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We at FORA are entirely reliant on donations to continue providing educational support to the refugee families we serve, the vast majority of whom are Rohingya Muslim.


100% of your Zakat donation will be used for Zakat compliant purchases, along with Zakat funds donated by the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago (CIOGC). 

You could be the reason that another pre-literate 6th grade refugee student gets accepted into our program, learns to read and write, catches up to grade level, and gets on track to college and beyond.

FORA is a registered 501c3 organization, meaning you can list your payment to us as a charitable donation on US federal taxes. Our EIN is 83-2337377.

Donate Zakat by Debit/Credit Card

Donate with a debit or credit card using our secure online donation system below. If you would like to make a credit card donation of more than $4,000, please call Director of Communications Gowri Rao at (952) 564-7641 to process directly.

Donate Zakat by Mail

You can mail a check or Donor Advised Fund made out to FORA to our mailing address below. Please write "Zakat" in the memo line. 

1723 W. Devon Ave,

PO Box #60085

Chicago, IL, 60660

Overview of Zakat at FORA 


Although FORA is not a religiously-affiliated organization, all but two of our students are Muslim, and further, the families we serve are Zakat-eligible. 


FORA’s program eligibility requirements are (1) refugee I-94 status (2) family has members who are pre-literate or semi-literate SLIFE students; and (3) attendance in the program every weekday. All of our families are clearly struggling financially and are on financial benefits. They are recently-arrived refugees who have escaped religious persecution and ethnic cleansing,  who are illiterate and do not speak English or Spanish; as such, it is hard to find well-paying jobs. Any financial stability recently obtained has been upended by the COVID crisis. We do not require formal verification of financial status, as we know each of these families' financial situations intimately, and they are clearly all currently impoverished.


With the Qur’an specifying eight purposes for which the money from Zakat can be used, we at FORA use Zakat to empower and provide tutoring for refugee children whose families are poor (al-fuqarâ’) and needy (al-masâkîn) as a result of oppression. 


We only bill goods and services that are used or consumed directly by our students and their families. To note, no Zakat expenses at FORA are used for overhead costs, such as rent and utilities. We are always happy to share our financial statements documenting this.


Zakat funding is used for the following expenses at FORA:


  1. Educational software for intensive education for formerly illiterate children. Modern software is totally necessary, taking the place of textbooks and workbooks of old. Some of the software packages we use are IXL ($18 per child), Dreambox ($30 per child), ALEKS ($40) per child, Rocket Math ($2 per child), Lexia ($45 per child), and Kids A-Z ($5 per child).

  2. Educational supplies (paper, notebooks, binders, markers, pens, pencils, etc.).

  3. Electronics: Ipads (2018-21 versions), Chromebooks (with at least the following specifications: 15.6" touchscreen, 64gig storage, 4gig RAM, modern Intel processor, etc.) and earphones

  4. Reading books for the student library: In particular, we place an emphasis on purchasing books by Muslim authors and with Muslim protagonists and culturally relevant storylines, as it is so important for our students to see themselves represented in their educational materials. 

  5. Consumables: As many students come to FORA hungry, we provide apples, bananas, and oranges as snacks each day so that our students are nourished and able to fully focus on their tutoring. Further, we also provide fresh water. Finally, we sometimes buy emergency foodstuffs for FORA families when they are in dire need, to ensure that they can properly receive education. 

  6. School, books and school clothing costs for students who need such. 

  7. Direct Tutoring costs: While volunteers are the base of FORA’s tutoring, it is also important to have a select number of paid tutors who we can count on to show up every single day and serve as role models for our volunteers. These paid tutors are providing a direct educational service to children who are Zakat eligible, giving our students one-to-one attention that they would not otherwise receive so that they can get caught up to grade level and thrive. Paid tutors include hourly paid tutors (we currently pay $15 per hour). It currently does not but could also include the time our managerial employees spend tutoring but only if such employees track their time on timesheets, properly allocating the time spent tutoring versus other tasks, and then only the portion of time spent tutoring (as a percentage of the whole) can be billed to Zakat.

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