As part of its early commitment to supporting diaspora communities in the United States, HAND incubated PARSA Community Foundation (PARSA), the first and only Persian community foundation in the United States. A secular, meritocratic collaboration of community leaders and independent grant advisory committee made up of community experts, PARSA led semi-annual, competitive international grant cycles between 2006 and 2010, issuing nearly 250 grants in all.
PARSA had three areas of focus: preservation and advancement of Persian arts and culture, leadership development, and civic participation and volunteerism. PARSA played a key role establishing and fortifying Iranian studies programs at various universities, supporting local Iranian community centers, and supporting Iranian collections and programming at local museums.PARSA's Philanthropist of the Year and Volunteerism and Action awards celebrated community leaders of all ages for their service to others.
In its six years of operation, the foundation awarded nearly 250 grants totaling $7.75 million: more than $4 million was invested in Persian arts and culture initiatives, $1.2 million in civic engagement, $800k in leadership development, and almost a million dollars in humanitarian causes.
In 2010, PARSA launched its final grant cycle, distributing all remaining funds to the following grant applicants:
Upon distributing these final assets to qualified grant-seekers, the PARSA Community Foundation was dissolved on Septermber 6, 2011. Noosheen Hashemi, Chairman, issued this final letter of celebration and gratitude.