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New Report Provides In-Depth Look at Latest Research on Arab American Giving

Arab Americans carry a long history of giving in Michigan. According to the Center for Arab American Philanthropy (CAAP), CMF member and the only Arab American community foundation in the country, previously, no extensive research has been conducted on giving in the Arab American community. 

Arab American family spending time together.

The Center for Arab American Philanthropy (CAAP), a CMF member and the only Arab American community foundation in the country, has released the nation’s only research on Arab American giving. A Tapestry of Giving provides new research on the giving attitudes, habits, motivations and priorities of Arab Americans.

CAAP is one of three national institutions through the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services, the largest Arab American community nonprofit in the United States. 

According to CAAP, previously, no extensive research has been conducted on giving in the Arab American community. CAAP shares that researching Arab Americans is challenging due to the country-wide lack of demographic data on Middle Eastern and North African demographic groups.

The CAAP research team gathered data from the community through a community-wide survey and focus groups with a total of 300 survey responses.  

According to the report, findings from this research on Arab American giving have surfaced nine themes:

  1. When giving, Arab Americans connect with their Arab American identity.
  2. Giving is deeply personal.
  3. Giving is driven by gratitude and responsibility.
  4. Philanthropy is learned over time.
  5. Trust in an organization continues to be important.
  6. Arab Americans care about the impact of their giving.
  7. Arab Americans are generous with their time.
  8. Arab Americans give significantly in their local communities and the United States.
  9. Arab Americans see the power in collective giving.

A snapshot of key findings from the report includes:

  • 84% of respondents prefer to give to organizations that make a difference by providing direct services.
  • Over 70% of respondents reported giving to local social service organizations and/or emergency relief efforts in the past three years.
  • 3.7% of respondents answered that over the past three years, all of their donations went to non-Arab organizations, 39.8% gave an equal amount to Arab American and non-Arab organizations and 8.8% gave all their donations to Arab American organizations.
  • Nearly 65% of respondents indicated that they gave through a community foundation, and 20.2% of all respondents gave through a family foundation.
  • Over the past three years, respondents gave across the board to causes in community, state, nationally and internationally, with an emphasis on giving to local community. 87% of respondents gave to causes in their local community over the past three years.
  • Fundraising events are central to Arab American giving. 63% of respondents indicated that they purchased a ticket for a fundraising event to support an organization.
  • Personal connections play a critical role in how Arab Americans give. 53% of survey respondents are more likely to support an organization if their friends ask than the organization.
  • 82% of respondents consider the organization's leadership when making decisions about giving and 91% consider an organization’s reputation and/or review its charity rating before giving.
  • Nearly 64% of respondents gave their time in addition to monetary donations, and 28% of those surveyed identified volunteerism as the way of giving that makes the biggest difference.
  • Over 80% of respondents are very or somewhat comfortable sharing information about the organizations they support, and 67% of respondents promote organizations they support on their social media and email.

During CMF’s 50th Annual Conference last month, CAAP presented the report's findings to CMF members and led a discussion on celebrating donor diversity in the session Trends in Arab American Giving: A Research Study.

According to the report, CAAP will continue to play an important role as a space in which Arab Americans can strengthen the impact of their giving, coordinate their giving with others and uplift the narrative of Arab American giving in American society.

Want more?

Read the full report.

Learn more about CAAP.