Giving to Baha'i funds is considered a sacred obligation and privilege. It is also a private, voluntary act that is restricted to Baha’is; no funds or contributions are accepted from those who are not members of the Faith.
The International Baha'i Fund, administered by the Universal House of Justice, supports the growth and development of the Faith throughout the world. The Fund also helps maintain the Faith’s sacred shrines and other endowments at the Baha'i World Center in Haifa, Israel.
National Baha'i funds and local Baha'i funds are administered, respectively, by National Spiritual Assemblies and Local Spiritual Assemblies in every country and locality. The funds are used to support Baha'i centers, schools, publishing trusts, educational and social service projects, and other activities.
Solicitation or assessment of personal donations are not permitted. Regularity in giving and a spirit of sacrifice are emphasized over the size of the contribution. Shoghi Effendi, great-grandson of Baha'u'llah and head of the faith from 1921 to 1957, stated:
“Contributing to the Fund is a service every believer can render, be he poor or wealthy; for this is a spiritual responsibility in which the amount given is not important. It is the degree of sacrifice of the giver, and the love with which he makes his gift, and the unity of the friends in this service which brings spiritual confirmations…"