PLATINUM2022

Hindu American Foundation

aka HAF   |   Washington, DC   |  https://www.hinduamerican.org/

Mission

The Hindu American Foundation (HAF) is a non-profit advocacy organization for the Hindu American community. Founded in 2003, HAF's work impacts a range of issues -- from the portrayal of Hinduism in K-12 textbooks to civil and human rights to addressing contemporary problems, such as environmental protection and inter-religious conflict, by applying Hindu philosophy. Mission: Promoting dignity, mutual respect, and pluralism in order to ensure the well-being of Hindus and for all people and the planet to thrive.

Ruling year info

2016

Executive Director and Co-Founder

Ms. Suhag Shukla Esquire

Main address

910 Seventeenth St. NW, Suite 315

Washington, DC 20006 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

68-0551525

NTEE code info

Civil Rights, Advocacy for Specific Groups (R20)

International Peace and Security (Q40)

Intergroup/Race Relations (R30)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Inaccurate, negative, and stereotyped understandings of Hinduism and Hindus are indicative of a systemic problem that results in ignorance, discrimination, hate, and even violence against Hindus in America and around the world. The problem is rooted in Hindus not having had a seat at the table of individuals and institutions of influence that form the narratives and shape policies that affect Hindus everyday. This void has led to narratives that don't reflect Hinduism and Hindus clearly, and policies that don't promote dignity, mutual respect, and pluralism, nor ensure the well-being of Hindus and that all people and the planet thrive. HAF seeks to fill this void.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Education & Awareness

HAF works to improve the understanding of Hinduism and Hindus through K-12, Higher Ed and Media

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Adults

HAF works to ensure Hindus and other minorities in the U.S. and around the world are free, safe, and secure by engaging and working with key stakeholders.

Population(s) Served
Hindus
Ethnic and racial groups

HAF serves the community through unique opportunities and beneficial programs and promoting pluralism and mutual respect through intra and interfaith engagement.

Population(s) Served
Hindus
Immigrants and migrants

Where we work

Awards

Hindu Renaissance Award 2009

Hinduism Today

Affiliations & memberships

Member, International Religious Freedom Roundtable 2016

Suhag Shukla, Member, First Amendment Center's Committee on Religious Liberty 2018

Suhag Shukla, Advisory Committee, Department of Homeland Security (Prevention of Targeted Violence) 2018

Member, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights 2019

Member, Committee on Religious Liberty 2019

Member, Asian American Unity Coalition 2022

Member, American Academy of Religion (AAR) 2022

Member, Asian American Unity Coalition 2022

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of unique website visitors

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth, Parents, Adults

Related Program

Education & Awareness

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

HAF's Hinduism 101 & Hinduism Essentials offer a content-rich experience to learn about Hinduism through a wide array of well researched and easy to understand resources. Metric: unique pageviews.

Number of policymakers or candidates reached

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, Ethnic and racial groups, Hindus

Related Program

Policy - Civil & Human Rights

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

HAF consistently educates and strategically engages policymakers about Hindu issues & perspectives thru in person meetings, briefings, testimony, interns, and newsletters. Metric: Federal/State/Local

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

EDUCATION: Improve the understanding of Hinduism and Hindus.

1. Work towards an equitable and accurate portrayal of Hinduism in K-12 textbooks and in classrooms.

2. Promote a balanced understanding of Hinduism as a lived tradition in academia.

3. Improve narratives about Hindus and Hinduism in media.

POLICY: Promote policies for the well-being of Hindus worldwide and the benefit of all people and the planet.

1. Advocate for policies that enhance the well-being of Hindus in the US.

2. Advocate for policies that secure the human rights of Hindus around the world and promote peace, prosperity and pluralism in India, the spiritual homeland of Hindus.

3. Advocate for solutions aligned with or inspired by Hindu teachings for the benefit of all people and the planet.

COMMUNITY: Empower Hindu American communities and partner institutions.

1. Enhance the well-being, safety, and security of Hindu communities and institutions.

2. Build a culture of advocacy.

3. Promote the recognition of Hinduism and Hindu contributions.

The Hindu American Foundation (HAF) is an advocacy organization for the Hindu American community. The Foundation educates the public about Hinduism, speaks out about issues affecting Hindus worldwide, and builds bridges with institutions and individuals whose work aligns with HAF's objectives. HAF three areas of focus are education, policy, and community. Through its advocacy efforts, HAF promotes dignity, mutual respect, and pluralism to ensure the well-being of Hindus and for all people and the planet to thrive.

HAF is politically agnostic and non-partisan, meaning we are informed, but do not favor or endorse any one political party or its positions. We will work with all individuals and institutions committed to and constructively engaged in promoting dignity, mutual respect, and pluralism.

HAF is not affiliated with any religious or political organizations or entities. HAF seeks to serve Hindu Americans across all sampradayas (Hindu religious traditions) regardless of race, color, national origin, citizenship, caste, gender, sexual orientation, age and/or disability.

Our positions are based on a relentless pursuit of facts; deep consideration of Hindu principles and American values, such as freedom, equality, and justice; and the input of subject matter experts. If we like a policy, we'll say so, and rigorously substantiate our position.

HAF positions will always be based on our guiding principles. And we will always advocate for what we believe is rooted in Hindu Dharma, and serves the well-being of Hindus and the greater good of all.

*Satya. Be truthful. We pride ourselves in offering programming and information with accuracy, integrity, and honesty.

*Ahimsa. Be non-harming. We aspire to work and communicate fairly and respectfully.

*Viveka. Be discerning. We approach our work through careful contemplation, reason, and consensus building.

*Nutana. Be innovative. We aspire to keep our work and approach relevant to our constituents by being creative, innovative, and flexible.

*Sadbhavana. Be collaborative. We seek out partnerships with other individuals and organizations to forward our objectives.

*Kutumbakam. Be big-hearted. We value and respect each other as individuals, work well together as a team, and respect each other's work/life balance.

*Utsaah. Be passionate. We are passionate about Hindu Dharma, the global community, and our work.

HAF has a full-time staff of 14 of highly qualified, motivated, and passionate individuals. The team is dedicated to ensuring the objectives and goals set forth by the Board of Directors with input from HAF's National Leadership Council, staff and other stakeholders. HAF's National Leadership Council is a small body of dedicated and knowledgable volunteers who work with HAF's staff and board in ensuring progress towards the organization's stated objectives and goals. With a 19-year track record in education and advocacy, two attorneys on staff and a staff team with decades of work experience, HAF is a highly capable and top industry leader.

➤ Improved how India & Hinduism is taught in public schools in 11 states, including California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Kentucky, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.

➤ Taught 85,000 students and trained 3,400 teachers and nearly 1,400 professionals with accurate information about Hinduism through HAF's signature Hinduism 101 and professional development programs.

➤Reaffirmed the Hindu roots of yoga through the Take Back Yoga campaign covered in over 90 mainstream news articles including prime time coverage in the Washington Post, NY Times, CNN, BBC, and NPR.

➤Graduated and inspired over 50 emerging leaders through the first and only Hindu American Internship.

➤Empowered the community with 2,200 trained in HAF’s Dharma Ambassadors and Dharma Advocates programs.

➤Gave voice to Hindus suffering gross human rights abuses in South Asia through 12 annual, first-of-its-kind Hindu human rights reports and over 30 Hindu Human Rights advocacy campaigns.

➤Ensured over 4,000 Pakistani Hindu refugees receive vital medical services and nearly 18,000 Bhutanese Hindu refugees are able to preserve their culture and successfully integrate into American life.

➤Harnessed the power of the community to ensure the well-being of Hindus in the US and around the world with 36,000 grassroots advocates activated.

➤Worked with the US Congress and FBI to create and institute the “anti-Hindu” hate crime data category to better monitor anti-Hindu hate crimes and protect the Hindu American community.

➤Sued California’s Board of Education, Department of Fair Employment & Housing, and the California State University system for violating Hindu American rights.

➤Successfully advocated for the first-ever recognition of Diwali in the US Congress.

What's next? HAFs commitment to excellence and innovation allows us to adapt to the changing needs of the education and advocacy space.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    The Hindu American Foundation (HAF) is an educational and advocacy organization established in 2003. HAF focuses on educating the public about Hindus and Hinduism and advocating for policies and practices that ensure the well-being of all people and the planet. We work directly with educators and journalists to ensure accurate understanding of Hindus and Hinduism. We also work with policymakers and key stakeholders to champion issues of concern to Hindu Americans, including defending civil and human rights and protecting all living beings. Inspired by our guiding principles and Hindu teachings, HAF promotes dignity, mutual respect, and pluralism. HAF is a non-partisan, non-profit tax-exempt public charity pursuant to Internal Revenue Code Section 50.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    SMS text surveys, Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Case management notes, Community meetings/Town halls, Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees, Suggestion box/email,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    Through our Dharma Ambassadors and roundtable feedback system, we implemented class text reminders and gave DA’s the opportunity to speak at city council meetings. Also, a recent survey of teachers and conference attendees indicated students struggled the most with understanding core concepts regarding Ancient Indian history. Additionally, Teachers noted this was one of the areas that they received the least amount of training and also where textbooks lacked content clarity. Consequently, we enhanced teacher training and professional development by launching educational materials and interactive resources centered around Hinduism for World History, Ancient Civilizations, World Geography, and World Religions classrooms while explaining the relationship and similarities across religions.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    We view feedback loops as a way to strengthen partnerships with the people we serve including our board, donors, staff and community leaders.

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback,

Financials

Hindu American Foundation
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Hindu American Foundation

Board of directors
as of 10/19/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Dr. Mihir Meghani


Board co-chair

Dr. Rajiv Pandit

Mihir Meghani

Rishi Bhutada

Rajiv Pandit

Arjun Bhagat

Swami Venkataraman

Dena Merriam

Rajeev Singh

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 10/15/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Asian American/Pacific Islanders/Asian
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

Equity strategies

Last updated: 10/15/2022

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.