Ala Research Center

 Ala Strategy Charity Foundation represents a philanthropic, non-government and non-profit foundation which, noticing the increasing demand in the charity sector and the important contribution of philanthropists in different arenas, has felt more than ever before the necessity to organize the philanthropy sector, therefore defining it as a principle program in its agenda. As engagement with charity and philanthropy or any other area cannot be effective and impactful in the long run unless all its aspects are coherently developed including, in particular, providing evidence to support practice, an agreement was signed between the University of Isfahan and Ala Foundation which led to the formation of Ala Research Center (former Lasting Charity) in December 2016, with the mission of developing academic content on charity and philanthropy, promoting philanthropy among the public, improving and enhancing management methods in the area. In 2020, due to its achievements, the center gained a higher rank as a research center.

The goals of the research center can be described in two categories of general goals and specific goals:

General Goals 

   1.Conducting research and producing content in the area of charity studies and management

   2.Developing productive relations nationally, regionally and internationally in the area of charity studies and management.

Specific Goals

   1. Acting as a major academic reference in doing research projects on charity management in Iran

   2.Supporting research projects, master dissertations and doctoral theses on charity studies and management

   3.Organizing national and international conferences and expert summits on charity with the cooperation of universities and academic institutes.

   4.Organizing courses and workshops on charity studies and management with the involvement of universities and charity organizations around the country.

   5.Supporting a change in management methods, offering services, and empowering charity organizations and donors.

The research center has four research groups as follow:

1.Charity history and civilisation studies group  

Islamic civilization is a major matter that not only derives from the identity of the Muslim World, but in a time when the Western civilization identifies itself as paramount, can be effective in Muslim world’s identity-finding. One of the main questions involved in the fundamental Islamic Civilization includes a culture of philanthropy and its promotion in the society for solving individual and social problems, which is also insisted on in the religious principles. Exploring the history of charity and philanthropy in Islamic societies illustrates a model based in long lasting Islamic culture, causing doubts about the prominent thinking of our time that Western societies were paramount in the area of charity. Therefore, the history and civilization studies group was formed to address these issues. 

2.Charity religious-legal studies group

The desire for benevolence and charity and the motivation to live forever leads people to give money and assets to others or engage in charity. In response to this desire and motivation, legislators in different legal systems have established various legal forms. On the one hand, the developments of the current era have recognized rights that can be exchanged for money and have economic value and are included in the concept of property and assets. On the other hand, there are serious challenges in the possibility of granting monetary rights resulting from intellectual property in charity affairs in the form of special contracts, especially in endowments and waqf. These issues, along with many other challenges, emphasizes the need to study and explore this field. A part of this important task is realized by the religious-legal studies group.

3- Charity Economic Studies and Management Group:

With a quick look at the developments and currents that have led to the presence of individuals, organizations and non-governmental organizations in many voluntary scenes, it can be seen that the voluntary sector with a philanthropic and benevolent approach has made a significant contribution to the economic-social development of societies. In today’s world, developed countries have realized the importance of non-profit organizations in the society and their role in the economy and promoting sustainable development, therefore, by enacting new and progressive laws, they have tried to make the best use of the capacity of non-profit organizations. Charitable organizations are one of the subgroups of non-profit organizations.  Despite all the benefits and positive impact, sometimes due to lack of sufficient supervision, these institutions have become a place for all kinds of economic corruption. There are also other harms and problems in this area that make it necessary to study and research it.

Achieving this goal requires an effective and efficient management system in attracting, maintaining, motivating, and evaluating volunteers and organizing economic-management affairs related to charity. The economics and management group works in line with this goal.

4- Charity Cultural and Social Studies Group

The concept of charity is one of the obvious concepts in human culture, and people understand it inspired by their intellect and nature and try to do it. Promoting the culture of charity is one of the questions that is highly recommended in religious texts and the traditions, one of the reasons for which is its significant contribution to the establishment of security and social justice.

Today, charities engage in non-governmental, non-profit and voluntary activities to provide welfare and public services, and their goal is to reduce social pains and harms, promote well-being of the poor, protect the environment and provide social services. In other words, non-governmental associations are an irreplaceable capacity of social capital that serve the society and understand the needs of the society that have not been answered, and try to fill the gaps in an organized manner.

The result of these efforts, along with the activities of governments, is considered one of the most important solutions to reduce social injustice and realize the goals of social and cultural security in different societies. Yet, understanding the truth and the right examples of doing good and benevolence requires reflection and deliberation.