Zarine Kharas Honoured as Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire


September 23, 2015

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JustGiving co-founder and chief executive Zarine Kharas has been recognised in the Queen’s birthday honours list for her contribution to business and charity in the United Kingdom.

Article by Howard Lake | UK Fundraising

timthumbShe has been made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire for services to business and charity.

She co-founded the online giving platform in 2001 with Anne-Marie Huby with the aim of making charitable giving easier and more effective through the power of digital technology.

Since 2001 the site has been used to raise and donate over £2 billion for good causes.

On hearing of the award, Zarine Kharas, said:

“In 2001, Anne-Marie and I set out to build a sustainable business that was mission led and had social values at its core. JustGiving has been investing and innovating on behalf of good causes ever since and we’re both enormously proud of its achievements in connecting people to the causes they care about. None of it would have been possible without the trust of our charity partners, the 24 million people who have given through JustGiving over the years and the hard work of our 170-strong team.”

Richard Taylor, executive director of fundraising and marketing at Cancer Research UK, thanked Kharas for all she had helped his and charity and others to achieve. He said:

“JustGiving was a pioneer of online fundraising that transformed the way people give to charitable causes in this country and has raised a huge amount of money for important causes, including ours. Thanks to Zarine and Anne-Marie’s vision and leadership and continued investment in world-class technology, charities of all sizes can simply use JustGiving and keep their focus on raising more money, and the entire sector is stronger for it.”

In 2009 Zarine Kharas was awarded the RSA’s Albert Medal for “democratising fundraising and technology for charities.” Previous recipients have included Sir Tim Berners-Lee and Professor Stephen Hawking.

A Cambridge University graduate in law, she worked for City solicitors Lawrence Graham and Linklaters & Paines, where she specialised in corporate and financial law; and then Credit Suisse First Boston; MC Securities and Simmons & Simmons.


More about Dame Zarine Kharas

Dame Zarine Kharas DBE (born June 1951) is the co-founder, with Anne-Marie Huby, of Justgiving, a global online giving platform.

Kharas was born in June 1951,[1] and grew up in Karachi, Pakistan, the daughter of a civil engineer father and a housewife mother.[2]

She came to the UK to study law at Cambridge and remained. She worked for Lawrence Graham and Linklaters & Paines, both solicitor firms specialising in corporate and financial law. She then joined Credit Suisse First Boston (CSFB). When the head of CSFB, Hans-Joerg Rudloff, left to start his own investment banking operation, MC Securities, she followed him. Later she went back to her law firm roots, working with Simmons & Simmons. After which she and Huby started JustGiving.[3]