Seven Podcasts for Nonprofits that Educate and Inspire

The power of podcasts reveals itself in the numbers. The number of podcast listeners has risen steadily each year since 2013. The increasing adoption of mobile technology, internet accessibility and even in-car connectivity, suggests that this trend is likely to continue.

Podcast listening trends 2013–2016

Source: Edison Research. “State of the News Media 2016” PEW RESEARCH CENTER

While no precise estimate exists as to the quantity of podcasts produced, an upward trend in shows hosted and episode downloads requested continues. 2015 saw 3.3 billion download requests.

So why should people working in nonprofit care about tuning into podcasts?

The reasons are really not that different from why any for-profit entrepreneur or professional should listen to podcasts:

  • Use your commute time, gym time and “downtime” to get information, entertainment and inspiration
  • Keep current on nonprofit trends
  • Gain insight from industry leaders
  • Get tips and strategies to use in your own efforts

7 Podcasts for Nonprofits We Like

There are countless podcasts out there with value to offer anyone concerned with marketing, design, social media and engagement. Most are focused on the for-profit world, since that is what the largest percentage of listeners are concerned with.

We rounded up seven podcasts that either focus on nonprofit or have direct connections to the work that you do.

Business of Giving

The Business of Giving

Who runs it: Denver Frederick

What it is: Denver Frederick hosts nonprofit CEOs, corporate leaders, social entrepreneurs and celebrity ambassadors to discuss the issues of social good on this weekly podcast.

Why listen: The Business of Giving host brings 40 years of experience in philanthropy and social good to conversations with those leading transformative change worldwide. This means a whole lot of inspiration for you. Plus, the podcast claims to be one-of-a-kind in its focus on solutions to social problems. Check it out to see if you agree.

Where to listen: SoundCloud
(Note: iTunes and Stitcher episodes seem to have stopped in September 2016)

Average Podcast Length: 30–60 minutes

Driving Participation with Beth Brodovsky

Driving Participation

Who runs it: Iris Creative

What is it: Interviewer Beth Brodovsky dialogues with leaders in marketing, fundraising and consulting arenas as to what causes people to “show up, stick around, and give back.”

Why listen: Driving Participation brings the latest on what other organizations are doing to grow. These conversations bring inspiration from others in branding strategies, marketing programs and fundraising.

Where to listen: Stitcher and iTunes

Average Podcast Length: 30-45 minutes

Nonprofit Ally

Nonprofit Ally

Who runs it: Nonprofit Ally

What it is: Steve Vick, Nonprofit Ally interviewer, gets experts talking on social media strategies, building capacity, developing a board of directors, fundraising and budgeting to get you started building and maintaining a thriving nonprofit.

Why listen: Full of tips on a variety of topics such as social media, newsletters, storytelling and blogging, website development and crowd funding, Nonprofit Ally becomes what the name suggests, your ally. Steve’s experience as a founder of one nonprofit and director of another adds expertise to help no matter your need.

Where to listen: Stitcher and iTunes

Average Podcast Length: Just under one hour

Rally & Engage

Rally & Engage

Who runs it: CauseVox

What it is: A podcast interviewing nonprofit marketers and fundraisers to extract insights and ideas around online fundraising.

Why listen: Aimed at nonprofit fundraisers and marketers, Rally & Engage shares up-to-date, real life experience and tips to encourage your nonprofit efforts.

Where to listen: iTunes and SoundCloud

Average Podcast Length: 12–20 minutes

TED Talks audio

TEDTalks (Audio)

Who runs it: TED Conferences

What it is: Audio-only versions of the popular TED Talks. Topics run the gamut on this podcast which hosts leading thinkers and doers sharing insights in their respective fields. Technology, Entertainment and Design complete the TED acronym. But, science, business, the arts and more come with the package.

Why listen: Inspiration and a bit of imagination stirring comes with listening to TedTalks Audio. Engaging, quick-listen podcasts bring shots of food for thought to you from around the world, by a variety of accomplished people. And, thinking beyond the confines of your industry spurs creativity.

Where to listen: iTunes and TuneIn

Average Podcast Length: 12–20 minutes

Tiny Spark

Tiny Spark

Who runs it: Tiny Spark, Amy Costello

What it is: In-depth interviews and self-described “shoe leather reporting” combine to inform you on philanthropy, international aid, social issues and development. These podcasts reveal investigations of both nonprofits and for-profit social good initiatives.

Why listen: Tiny Spark brings you deep and constructive reports on the truth of social initiatives across the globe. Plus, with leaders in philanthropy and aid weighing in, the conversation is sure to spark your interest.

Where to listen: iTunes and SoundCloud

Average Podcast Length: 12–20 minutes

Using the Whole Whale

Using the Whole Whale

Who runs it: Whole Whale

What it is: This digital agency focuses on leveraging data and technology through inspiring interviews and stories to impact your nonprofit.

Why listen: From one of the leaders in nonprofit analytics and optimization, this podcast focuses on topics such as analytics, communications, digital advertising, website optimization, impact and technology. The podcast has hosted a wide range of social impact leaders from Greenpeace,, Kiva, HopeLab, Malaria No More, Crisis Text Line,,, and Teach For America among others.

Where to listen: Stitcher, iTunes and SoundCloud

Average Podcast Length: 30–60 minutes

Getting Started

Listening to Podcasts for Nonprofits

If you aren’t one of the roughly one-third of Americans who already listen to podcasts, getting started is simple.

  1. Take a listen to a suggested podcast today or check iTunes nonprofit podcasts.
  2. Choose a podcast listening app.

Most apps will let you subscribe, and then either stream or download episodes ahead of time. You can even stream them via your Alexa or Sonos devices in your home.

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