Podcasts are one of the fastest growing cultural phenomena in the United States and beyond.
As of April 2021, there are over 2 million active podcasts, with over 48 million episodes produced. 104 million Americans, or 37% of the US population, listen to podcasts monthly, and 24%, or 68 million people, listen weekly.
Luckily for nonprofit professionals, there’s no shortage of nonprofit podcasts out there.
Why are podcasts so popular?
Humans think in stories. Research at Stanford University observed that we remember information more when it is conveyed as part of a narrative “up to 22 times more than facts alone”. And the format of podcasts lends itself to storytelling. The audio content allows us to engage with the content in a different way.
What’s particularly great about them, especially for busy nonprofit professionals, is that podcasts are ideal for listening “on the go”.
While multitasking is not effective, not all tasks are equal. For example, the daily commute to and from work, usually a mind-numbing time, is great for listening to podcasts. Podcasts offer an opportunity for time optimization and personal and professional growth. They can also be very inspiring – which is great for nonprofit professionals.
Why should nonprofit professionals listen to nonprofit podcasts?
There are many reasons why nonprofit professionals should consider listening to powerful nonprofit podcasts:
- They’re easy. Podcasts are easy to find and subscribe to.
- They’re free. With very few exceptions, podcasts are completely free.
- They’re diverse and informative. Whether they offer bite-sized knowledge or cover topics in-depth, podcasts are a great way to stay informed and learn new skills, especially in the nonprofit sector.
- They’re portable. There are several excellent apps you can use to subscribe to podcasts you like and sync the content across your platforms.
Top Nonprofit Podcasts 2021
Here are some of our favorite nonprofit podcasts featuring renowned philanthropists, social innovators, CEOs, and more.
Listen and let the success stories inspire you.
This nonprofit podcast is hosted by Neetal Parekh, founder and CEO of Innov8social, and an attorney with extensive experience in the ways entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, and consumers can engage in social impact. It features interviews with students, CEO’s, global social entrepreneurs, designers, inventors and more. Neetal explores how his guests are using technology and media to create social impact as well as generate profit. This nonprofit podcast features social impact stories, interviews, and reflections to help your reach your impact potential. Some of the topics include social enterprise, design-thinking, food and nutrition, regenerative economy, impact investing, startup methodologies, and social impact measurement.
In one of the episodes, we hear from David Nihil, author of the book “Do You Talk Funny” and founder of FunnyBizz.co. David shares more about why adding humor can actually help articulate and share an organization’s social impact. In one of the latest episodes, Neetal and her sister Sejal talk about pandemic work pivots, what brings joy, and how companies have adapted.
The Business of Giving is hosted by Denver Frederick, who has 40+ years of experience in the philanthropy world. It explores possible solutions to today’s social problems including global poverty, affordable housing, clean drinking water, and education. Each week, Frederick interviews philanthropists, nonprofit luminaries, and social entrepreneurs that are at the forefront of social change.
In an episode that was released in January 2019, Denver interviewed Joel Rose, the co-founder and CEO of New Classrooms. New Classrooms is a nonprofit organization committing to reimagine the classroom. In the era of Amazon and Netflix, they create different learning models and classroom experiences – focusing on personalization. Teach to One: Math is one of such programs of theirs. They hope public schools, district schools, charter schools, and independent schools can adopt it as their core or supplemental math program.
The Nonprofit Leadership Podcast: Making Your World Better covers the most critical issues, trends, and opportunities facing nonprofit leaders and those engaged in social innovation. Hosted by Dr. Rob Harter, this podcast features founders and CEOs of nonprofits. In this nonprofit podcast, you will hear real stories from experienced leaders about what strategies and practices have made them successful.
A September episode focused on fundraising with social media. The episode explored how nonprofit professionals can maximize social media for the benefit of their organizations. A special focus is placed on how social media can drive online giving.
Futures in Fundraising features podcast episodes for fundraising experts and those who want to become experts. This podcast covers topics such as new ways to give, advancing careers in development, and how to use your organization’s data for good. This nonprofit podcast also shares many career tips for those seeking to become fundraising professionals. The episodes follow interviewees’ fundraising journeys – their experience in the field, tough situations, lessons learned and their “ah-ha!” moments.
In one of their recent episodes, Muscular Dystrophy Association Executive Vice President and Chief Impact and Philanthropy Officer Adam Cotumaccio joined Alexander Haas President and CEO, David King to share specific strategies for maximizing #GivingTuesday reach along with tips for nonprofit leadership and growth to help nonprofits finish the year strong.
In this podcast, you will hear stories of people changing the world by helping others. From a village that houses the formerly homeless, to a woman teaching Shakespeare to prisoners. The one thing they have in common: doing important work that serves others. The podcast is a work in progress and has featured inspiring and heartfelt stories behind nonprofits like Mobile Loaves and Fishes and One Degree.
The mission of this podcast is to tell the stories of people doing important work for humankind. It focuses on the vulnerable story of their struggles, failures, and successes, rather than a highlight reel of their lives.
The Successful Nonprofits podcast hosted by Dolph Goldenburg has episodes that focus on managing your nonprofit’s risk, utilizing social media, using your board most effectively, and much more. Each episode features a nonprofit expert. The podcast covers a wide range of relevant topics including nonprofit mergers and promoting diversity and inclusion.
A recent episode featured Cindi Phallen, president of Create Possibility and author of The Impact Triangle: The 3 Essentials to Accelerate Your Nonprofit Enterprise. Cindi talked with Dolph about determining the best course of action when a board member is fading out. They went over tools for board engagement, in addition to talking about fundraising myths and storytelling.
In her podcast, Joan Garry covers everything from nonprofit marketing, overcoming fundraising mistakes, leadership, optimism, and just about everything else in between. The podcast delves into real-life scenarios a nonprofit might face. Whether it’s fundraising that interests you, or Board of Directors, marketing and communications, team building, leadership, money and finance, or even self-care for nonprofit professionals – this nonprofit podcast has got you covered.
In episode 77, Joan talks with Steve Ralls. Steve is the Director of External Affairs for Public Justice, a non-profit legal advocacy organization that pursues high impact lawsuits to combat social and economic injustice. They focus on navigating the tension between development and communications and the challenges that arise when there are two functions under external affairs.
Tiny Spark is all about “investigating the business of doing good.” The podcast episodes are usually journalistic in nature. They cover topics of philanthropy, nonprofits, and international aid and development. Stories include investigations into TOMS shoes and volunteers in Haiti. Amy Costello, the show’s host, particularly focuses on providing insights with her guests on the unintended consequences of aid, philanthropy, or charity.
In one of the recent episodes, Tiny Spark looks at the growing phenomenon of online crowdfunding for medical bills. Like usually, they ask challenging questions: Who is winning on these crowdfunding platforms, and who is falling short? And what does the rise of sites like GoFundMe say about the fraying social safety net?
Top Nonprofits podcast covers storytelling strategies, appealing to millennials, nonprofit salaries, and more. Podcast episodes delve into categories such as fundraising, marketing, and management for your ease of use!
In an episode about managing millennials, Kishshana Palmer, an experienced nonprofit professional and coach, shared some of her best tips on how to successfully manage millennials. She talked about attracting, retaining, and rewarding millennials.
The Stanford Social Innovation Review’s podcast often slices audio recordings of their events into episodes that let you tune in from anywhere in the world. This podcast gathers experts on various topics such as social entrepreneurship, systems view, diversity, and energy efficiency.
In one of the recent episodes, for example, Rob Reich, a Marc and Laura Andreessen faculty co-director of Stanford PACS, explores the implications of technology for the social sector and free speech in conversation with Kelly Born, a program manager at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation’s Madison Initiative, and Arisha Hatch, a managing director of campaigns at Color of Change, the largest online racial justice organization in the United States.
Hubcast, a podcast by Nonprofit Hub, covers a wide range of topics in the nonprofit world. They will break down data, interview thought leaders and discuss management strategies in each 30-minute episode. From breaking down content posted in article form on nonprofithub.org and recapping webinars, to having conversations with the industry’s most influential thought leaders, CEO Randy Hawthorne will narrate the way into transforming your organization for good.
In a recent episode, host Randy Hawthorne and Jay Wilkinson talk about the future of nonprofit revenue models, earned income, B-Corps and more. Jay is the Founder and CEO of Firespring, a digital marketing company that helps nonprofits spread their message to the world.
Hopefully, this will help you start out with a phenomenal tool that are nonprofit podcasts. For more nonprofit tips and tricks, follow us on Twitter @Donorbox and check out our most recent and most popular resources and guide pieces so that you’re up-to-date with the latest information and tools in the nonprofit sector: