3 ways INGOs can harness the power of the podcast

Chloe Choppen
Chloe Choppen 8th November 2018

2018 has been the year of the podcast.

Ofcom has found that about 6 million of us in the UK listen to podcasts on a weekly basis – a figure that has almost doubled over the last 5 years. With an endless catalogue of listening options, and more and more organisations turning to the format to grow their brand awareness, it seems inevitable that these figures will continue to grow.

Podcasts offer the charity sector an excitingly accessible new platform for reaching their audiences. So how can your charity best harness the power of the podcast?


1 – Feature as a Guest Speaker

Delve into iTunes’ exhaustive podcast directory and you will find a plethora of shows discussing the latest sector news, trends and practical advice. You will also find that most of these shows regularly feature guest speakers.

There are few other formats that provide such an engaged and focused audience – a recent study by Acast found that 76% of listeners said they had followed up on an ad or message they heard in a podcast. So, it seems logical that featuring as a podcast guest speaker offers the perfect platform for you to talk about your latest campaign or fundraiser.

Decide who in your team offers the best combination of high-profile influence and engaging radio patter, find the shows your target audience are listening to, and start reaching out to podcast hosts. This article by Thinkific provides a very detailed guide on how to get started.

Our Favourite Informative Podcasts: Displaced (IRC), Good Charity Bad Charity and NCVO


2 – Pitch Your Stories to Podcasts

Comms teams in the charity sector are very accustomed to the challenges of getting the attention of print journalists. Why not try pitching to podcast producers instead?

There are a number of fantastic podcasts covering stories from the development sector, each focusing their output on curating a series of engaging, human led stories.

Last month, IBT ran a networking event with Guardian Global Development’s, Lucy Lamble – the driving force behind the Guardian’s brilliant, ‘Small Changes’ podcast. Whilst meeting with our members, she spoke about the huge potential of podcasts for the sector and encouraged our member charities to send her their pitches for character driven stories.

“The digital reach is far far bigger than print. There are lots of different ways of pushing things out: short films, Facebook, podcasts… All reaching people who aren’t necessarily Guardian readers.”
– Lucy Lamble, Guardian Global Development

Our Favourite Story-led Podcasts: Awake at Night (UNHCR), and Small Changes (Guardian Global Development)


3 – Start Your Own Podcast

With consistently rising engagement numbers, widely accessible listening platforms and entry-level recording equipment available at a surprisingly affordable cost, there has never been a better time to start your own podcast.

A number of charities have successfully broken into the world of podcasts: from Amnesty International’s, ‘In Their Own Words’ to ODI’s humanitarian interview series. Providing you have the time, resources and content worth broadcasting, this can be a great way to utilise the rise in podcast popularity.

In the new year, IBT will be running a day-long podcast workshop for our members. Run by experienced podcast host and trainer, Lucy Lucraft, the sessions will cover everything from navigating the audio landscape, to the technicalities of recording your first episode.

Our Favourite Charity-run Podcasts: In Their Own Words (Amnesty International), Completely Optional Knowledge (Greenpeace), ODI


If 2018 has been the year the podcast found its place among mainstream media, then let 2019 be the year the charity sector harnesses its potential.

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