7 Ways Nonprofits Can Use Podcasts

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I've been talking to some nonprofit pals about how they can use podcasts, so I thought I'd share this list, as well as the blogging one.

According to a study by the PEW Internet & American Life Project in released in April 2005:

More than 22 million American adults own iPods or MP3 players and 29% of them have downloaded podcasts from the Web so that they could listen to audio files at a time of their choosing. That amounts to more than 6 million adults who have tried this new feature that allows internet 'broadcasts' to be downloaded onto their portable listening device.

After the initial investment in recording equipment, the only cost to your organization is staff time.  Podcasts aren't for everyone, but they are worth considering because you can't get more intimate with potential supporters than talking in their ear (literally).

7 Ways Nonprofits Can Use Podcasts

1. A leader at your nonprofit or NGO talks about what is going on in the organization and n your field.  This is great if your founder or director is a strong and inspiring speaker. Example: Senator Barack Obama's podcast.

2. Short, informational pieces about one issue combining voiceover by a narrator/host and interviews with the people you serve. Example: UNICEF's podcast, "Pakistan's Earthquake: A fifteen-year-old tells her story." UNICEF Radio correspondent, Blue Chevigny, provides narration and information about the earthquake in Pakistan combined with on the ground testimony by a young woman who lived through it.

3. Weekly updates about what is going on in your organization followed by interviews with experts in your field. Example: This Week in NetSquared News. Each week we give brief updates about what's new at NetSquared followed by interviews with nonprofit and social web innovators.

4. Have your constituents create the podcast. Example: UNICEF Digital Diaries: Berenice's Story from Ghana, Part I.  A young woman in Ghana was giving recording equipment to document her daily life in this 6-part series.

5. Be creative!  The Nature Conservancy produces a podcast called Nature Stories, that is all about people's connection to nature. Check out the one called "Just Another Fish Story" about a whale that washes up on the beach of a small town in Maine.

6. Use recordings from presentations.  The Bioneers have turned the presentations and speeches from their conference into a podcast.

7. Turn your radio show into a podcast.  Example: Mother Jones Radio.  If your organization already produces a radio show, make sure listeners can also subscribe to it as a podcast.