduism in media.

POLICY: Promote policies for the well-being of Hindus worldwide and the benefit of all people and the planet.

1. Advocate for policies that enhance the well-being of Hindus in the US.

2. Advocate for policies that secure the human rights of Hindus around the world and promote peace, prosperity and pluralism in India, the spiritual homeland of Hindus.

3. Advocate for solutions aligned with or inspired by Hindu teachings for the benefit of all people and the planet.

COMMUNITY: Empower Hindu American communities and partner institutions.

1. Enhance the well-being, safety, and security of Hindu communities and institutions.

2. Build a culture of advocacy.

3. Promote the recognition of Hinduism and Hindu contributions.

The Hindu American Foundation (HAF) is an advocacy organization for the Hindu American community. The Foundation educates the public about Hinduism, speaks out about issues affecting Hindus worldwide, and builds bridges with institutions and individuals whose work aligns with HAF's objectives. HAF three areas of focus are education, policy, and community. Through its advocacy efforts, HAF promotes dignity, mutual respect, and pluralism to ensure the well-being of Hindus and for all people and the planet to thrive.

HAF is politically agnostic and non-partisan, meaning we are informed, but do not favor or endorse any one political party or its positions. We will work with all individuals and institutions committed to and constructively engaged in promoting dignity, mutual respect, and pluralism.

HAF is not affiliated with any religious or political organizations or entities. HAF seeks to serve Hindu Americans across all sampradayas (Hindu religious traditions) regardless of race, color, national origin, citizenship, caste, gender, sexual orientation, age and/or disability.

Our positions are based on a relentless pursuit of facts; deep consideration of Hindu principles and American values, such as freedom, equality, and justice; and the input of subject matter experts. If we like a policy, we'll say so, and rigorously substantiate our position.

HAF positions will always be based on our guiding principles. And we will always advocate for what we believe is rooted in Hindu Dharma, and serves the well-being of Hindus and the greater good of all.

*Satya. Be truthful. We pride ourselves in offering programming and information with accuracy, integrity, and honesty.

*Ahimsa. Be non-harming. We aspire to work and communicate fairly and respectfully.

*Viveka. Be discerning. We approach our work through careful contemplation, reason, and consensus building.

*Nutana. Be innovative. We aspire to keep our work and approach relevant to our constituents by being creative, innovative, and flexible.

*Sadbhavana. Be collaborative. We seek out partnerships with other individuals and organizations to forward our objectives.

*Kutumbakam. Be big-hearted. We value and respect each other as individuals, work well together as a team, and respect each other's work/life balance.

*Utsaah. Be passionate. We are passionate about Hindu Dharma, the global community, and our work.

HAF has a full-time staff of 14 of highly qualified, motivated, and passionate individuals. They are dedicated to ensuring that the objectives and goals set forth by the Board of Directors with input from HAF's National Leadership Council, staff, and supporters. HAF's National Leadership Council is a small body of dedicated and knowledgable volunteers who work with HAF's staff and board in ensuring progress towards the organization's stated objectives and goals. With two attorneys on staff and a staff team with decades of work experience, HAF is a highly capable industry leader.

Education & Awareness
➤ Created, produced and distributed Hinduism2Go cards, media toolkits, and Hindu holiday toolkits
➤ Developed teaching tool "Using Nonviolence to Fight Oppression: Examining the Impact of Mahatma Gandhi on Social Change Movements"
➤ Released “Guide to Temple Security & Safety" outlining hate crimes prevention, response and staff needs
➤ Launched interactive, web-based multiple module Hinduism 101 Program to learn about Hinduism
➤ Created Hinduism 101 Training programs and trained 3,200 school teachers across the US, 200 TSA reps, and 60 Bureau of Prisons chaplains
➤ Advocated 100 landmark improvements to TX public school textbooks through the public comment process
➤ Successfully advocated to approve new history and social science standards in various states
➤ Launched nationwide anti-bullying and anti-bias survey sharing results with federal agencies
➤ Featured in the bullying prevention public awareness campaign Fact Sheet launched by the White House
➤ Featured in the NY Times and CNN for Take Back Yoga Program for honoring yoga's Hindu roots
➤ Served on National Geographic advisory panel for upcoming Morgan Freeman “The Story of God" series
➤ Invited to review Disney Pixar's Oscar nominated film short “Sanjay's Super Team"

Policy: Civil & Human Rights
➤ Launched Kashmir advocacy, learning webinars, FAQs, history videos and exodus vigils
➤ Raised awareness on human rights in Bangladesh through a Congressional resolution
➤ Testified at a Congressional hearing about the plight of Bangladeshi religious minorities
➤ Educated Congressional/Senate offices on Diwali leading to passage of 1st resolution officially recognizing Diwali
➤ Hosted Congressional Briefings advocating for Kashmiri, Bangladeshi and Pakistani Hindus
➤ Defended a student's right to use a religious symbol & educated university leaders accordingly
➤ Partnered with FBI and DOJ to add an anti-Hindu category for official hate crimes reporting
➤ Participated in Multi-Faith Emerging Leaders Network for Climate Action Conference in Italy

Community: Intrafaith & Interfaith
➤ Released Guidelines for Commercial Use of Hindu Images
➤ Oversee the only Hindu American Capitol Hill Congressional & Advocacy Internship program
➤ Organized events responding to anti-Hindu hate crimes collaborating with DOJ, FBI and local law enforcement
➤ Launched Bhutanese American Project in support of resettled refugees in the U.S.
➤ Issued a grant to Nepali Dalit Youth Empowerment Program uplifting those suffering caste-based discrimination
➤ Declared Hindu American Awareness and Appreciation Months (HAAAM) in several state legislatures/city councils
➤ Served as community partner for U.S Department of State's 1st Diwali celebration
➤ Worked with diverse coalition to successfully advocate for Senate confirmation of Surgeon Gen. Dr. Vivek Murthy
➤ Invited by Oprah Winfrey to attend premiere of her Belief series, gave invocation and resource for “O" magazine

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?

    https://www.hinduamerican.org/about

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

    SMS text surveys, Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Case management notes, 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 identify bright spots and enhance positive 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 recently conducted a year-end survey that yielded the highest participation in the history of our organization. The valuable feedback is being reviewed in our department calls. Data results will shape our narrative and strategic plan for 2020 and beyond. During the year, we will keep stakeholders informed of how the survey results impacted our work.

  • 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?

    We view feedback loops as a way to strengthen partnerships with the people we serve, our board, donors, staff and community leaders.

  • 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 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?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback,

Financials

Hindu American Foundation
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Operations

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

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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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.

Hindu American Foundation

Board of directors
as of 03/03/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Dr. Mihir Meghani


Board co-chair

Dr. Rajiv Pandit

Mihir Meghani

Rishi Bhutada

Rajiv Pandit

Arjun Bhagat

Swami Venkataraman

Dena Merriam

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 3/3/2022

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
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

No data

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 01/25/2022

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 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 help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • 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.