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24 hours, More than 450 Donors and $312,000

There’s a lot happening at the Kollel. In the past nine months, the Denver Community Kollel has opened a new Southeast Torah Center, embarked on a capital campaign to create a three-story, state-of-the-art home for the Kollel, obtained a duplex in West Denver to provide affordable housing for Kollel families and temporary quarters for the Kollel West Denver Bais Medrash and Kollel offices, and placed Associate Scholar Kollel family Rabbi Akiva and Chani Stern in East Denver, enabling them to bring the Kollel’s Torah learning, Torah teaching and Torah living to new levels there.
Growth also means a bigger budget. The Kollel has continued its Torah programs, learning sessions and events unabated throughout the greater Denver area, and obtaining sufficient funding for those programs is vital. To that end, the Kollel launched a crowdfunding campaign on May 9 to raise $300,000 in 24 hours.
“These funds will help us meet the Kollel’s budgetary needs,” says Kollel Director Rabbi Moshe Heyman. “The day-to-day Torah learning, both of the Kollel scholars and of the many Jews that the Kollel studies with, are now enabled in part thanks to the generosity of those who participated in this campaign.”
The campaign ran on the well-known crowdfunding platform Charidy. The premise of the campaign is simple and compelling: Three matchers, or groups of matchers, commit to match every dollar donated during the 24-hour event, effectively quadrupling every contribution. If the goal is met, the donations are given to the institution. If the campaign fails to meet its financial objective, donors’ credit cards are not charged and the organization receives nothing.
“It creates a nice amount of pressure, both on the organization as well as the donors, to make sure this is successful,” says Rabbi Heyman. “If it’s not, you’re going home empty-handed.”
“With much siyata dishmaya, and thanks to our dedicated friends and supporters, the Kollel’s Charidy campaign was a success!” says Kollel Dean Rabbi Aron Yehuda Schwab.
More than just a success. Once the $300,000 goal had been met, the campaign entered a bonus round, where every dollar was matched by a generous donor, doubling its impact. The total raised through the Charidy campaign was $312,056. More than 450 people – including over 150 new donors – donated during the course of the 24-hour event.
“We have a great team of people in the Kollel, and a committed base of supporters. All of these people put their hearts and souls into ensuring this would happen,” says Rabbi Schwab. “I am grateful to everyone who helped us achieve our objectives. And ultimately, our objective is to continue bringing more and more Torah to more and more Jews throughout the greater Denver area.”

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