Podcasting is best known as an open-ended, non-stop, publish til you drop endeavor. Successful podcasters often have hundreds of shows under their belts, and often multiple shows to their credit too. For nonprofit organizations looking to engage their community, attract donors, or provide thought leadership in their sector, starting a podcast with no end in sight is too intimidating to even consider.
The truth is, podcasting is much more than a host interviewing guests, or true crime investigations. You don’t have to publish every week, from now until forever, to host a successful podcast. You don’t even have to publish a public podcast in order to meet your goals. Limited edition, short run podcasts are a cost-effective way to create evergreen content that tells your story for years to come, while private podcasts offer an new, immersive way to engage members of your community.
Here are three ways a podcast could help your organization:
- Greet new members to your community with the knowledge they need and the welcome they deserve. Whether it’s a fresh class of parents and students arriving on campus, anxious first-time campers and parents, or new synagogue members, a podcast is the perfect way to introduce new folks to the unique in’s and out’s of your community. What’s the history of the community? Who are its unsung heroes? Why do we do this prayer or have this tradition? Too often these questions go unanswered, even for years, leaving folks apprehensive about their place in the community. With a podcast, you can bring everyone together, on the same page, like never before. And if you make it private, you can keep important conversations in the ears of your community, rather than the general public.
- Utilize your archives to tell the story of your community. From Marvel to Harry Potter, long form storytelling is all the rage now. But just because you don’t have a canon of characters to draw from doesn’t mean you don’t have a story to tell, and a host of archival material from which to draw. Audio from old video tapes can be repurposed and made to sound like new, something that just isn’t possible with ancient tapes of summer camp musicals or that Purim shpiel from 50 years ago that everyone talks about, but is too grainy to even watch. Formal and informal interviews, cantorial tapes, and other archival riches can help bring the story and sound of your community to life. By making your podcast private you can ensure it only reaches members of your community.
- Curate content between sessions. If your organization provides time-bound opportunities, like travel experiences, summer camp, or immersive education, private podcasts are a great way to engage your community between sessions. Share highlights from your time together, offer curated resources for folks who want to go deeper on a particular topic, and keep folks excited for what’s coming next. Keep the hope alive of another summer at camp, even in the dead of winter.
Convinced that a private podcast is a great way to engage your community? Have an idea of your own that you want to workshop? There’s tons of ways to get started, but the best way is with professional help. Invest in your podcast, like you would any other tool, so it can perform to maximum efficiency. I’d love to be a resource on your journey.
Bonus Idea: Engage your board between meetings with a private podcast. Onboard new members, and engage longtime members with new aspects of your work. A private podcast is the best way to deliver complex information, in a compelling way, that your board members can review on their timeline. Podcasts take board materials to a whole new level, letting you present work, new initiatives, and proposals in the voices of your CEO, staff, and even the people you serve. Bring your mission to life, and watch meeting attendance soar.