He's raised half a billion for charities. Meet Yitzi Bude

The founder of the Charity Extra online fundraising platform says its campaigns have generated £500 million, mostly for Jewish causes


The man behind the community’s leading online fundraising platform says it has helped raise more than £500 million for good causes in less than four years.

North Londoner Yitzi Bude — who founded Charity Extra in October 2019 — calculates that 85 per cent of the revenue generated has gone to Jewish organisations, equating to a cool £425 million.

The 36-year-old told the JC this week that even with lockdowns long gone, the pandemic phenomenon of online fundraising shows no signs of abating.

“There are weeks where we are running 30 campaigns. Our site attracts a huge amount of traffic, often over 2.5 million visits per month.”

His feeling is that the vast majority of charities are not returning to “full blown dinners, simply because the costs are very high. People still don’t want to go.” He claimed that crowdfunding “makes three to four times more money”.

However, a number of charities were adopting a hybrid route, “doing smaller intimate dinners to concentrate on major donors, then following up a few weeks later with an online crowdfunder. That way they are able to reach out to all their supporters.”

Charity Extra has expanded its international operations over the past 18 months.

In addition to its London base, it now has offices in Israel and America with more than 50 employees worldwide. Its website has been significantly upgraded and new technologies introduced, including a phone and text system whereby donors without internet access can still contribute to and follow campaigns.

Bude added that another area of growth had been in the non-Jewish market.

“We have significantly moved into the wider charity sector. I am proud that this website we set up to help our community is now being used to raise funds for other incredible causes including Marie Curie, NHS trusts, hospices, animal charities and many more.

“We are the headline sponsor for the Chartered Institute of Fundraising conference in July this year and will also be addressing MPs in the House of Commons.”

Bude said Charity Extra offered not only a fundraising platform but consultancy, graphics and video support. Each campaign has a tailored fee, “discussed on a case-by-case basis”.

Even now, charities are signing up for the first time while others are on their third or fourth crowdfunder via the platform.

Repeat campaigns have just finished for educational organisation Aish and mental health charity Jami, exceeding their targets and raising more than £2.5 million and £900,000 respectively.

The highest amount raised in a single campaign was £10 million-plus for a Chasidic cause.

Bude accepts that successful fundraisers can be challenging to emulate, suggesting charities needed to come up with fresh strategies to keep their fundraising teams and supporters engaged.

“In the beginning, this was a novel approach so it was an easy sell and everyone was happy to get involved. There were also few charities doing campaigns so people were not being asked every other week.

“What we are finding now is people simply can’t be part of a team on every campaign and are saying ‘no’.

“However, even though it is harder for some charities, it still is very doable. It just means they need to make sure to have great PR throughout the year and put an extra effort into identifying new team leaders.

“With this increased preparation, charities are still raising an incredible amount of funds.”

Bude previously ran a furniture business, setting up Charity Extra after becoming frustrated in his attempts to fundraise online on behalf of a school. He lives in Hendon and is a member of the Nishmas Yisroel Federation congregation.

More than two million people have now donated via Charity Extra and he says he feels privileged to have partnered “with amazing charities — and watching them raise more money than they ever dreamed possible”.

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