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What is Fast Pitch?

Fast Pitch is a free, two-month communications training and mentoring program for innovative nonprofits that are effecting social change in Chicago that culminates in the Fast Pitch showcase in May.

Nine nonprofit leaders are selected to participate based on the outsized potential impact of their organization in their communities. These leaders receive training and mentoring from a team of two SVP Chicago partners who will coach them over the course of two months on how to “tell their story” in a powerful and compelling way.

The program culminates in a high energy, rapid-fire showcase event during which the nonprofit leaders share the mission, vision and impact of their organization with the audience  – in just three minutes!

Fast Pitch not only allows each nonprofit the chance to promote their own organization, but fosters relationship building and community amongst participants, donors, community leaders, and SVP Chicago partners. The network created from the SVP Chicago Fast Pitch program has the potential to increase sponsorship as well as board and volunteer support for each featured organization.

Fast Pitch has large fundraising potential as audience participants and sponsors are encouraged to fundraise before and during the hybrid event. Outside of the Fast Pitch program, each nonprofit may receive organization-building support on a specific project.

Why participate?

  • The Fast Pitch program helps nonprofit leaders craft and deliver a compelling 3-minute pitch.
    • Succinctly capture someone’s interest to open the door to a longer conversation.
    • Develop key messages that can be used across communications platforms.
    • Improve public speaking skills.
  • Participant organizations will receive exposure to a crowd of more than 300, including business and community leaders – reach potential new board members, donors, volunteers, and recommenders.

Participating in SVP Chicago’s Fast Pitch changed how we talk about our organization. Working with my coaches, I was able to crystalize our messaging to go beyond talking about the programs and, instead, focusing on telling our story more broadly. The program also gave me access to SVP’s network of partners which has led to pro bono organization building support and more. This helped us to gain national media coverage on the Today Show, 60 Second Docs, Steve Harvey on Watch, New York Times, Forbes, and many others. Furthermore, our revenue has grown significantly from the time we started the program to now, which I attribute to our improved messaging. While the program is a time commitment, the value I received and continue to receive was well worth it.” –  Quilen Blackwell, President & Co-founder, Chicago Eco House – Fast Pitch 2021

What level of time commitment is expected of me as a representative of my organization?

As a participant for one of 9 organizations selected for the Fast Pitch program, you will be expected to attend three practice pitches prior to the showcase on May 12, 2022. You can anticipate a weekly commitment of approximately 4-5 hours to practice with your coaches and prepare for each pitch.

It is important to us that all organizations who are accepted into the program are compensated for their time. As such, each nonprofit leader who completes the program is given a small unrestricted grant. See the links below for more information and to apply. For additional questions about the program, please contact Shelby Roller.


Eligibility Requirements & Selection Criteria

Apply to Participate – Applications for the 2022 Fast Pitch program are now closed.

Tickets for our 2022 Fast Pitch Showcase are now available!