Four-star Islamic charity downgraded by nation’s leading charitable evaluator

February 27, 2012

Charity Navigator has lowered its overall rating of the Zakat Foundation.  The historically four-star rated Islamic non-profit organization received its first three-star rating late last year, which was reaffirmed by Charity Navigator’s second overall three-star rating of the Zakat Foundation on Feb. 1, 2012.

Historical ratings from Charity Navigator

Last fall, the Zakat Foundation—one of the five largest Islamic charities in America—received a two-star rating on accountability and transparency from Charity Navigator.  Deficiencies included the lack of a written policy by the Zakat Foundation against conflicts of interest.  Money Jihad believes this is an intentional decision by the Zakat Foundation because executive director Khalil Demir probably has his wife on the foundation’s payroll.

The Zakat Foundation also received low marks from Charity Navigator for not recording the minutes of board meetings, for its records retention policy, for its process of determining Khalil Demir’s salary, and a lack of accessible audited financials on its website.  Charity Navigator found that the Zakat Foundation has made a few improvements to its website since last fall, and has slightly increased its transparency rating, but still scores three stars overall.  Without any federal agency overseeing U.S. nonprofits, Charity Navigator is widely regarded as the nation’s top charitable evaluator.

Charity Navigator's low marks for transparency at the Zakat Foundation

Previously, Money Jihad uncovered the Zakat Foundation’s 2010 work with Muslim Hands, a British-based charity accused by Israel of funding Hamas.  FrontPage Magazine has alleged that the Zakat Foundation sponsored a grant to IHH, another “Union of Good” pro-Hamas charity.

A Zappos customer recently reported to Money Jihad that the Zakat Foundation was the beneficiary of $1,300 that was taken from his bank account without his authorization.  The pilfered money was “refunded” after an arduous process described by the Zappos customer.

The downgrading by Charity Navigator is just the latest black mark against the Zakat Foundation, which as recently as Jan. 2010 was hailed by Hillary Clinton’s State Department as a valued partner in disaster relief overseas.


  1. IS there any changes in 2013?

    • Yes, their rating has rebounded. Stay tuned–I’ll have an update on Charity Navigators ratings within the next couple of weeks hopefully.

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