Podcasting for Nonprofits

Podcasting is taking the world by storm with organizations of every kind sharing their knowledge, stories, and impact with listeners.

So it leaves us wondering… What benefits do podcasts offer nonprofit organizations?

We’ve done the research and we’re sharing the most important data in this short blog post to help you decide if podcasting is a good fit for your target audience. We broke it into five sections: rising trends, audience demographics, audience usage and behavior, nonprofit opportunities, and things to consider before you begin.

Let’s jump in!

Rising Trends

Podcasting is a recent trend that has exploded in the past 5 years or so. According to PodMiners, there has been a 157% increase in podcast consumption since 2014. Better yet, 65% of podcast listeners report that they have only been listening for less than 3 years.

Organizations of all types quickly began cranking out podcasts like never before – if podcasting works for you, it’s certainly time to jump on the bandwagon.

According to PwC, “The podcast industry is growing fast; the industry generated an estimated $479.1 million in revenue in 2018 and is expected to produce more than $1 billion by 2021.”

Podcasting is a great way to increase brand awareness, deepen connections with your existing audience, and engage new listeners by spreading your mission via this trendy form of media.

Audience Demographics

Age
Below you can see a breakdown of the age demographics for podcast listeners. The key takeaway? 67% of the listeners are near-Millennial [Music Oomph]. Millennials will soon make up a majority of the workforce and they are known to be generous donors [Forbes] – now that’s a group you want to engage! And podcasting is a great way to do so!

Gender
There’s a pretty even balance between male and female listeners: 52% and 48% respectively. It’s interesting to note, however, that from 2017 to 2018, podcast listening growth jumped 14% among women while the growth remained almost flat for men [Music Oomph]. This can be particularly useful if your organization wants your message to reach a female audience.

Education
In general, podcast listeners are pretty well-educated – 45% have a college degree, 56% are undergraduates, and 68% are likely to be post-graduates [Music Oomph].

Audience Usage and Behavior

The way people listen to podcasts is just as important as who listens in. Check out the stats below [Music Oomph]:

  • Smartphones are the number one medium for consumption.
  • 49% of people listen at home, 22% while driving, and 11% at work.
  • 22% are “Weekly Listeners,” which can be classified as your most loyal listeners.
  • Weekly Listeners subscribe to an average of 6 shows.
  • 80% of people listen to most of the episode.
  • Society is the most popular genre.

Nonprofit Opportunities

For nonprofits, podcasting can be a simple way to share information about your organization in a way that both educates listeners and promotes your mission. We analyzed the benefits of podcasting and placed them into two categories: internal and external marketing.

Internal Marketing

  1. Resources: In the past, organizations used handbooks or pamphlets to educate their employees and share news internally. All of that information can be condensed into a short podcast training series – saving time and paper!

  2. Organizational Engagement: This term refers to internal stories that employees share with each other. For example, if your CEO goes on a trip to Europe and has learnings to share with employees, they could easily create an internal podcast elaborating on these learnings.

External Marketing
External marketing can be split into a couple of multi-tiered strategies: direct and indirect marketing.

Direct

  1. Advertising: Ads are extremely popular to use in podcasts. Since 2015, podcast ad revenue has increased by over $400 million. The most effective topics for ads? Business and Society & Culture [Music Oomph].

Indirect

  1. Expertise: Podcasts can give informational and educational opportunities to listeners. There is an unlimited amount of audiences you could reach with a podcast. By proving your status as an expert in your field, you build credibility and trust with your audience. You also gain “name-cause” recognition, so when your listeners hear more about the cause that you serve, they associate your organization with it.
  2. Story-Telling: 92% of consumers want brands to incorporate ads that feel like a story [AdWeek]. Story Content Marketing shares your impact with listeners and encourages action on their part.

Before You Begin…

After learning all of this information, the question is, “Is podcasting right for my organization?” Here are a few extra pieces of information to consider...

Cost. On average, it costs about $200-500 per episode for a “good quality” podcast [Live365]. This includes staff time to outline, record, edit, publish and market the podcast.

Resources. Does your organization have access to microphones, quality recording software, and the ability to upload the podcast somewhere? Equipment can be purchased at a very low cost on Amazon.

Time. On average, it takes 4 times the amount of time to create a podcast than it does to listen to it [CauseVox].

All in all, starting a podcast can be fairly easy and doesn’t require much investment. It’s a great way to reach new audiences and share your mission.

So what do you think?

Is podcasting right for your nonprofit?

We’d love to hear what stood out to you and if this blog post was helpful. As always, we’re here to serve you and our team would love to help you start and promote a podcast if it fits your mission!