Prior to the Arab Spring in 2011, the preponderance of authoritarian governments in the second half of the 20th century kept civil society under control and limited the growth of NGOs in the MENA region. Nonetheless, the development of philanthropic and nonprofit organizations in the contemporary Middle East is related to several factors. One is represented by the liberal economic policies adopted in the 1980s. International financial institutions played an important role in pressuring some governments to adopt liberal economic practices and adjustments, and also in partially accepting new non-governmental entities to fill the welfare gaps left by the state. Another element is related to the demographic and urban expansion that was not accompanied by an equal economic development in these countries. The 2011 uprisings opened new opportunities for NGOs. Once repressed by the governments, nonprofits found themselves in position to participate in the political transitions, reconsolidating local NPOs that were outlawed by the previous governments or creating new organizations. This chapter analyzes the historical development of nonprofits in the MENA region, and the impact of the philanthropic religious traditions on the advancement of nonprofit organizations. It also describes the key features of the regulatory system of NPOs in the Arab world, and how it varies due to the regional diversity in political, policy, regulatory, and income laws.