The nonprofit sector in Saudi Arabia is governed by a combination of codified regulations and Shari’a, or Islamic law. The latter has had a positive impact on attitudes towards philanthropy, thanks to its encouragement of compassion and charitable giving via zakat (alms giving) and awqaf (trusts or endowments formed for philanthropic purposes). The country’s philanthropic law and policy underwent extensive revision in 2015 as part of a broader program of socio-economic policy reform. The reforms were re-enforced by the government’s 2030 Vision plan, released in April 2016, which envisions, among other things, a more effective nonprofit sector.
Our report – available in English and Arabic – examines these developments and unpacks the various laws and regulations affecting the philanthropy and civil society in Saudi Arabia.