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9 Podcast Ideas for Non-profits

Fundraising is always the most difficult part of running a nonprofit, and one revenue stream many nonprofits overlook is podcasts. It may not be immediately apparent how your organization can use a free audio entertainment medium to raise funds, but podcasts have proven to be profitable

In this article, we’ll discuss nine ideas for your nonprofit to utilize podcasts to fundraise from recurring supporters and from first time donors.

Table of Contents:

9 Ways for Non-profits to Leverage Podcasting

1) Interview Advocates for Your Cause

Podcast interviews are a mainstay in the medium, and for good reason. Done well, they are informative, entertaining, and can really rile up listeners to take action. Most calls-to-action in the podcast space are to buy products or services, and more than half of podcast listeners have purchased something from an advertiser. What that means to your organization is that podcast listeners are ready and willing to financially support causes they believe in.

On your podcast, you should interview key members of your organization (both high level and boots on the ground), as well as other advocates for your cause outside of your organization. Podcast listeners are ready to take action, and your insightful interviews are the perfect way to convince them that your cause is worth supporting.

2) Tell Stories From the Frontlines

An alternative to interviewing advocates after an event is to create a podcast right on the front lines. Podcasting excels as a storytelling medium because it’s so personal, listeners feel like they are right there with you as you tell your story.

Oftentimes, the work of nonprofits can feel a little abstract to the donors who don’t see the day-in day-out work of your organization. Stories from the front lines really connect your donors (and potential new donors) with the work you’re doing, which reassures them about supporting your organization.

3) News Updates

Podcasts have successfully turned news into entertainment, keeping listeners more engaged with what could otherwise be considered boring. Instead of a standard weekly email newsletter to your donors, keep everyone informed about all the amazing things your organization is doing through podcasts. 

By sharing all of the big and small victories of your organization, you’re proving the effectiveness of your nonprofit, which increases the likelihood that your listeners will become donors.

4) Be a Guest on Other Podcasts – Podchaser Connect

Overview of how Podchaser Connect helps book podcasts

Guesting on other podcasts has all of the benefits of recording your own podcast that we’ve discussed above, with the added benefit of exposing your nonprofit to new highly receptive audiences. Just by being booked as a guest on a show, the host has given their implicit endorsement of you to their audience.

It can be a hassle to find and reach out to other podcasts to be a guest on. If you want someone else to handle the dirty work for you, check out Podchaser Connect. Our full service podcast guest placement team will find relevant podcasts for your message, craft the pitches, and send personal outreach emails. You’ll be notified by our team only when we’ve found just the right match.

If you want to know more about being a guest on other podcasts, we’ve written a whole article just for you.

5) Find Podcasts to Advertise On – Podchaser Pro

Graphic of Podchaser Pro that shows reach, demographics, charts, and contact database

You don’t have to look hard to find that podcast; advertising is big business. $1.3 billion is spent every year on podcast advertising. It’s a huge opportunity to promote your nonprofit.

And as we mentioned earlier, podcast listeners actually enjoy advertisements – more than half of all podcast listeners have bought something from a podcast advertisement. But for the advertisement to be successful, the advertisement needs to mesh well with the podcast. As an example, PETA wouldn’t find a receptive audience on the MeatEater Podcast

Finding the right podcasts to advertise on can be next to impossible on your own. Luckily Podchaser Pro is built to help organizations like yours find podcasts to advertise on.

Podchaser Pro utilizes Podchaser’s one-of-a-kind database to provide unparalleled data and insight into individual podcasts. With Podchaser Pro, you gain access to a podcast’s reach, demographics, verified contact information, a Power Score of a show’s influence, robust metadata, and more. Within minutes, you can discover, target, and contact the perfect podcasts for your advertising campaign.

6) Find Advertisers for Your Show

screenshot of midroll.com homepage

The flip side of advertising on other podcasts is finding advertisers for your show. Even podcasts with small audiences of around 5,000 listeners can get sponsored because there are hundreds of companies of all sizes who are excited to advertise on podcasts. In fact, a small dedicated audience can be even more valuable – as the old saying goes, “there’s riches in niches.”

The price of podcast advertisements depends on your audience size and where the ad is placed within the episode. We’ve written a detailed article about podcast ad rates, but the average range is between $10 and $30 CPM (cost per thousand listeners during the first month of publishing).

One obvious yet untapped place to find advertisers is your corporate partners and donors. As the podcast medium continues to grow, more corporations want to be in on the action. Networks like PBS have long and successful track records of integrating corporate sponsors into programming. You can replicate that model with your podcast.

In addition, there are several companies that will find advertisers for you. Midroll is a popular podcast advertising company that finds and manages advertisers for podcasters. In addition, some podcast hosting providers, including Redcircle, Spreaker, and Anchor, will automatically add ads to your episodes and, if you agree, pay a percentage of the profit.

screenshot of affiliate deals for non-profit podcasts

Affiliate marketing is a more circuitous form of fundraising through podcasts, but it can still be quite lucrative. Instead of a company paying you to advertise their products on your show, you get paid from affiliate marketing only after your listener has purchased something from the company you’re affiliated with. The top two affiliate marketing companies for podcasters are Amazon and Audible.

Amazon’s affiliate program is simple. If your listeners buy an Amazon product directly from your affiliate link, you receive 1%-10% commission on the purchase price. Because Amazon’s affiliate links are long complicated URLs, you won’t be able to effectively share them on air, so you’ll need a visual platform to share your affiliate links with your listeners. 

You can create affiliate links on your nonprofit’s website, and use your podcast to boost awareness about your affiliate links. What’s amazing about Amazon’s affiliate links is that it costs nothing for your fans to financially support you. They simply buy something they were already planning on buying through your link, and you receive a small commission. So even without spending any extra money, your fans can still support your show!

Another affiliate option is Audible’s Creator Program, which is great because it is specifically designed for podcasters. When a listener signs up for a free trial of Audible using your (easy to remember) custom URL, you receive $15. This is a win-win opportunity because you are getting paid to give your listeners free access to Audible.

8) Donors-only Bonus Episodes

Screenshot of distributing a non-profit podcast
Image from Transistor.fm

You might already be rewarding donors with things like t-shirts, stickers, or personalized letters as a thank-you for their contribution. Exclusive episodes of your podcast are another kickback to your donors that you should consider. Podcasts are great for this because there is a much smaller cost than physical objects. You don’t have to screenprint one t-shirt per donor, you just have to make one podcast episode and share it with your whole network of donors. And donor-only bonus episodes can help with donor retention, as there will always be episodes they miss out on if they stop supporting your organization.

To release exclusive episodes, you’ll need to create a private RSS feed for your podcast. That way, people searching for public podcasts in their listening app won’t be able to find your donor-only shows. If this all sounds too technical, don’t worry. There are several podcast hosting providers who will help you set-up a private RSS feed, like Transistor, Podbean, Captivate, Acast+, and Resonate Recordings.

9) Claim your Podchaser page

Gif of looking through Podchaser's website

There are many ways for nonprofits to utilize podcasting, but in order to be successful with any strategy, you need to have an audience. If you’re looking to go to the next level with your nonprofit’s podcast, and you need help growing your podcast audience, we’ve written a whole article about claiming your podcast on Podchaser to grow your show.

But claiming your podcast doesn’t merely help with promotion. It also works as your podcasting resume, making your organization’s podcast more attractive to potential advertisers, guests, or podcasts for you to guest on.

Claim Your Podcast

10 Podcasts by Nonprofit Organizations

As you’re getting started making a podcast for your organization, it’s helpful to see what other nonprofits are doing in the podcasting space. That’s why we compiled this list of great nonprofit podcasts for you to learn from.

Learn More with our Webinar – How to Leverage Podcasts to Reach Millions of Ears for your Non-Profit’s

Cover image for a webinar about leveraging podcasts as a non-profit organization

In April of 2022, Podchaser teamed up with Podcast Allies to host a webinar for nonprofits looking to break into the podcasting space.

Read more about the webinar here, and click here to watch the recording.