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Fascinating Podcasts on Fundraising & Philanthropy

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As a voracious podcast consumer, I’m always excited when one of my favorite podcasters does an episode about philanthropy and fundraising. Sure, there are lots of podcasts out there devoted to the topic but I think what delights me is that these issues are being heard by a more general audience. Maybe it will reduce the number of people who ask, “So…What, exactly, do you DO?”


b2ap3_thumbnail_backstory-logo.pngWhat Gives? Generosity in America

Backstory with the American History Guys

Episode Description: Tis the season for giving. And on this episode, we’re going to give you the history of that. The stories we’re working on explore gifts in the American past and consider how ideas about charity, philanthropy and generosity have changed over the centuries. Sometimes, it paid to be poor — but not too poor. In earlier days, philanthropy had humble aims: to foster community and put the idea of charity out of business. Along the way, we’ll also look the questionable notion of the “free gift,” the idea of reciprocity in Native cultures, and the back story to the Salvation Army Santas.


b2ap3_thumbnail_psycfiles.jpgThe Psychology of Fundraising

The Psych Files

Episode Description: How do you use psychology persuasion techniques to get people to contribute to your cause? We’ll look at how Robert Cialdini‘s ideas about persuasion can be applied to fundraising and we’ll look at other topics you may have studied in a psychology class: goal setting, bystander apathy, and the need to generate excitement in order to persuade people to part with their money (social contagion). I’ll also look at the ethics of all this. Is it okay to use these strategies on people? When is it not okay?


How to Raise Money Without Killing a Kittenb2ap3_thumbnail_freakonomics.jpg

Freakonomics Radio

Episode Description: In this podcast you’ll hear the economist John List give us the gospel of fundraising — what works, what doesn’t, and why. List and economist Uri Gneezy write about the science of charitable giving in their new book The Why Axis: Hidden Motives and the Undiscovered Economics of Everyday Life


I was Just Trying to Helpb2ap3_thumbnail_tam.png

This American Life

Episode Description: Act One: Money for Nothing and Your Cows for Free - Planet Money reporters David Kestenbaum and Jacob Goldstein went to Kenya to see the work of a charity called GiveDirectly in action. Instead of funding schools or wells or livestock, GiveDirectly has decided to just give money directly to the poor people who need it, and let them decide how to spend it. David and Jacob explain whether this method of charity works, and why some people think it's a terrible idea


Philanthropy: Humankind and Loving Itb2ap3_thumbnail_stuffknow.jpg

Stuff You Should Know

Episode Description: Sure the fatcats get all the credit for donating millions, but did you know US households making $20,000 or less contribute the highest percentage of their income to charity? Learn more (not to mention a sexy look at the U.S. tax code) in this episode.


Were the Robber Barons America’s greatest philanthropists?b2ap3_thumbnail_stuffhistory.jpg

Stuff You Missed in History Class

Episode Description: Although America's robber barons are often viewed in negative terms, they left a philanthropic legacy that continues today. Learn more about philanthropy and charity -- as well as the difference between the two -- in this podcast from


The Special Philanthropy Issueb2ap3_thumbnail_slate.jpg

Slate Money

Episode Description: On this week's episode of Slate Money, host Felix Salmon of Fusion, Jesse Eisinger of ProPublica, and Rob Reich of Stanford University discuss transactional philanthropy at Lincoln Center, the boom in family foundations, and ProPublica's investigation of the Red Cross.

For me, fundraising and communications go together like peanut butter and jelly – delicious & filling!

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