How are the Gülen-inspired schools financed?

Probably because of its transnational growth since the 1990s, the financing of the Gülen Movement is occasionally queried.

Some allege that it is impossible for the movement to have accomplished so much and achieved such rapid expansion without “other financial resources” or some kind of covert funding. However, all academic research on this issue so far has found that each institution and project network in the movement is legitimate and transparent in its book-keeping and accounting, and that all financial management is done at the local level and is subject to local inspection. A number of studies of how projects are financed could remove any suspicion of backing by vested political interests.

On this topic insider perspectives also need to be taken into account. Firstly, attitudes to donating time and money to charity vary across cultural traditions. In Islamic and therefore Turkish tradition it is often considered more blessed to give donations anonymously. Onlookers need to be aware of people's sensitivities about such matters. Secondly, in attempting to account for the scale of the movement's activities in relation to funds available, it is essential to take note of how much of the movement’s resources consist of voluntary, unpaid work, rather than money.

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