Audio inspiration for charity and nonprofit leaders
Originally published: September 2017
Looking for inspiration from the nonprofit sector and beyond? Here — in no particular order — is a selection of podcasts to get you started.
Tiny Spark is an independent, nonprofit news organization founded by a seasoned journalist and former Africa correspondent. Fortnightly episodes (10-20 mins) investigate philanthropy, nonprofits and international aid and include in-depth interviews and shoe leather reporting from across the globe.
Weekly BBC World Service program (25 mins approx.) exploring "brilliant solutions to the world’s problems." Each episode hears from people with ideas to make the world a better place — and investigates whether they work.
Podcast (20-30 mins approx.) published twice each month from Purposeful, an Australia-based consultancy, featuring "meaningful conversations with inspiring and purpose-driven individuals."
New series of podcasts (20-25 mins approx.) from England’s National Council of Voluntary Organisations, "exploring the big issues affecting charities and volunteering."
Weekly interviews (15-40 minutes approx.) with social innovators, entrepreneurs, changemakers, designers, educators, thinkers and doers from around the world, who share insights and inspiration. Highlights are also published as articles on the website.
Podcasts from the U.K.’s Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, featuring leading thinkers on topics from education, design and creativity, to politics, philosophy and economics. (There’s also an audio feed of RSA talks and lectures.) Length and frequency vary.
Interviews (25-50 mins) with nonprofit leaders and entrepreneurs, hosted by fundraising and leadership coach Stephen George.
Recently launched, bi-weekly exploration (20-30 mins approx.) of trends in global philanthropy and civil society from the think tank of the U.K. Charities Aid Foundation. Hosts break down each topic into three chunks, also giving an overview of work they’ve done on the subject and suggesting further reading.
Explores how organizations inspire action through talks with marketers, fundraisers and consultants, with the aim of understanding "what’s working to get people to show up, stick around and give back." Episodes are released twice per month and are 25-50 mins approx.
New podcast from I.G. Advisors, a U.K.-based consultancy. Offers "a behind-the-scenes view into major gifts fundraising from the donor’s perspective" through interviews with donors, asking them what they want more of, what they want less of and what makes a great partnership.
Weekly episodes hosted by business coach and social entrepreneur Jen Gale, featuring "people making good stuff happen in their communities," plus tips and techniques to help grow an ethical business.
Billed as a "storytelling podcast for people with big ideas" who want to make the world a better place, each episode features stories about people starting social and environmental ventures. Recently relaunched, with a first episode (30 mins) featuring the founders of food enterprise Rubies in the Rubble.
Journalist Fergal Byrne, who has 20 years’ experience covering entrepreneurship and business, talks to experienced and successful social entrepreneurs and changemakers. Episodes are 35-60 mins and are published a few times per month.
The SproutCast podcast chats with changemakers, social entrepreneurs, innovators, and purpose leaders about how to create positive impact in society and shape a better world. Made by the Australia-based organization Better Boards. 25-30 mins approx.
Host Denver Frederick, who has 40 years of experience in philanthropy and social good, explores solutions to complex social problems by talking to philanthropists, corporate CEOs, government officials, social entrepreneurs and more. Multiple episodes published each month, ranging from under 10 minutes to one hour.
Features experienced leaders talking about strategies and practices that have made them successful. Episodes published two or three times per month (20-35 mins approx).
'How-to'-style podcasts from two seasoned fundraisers (recent episodes include "The upsides and downsides of holiday-based fundraising" and "How to create great direct mail fundraising teasers"), plus the occasional interview. Published once or twice per month; length varies.
Hosted by Joan Garry, the "Dear Abby" of the nonprofit world, this podcast (40 mins approx., 2-3 episodes per month) tackles topics such as the overhead myth, the best way to run special events, how to make a big fundraising ask and board-staff relations, via the real stories of nonprofit leaders. Previous interviewees include Tim Harford and Beth Kanter.
Covers cause marketing and corporate-nonprofit partnerships "including trends, tactics and need-to-know news". Hosted by Joe Waters of SelfishGiving.com and Megan Strand of the Cause Marketing Forum. Weekly, 20-30 mins approx.
Interviews with nonprofit directors, consultants, grant writers and fundraisers, hosted by nonprofit social media strategist Steve Vick. 50-60 mins approx. and published twice a month.
Weekly interviews (50-60 minutes) on every topic from board relations, fundraising, social media and compliance, to technology, accounting, volunteer management, finance, marketing and beyond. Tony Martignetti is a former lawyer who has worked with nonprofits since 1997 and been hosting the podcast since 2010.
What have we missed? What are your favorites? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!