|Add a Photo|
New York City, USA
|Citizenship||United States of America|
|Title||Co-founder and Executive director|
|Awards||Crain’s Chicago ‘40 Under 40.’ The New York Times, NPR, Fast Company. Aspen Institute Forum for Community Solutions and Neighborhood Funders Group, New Profit Civic Lab, Ambassadors for Health Equity|
Kashif Shaikh is co-founder and executive director of Pillars Fund, a philanthropic organization. that amplifies the leadership, narratives, and talents of American Muslims.
Early life and education
Shaikh was born in New York City and moved to Cincinnati  when he was ten years old. A first-generation American Muslim, Shaikh’s parents immigrated to the United States from Pakistan. He grew up speaking Urdu and English.
In late 2005, Shaikh moved to Chicago to work at United Way of Metropolitan Chicago where he developed engagement strategies for some of the organization’s largest corporate partners.
In 2009, Shaikh began working as a program officer at the McCormick Foundation where he managed a portfolio largely focused on education, workforce development and homelessness. He also oversaw the Foundation’s community partnerships  with the Chicago Bulls, the Chicago Blackhawks, and the Chicago Tribune.
In 2010, while still at the McCormick Foundation, Shaikh co-founded  Pillars Fund, a national philanthropic organization that invests in American Muslim leaders, organizations and storytellers.
In 2016, Shaikh left  the McCormick Foundation to run Pillars Fund full-time as its first executive director. Pillars Fund has grown into one of the largest funders of Muslim issues in the United States.
"Today, Pillars is emerging as a powerful, behind-the-scenes engine of Muslim activism, a secret weapon in the war against the multimillion-dollar “Islamophobia” industry."
Since its founding, Pillars has invested  more than $5 million into organizations and initiatives that strengthen American Muslim communities, including by amplifying their stories. Contributors to the Pillars Fund include  American Muslim philanthropists and grantmaking institutions such as the Chicago Community Trust, Robert R. McCormick Foundation, Ford Foundation, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Open Society Foundations, Nathan Cummings Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, Pop Culture Collaborative, Democracy Fund, and Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art.
Awards & recognition
In 2017, Shaikh was named one of Crain’s Chicago ‘40 Under 40 His work at Pillars Fund has been featured by outlets such as The New York Times, NPR, and Fast Company . He has been named a Fellow by the Aspen Institute Forum for Community Solutions and Neighborhood Funders Group , New Profit Civic Lab , and Ambassadors for Health Equity 
Shaikh earned a B.A. from Ohio State University and M.A. from Northwestern University. He lives in Chicago, IL
Kashif Shaikh in the media
- philanthropic organization
- Kashif Shaikh 34 | Executive director | Pillars Fund
- Shaikh work
- Kashif Shaikh on Leadership that Re-frames the Narrative Around Muslim-Americans
- A Fund to Support the Muslim American Community, Inside and Out
- A Secret Weapon In The Fight Against Islamophobia
- Innovative philanthropy enables impact that is greater than the sum of its parts
- Pillar Partners
- These 7 social entrepreneurs are working to strengthen civic engagement
- Introducing the 2019-2020 Philanthropy Forward Fellows
- Announcing New Civic Lab to Support Democracy Entrepreneurs
- Ambassadors for Health Equity
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