A message from the ceo

Imam Hassan ElsetohyIn the name of ALLAH the Most Gracious & Most Merciful. All praise is due to ALLAH (swt), who said “Whoever saves a life, as if he (she) saved the whole humanity” [Quran 5:32]. Peace and blessings on his prophet Muhammad (PBUH), whom ALLAH (swt) said about him “We have only sent you as a mercy to the whole creation” [Quran 21:32]
 
Two years ago, particularly in Ramadhan 1433/2012, Muslim Aid Australia (MAA), a leading Australian Non-Government Organisation (NGO), opened a new chapter in its long successful history of delivering Humanitarian Aid and Development worldwide. The NGO sector dynamics have changed, new challenges arose, new opportunities to do better emerged, new ways and approaches of moving forward were necessary. I feel honored to be an instrument in starting and leading the way to position MAA to respond effectively to these changes and challenges, and to take MAA and the sector to the next level.
 
We first started by defining clear, genuine and a smart vision, mission and strategy. Today, I am honoured and pleased to announce that alhamdulillah, and only after two years, our strategy has delivered results that exceeded the already challenging targets, which I will summarise briefly in this message. In a nutshell, the vision and the strategy definitely worked!

What success looks like? We succeed together when:
  • Our people do The Right Thing.. Right! Every day, starting with a sense of purpose and finishing with a sense of accomplishment,
  • Our name and our work are tightly coupled with the values of Trust, Efficiency and Smartness,
  • Our beneficiaries, community, donors, and stakeholders realise that we are their essential partner,
  • Our project success rate reaches 100%, while advancing to the next levels of development, and
  • Our governance and compliance disciplines are smart, efficient, and fully implemented.

I would like to highlight key principles of the strategy, which are:
1. Trust        2. Efficiency    3. Smart

For us, these are not just buzz words, rather we thought deeply about them, we put plans together, and persistently executed these plans. Based on my Islamic studies and Business experience, I defined five pillars that make up genuine Trust. Missing anyone of them does not achieve the real Trust we aim for and deserve.
The five pillars are:
Shariah Compliant operations | Monitoring | Accountability | Reporting | Transparency

Alhamdulillah, we implemented and constantly improving these five pillars of Trust.  As for Efficiency, we designed and implemented streamlined, business-aligned and agile processes across all of our corporate towers.
As for the SMART principle, we implemented and still developing automated, world-class, and business-aligned technology systems that serves both the Trust, with its five pillars, and efficiency principles. For example, our first-of-kind CRM system, website and Mobile Apps systems. These systems are built Shariah Compliant ground up, automating key operational processes, and are directly aligned with our concise KPIs (Key Performance Indicators). That helped us improving our productivity, increasing accuracy and transparency, increasing quality of reporting, enhancing our end-to-end visibility of the corporate business, increasing our ability to fulfil our ethical commitments, especially to the timed-Ibadah charities, such as Qurban and Fitrah. All these, while reducing our admin costs, time-to-respond and overheads.
 
Now the figures proves all the above. In two years, we achieved more than double projects disbursements, considerably advanced the projects outcomes from short term benefit to sustainable development, more than triple the number of beneficiaries, more than double the revenue (through your Trust in us), reduced our admin costs from ~16% to ~7.4%. We started a break through, first-of-kind  sustainable development and Permaculture projects, taking the humanitarian aid sector to the next levels. We are glad to see other Islamic NGOs following our footsteps, step-by-step, which is yet another indicator that we are definitely on the right track walhamdulillah first and foremost.
 
In 2015, inshaaALLAH we are focusing on increasing our smart humanitarian aid and development projects’ scope, size and types, also enhancing even more our existing technology systems, and build new ones to automate more business processes, and improve the technology to make your donation and partnership experience more smooth and pleasant.

There is a lot of work ahead of us, we are not yet near perfection, but together we can maintain this solid sustainable growth. There are also more exciting opportunities, ideas and areas of expansion in the pipeline, so stay tuned, and keep us in your duaas.

Yours Faithfully,
Imam Hassan Elsetohy
CEO - Muslim Aid Australia