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Digital Tools and Apps: A 'Flip' Chat With Harish Bhandari, Robin Hood Foundation

April 12, 2013

(The video below was recorded as part of our "Flip" chat series of conversations with thought leaders in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors. You can check out other videos in the series here, including our previous chat with Anika Rahman, president and CEO of the Ms. Foundation for Women.) 

If your organization thinks it doesn't have the time or money to invest in online tools like Twitter, it is "missing the boat," says Harish Bhandari, director of digital engagement and innovation at the Robin Hood Foundation. Robin Hood and Bhandari saw the benefits of digital media firsthand after Superstorm Sandy smashed into the Jersey shore in late October. After the storm, the New York City-based charity organized a benefit concert to raise funds for relief and recovery efforts in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut -- a concert that, thanks in part to the organization's use of social media to promote it, turned out to be the most successful benefit concert ever.

Indeed, says Bhandari, by not engaging with donors and other audiences online, nonprofits are missing out on connecting with a demographic that is passionate about social change and in a position to be "really loyal" over a long period of time. 

During a sit-down with PND, Bhandari, who spoke at a recent 501 Tech NYC event dedicated to "visual storytelling" (check out Noland Hoshino's recap here), discussed Robin Hood's efforts to engage potential supporters after Sandy, explained Robin Hood's approach to social networking, and shared some thoughts about newer mobile apps like Instagram and Vine.

(If you're reading this in an e-mail, click here.)

 (Running time: 5 minutes, 13 seconds)

What do you think? Is your organization spending money and time on social networks it can engage on behalf of its mission? Is it using newer mobile apps like Instagram and Vine? And what has it learned in the process? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

-- Regina Mahone

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