The idea for setting up a woman led international Muslim charity was borne out of the frustrations Shaista Gohir had with the state of the UK's International Muslim charity sector. Over several years she tried to engage with this sector, which also included raising concerns and complaints.
Trustee boards of international Muslim charities rarely included women, with a similar picture at CEO and senior management level. This was despite two third of donors being women. A number of the charities had also been investigated over their governance. With public trust continuing to erode about transparency, accountability, financial management, safeguarding, recruitment, marketing tactics etc., it was time to do something.
Shaista then asked Nazmin Akthar, Dr.Iram Sattar, and Fozia Uddin to join her and be Co-Founders of a grant making charity focussed on women and girls, which they jointly named Nisa Global Foundation (NGF). The name was inspired by the fourth chapter of the Quran, An-Nisa (The Women) because of the numerous references made to women throughout it. To shape and inform the new organisation's policies, processes, values and operating model, the trustees conducted research through an online survey to find out what the Muslim public liked and did not like about the international Muslim charity sector and asked them what they wanted to see done better or differently. The findings were taken on board with policies, processes and values developed to reflect these.