Clubhouse Is Disrupting Another Industry: Charity Telethons
A Clubhouse charity drive raised more than $140,000 for Texans hit by disaster
When Harold Hughes first heard the winter weather predictions on February 14, he was skeptical — what exactly did they mean by icy weather in Austin, Texas? But when Hughes looked out the window that night, he could already see the snow coming down. The next morning, he estimated six or seven inches were coating his yard.
This is real, he thought.
In the days that followed, the state’s electrical grid flirted with collapse, leaving millions in the dark amidst freezing temperatures. Hughes considers his family fortunate since they never lost power and had enough time to prepare before their water was shut off. They stocked up on water bottles and filled pots with snow, which they boiled and used to flush their toilet to his son’s amusement.
“We were in a great position, a great, great, great position,” Hughes told OneZero the following week. “So I was thinking, like, ‘How do I take my position of privilege here and connect some resources to help others?’”
He decided to leverage his active social networks. The same day his family lost water, he hosted a room on the audio-only app Clubhouse. What started out as a single fundraiser turned into a week-long initiative dubbed “Clubhouse Loves Texas.” Organized and promoted by some of the burgeoning app’s biggest influencers, the events ranged from performances and conversations with celebrities to a book club and a doctors roundtable. By March 1, the initiative had raised more than $140,000 for multiple Texas organizations.
The success of this grassroots effort reflects the platform’s promise for galvanizing communities, a trait that holds particular power in times of crisis. But, as other social networks have previously proven, it can be a double-edged sword.
“Twitter is pretty asynchronous, I can’t really get as much engagement, but if I open up a room on Clubhouse, I’m going to get 1,500 to 2,000 people in there.”