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Frequently Asked Questions

 8E2A4755What is a “Fast Pitch”?

A “Fast Pitch” is a high-energy,  quick-fire presentation where social entrepreneurs share the mission, vision, promise, and model of their organization – all in under three minutes! Presenters must be succinct, compelling, polished and passionate. Fast Pitch competitions have proven popular in the for-profit / start-up sector, and the idea has been adapted for this program. Cash grants and prizes will be awarded at the event to the best presenters.

 

What will happen at the Fast Pitch event?

The program culminates in a fast-paced competition event designed to inspire and engage all of Tucson in the process of positive change in our community. Seven finalists share their organization’s mission, model, results, and their “ask” with an audience of philanthropic, business, civic, and nonprofit leaders and a panel of high-profile judges. Thousands of dollars in grants will be awarded the night of the event.

The Fast Pitch event will dive right into what the audience comes for – the pitches! After the pitches and judges’ feedback, the audience will vote for their favorites and enjoy an inspiring keynote speaker, and then all attendees are invited to a showcase reception where they will have the chance to meet the presenters and semi-finalists.

 

Who should attend the Fast Pitch event?

Anyone interested in learning about and supporting innovation in the social sector in Tucson. The event will bring together people from the business, government, academic and nonprofit worlds who want to support a vibrant ecosystem of social change in Tucson.  Through the program, we will expand the network of individuals and organizations that value innovation, accountability and operational stability in top-performing nonprofits. Anyone who seeks to contribute their skills, expertise, finances and connections in ways that contribute to building stronger nonprofit organizations is encouraged to attend.

 

How does the program work?

  • All applications must be submitted online through the website (more information here).
  • The Selection Committee will review all submissions, and, based on the submissions and possible fact checking or other follow-up, will invite 15 semi-finalists to participate.
  • Semi-finalists must attend a Meet and Greet and Orientation Workshop. They then will have approximately one week to prepare for their first practice session.
  • Semi-finalists must attend three group practice sessions, and are strongly encouraged to take advantage of the one-on-one mentoring available to them. This process will help them to distill the key elements of their mission, approach, impact, and needs 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 grants and prizes.
  • Finalists must attend a fourth and final practice session before the event.

 

How do I apply?

The application process follows these steps:

  1. Read the application thoroughly and familiarize yourself with the questions and the other information requested.
  2. Submit the online application.  Completed applications must be submitted before midnight on the due date. You are allowed and encouraged to submit your application early.
  3. We will notify you by email as soon as we have received your application, and we will let you know whether or not you’ve been selected into the program by the end of August.
  4. If you are accepted, you will be required to submit proof of tax-exempt status or fiscal sponsorship to keep your place in the program.

 

What kind of training do the participants receive?

The formal training process is approximately two months long and culminates in the Fast Pitch event. During this time, Participants have access to valuable strategic advice to help them strengthen their organizations, and will have the opportunity to cultivate ongoing relationships and other resources.

The three focus areas for the training program are:

  • Pitch Development Workshop: Semi-finalists will participate in a workshop to learn about the key elements of an effective practice and presentation.
  • Practice Sessions: Semi-finalists practice their pitch in front of a panel of volunteer judges from the business and various other communities who will provide immediate feedback on their presentation.
  • Mentoring & Presentation Development: Semi-finalists will also be assigned to work with two volunteer Mentors who will assist them in distilling the feedback and refining their pitch into a crisp three-minute presentation.

In order to benefit from the program, participants should plan to spend a minimum of 2 hours a week working on their pitch outside the group sessions. Many other Fast Pitch participants reported spending significantly more time.

 

How can I get involved?

There are many ways to show your support of  Fast Pitch.

Sponsors and Partners: This event is not possible without the financial assistance of generous supporters. Donations and grants are tax-deductible and will go toward supporting the program, event, and awards. A variety of sponsor levels are available, and we are also open to discussing creative ways for organizations to partner with us and contribute, including in-kind contributions.  If you are interested in sponsoring this high-profile and high-impact event, please contact John-Peter at (520) 209-2879 or via email. 

Participants: In order to be considered for selection, nonprofits must apply through our website during the open application period.

Mentors: Mentors are an essential part of the training program. Their expertise and savvy help ensure participants develop the skills to effectively communicate their pitch. Mentors attend the four coaching sessions to evaluate and give feedback to the nonprofits on their three-minute pitches. In addition, they will Mentor a nonprofit leader or Participant between sessions to help them refine their pitch. A Meet and Greet and Orientation Workshop will be held for all those involved in the program and there will be additional support for volunteers throughout the process.

 

Who organizes Fast Pitch?

Social Venture Partners  (SVP) Tucson organizes the Fast Pitch program.  We look forward to partnering with a number of leading organizations to market and produce the event. If you’re interested in collaborating or sponsoring Fast Pitch, please contact John-Peter at (520) 209-2879 or via e-mail.