Kirsty Marrins: Ten sector podcasts you need to know about

The first of two features on podcasts covers ten that look around the sector in general

Kirsty Marrins
Kirsty Marrins

If you read my first article of the year, "What does 2019 hold for digital?", you’ll remember that I predicted 2019 would be the year of the charity podcast. I am a podcast addict, so I thought I’d dedicate not one but two whole articles to podcasts so that you can subscribe to those that interest you and pick up some top tips on running your own.

The podcasts I’ll be covering fall into two categories: sector podcasts and charity podcasts. This first article looks at sector podcasts. For me, these are a great way of keeping up to date with trends, discovering new perspectives, learning about leadership and discovering interesting, talented and knowledgeable people in the sector.

Third Sector

It would be remiss of me not to start with Third Sector’s very own monthly podcast (aptly named Third Sector Podcast). So far there are four episodes, hosted by the reporters Rebecca Cooney and Liam Kay, and they cover a variety of topics, such as diversity in the sector, the future of fundraising, how Brexit is affecting the sector and toxic workplaces. I’ve heard of a few cases of toxic workplaces in the sector, so I’m delighted this is being spoken about openly.


Inspired by a talk about podcasting at one of its events, and after a poll from its members that found an appetite for one, CharityComms launched its podcast in April 2018. Unsurprisingly, its podcasts have a communications and digital focus: topics it has covered so far include digital leadership, content strategy, how tech is transforming engagement and how small charities can innovate on a shoestring. I love how the guests are a mix of charities and consultants.

Do More Good

Launched in March 2018, Do More Good is currently on season three, and it’s no wonder given that it’s hosted by James Wright, senior events manager at Sue Ryder, and Kenneth Foreman, head of charities at London Marathon Events. James and Kenneth have a great rapport and clearly make their guests feel at ease, which is reassuring because I’m going to be a guest soon. They cover all manner of topics, such as leadership, fundraising and innovation. You know it’s going to be a good listen with episode titles such as "They’re having a silent disco over there" and "I’m not the big cheese".

Reclaim Social Podcast

After the success of #ReclaimSocial, Lightful has produced a podcast that interviews people in the sector who joined in with the campaign to find out more about why they got involved, how they planned their content, how they would make social media more positive, their favourite social media platforms, their favourite gifs and more. The first episode features Mike Keating, digital communications manager at Samaritans, and Molly Clarke, who is part of the digital team at CharityComms.

Simon Scriver’s Amazingly Ultimate Fundraising Superstar Podcast

If there was an award for best podcast title ever, surely this would win. It was launched in September 2018 and there are already an impressive 43 episodes. It does what it says on the tin: episodes feature fundraisers from around the world talking about a variety of fundraising topics, such as corporate sponsorship, the best fundraising database, thanking donors and more gritty areas such as sexual harassment in the workplace.

Cracking Charity Chat

The fundraising consultant Beth Crackles interviews senior colleagues from across the sector in this podcast. The aim is to demonstrate how leaders approach things, show examples of how things have worked in practice and provide top tips. Guests so far include Karl Wilding of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, Kate Collins, chief executive of the Teenage Cancer Trust, and Paul Amadi, chief supporter officer at the British Red Cross, to name a few.

This is Not the Mandy Johnson Show

Mandy Johnson, founder of the Great Charity Speakers list and one of the sector’s most influential fundraisers, launched this podcast in February. It aims to "amplify the voices of of talented people doing incredible things in the social good sector". In the latest episode, Mandy interviews Raji Hunjan, chief executive of the Zacchaeus 2000 Trust.

Giving Thought Podcast

Launched by the Charities Aid Foundation, this is probably the most established podcast on this list, having started in May 2017. Rhodri Davies, head of policy at CAF and director of its think tank, Giving Thought, explores trends in global philanthropy and civil society with guests such as Beth Breeze from the University of Kent and Zoe Amar, chair of the Charity Digital Code.

What Donors Want

Launched in 2017, What Donors Want by IG Advisors is a podcast of conversations about major gift fundraising, from the donors themselves. It’s the perfect podcast for insight, tips and advice on how to attract major donors. Past guests include a Dragon from Dragon’s Den and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The CFG Podcast

Launched in February, the Charity Finance Group podcast talks about important issues in charity finance (and the wider sector) and how they affect financial leadership. The first episode looks at approaches to risk and what charity finance professionals need to consider when looking at diversifying their income streams.

I hope you’ve found this list of awesome sector podcasts useful. Next month, I’ll feature charity podcasts, with tips and advice on how to start one for your own charity.

Kirsty Marrins is a digital communications consultant

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