Podcasts for Philanthropists

I love listening to podcasts – they are an intimate medium, you can listen when you want to, they are often advert-free and they offer a length and depth of experience that can fully absorb you on an otherwise boring commute. So, I am not surprised that podcasts are on the rise. A 2017 Radio Joint Audience Research (RAJAR) survey found that 24% of people in the UK had listened to a podcast in the past month and on average podcast listeners spent 3.6 hours a week listening to podcasts. 51% of respondents said they listened to podcasts because they found them interesting, while 26% tuned in to “learn something new.” BBC Radio 4 and TED Talks were the most common sources for podcasts.

So which podcasts might be good for a philanthropist or philanthropy professional to listen to? These are my current favourites:

Giving Thought Podcast

This is definitely one for philanthropy geeks like me. Presented by Rhodri Davies of CAF’s Think Tank this podcast has been running since 2017 with a real focus on the big issues and current debates in philanthropy. Recent episodes have covered philanthropy and religion, cryptophilanthropy and transparency.

Good Charity Bad Charity

New in 2018, this podcast is aimed at the charity sector. The presenters are Keith Davis, Camilla McGibbon and David Prest. I like the fact that the episodes are a manageable 30 minutes and they have secured some good interviewees like Sue Tibballs of the Sheila McKechnie Foundation and the new Charity Commission CEO, Helen Stephenson.

The World Service: The Documentary

This podcast takes us global and has an amazing range of subjects from assisted reproduction to the zika virus via conflict comedy. Recent episodes have covered philanthropy in Africa. They are usually around 30 minutes and you definitely feel more informed after each one, and they can certainly break you out of your echo chamber.

Ways to Change the World

From Krishnan Guru Murthy of Channel 4 news this podcast has good, long interviews with politicians, artists and academics. Richard Curtis recently did an episode on the future of charity and I really enjoyed the interview with Jameela Jamil.


There are many others to mention:

Charity Chat – to give you an idea of issues exercising charities in the UK such as volunteering, storytelling, safeguarding.

Tiny Spark – an American investigative podcast which was recently acquired by the Nonprofit Quarterly. These are often quite challenging such as the current episode “How nonprofits made the LGBT movement straight”

The Life You Can Save – one for effective altruists. Recent episodes include “Is Giving Cash better?”

Alliance audio – Alliance magazine has a podcast. There have only been six episodes so far but might be one to watch. The current podcast is “Fake news: what should philanthropy be doing about it?”

Social Good Podcast – this one is presented by Rhys Morgan and has interviews with mainly UK-based folk doing social good.

And last but not least, the Stanford Social Innovation Review Podcast has a ‘philanthropy and funding’ strand with some good podcasts covering philanthropy and democracy, justice and lots on impact.

Do you know of others? Please add them in the comment list or share which of these you like best.