Dompet Dhuafa means the Wallet of the Poor. It was founded by young journalists who worked in Republika, a big daily newspaper in Indonesia. These young journalists were very anxious about poverty issues in Indonesia. They donate funds from their salaries to help poor people. As journalists, they spread what they do in the newspaper. The first news reported Dompet Dhuafa's community empowerment and development program was published at July 2, 1993. The readers responded to the programs by donating funds to the newspaper and offered support for voluntary jobs. Since then, Dompet Dhuafa have helped, empowered, and developed poor and marginalized communities in Indonesia.
Dompet Dhuafa's ideas, activities, programs have spread to all over Indonesian archipelago. Currently, Dompet Dhuafa has 17 branches and 5 representative offices in several provinces and states in Indonesia. Dompet Dhuafa's ideas and activities have spread abroad to many countries, such as the People Republics of China (Dompet Dhuafa Hongkong), Australia (Dompet Dhuafa Australia), Japan (Dompet Dhuafa Japan), and the United States of America (DD USA).
Dompet Dhuafa's activities were introduced by Indonesian students who studied in the US. In the middle of 2012, Indonesian Muslim Scholar Organization (ICMI) Houston and Indonesian Baitul Maal gave funds to Dompet Dhuafa. After Hurricane Sandy on East Coast America in 2012, Dompet Dhuafa's volunteers with Indonesian communities in New York City and Philadelphia helped hurricane Sandy victims in New York and New Jersey. Some Indonesian organizations such as the members of Al-Hikmah Mosque, Indonesian Society of Greater Philadelphia, and Indonesian Muslim community in Austin-Texas.
Dompet Dhuafa's volunteers always support needy people in the US. Moore city in Oklahoma was hit by big tornado named EF-5. Dompet Dhuafa helps Tornado victims by giving donation to shelters and some Indonesian people in Oklahoma. Some organizations, such as Indonesian Diaspora Network (IDN), Indonesia Relief (IR), and Republic of Indonesia Consulate in Houston, supported the disaster relief program in Oklahoma. One month after Tornado relief program in Oklahoma, Dompet Dhuafa also supported flood victims in Calgary, Canada.
Due to its well-supported activities and programs, Indonesia communities in the US had asked Dompet Dhuafa to be incorporated under the United States Laws and Legislation. In January 2, 2014, Dompet Dhuafa USA was incorporated under the Law of State of Pennsylvania, USA. Dompet Dhuafa USA is still working to be a 501c (3) organization in the US.