How Activists Leveraged Clubhouse To Raise $175K For Covid Relief In India In Under 2 Weeks

Clubhouse icon and artist-activist Drue Kataoka, whose face currently represents the new audio-only app on 13 million phones worldwide, has already leveraged the platform to raise nearly $ 120,000 for racial justice, with donations going to the King Center and #StopAsianHate initiatives through the Asian American Federation. As he became increasingly concerned about headlines flooding the news about the Covid crisis in India, he devoted his efforts to raising funds for the relief of the Covid-19 Pandemic there. Along with friends and supporters – largely at Clubhouse, but also leveraging the power of Twitter and Instagram – Kataoka has spearheaded the #Clubhouse4India campaign, which raised more than $175,000 for the nonprofit The Hope Foundation USA Hospital in Calcutta in less than two weeks, and continues to raise funds to this day.

How did he do it? Kataoka began by asking for help from her friend and influencer Sonal Chokshi, editor-in-chief of a16z. at Kataoka’s urging, Chokshi invited the leadership of HOPE Foundation USA to ask for donations at “Namaste World” on Saturday, April 24. Chokshi has co-hosted the popular clubhouse show with Snigdha Sur, the founder of Juggernaut, since June 2020. The show, which takes place on Saturday mornings, has tens of thousands of fans. According to the description, it is not only by and for South Asians, but for anyone interested in South Asian culture. Chokshi also established the South Asia Culture Club, one of the first and largest clubs in the Clubhouse app, with over 28,000 followers.

Alexandra Mysoor, member of the board of Directors of HOPE Foundation USA, made a passionate plea based on her recent conversations with HOPE Leadership and also with friends and family suffering the Covid-19 crisis in India. A serial entrepreneur who is the founder of Par Avion Tea, Mysoor also hosts a very popular podcast, The Alexandra Mysoor Show, which is available everywhere you get your podcasts .

Mysoor made two calls to action during that initial two-hour “Namaste World” program for donations to the HOPE USA Foundation through the nonprofit’s website and its newly launched GoFundMe campaign. He spoke about how the NGO, which has been working on the ground in India for more than 20 years and operates 11 child protection homes in Calcutta, as well as a job training centre and a night ambulance, desperately needed funds to increase capacity at HOPE Hospital and buy more supplies, including PPE, medicines and oxygen tanks.

Donations poured in. “The response was amazing,” says Maureen Forrest, the renowned founder of the HOPE Foundation, based in Ireland. Soon more than $ 100,000 was raised to fund HOPE Hospital in India.

Chokshi then invited representatives from HOPE Foundation USA to report on the positive impact of the initial program “Namaste World” on the following week’s program, which took place on Saturday, May 1. By May 2, donations totaled more than 1,150,000. Word got out like wildfire in the mainstream media.

Mysoor, meanwhile, leveraged its network of social media influencers. He asked artist Talia Zoref, who has over 110,00 followers on the platform, to host a live event on Instagram. Zoref created a piece of art during the session, then auctioned it and donated all proceeds to the HOPE Foundation. At Mysoor’s request for help in India’s Covid crisis, Miss Universe Australia Maria Thattil, Modi Toys, which makes multicultural toys inspired by Indian culture, and Ankita Bansal, businesswoman and Netflix Indian Matchmaking star, asked for donations from her tens of thousands of followers. In addition, Rukus Avenue Radio, which hosts the Alexandra Mysoor program, announced that it would launch a network-wide campaign for the HOPE Foundation.

Kataoka then harnessed the power of her own clubhouse group, The Art Club, which has over 101,000 followers. She dedicated an entire 2.5-hour show on Tuesday, May 4, to raising money for the HOPE USA Foundation. Maura Lennon, International Director of fundraising for the HOPE Foundation and Secretary of the HOPE USA Board, attended in order to raise awareness and report on the latest conditions in India. He made a passionate appeal for funds not only to continue operating HOPE Hospital, which has been able to double its capacity due to recent successful fundraising efforts, but also to secure a second Medical Center in Calcutta and feed tens of thousands of street and slum affiliated families who are unable to work and therefore unable to feed their children during this Covid crisis.

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