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SVP International

Selection Criteria

Twenty nonprofit leaders will be selected to participate in the Fast Pitch competition. 


  • Nonprofit organization – Applicants must submit their designation from the IRS as a 501(c)3 organization or proof of fiscal sponsorship along with their application no later than October 28, 2016. Individuals are not eligible.
  • Location – Nonprofits must have significant operations in and impact benefitting residents of Maricopa County. Organizations may be based outside of Maricopa County but preference will be given to organizations that are headquartered here.
  • Innovator (Innovator) – Individuals presenting on behalf of their organization must hold the title of Executive Director, CEO, Founder, Board Member, Chief Development Officer or equivalent and should have at least six (6) months of tenure with the organization. Innovators should work or live in Maricopa County in order to utilize the coaching resources available to them.
  • Board Approval – A signed letter of approval to participate will be required from the organization’s Board Chair AND the participant agreeing to committed participation, including time commitment.
  • 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.
  • Alumni – Prior applicants who were not selected as a participant or finalist may reapply; but organizations and/or individuals who were selected as a “Finalist” in previous years are not eligible to reapply.

A team of SVP Partners score the applications on the following 5 criteria:

  • Social Problem – It is understood what social problem this organization is trying to solve, why they do what they do, and who is affected by their work.
  • Organization and Programs – Clearly articulates what the organization does and how they do it.
  • Innovation – The approach to solving the social problem is novel or unique. The innovation leads to more dramatic long-term results than other, more conventional models or practices.
  • 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. Organization shows signs that progress has been made towards goals.
  • Wow! Factor – The organization’s idea/program presented is exciting and inspiring.



  • Each participant will be required to include a signed letter of Participation/Time Commitment Approval, from their Board President/Chair, AND it must also be signed by them committing to the program.
  • We are looking for nonprofit innovators who are committed to the time and process throughout the program. Therefore, innovators must attend the following sessions:
    • Fast Pitch Fundamentals A Pre-Training Workshop Event
    • Social Meet & Greet
    • Initial Orientation Workshop
    • Three Group Coaching/Mentoring Clinics
    • Dress Rehearsal
    • Showcase Event

If you have a known conflict, please contact SVP to discuss prior to applying to the program. Absences could affect the innovator’s selection as a finalist.

  • Utilize the group coaching sessions and coaches assigned to mentor 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.
  • In order 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.




Program Details