The HAND Foundation's mission is to advance the philanthropic sector, prevent child sexual abuse, build a global middle class and prepare and engage the Next Generation.
Advancement of Philanthropy and Volunteerism
As increasing wealth and income-inequality push growth in philanthropy, The HAND Foundation seeks to move the state of knowledge in the philanthropic sector forward. The HAND Foundation supports organizations and research that increase knowledge of philanthropy, and build capacity of communities organizing around philanthropy. We focus our philanthropy work on a number of areas, including:
• Diasporas: Recognizing philanthropy as one of the most accessible ways for diasporas to engage in a new country, the foundation has focused on increasing and improving diaspora philanthropy. Based on our experience of the importance of the sharing of knowledge between diasporas, we are now interested in cross-diaspora learning not just in the area of philanthropy, but also political, business and cultural engagement. Major initiatives that we have supported in this area are: PARSA Community Foundation and the HAND Philanthropy Fellowship at New America Foundation, and International diaspora Engagement Alliance (IdEA).
• Youth Philanthropy and Service Learning: Encouraging youth leadership in this area is crucial for keeping our democracy vibrant. This is the cornerstone of a 21st Century education. The HAND Foundation is involved in efforts to develop the future leaders, grounded in an ethic of service. One example of this is our Lend a HAND grants that promote youth philanthropy, volunteerism and leadership.
Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse
Of all life's cruelties, child abuse can derail the most, it's the ultimate crime. National statistics show one out of four girls and one out of six boys are sexually abused before the age of 18. Sadly, the fastest growing group of offenders is teenagers. Child sexual abuse crosses all socioeconomic strata and is highly correlated with alcohol and drug abuse. There are 39 million people living with this secret today. Our approach is to fund nonprofits that aim to lower public's tolerance for sexual abuse through media campaigns and education.
Absence of a large middle class leads to social aberrations of extreme proportions. Idle minds and hungry stomachs are prone to unreasonable thoughts. There can be no stability without economic development and there can be no sustained development without institution building. HAND funds economic policy research and education. Examining the path that countries can take to achieve large middle classes as such will not only provide international political stability but also expanded markets for world goods and services. Major initiatives that we have supported in this area are: The Global Middle Class initiative at New America Foundation and HAND Research Foundation.
Education and Leadership
Education is a fundamental strategy for achieving all of the foundation goals, and this area of our mission is closely related to all of our mission areas. This includes promoting educational experiences that prepare the next generation to address the challenges of our increasingly complex and rapidly changing world. We focus on primary and secondary education that promotes on-going and self-directed experiential learning, critical thinking and problem solving, and civic and community engagement.
The name HAND was inspired by the Persian proverb of "one hand has no sound"; and the names of the founders' children whom they hope will carry on with philanthropic work throughout their lives.