Realizing the Profit
5 Reasons Why Your Nonprofit Needs a Podcast
12.24.18 | Podcasting | By: Jon Street
With podcasting’s surge in popularity over the last handful of years, businesses, brands and corporations are looking to podcastings’ incredible influence as a way of getting their message out in front of millions of people. Why? Well the numbers don’t lie. We’ve covered this elsewhere but with roughly 125 million listeners in America alone, it’s becoming clear that the world is flocking to podcasting by the boatloads as a way of plugging in to their favorite audible educational and entertainment content. It’s only natural then that businesses would start taking notice of the ripe opportunity that’s in front of them. 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. As such, there are a number of reasons why podcasts are becoming a great option for the nonprofit that is looking to get in touch with a larger and more diverse type of audience. Because of podcasting’s global footprint and relatively high accessibility, it allows you to get in front of a significantly larger audience when compared to some other forms of traditional media or advertising. Print and digital media are great but can be somewhat limited in the target audiences they can reach. One of the greatest values attributed to podcasting is that your content can be accessed at any point in time by literally anyone in the world. Combine this with the fact that it is an actively trafficked platform (unlike other methods which are more static) and you have an almost flawless recipe for success. But aside from these somewhat basic advantages, podcasting has stormed onto the scene as a real solution for businesses and organizations looking for a fresh and more innovative way to reach people with their message. Consider the following:
Podcasting lets you tell your own story
Nonprofits have a goal, a vision, a why as to the reason they exist. The challenge is getting this message out to the people who will care to hear about it. Not only that, but most people tend to associate things based on their preconceived notions or pigeonhole organizations or causes based on their own experiences and biases. Podcasting allows you to break down the barriers of these kinds of assumptions and let’s you tell your story how you want. It gives you the opportunity to give your audience and supporters the ability to see behind the curtain, get a peek inside the kitchen or have a fireside chat with people in and around your organization that matter and have the significant influence. No other platform gives people the chance to so easily hear from people who are on the front lines of the cause carrying out the mission or those who are being impacted by the work being done in the community. You have a story and it is powerful, the key is getting it out for others to hear in a way that offers you freedom of expression and offers incredible accessibility to those you are looking to reach.
Podcasting makes you more approachable
Another advantage to podcasting is how easily you can tailor the content to embody your personal message. Having the ability to make each episode a carefully crafted story that speaks to a specific sector or need in your market is tremendously valuable. It is equally as beneficial to position yourself as an organization that knows the times, understands the needs in the current society and is still approachable. Historically a challenge for any organization (especially larger ones) is having people know you, understand you, hear your message and gain an appreciation for your work in a short enough time to act on it. In many cases these obstacles are magnified because an organization can seem inaccessible and self-absorbed. Many times you have just one shot to get in front of the prospect and have your maximum impact. Sometimes it seems like your only hope is that they have had positive exposure to you, they understand your mission and will hopefully be converted to the cause. Podcasting allows you to not only be approachable through getting right out in front of them, but it allows you to do it daily, weekly, or monthly…however often you choose. This means that as often as you produce content, you have the ability to be heard by the people that matter the most. But another advantage is that podcasts are also more sustainable for the long-haul as they allow you to build your story and your message over a much longer period of time rather than just a 30 or 60 second advertisement. Think of it. You have the chance to be in front of your audience for 15, 30, even 60 minutes at a time and have their undivided attention to help them see what you’re all about! There are few things that can offer as much impact down the line as this.
Podcasting puts supporters in touch with your key personnel
One of the biggest challenges with nonprofits is finding effective ways to get your leadership team in front of the people you’re trying to motivate in an easily accessible way. Fundraisers, charity events, speaking engagements and other forms of community impact are great, but they can only reach so many people at a time. What if there was a way for your Founder, President, Director, Managers or Coordinators to have their voice reach hundreds, thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of people on a regular basis and in a non-aggressive way, not to mention in back-to-back weeks (or maybe even in the same episode)? Podcasting allows you to craft your story your way, but also have it be told by your most influential personnel and have the audience be engaged with multiple touches in a short time-frame by people who carry a lot of gravitas. Think of the impact you could have if every week your founding members were given a voice to speak to the masses about things that were truly important.
Podcasting provides your supporters content they are interested in
People who commit to a cause or invest in a purpose do it because they believe in it, they see the potential it has and they love to see the impact that’s being made through their monetary or volunteer efforts. Podcasts offer a great platform for people to learn more about the vision (as we’ve discussed), but also provide an open platform for there to be real discussion on the topics that matter surrounding the cause. Imagine if you were able to have lobbyists speak about current events and the most up-to-date status of important things and give people a call to action. You have the opportunity to speak about time-sensitive things, things that are important to your supporters and things that they will find value in listening to. Keeping your core supporters engaged is vitally important so offering a podcast allows you to provide content to your supporters that they are interested in and helps align the overall goal of the organization on a recurring basis.
Podcasting gives supporters a reason to invest
Building on the last point, podcasts also give your supporters a reason to (as well as a methodology through which they can) support your organization. Turning a podcast into a money maker is a concept that many people are buying into and is a concept that would be easily adaptable to the nonprofit sector as well. By offering another way for people to invest in your efforts you are making yourself more profitable, with a relatively small investment for the production process. Aside from that a podcast that is well made, is engaging and which keeps people tuning in provides an incentive for people to invest. Simply put, without their support the podcast (and possibly the overall health of the organization) could be in jeopardy. But thinking about the impact the podcast can have is a great reason for people to invest in the project as a means of keeping the message alive and the cause moving.
And there you have it. 5 simple reasons for your nonprofit to consider investing into podcasting as a means of putting fuel on the fire. There’s a lot more that can be said for sure. The point here is not to be exhaustive but to provide enough details to make you consider, TRULY consider a podcast for your organization. The truth is large, reputable nonprofits are plugging in and pressing record every day because they see it’s value. Will you also? I’ll leave you with a few closing thoughts. While some podcasts are done in conjunction with media conglomerates like NPR, Gimlet or others, they almost always want a piece of the pie. If this is something you’re open to, have at it. But there are great partners out there who will be able to get you on the right path without owning equity in the podcast. Also, there is a lot to consider when thinking about kicking off a podcast for your organization, so do some research. But know that we’re here to help. If you want to talk to our team to pick our brains on this idea, we’d love to hear from you. Feel free to check out our site, drop us an email or set up a call with a team member.
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By: 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.