Some people will find it hard to believe that one of my favorite podcasts is produced by AARP. Twenty-five intriguing episodes of The Perfect Scam podcast series can be found on the nonprofit’s website, and I binge listened to EVERY SINGLE ONE of them over the holidays.  From “Love Online Leads to International Lockup” to “A Scammer Tells All,” AARP has found a rather cool and trendy method to deliver its anti-scam message. Their podcast is hosted by Frank Abagnale (Yes, the book and film Catch Me If You Can was based on THIS Frank) and Will Johnson. The two banter about the latest scams and provide tips at the end of each show. They even have a scam-related quiz.

This newfound adoration of nonprofit podcasts is just one reason podcaster pro Erik Jacobson and I are teaming up for Five Easy Steps to Launch Your Nonprofit’s Podcast webinar on January 24th. Registration is only $20!

But here are three more reasons to consider starting your own based on the latest Workforce Pods: Podcast Trends Report:

1) Podcasts are growing in popularity in US Households

  • 64% of the US population is familiar with the term “podcasting” – up from 60% in 2017 (Infinite Dial 18)
  • 50% of all US homes are podcast fans (Nielsen, Aug 2017)
  • 124 million of the US population has listened to a podcast – up from 40% in 2017 (Infinite Dial 18)
  • 26% (73 million) listen to podcasts at least every month – up from 24% in 2017 (Infinite Dial 18)
  • 17% (48 million) listen to podcasts weekly – up from 15% in 2017

2) You can create a podcast that is interesting and compatible with your nonprofit’s mission

  • Comedy is the most popular podcasting genre, followed by education and news
  • Think about your mission in the sense of hot topics and storytelling

3) Podcast listeners are great brand ambassadors. 

  • Podcast listeners are much more active on every social media channel (94% are active on at least one – versus 81% for the entire population)
  • Podcast listeners are more likely to follow companies and brands (and nonprofits) on social media

So why aren’t more nonprofits podcasting?

The top three reasons nonprofit folks are afraid of dipping their toes into the podcast waters…

You don’t know what to talk about?

First, rest assured that a good podcast doesn’t have to last an hour. Providing timely and relevant information is always a great start.

Check out these podcasts for inspiration.

Boy Scouts of America’s Cubcast

Cubcast is an audio podcast featuring a variety of how-to and information topics for Cub Scout leaders and parents. Consider using your podcast to introduce people and let them share their stories and/or expertise

Christian Aid Global

Features a 2 to 3-minute podcast from the Communications Team at Christian Aid that includes various voices from 60 countries around the world.

The Brookings Institute 

Each week, the Brookings Institute brings research to real life by inviting experts to talk about the think tank’s research and ideas. The podcast makes the topics relatable to current events and conversations happening outside of the DC policy bubble.

What if nobody listens?

After you get going, you can keep refining the message and building listeners. I think the example of AARP’s podcast is important for a few reasons. AARP’s “target audience” is 50 and older, so you can imagine that some staff naysayers would have told them it wouldn’t reach their target audience. From having interviewed communications folks within the organization, they took the chance and found podcasting to be a great opportunity to reach seniors, caregivers, children and grandchildren 20-29 (whose scam report numbers are growing).

You don’t know how to get started?

From technology to content, we have recommendations. Know that you don’t need a Frank Abagnale to start a successful nonprofit podcast. Erik has great tips for newbies and will be joining me for a budget-friendly $20 webinar on January 24th where we will cover quick, inexpensive and effective ways to get you started. Learn more and claim your spot.