Asfari Foundation

The Asfari Foundation is a grantmaking organisation established in 2006 by Ayman and Sawsan Asfari that focuses on the Levant and the UK. The foundation invests in, and supports the sustainability of, an empowered civil society infrastructure and innovative youth, able to lead positive change in their communities and countries. The foundation’s grantees range from small, independent NGOs to international development organisations and universities. Asfari Foundation is also the founder of Midan, an online knowledge hub for civil society actors in the Middle East and North Africa region.

Related sustainable development goals

  • Quality Education
  • Sustainable Cities and Communities

Focus areas

Focus sectors

  • Education
  • Humanitarian
    • Youth development
      • Youth mentoring
  • Public affairs
    • Leadership development
    • Public policy

Focus populations

  • Asylum seekers
  • At-risk youth
  • Cross-border families
  • Immigrants and migrants
    • Refugees and displaced
  • Internally displaced people
  • Migrant workers
  • Undocumented immigrants
  • Victims and oppressed people
    • Victims of conflict and war
  • Victims of disaster
  • Young adults

Focus geographies

  • Europe
    • United Kingdom
  • Middle East
    • Syria
    • Lebanon
    • Palestine
    • Jordan

Grantees

  • Al Share Media
  • Al-Jumhuriya
  • Al-Nayzak
  • Alfanar
  • Atlantic Council of the United States
  • Badael
  • Basma and Zeitooneh
  • CanDo
  • Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Challenge to Change
  • Citizens Build a Community
  • Dawlaty
  • Enab Baladi
  • Fondation Diane
  • Galilee Foundation
  • Gaza Sky Geeks
  • Global Health Institute at the American University of Beirut
  • Hakini
  • Hands Up Foundation
  • Humanitarian Leadership Academy
  • IDRAAC
  • Lebanon Support
  • Masar
  • Megaphone
  • Nahnoo
  • Pitchworthy
  • Roia
  • ShareQ
  • Syrian Archive
  • Syrian Centre for Legal Studies and Research
  • Syrian Centre for Media and Freedom of Expression
  • Syrian Centre for Policy Research
  • The Asfari Institute for Civil Society & Citizenship at AUB
  • The Syria Campaign
  • United Lebanon Youth Project
  • Women Now
  • YMCA

Partners

  • American Friends Service Committee
  • American University of Beirut
  • Arab Foundations Forum
  • Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Carnegie Middle East Center
  • Chatham House
  • Door
  • Galilee Foundation
  • Karam Foundation
  • London School of Economics
  • Taawon Welfare Association
  • Tinyhand
  • United Palestinian Appeal
  • Yes Theatre

Programmes

  • Midan
    An initiative of the Asfari Foundation, Midan is an online resource platform for civil society organisations, donors, knowledge producers, and other local and global entities working to further the development of the MENA region.
  • Research
    The Asfari Foundation funds research through its through a network of partners and acdemic institutions, including Chatham House, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the Atlantic Council and The Asfari Institute at The American University of Beirut.
  • The Civil Society Programme
    The Civil Society programme invests in the capacity building and organisational development of small to medium-sized CSO organisations within the Levant, with the aim of increasing their resilience and strengthening their impact.
  • The Youth Learning, Entrepreneurship & Innovation Programme (YLEAP)
    YLEAP offers funding and wider support to organisations that support young entrepreneurs, from ideation to impact investment. Asfari Foundation invests in organisations that offer innovative solutions to social problems, and connect actors from across the entrepreneurship ecosystem – local, regional and global – who share a vision for the region, promoting learning, knowledge-sharing and mentorship support. Through YLEAP, the foundation seeks to build a global community of practice dedicated to social and economic change in the Levant, guided by evidence and experience, and led by innovative youth

Financials

Funding model

  • Foundation-administered programme awards
  • Grants to organisations
  • Matching grants
  • Pro bono services
    • Pro bono advocacy services
    • Pro bono strategic management services

Primary funders

  • The Asfari family

Operations

Key staff

  • Muna Abbas, CEO
  • Abdulrahman Alhalawani, director of programmes and innovation
  • Anas Darkaoui, director of civil society, partnerships, and engagement

Board members

  • Ayman Asfari, chair
  • John Ferguson
  • Adeeb Asfari
  • Rasha ElMasry
  • Sawsan Asfari
  • Marwan Muasher
  • Saba Almubaslat
  • Kareem Asfari

Contact details

More

Resources

Mobilising Arab philanthropy: Leading figures in Arab philanthropy discuss how to amplify efforts to address regional challenges. Read more

Arab donors respond to Gaza crisis: Governments and charities from across the region are sending cash and relief items to support Palestinians. Read more

Read the Asfari Foundation annual reports here.