As-salamu alaykum, supporters and friends.

We hope this finds you well amidst the unfolding global crisis.

Due to the shelter-in-place order from the State of California, all Tayba staff is now working remotely. Thankfully, a number of our staff were already remote, so this will not have a significant impact on our operations in the short term.

But it’s not all smooth sailing going forward for the Tayba team.

As you know, the COVID-19 pandemic has sparked an economic recession and many lost jobs. A side effect of this is that non-profits like Tayba are likely to receive less donations than in normal years.

Over the years, your increased support meant that we were able to continuously increase the services we provide to incarcerated Muslims. We’ve increased the number of students we serve and added new services like Life Skills training, Addiction Recovery help, and expanded Re-Entry assistance.

Since we rely almost entirely on your generosity to continue all this incredible work, we are preparing for a significant decrease in available funds this year. 

Here’s what we’re doing in order to deal with a potential decrease in our budget:

Muslims behind bars are still our #1 priority

Our #1 concern is to continue helping Muslims behind bars (many of them converts) to learn their religion and transition successfully back into free society. That’s why:

  • We’re continuing the bulk of our current programs, including Islamic Education, Life Skills, Addiction Recovery, and Re-Entry, insha’Allah.
  • Alhamdulillah, the spring semester is well underway, since we sent out the materials before the quarantine.
  • We will continue answering student questions by phone, email, and post as usual
  • Since there are currently no restrictions on mail going out to prisons, we plan to send out the fall semester materials to students in June as normal, insha’Allah

However, we are no longer planning to expand any of our programs this year. This includes a moratorium on new student registrations.

We’re looking for alternative funding sources

The Tayba team is actively looking for grants and non-interest loans that may be available to us to help meet the likely shortfall in funds.

Furthermore, we might reach out to you personally by phone or email over the next several weeks, insha’Allah.

We will reassess the situation after Ramadan

We currently have enough financial buffer to maintain operations until the end of Ramadan, insha’Allah.

However, since we normally raise over 50% of our annual budget during the holy month, we will have a good indication of the funds available to us for the year once the Ramadan fundraising campaign concludes.

If the outlook is poor, we will need to take more drastic measures.

We will not be laying off staff

Most of the people behind the scenes of helping incarcerated Muslims have families and children that depend on them.

In case of a funds shortage post-Ramadan, we will not lay off staff to balance the books, but we will apply a reduction in wages that applies equally to all.

How you can help

If you’d like to (and are able to) help Tayba continue serving incarcerated Muslims, you can do the following:

  1. Donate today or increase your donation in Ramadan
  2. Provide Tayba with a non-interest loan to help us continue our operations this year (reply to this email if you’re interested)
  3. Tell your friends and family about the work that we do
  4. Most importantly, keep us in your du’a!

Questions? Concerns?

If you have any questions or concerns about our planning for the COVID-19 crisis, please reach out to us by replying to this email.

We ask Allah to keep all of you and your families safe and in good health.

Wassalaam,

Rami Nsour