Charity and charitable activities have been prevalent in Iranians’ culture and religion for a long time. However, until a few decades ago, the majority of charitable activities were performed in a traditional and individual manner, With the emergence of new administrative structures, in addition to the continuation of individual activities, benevolent activities were also institutionalized and channeled into formal structures or private charities. It is estimated that there are about 20,000 registered charities in Iran. However, every year huge amounts in the field of charity are donated and spent.
Despite the vast history and scope of charitable activities, there is insufficient know-how about proper and effective allocation of such large amounts of financial and human resources to charitable causes .Although institutions around the world are trying to study the field scientifically, this issue has not got enough attention among Iranian researchers and thinkers.
This situation led the Ala Charity Foundation to spearhead charitable and philanthropy studies in Iran and build networks with research institutions in this field worldwide. Since 2015,this foundation has established an independent department to conduct research on charity activities, under the name of "Khair-e-mandegar" ( Meaning: lasting benevolence(. The aim of this newly established institution is creating "a knowledge base for charities and charitable causes in Iran". To achieve this goal, the research department of the "Ala Charity Foundation" tries to provide the necessary ground for the realization of the following goals:
- Conducting research in the field of charity and philanthropy
- Fostering interactions of philanthropy researchers at the national and international levels
- Create an opportunity to exchange insights and experiences among charities, nationally and internationally
- Publication of national and global know-how and experiences among charities
- Training and nurturing of human resources based on scientific findings
Leadership of charitable activity, means producing and promoting knowledge, know-how, and trying to instill more effective management among charities. In the other words, it tries to bring acumen to charities and donors on being more impactful and effective. By gaining and applying insights in the field of charity and by creating awareness in this field, Ala Chairt Foundation aims to realize its motto: "every Iranian be a benefactor".
In order to exchange views,promote the insights of charitable activities and share global experiences in the field of charity and philanthropy, so far Ala Foundation has held series of scientific meetings and three national conferences. In the events and seminars of this foundation, some overseas scholarsabroad (including Dr. Shirin Garmarudi, Dr. Christopher Werner and Dr. Shuann SadreGhazi) and some local researchers (including Dr. Nematollah Fazeli, the late Dr. Sayed Mohammad Amin Ghanei Rad, Dr. Gholamreza Avani, Dr. Reza Davari Ardakani, etc.) have participated.
The first conference of Khair-e-mandegar [lasting benevolence] was held under the main theme of "Evaluating the experience and history of philanthropy in Iran" and the theme of the second conference (2018) was "Challenges of charity in Iran". For theupcoming conference in 2021, the aim is to examine the "system of benevolence governance in Iran”.