The vision of iERA is to be an engine for the global dawah movement. Through research and development, we aim to produce effective resources to empower Muslims as individuals and local communities to give dawah. Fundamentally this works through inspiring a 'mass-movement' of ordinary Muslims giving one-to-one dawah to people in their everyday circles. We empower people through a three-fold approach, Motivation, Knowledge and Action. The next stage is to effectively support and develop local dawah groups and local dawah leaders.
To achieve this, iERA has actively sought to put together a full-time team of du'aat, each with specific skill sets, who can give the quality dedication and value that this task requires in the 21st century. Full-time du'aat and dedicated volunteers are what enable iERA to work towards empowering Muslim communities to effectively give dawah.
iERA is financed solely through community fundraising, and receives no government or institutional funding. We believe that the dawah should be funded by people in their own country as much as is possible. For example, after initial seed capital, iERA Canada is financed through contributions of Canadians. Our main source of donations is through standing orders, which allows us to effectively plan and resource the global dawah movement. Our long term financing strategy will expand to include commercial revenues and also investments, such as awqaf.
iERA provides its services free of charge at the point of delivery, as we have already funded these through donations. There are 2 exceptions to this however. From 2012, we have decided to charge attendees of the new Muslim retreat at cost price, as we feel at a global level it is not sustainable to run it free. We are, however, offering subsidies for those who genuinely cannot afford the full fees.
Also, for iERA conferences we charge for tickets, to a) ensure attendance on the day b) make them self-sufficient.
If we look at Christian missionary organizations, they have understood the importance of having missionaries as permanent staff. One organization, CRU (formerly known as Campus Crusade for Christ International) according to their annual report employ 25,000 full time staff, and have an annual budget of $670,000,00. 40% of this goes towards salaries.
In iERA, we currently have 18 du'aat as permanent staff in the UK. Based on a ratio of income/expenditure of our budget for 2012, we spend 47% on du'aat. The average salary works out to £22,033 gross per annum. The national average, as established by The Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows that the average gross salary for full-time employees was £26,200 in 2011.
This model has allowed iERA to achieve the following: