Fast Pitch Tucson 2019
Submission Deadline07/12/2019

FAST PITCH TUCSONCompelling stories, powerful returns

  • Seeking Tucson’s most innovative and high-impact nonprofit organizations
  • Free two-month long communication skills training and mentoring program
  • Thousands of dollars in awards and the chance to tell your story to an audience of hundreds, including representatives from major foundations, corporations and other donors


  • Applications will be accepted from Monday, June 10, until 6 p.m. on Friday, July 12


FAST PITCH TUCSON is a free two-month communication skills training program for nonprofits that are creating lasting social change in the greater Tucson area. The program trains nonprofit professionals to powerfully communicate their story, and connects them with leaders in the business, philanthropic, and nonprofit communities who can help them achieve their goals.

Professionals from 15 organizations will be selected to participate based on the degree to which their approaches to pressing issues give them a competitive advantage to significantly increase social impact. Past participants in Fast Pitch across the country have described the program as invaluable – resulting in greater confidence and effectiveness when presenting, increased exposure for their organization, important new relationships, and additional support from donors and volunteers.

This year, it culminates in the Fast Pitch Showcase to be held on Nov. 7, 2019. Up to seven finalists will make three‐minute pitches to a panel of judges and an audience of hundreds of philanthropic, business, civic, and nonprofit leaders, competing to win cash awards. The program and Showcase reception will be held at the Leo Rich Theater in the Tucson Convention Center at 260 S. Church Avenue. 



  • Creating a commercial kitchen space where small business food entrepreneurs can go through a structured program to develop and grow their business. This growth helps to stimulate the local economy and helps a small business owner living on the edge create financial stability in their personal life.
  • Detained adults and unaccompanied children having access to free legal and social services that could help them through the process of dealing with pending immigration removal proceedings in Arizona.
  • A new education initiative dedicated to re-imaging the relationship between our schools and the community by creating a system where educators connect with local community partners to bring the real-world into the classroom. These learning exchanges help students see real-world application of their studies and increase the community’s understanding of and personal connection to our education system.

These are just some of the innovative solutions to society’s problems presented in past years at Fast Pitch here in Tucson. Nonprofit organizations are using limited resources in creative and effective ways to deliver lasting social impact. Leaders of these organizations have a vision for solving social issues rather than simply alleviating the symptoms.

Successful applicants exhibit one or more of the following characteristics: 

  • They are entrepreneurial, resourceful, and focused on long-term outcomes.  
  • They create solutions to complex social problems
  • They design new, non-obvious approaches to improve products or services or deliver them to new populations in ways that society does not expect.
  • They may be employing advanced technologies, leveraging collaborations with other nonprofits, or applying promising business models such as social enterprises to create earned income or employment.
  • They generate greater social return than the status quo through better outcomes and/or more cost-effective solutions. 

Social Venture Partners Tucson is seeking such nonprofit organizations to participate in the Fast Pitch program.  


Social Venture Partners builds powerful relationships among people who want to give back and the nonprofits that make change possible.  We are a diverse group of individual donors (“Partners”) – business people, entrepreneurs and nonprofit leaders – who combine our skills, resources and networks to help nonprofits succeed.  We focus our philanthropy on capacity building, and work with you to strengthen your nonprofit and increase your impact in the community.  SVP Tucson is a member of the Social Venture Partners network of more than 3,400 engaged donors in 40 cities globally.  For more information, visit  

Please reserve the following dates and times, when submitting your Fast Pitch application.

All dates are mandatory for Fast Pitch Participants. 

  • Mentor/Participant Meet and Greet: Thursday, Sept. 12, 4-7 p.m.
  • Mentor/Participant Orientation Workshop: Thursday, Sept. 19, 7:30 a.m. to noon
  • Three Participant Practice Sessions: Wednesday, Sept. 25, Thursday Oct. 10 and Wednesday Oct. 23, 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. 
  • Mentor Appreciation Event: TBD
  • Dress Rehearsal for Finalists Only: Friday, Nov. 1, 9:30 a.m.-11 a.m.
  • Fast Pitch Event for all Participants: Thursday, Nov. 7, 4:30-9 p.m. 


  • Nonprofit organization – Applicants must provide their 501(c)(3) Employer Identification Number (EIN). Both multi and single program organizations are encouraged to apply. If applying from an organization with many programs you will be asked to identify which program you plan to focus on or if you plan to apply with an umbrella idea covering all or most of your programming.
  • Service Area – Organization may be based outside of Tucson but must have significant operations and impact in Pima County. Preference will be given to organizations headquartered here in Tucson.
  • Presenter – Individuals presenting on behalf of their organizations should have at least six (6) months of tenure with the organization, be a key employee and/or senior staff member. 
  • Size – There are no restrictions based on organizational size, budget or age of organization.
  • Cost – There is no fee to participate in the program or for finalists who present at the event.
  • Funding Restrictions- SVP will not consider requests from individuals, public school districts or their schools, pure sports team, or any other organization that discriminates based on religion, race, sexual orientation, gender, age, marital status, national origin, or physical ability, or programs that promote specific religious activities or beliefs.


A team of SVP Partners, former nonprofit leaders and community representatives will  score the applications on the following 5 criteria:

  1. Social Problem – The applicant clearly articulated the social problem they are trying to solve.
  2. Organization and Programs – Clearly articulates what the organization does and how they do it.
  3. Innovation – The approach to solving the social problem leads to more dramatic long-term results than other, more conventional models or practices.
  4. Potential for significant societal impact – The organization addresses the root of the problem rather than only the symptoms. Metrics are being used to assess long-term outcomes, not just outputs or activities.  
  5. Wow! Factor – The organization’s idea/program is exciting and inspiring.


We are looking for participants who are committed to the process during the program timeline. Therefore, presenters must attend the following sessions:

  • Mentor/Participant Meet and Greet- Thursday, Sept. 12, 4 - 7pm
  • Mentor/Participant Orientation Workshop – Thursday, Sept. 19, 7:30 a.m. to noon
  • Four 3-hour Group Participant Practice Sessions – Wednesday: Sept. 25,  Thursday Oct. 10 and Wednesday Oct. 23, 8 – 11 a.m.  and
  • For finalists a dress rehearsal on Friday, Nov. 1, 9:30 a.m. - 11 a.m.
  • For larger organizations with multiple programs, it is highly recommended that a specific program is the focus of the "pitch"
  • If you have a known conflict, please contact SVP to discuss prior to applying to the program. Absences could affect the presenter’s selection as a finalist.
  • Utilize the group practice sessions and mentors assigned to coach you to produce a crisp, engaging three-minute presentation of the organization’s mission, distinctive approach, impact and “the ask.”
  • Be open to advice and coaching by business and community leaders.
  • Understand that a good pitch is about more than just asking for money and one must be able to articulate how people can help the organization through volunteering, making connections, or providing other in-kind support.
  • To benefit from the program, participants should plan to spend a minimum of 2 hours a week working on their pitch outside of the group sessions.  Many past participants reported spending significantly more time.


  • Applications will be accepted begining Monday, June 10th and ending at 6 pm on Friday, July 12th
  • All applications must be submitted online through the website.
  • The Selection Committee will review all submissions, and, based on the submissions and possible fact-checking or other follow-up, will invite approximately 15 organizations to participate.
  • These 15 semi-finalists will attend a presentation training workshop and have one week to prepare for the first group coaching session.
  • The semi-finalists will participate in three group coaching sessions and receive one-on-one mentoring between sessions. This process will help them to distill the key elements of their message into a three-minute presentation.  They will have access to valuable strategic advice and resources, and will have the opportunity to cultivate ongoing relationships.
  • The Selection Committee will select up to 7 finalists to present at the event and compete for cash and in-kind awards.
  • During the dress rehearsal the finalists will have one additional group coaching session.
  • Additional program information and FAQs can be found on our website:


  • Monday, June 10
    • Applications open
  • Friday, July 12, 6 p.m.
    • Deadline for applications
  • By Thursday, August 29
    • Semi-finalists notified of selection
  • Thursday, September 12th
    • Mentor/Participant Meet and Greet
    • 4 - 7 p.m., CF Campus
  • Thursday, September 19
    • Presentation Workshop
    • 7:30 a.m.– noon, CF Campus
  • Wednesday, September 25
    • Practice Session #1
    • 8:00 – 11:00 a.m., Gadabout
  • Thursday, October 10
    • Practice Session #2
    • 8:00 – 11:00 a.m., Gadabout
  • Wednesday, October 23
    • Practice Session #3
    • 8:00 – 11:00 a.m., Gadabout
    • Celebratory Lunch
    • 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. 
  • Monday, October 28
    • Seven Finalists notified of selection
  • Friday, November 1
    • Dress Rehearsal (Only for Finalists)
    • 9:30 – 11:00am, Leo Rich Theater
  • Thursday, November 7
    • 4:30- 9:00 p.m., Fast Pitch Showcase,
    • Leo Rich Theater in the Tucson Convention Center
    • Event tickets on sale on Thursday, Sept. 12th
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