Charity box (illustrative)
Charity box (illustrative)Flash90

During the pandemic, with Jewish charities no longer able to turn to traditional fundraising methods, such as communal dinners and fundraising events, a new UK online platform came to the rescue.

Designed by Yitzi Bude, a 34-year old former furniture company entrepreneur, Charity Extra, which began in 2019, has proved a miracle for British Jewish charities.

So far, during the pandemic, UK charities such as Chai Cancer Care, the Community Security Trust, yeshivas, schools and hospices have made use of Charity Extra to raise money, reported the Jewish Chronicle.

Bude explained that the genesis of the website was his frustration with raising money for a local boys’ school.

“We were looking for custom-made technology for our furniture business and took on a team of developers to build it,” he told the Chronicle. “At the same time, I was involved in an online fundraiser where I wasn’t happy with many aspects. I just thought I now have this technology team and we could create something that offers a great service and is run morally.”

Charity Extra has aided more than 150 Jewish charities, including Kisharon (a charity helping those with disabilities), Partnerships for Jewish Schools and the Zionist Federation.

Donations have come form over half a million individual donors. Interest from charities has been so responsive that the London company now employs 15 people.

Besides the platform, Charity Extra also works with clients to offer guidance during their fundraisers, at all hours of the day.

Bude left his furniture industry job in 2020 and now runs charityextra.com as a full-time enterprise. He said that it hosts about 10 fundraisers per week.

He said that a successful fundraising campaign needs three prongs: a limited donation time, matched funds and volunteers to promote the fundraiser.

Bude is convince that even when charities are able to hold in-person events again, online fundraising will continue to be a hit.

“There is no other way of reaching out to 10,000 plus donors in multiple locations and raising £2-3million ($3-4 million), with very small costs involved. There just isn’t another solution,” he said.