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Social Venture Partners created the Advance San Diego program to provide training, coaching, and cash awards to nonprofit organizations in our community. Modeled on”fast pitch” venture capital funding competitions, Advance San Diego is designed to advance positive social change by helping nonprofit organizations define and measure their impact and tell their story in a more compelling way. By participating, nonprofit organizations more effectively raise the funds needed to build their capacity, increase their community impact, and transform more lives.

How it works

  • Nonprofit organizations submit an application to participate in one of three impact segments: STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), Military and their Families, Youth and the Arts.
  • 30 nonprofit organizations are selected to participate in two training workshops to prepare for the competition, helping organizations to define their impacts and tell their stories.
  • Mentors from the community are assigned to each organization to help executive directors to hone their pitch.
  • Participants will pitch their stories to SVP San Diego Partners at a live semi-finals event. Partners will narrow the pool to 12 finalists (4 finalists per impact segment).
  • 12 finalists will present their 3-minute pitches to a panel of judges and an audience of 500 funders, business and nonprofit leaders, and community members on October 8. They will compete for $72,500 in cash awards!

Before and after the competition, attendees will have the opportunity to interact and network with the nonprofit participants to learn more about their mission, needs, and opportunities for support and engagement.

Advance SD 137

Advance San Diego 2014 is scheduled for October 8 and will feature nonprofit organizations or social enterprises in three competition segments: STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), Military and their Families, and Youth and the Arts. Learn more about our Impact Segments!

Advance San Diego 2014 by the Numbers

  • 30 semi-finalists competing for cash awards and in-kind services to make a lasting difference in San Diego;
  • 2 workshops designed to help participants define their impacts and tell their stories;
  • 12 finalists to compete at one thrilling event;
  • 36 minutes of electrifying competition;
  • $82,500 in cash awards!


Military and their Families 

Armed Services YMCA

Biocom Institute

Flying Leatherneck Historical Foundation

San Diego County Medical Society Foundation

Operation Homefront-CA

P.O.W. San Diego

Resounding Joy, Inc.

The Rosie Network

Support the Enlisted Project

Veterans Association of North County



Deepblue Worlds, Inc.

Education Synergy Alliance

Expanding Your Horizons

The Kid’s College

The League of Extraordinary Scientists and Engineers

Ocean Discovery Institute

Parent Institute for Quality Education

San Diego Archaeology Center

San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum

San Diego Science Alliance


Youth and the Arts

The AjA Project

Arms Wide Open

Dancing After School

East County Youth Symphony

Karen Organization of San Diego

Mainly Mozart

Musicians for Education

Outside the Lens

San Diego Children’s Choir

San Diego Civic Youth Ballet


Social Venture Partners (SVP) is seeking mentors to coach nonprofits and social enterprises in our 3rd annual Advance San Diego program.IMG_3683

Mentor Profile

Mentors should have a strong desire to hone their skills, give back to the community, and make a truly lasting impact on a San Diego nonprofit organization. They should also have educational or professional experience in the following areas:

  • Business or Nonprofit Consulting
  • Fundraising
  • Nonprofit Development
  • Communications
  • Marketing
  • Philanthropy
  • Strategic Planning
  • Those mentors working with our STEM participants should have experience in the fields of science, technology, engineering or math.

Read the complete Mentor Brochure for more details!

How to Apply

If you would like to be a mentor for the 2014 program, please review the Mentor Brochure and application. All responses should be emailed to advance@sdsvp.org. You do not need to complete the form, just include the relevant information in the body of the email.

Advance San Diego would not be possible without the generous support of our sponsors and program p

artners. For more information on how you can become an ASD sponsor, please contact Kristina at advance@sdsvp.org.


 Award Sponsors






Program Sponsors






Parker Foundation Logo

BKF Logo



The Gumpert Foundation

The Syran Family


Program Partners






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Workshop I:

Workshop I: Crafting Your Pitch


First Things First (Tom Iselin)


Upcoming Dates:

August 26 – Workshop II: Outputs vs. Outcomes (9:00am – 12:00pm)

September 11 – Semi-final Live Pitch Event (2:30 – 5:00 pm)

October 8 – Advance San Diego Final Event (5:00pm)


12 finalists. 36 minutes of electrifying competition. $72,500 in cash awards. You won’t want to miss it!


What: Advance San Diego Final Event

When: October 8, 2014 at 5:00 pm

Where: Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, La Jolla


Early-bird tickets for this exciting event are available now through September 17th.

General Admission: $55 (after 9/17 – $75)
*Includes food and drink

VIP Admission: $100 (after 9/17 – $125)
*Includes food, drinks, valet parking, and preferred seating