Power of Podcasts: How nonprofits can use a podcast to raise funds, power marketing, and build a community
This is a guest post from our friend, Adam Walker, co-founder of Edgewise Media and podcast host of Tech Talk Y’all and Real Pink. Adam also has a history of both founding and being chief marketing officer in the nonprofit space.
Podcasts are not just about building an audience; they can do more. For nonprofits, podcasts present a unique opportunity to connect with supporters, build a more diverse and responsive community, power their marketing, and raise funds all at the same time. Let’s take a few minutes to break down some of these.
How nonprofits can use a podcast to build a community of supporters
What makes podcasts so powerful is how easy they are to consume. Historically a nonprofit will create marketing content that requires a user’s full attention, like a white-paper or a blog post. The problem with this type of content is the time and attention required to consume it. A 2,500-word blog post requires someone’s undivided attention and takes about ten minutes to read. That’s a big commitment. But, a ten-minute podcast can be consumed while walking the dog, doing the dishes, driving, or doing any number of other things.
Because the commitment threshold is lower for a podcast, it is easier to get more engagement from your audience. More engagement means you can keep supporters on the same page, helping them feel more connected to the organization, and increasing their participation.
How nonprofits can use a podcast for fundraising
Every nonprofit needs more fundraising opportunities, and a podcast provides several. First, because a podcast is more engaging for your audience, there is an opportunity for individual fundraising through the podcast. Each episode should have a call to action, directing the listener back to the website where they can get more involved or can give financially. As the audience engagement increases in the podcast, the individual financial giving will also increase.
The podcast itself is also an excellent fundraising opportunity. Many existing funders get excited about the idea of a podcast and are willing to contribute additional dollars to support it. Starting a new podcast gives a nonprofit an opportunity to go to their existing sponsors and ask for additional assistance in the new venture. Because podcasts are somewhat new and exciting to many people, funders are often more willing to give additional dollars in addition to what they have already given.
A nonprofit could have one sponsor cover the entire cost of the podcast. Or, they could have a sponsor for each episode or even several sponsors for each episode. We have seen some nonprofits raise five figures to sponsor one podcast episode. If a nonprofit approaches a podcast with gaining sponsorships in mind, they should be able to raise more than enough to cover the cost of the podcast.
How nonprofits can use a podcast to power marketing
Every nonprofit needs marketing content to engage with its audience across various marketing channels. A podcast offers a fantastic way to capture high-value content and then turn that into additional marketing content.
For example, let’s imagine your nonprofit works with people experiencing homelessness to get them housing. You might have a podcast interviewing your clients and telling their stories. Then, from each interview, you could create the following marketing content:
- A podcast episode
- Social media graphics from quotes from the interview
- Audiograms (an image turned into a video with a clip of the podcast audio)
- Short videos
- Transcript of the interview for the website (optimized for SEO)
- A blog post based on the interview
That’s how one podcast episode can give you enough content for all a nonprofit’s marketing needs for one to two weeks.
There are many different approaches that a nonprofit can take with a podcast. The bottom line is that podcasts are great for creating compelling content that tells a story and engages an audience. And, because that’s one of the most important things a nonprofit can do to facilitate its growth, considering a nonprofit podcast is worth the time.
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