Best Nonprofit Podcasts

12 Nonprofit Podcasts You Can’t Pass Up

12.26.18 | Podcasting | By: Jon Street

As we kick off another new year I realize that many people are likely taking the time to do a little reflection. It’s natural for people to draft up resolutions based on things they want to do or perhaps things they’d like to change. Often times though it’s much more than just cutting out sweets and losing a few pounds that makes the list. People are looking to invest their time and resources into opportunities to bring positive change in the world. One great platform is through getting involved in nonprofits. Nonprofits are always looking to further their message and their impact by grabbing the attention of like minded people and getting them on the boat. As such, nonprofits are starting to realize the opportunity at hand with podcasting. In a sibling article to this we touched on the reality that as more and more businesses turn to podcasting as a means of reaching their current and potential audiences, people in the nonprofit sector are also beginning to recognize the value podcasting offers. Nonprofits are traditionally business, social and economic activists and motivators looking to bring change to the world. They have a mission and need people to invest their time and money to help bring about the change they are looking to achieve. If you are a nonprofit team member looking for fresh ways to get back to the drawing board to draft up ideas for change or you are looking to get invested in a nonprofit in a volunteer or donor capacity, here are some of the top podcasts in the nonprofit, thought-leadership and activist space that you can’t miss to kick off 2019 which may inspire your New Year’s resolutions and give you a call to action.

1.HBR IdeaCast

Kicking things off for must-hear podcasts is the HBR IdeaCast, a podcast by the Harvard Business Review. Touted as ,“A weekly podcast featuring the leading thinkers in business and management from Harvard Business Review”, the podcast offers listeners an array of content for giving guidance on a broad list of topics. While much of the content in this podcast is geared for business leaders and entrepreneurs, the takeaways are nonetheless applicable to nonprofits. Top-rated episodes include 480: Become A Better Listener, 578: 4 Behaviors of Top-Performing CEO’s, 563: Escape Your Comfort Zone, 556: The Secret to Better Problem Solving and 532: Teaching Creativity to Leaders. With conversations from top organizational leaders like Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg and Nike’s Phil Knight as well as other influential authors, professors and thought leaders, you’re sure to find something to help you in your aim to better yourself and your nonprofit.

2. Nonprofits are Messy

Another podcast worth tuning in to is Nonprofits are Messy by host Joan Gerry. “Joan Garry: Nonprofit Leader and former Executive Director of GLAAD helps fellow CEOs, Boards and Board Chairs, Fundraisers, and Nonprofit Marketers.” As the podcast site illustrates, “Nonprofits are messy. Not enough money. Too many cooks. An abundance of passion. Leading nonprofits  isn’t easy. I’m here to help.“ For those dedicated to nonprofits you know that the work is not always easy and it presents unique challenges that the typical organization does not always face. Having experienced this reality herself, Joan lends her expertise in this bi-weekly podcast. With top-listened episodes like The Fear of Asking to help coach listeners through how to ask supporters for money, A Day in the Life of an Executive Director to help guide organizational leaders through the challenges of their roles, Nonprofits are Messy AND Funny aimed at helping bring some lighthearted tones to work often heavy on the levity as well as Building a Great Development Team, this podcast is sure to give you an inside look at not only the mess behind the curtain, but also how to manage it and endure successfully through it.

3. Tiny Spark

Another nonprofit podcast that is focused more on the philanthropic mindset is the Tiny Spark podcast. As we all know, great ideas can be generated from a small, simple idea-a spark that ignites. As such, “We investigate philanthropy, nonprofits and for-profit social good initiatives. In-depth interviews and shoe leather reporting from across the globe.” Nonprofit leaders often have to ask hard-hitting questions to bring about the change and impact they are hoping to accomplish. Tiny Spark knows this and has crafted a playlist of great episodes for your review. Start with favorite episodes like Is it Better to Give Locally or Globally?, Tools for Good Giving, Successful Social Change Takes Patience and Audacity, The Case Against Empathy and Why Big Philanthropy Needs Scrutiny Not Gratitude. It’s no doubt this will become a go-to podcast to help guide you through a myriad of topics.  

4. Tony Martignetti Nonprofit Radio

If you’re looking for advice and talking points discussed by the large nonprofits, but you lack the big nonprofit status, look no further than the Tony Martignetti Nonprofit Radio podcast, hosted by none other than Tony Martignetti. The truth is, only 5% of nonprofits would be classified as “big nonprofits”, but the ideas they offer are still invaluable. As such, this podcast is “Big nonprofit ideas for the other 95%. Board relations. Fundraising. Volunteer management. Prospect research. Legal compliance. Accounting. Finance. Investments. Donor relations. Public relations. Marketing. Technology. Social media. Every nonprofit struggles with these issues. Big nonprofits hire experts. The other 95% listen to Tony Martignetti Nonprofit Radio. Trusted experts and leading thinkers join Tony each week to tackle the tough issues. If you have big dreams but a small budget, you have a home at Tony Martignetti Nonprofit Radio.” Try digging in to episodes like Your Media Relations Strategy, Your Website Redesign & Overmarketing, LinkedIn Marketing, Stay Out Of Email Jail & Real Estate In Prospect Research and Date Your Donors.

5. Fundraising Fundamentals

Another podcast worth tuning in to is Fundraising Fundamentals, another nonprofit focused podcast from Tony Martignetti. This podcast, which released 16 episodes in 2015-2016 focuses purely on the fundraising aspects of nonprofit work and gives listeners sound strategies and talking points for this objective. In this podcast Tony, “Talks with nonprofit leaders and consultants about how organizations can more effectively raise money, build better relationships with boards and supporters, and manage volunteers.” Episodes clock in under 15 minutes and can easily be binged, but favorites include Why Small and Midsized Nonprofits Rock, Tailoring Your Fundraising to Reach Generation X, How Smaller Nonprofits Can Draw More Planned Gifts, The Buzz in Multichannel Fundraising and Putting Yourself in Your Donor’s Shoes.

6. Nonprofit Optimist

If you’re looking for a podcast that is focused on helping nonprofits through offering intentional content as well as specific goals for each episode, look no further than the Nonprofit Optimist podcast. Hosted by Molly MacCready, it’s made clear that that “Goals of the podcast [are] 1. Encourage the development of small organizations by sharing lessons learned. 2. Increase the awareness of good that is occurring in the world. 3. Provide a platform to showcase awesome nonprofits.” Popular episodes include Considerations for Starting a Nonprofit, Getting Started, Fundraising and Collaboration, Working in an Office of One, Growing Your Funding Base and Event Planning for Small Nonprofits.

7. Successful Nonprofits Podcast

For an interesting and engaging change of pace for nonprofit related podcasts, look no further than the Successful Nonprofits Podcast. “The Successful Nonprofits Podcast is produced by The Goldenburg Group, which helps nonprofits thrive in a competitive environment. We provide providing strategic planning, organizational development, and interim services to not for profit organizations with annual budgets ranging from $25,000 to over $25 million.” With nearly 150 episodes to engage you the topics are broad and offer valuable insight into many topics to help your nonprofit excel. Top episodes include Career Changers with Gary Hines, Morning Routines of Very Successful Nonprofit Professionals, The CEO Next Door with Kim Powell, How the Best Nonprofits Launch, Scale Up and Make a Difference with Kathleen Janus and Supercharge Your Nonprofit Social Media with Shantel Khleif.

8. Driving Participation Podcast

Another podcast worth tuning in for is the Driving Participation Podcast by Iris Creative and hosted by Beth Brodovsky. The concept is simple. “Wonder what other organizations are doing to grow that you might not have thought of? Schools, nonprofits and associations share ideas for attracting the right people, keeping them excited to be there and inspiring them to give back. From branding strategies to marketing programs and fundraising communications, organizations of all sizes are trying new ways to inspire action. In Driving Participation, Beth Brodovsky talks with marketers, fundraisers and consultants, exploring what what’s working to get people to show up, stick around and give back.” Needless to say, the content is invaluable to those looking to gain traction and growth with their nonprofit. With attention grabbing topics like Getting People Involved in Your Story, The Post-Donation Experience, Creating Content with a Purpose and Very Tiny Changes That Have Very Big Results the content packed into these episodes are engaging, poignant and extremely non-profit profitable (see what I did there?).

9. The Classy Podcast

If you’re looking for more of a social-minded podcast then look no further than The Classy Podcast. Simply put, “The Classy Podcast tells the stories of today’s leading founders and executives in the social sector. Each week, we unlock their founding stories and share them with you to inspire the next generation that is mobilized to drive change.” Now on it’s seventh season, the podcast is the brainchild of Classy which touts itself as the #1 online and mobile fundraising platform. Yeah, really. Needless to say they know a thing or two about nonprofits and fundraising. Offering discussions with VIP guests like Rod Arnold the former COO of charity: water, Lauren Bush Lauren of FEED, Deborah Elam the Chief Diversity officer at GE Foundation and Jackie Roshan Director of Transparency and Data Innovation at Pencils of Promise. Other top episodes include Bridging the Gap Between Nonprofit Business and Technology and How Classy’s CEO Built a Tope Fundraising Platform for the Social Sector.  

10. Hacking Hunger

If you’re looking for a podcast that breaks out of the norm of reviewing fundraising techniques, donor relations and social media impact and focuses more on real-life stories of what’s happening in the nonprofit sector, look no further than Hacking Hunger. The initiative of the World Food Program, USA this podcast offers, “Hidden, human stories about food on the front lines of hunger.” Currently offering 30 episodes that have been released since 2015, the content covered in the episodes range from stories of food shortage and famine that are being relieved by WFP initiatives to the the policies being fought for and adopted to eradicate hunger both here and abroad. Highlight and must-hear episodes include The Zero Hunger Generation, On the Frontlines of Hunger and War in Syria, A Slow-Motion Disaster in Ethiopia and The Logistics of Hope.

11. Nonprofit Leadership Podcast

Another podcast worth tuning into which balances topics important to nonprofits as well as things of significance in the modern world is Nonprofit Leadership Podcast. Hosted by Dr. Rob Harder the podcast, “Features discussions covering the most critical issues, trends and opportunities facing nonprofit leaders and those engaged in social innovation…[I]n this podcast you will hear real stories from experienced leaders about what strategies and practices have made them successful. It is our hope that through this audio series, people can learn not only what it takes to be an effective non-profit leader but to hear inspiring stories about people and organizations that are successfully making a positive impact in their communities.” While episodes appeal to and are geared towards leaders within the nonprofit world, the content  spans from talking points like What kind of impact is the “Age of Automation” that we are living in, having on our Nonprofits?, How a philanthropic initiative is providing reliable funding to help nonprofits move forward and What’s the most effective way to alleviate poverty? to leadership-focused concepts like What does successful leadership look like? and Why Building Leaders is Your Most Important Job, everyone will find something worth tuning in for on this podcast.

12. SproutCast

Rounding out the list of recommended nonprofit-minded podcasts is SproutCast (the abbreviated version of SproutCast – Social Enterprise | Changemakers | Social Entrepreneurs | Positive Impact | For Purpose). What gives this podcast a breath of fresh air is the intentionality it has on discussing topics relevant to nonprofits and entrepreneurs, especially as it relates to social impact and positive change. “On SproutCast we chat with changemakers, social entrepreneurs and innovators, and for purpose leaders about how to create positive impact in society and shape a better world. In each episode you’ll discover actionable tips, tactics, strategies, insights and advice on a wide range of areas including: starting and growing a social enterprise or non-profit organisation, joining a non-profit or for purpose board, improving your leadership skills and much more. Listen to find out exactly what it takes to have a positive impact on society and make the world a better place.” Be sure to check out top episodes like Geoff Gourley on how to successfully pitch for investment, Matt Boyd on developing and testing your business idea and “change” focused episodes like Stephanie Woollard on international development, grassroots change & running an organisation in two countries, Ben Rennie on partnering for the environment and Rita Nehme on steering towards social impact.

So there you have it, 12 nonprofit focused podcasts designed to help nonprofits thrive and excel and bolster the passion and dedication of donors and volunteers. Now to be clear this list is by no means exhaustive and with new podcasts being released every day there are no doubt soon to be others worthy of mentioning. But you have to start somewhere. I hope this list helps point you in the direction to getting things moving towards a better world starting with you. Want to keep the conversation going? Feel free to check out our site, drop us an email or set up a call with a team member.

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who should podcastBy: Jon Street

As the Production Manager at Resonate Recordings, Jon leads the production team and ensures that all our podcasters have everything needed to release consistent high-quality episodes. Jon and his family are from West Palm Beach, Florida and now live in Simpsonville, KY.