<< Back to News

Dan: Sikhi, Nonprofits & Giving

January 17, 2022
Hackettstown, NJ

Sikh Research Institute (SikhRI) has released its eighth research report in the State of the Panth series titled Dan: Sikhi, Nonprofits & Giving.

Hackettstown, NJ, USA, 17 January 2022 – What does it mean to give within the Sikh Paradigm? This and more is covered in the eighth research report, Dan: Sikhi, Nonprofits & Giving, in the State of the Panth series, published by Sikh Research Institute (SikhRI).

This report aims to understand and explore what it means to give in a Sikh context, how giving is conceptualized and understood through Sikh history, and how it is understood and practiced today. The report analyses ideas conveyed in the Nam-Dan-Isnan (Identifying-Giving-Cleansing) doctrine from a Gurmat (Guru’s Way) perspective, as inferred from Bani (wisdom), Tavarikh (history), and Rahit (lifestyle).

“While the affluence of the global Sikh diaspora has grown exponentially, so too have the inequalities in our society,” said Kulvir Singh, SikhRI Chair. “As Sikhs, we are all aware of our individual Dasvand duty, but collectively we have fallen short. How can we build on our Guru-bestowed culture of giving and philanthropy? This report provides insights and implications relevant for every member and institution in our Panth.”

In addition to the in-depth research, SikhRI conducted a global survey of 726 self-identified Sikhs from 23 countries to learn more about the opinions on giving in the Sikh community. The majority of respondents said that impact and outcomes most inform their perspective on the effectiveness of Sikh nonprofits, followed by public relations and social media and transparency.

Harinder Singh, SikhRI’s Senior Fellow, remarked: “Immersing ourselves in Sikh ethos paired with the global survey allowed us to see Dan or giving from a variety of interesting and even surprising perspectives. We learned that although 54% of respondents said they were more likely to support long-term philanthropy rather than short-term charity projects monetarily, the data shows that the majority of community funds are directed to charity rather than philanthropy. We were interested in why that is the case, how to revive the Guru’s paradigm, and what is the state of current Sikh nonprofits.”

The report concludes with recommendations on both individual and institutional levels providing a clear directional framework for applying the principles of Nam-Dan-Isnan. The Sikh nonprofit checklist, included in the report, provides criteria that individuals and institutions can use to evaluate nonprofit organizations from a Gurmat perspective.

Jasleen Kaur, SikhRI’s Researcher said: “We hope providing a complete picture of how giving is understood both in the Guru Granth Sahib and in Sikh history, will help the Sikh community model current projects around long-term planning and institution building.”

Overall, the report contributes to the global discourse about Sikh notions of giving and supports its findings with Gurmat-based sources and opinions from the Panth itself. A complete set of raw data is included as a separate document to incentivize further academic research. To read the Dan: Sikhi, Nonprofits & Giving report in full for free, visit sikhri.org/sotp.

Media contact: Matina.Kaur@SikhRI.org | +1 855-913-1313 ext. 701

Dan: Sikhi, Nonprofits & Giving

Sikh Research Institute (SikhRI) has released its eighth research report in the State of the Panth series titled Dan: Sikhi, Nonprofits & Giving.

Hackettstown, NJ

January 17, 2022

No items found.
Download file (PDF/Zip)

Hackettstown, NJ, USA, 17 January 2022 – What does it mean to give within the Sikh Paradigm? This and more is covered in the eighth research report, Dan: Sikhi, Nonprofits & Giving, in the State of the Panth series, published by Sikh Research Institute (SikhRI).

This report aims to understand and explore what it means to give in a Sikh context, how giving is conceptualized and understood through Sikh history, and how it is understood and practiced today. The report analyses ideas conveyed in the Nam-Dan-Isnan (Identifying-Giving-Cleansing) doctrine from a Gurmat (Guru’s Way) perspective, as inferred from Bani (wisdom), Tavarikh (history), and Rahit (lifestyle).

“While the affluence of the global Sikh diaspora has grown exponentially, so too have the inequalities in our society,” said Kulvir Singh, SikhRI Chair. “As Sikhs, we are all aware of our individual Dasvand duty, but collectively we have fallen short. How can we build on our Guru-bestowed culture of giving and philanthropy? This report provides insights and implications relevant for every member and institution in our Panth.”

In addition to the in-depth research, SikhRI conducted a global survey of 726 self-identified Sikhs from 23 countries to learn more about the opinions on giving in the Sikh community. The majority of respondents said that impact and outcomes most inform their perspective on the effectiveness of Sikh nonprofits, followed by public relations and social media and transparency.

Harinder Singh, SikhRI’s Senior Fellow, remarked: “Immersing ourselves in Sikh ethos paired with the global survey allowed us to see Dan or giving from a variety of interesting and even surprising perspectives. We learned that although 54% of respondents said they were more likely to support long-term philanthropy rather than short-term charity projects monetarily, the data shows that the majority of community funds are directed to charity rather than philanthropy. We were interested in why that is the case, how to revive the Guru’s paradigm, and what is the state of current Sikh nonprofits.”

The report concludes with recommendations on both individual and institutional levels providing a clear directional framework for applying the principles of Nam-Dan-Isnan. The Sikh nonprofit checklist, included in the report, provides criteria that individuals and institutions can use to evaluate nonprofit organizations from a Gurmat perspective.

Jasleen Kaur, SikhRI’s Researcher said: “We hope providing a complete picture of how giving is understood both in the Guru Granth Sahib and in Sikh history, will help the Sikh community model current projects around long-term planning and institution building.”

Overall, the report contributes to the global discourse about Sikh notions of giving and supports its findings with Gurmat-based sources and opinions from the Panth itself. A complete set of raw data is included as a separate document to incentivize further academic research. To read the Dan: Sikhi, Nonprofits & Giving report in full for free, visit sikhri.org/sotp.

Media contact: Matina.Kaur@SikhRI.org | +1 855-913-1313 ext. 701