Philanthropy serves as the most complete model of community development. While a donor may be attracted to a one-time cause, a philanthropist invests in long-term impact for their community. Additionally, philanthropy comes in all sizes and forms. And philanthropy’s potential to influence communities at all levels cannot be underestimated, whether it be a major gift to an arts and culture or higher education institution, or a smaller gift that invests in the capacity of a grassroots human services organization.

Through its general grantmaking to human services organizations, such as the Arab American Community Development Corporation in Philadelphia and the Arab Cultural and Community Center in San Francisco, the Center for Arab American Philanthropy (CAAP) leverages individual Arab American giving to make a collective impact on organizations working to improve the lives of thousands. In addition, the Jack G. & Bernice M. Shaheen Endowed Media Scholarship Fund was created to provide Arab American students studying journalism, film, or communications the opportunity to increase representation of Arab Americans in the media through scholarships.

Often, the most visible attractions to any community lie in public arts and culture institutions. We at CAAP, however, believe that healthy, vibrant communities begin when philanthropy invests in a variety of causes, including health, education, advocacy, and social justice initiatives. Funding a variety of sectors contributes to livable communities that attract development and sustainability.

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Photo courtesy Juergen Kurlvink

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