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Seeking Cleveland’s most effective and innovative nonprofit organizations for our showcase of social innovation on February 27, 2020.

bigBANG! will be held at Cleveland Leadership Center’s
Accelerate 2020: Citizens Make Change

Finalists receive:

  • two months of individualized Fast Pitch coaching
  • the chance to tell your story on stage at Cleveland Leadership Center’s Accelerate 2020: Citizens Make Change
  • the opportunity to win cash awards
  • a Fast Pitch video of your live presentation— an excellent marketing tool!
  • professional photograph of your organization’s presenter
  • the opportunity for “Cocktails & Collaboration” with SVP Partners to brainstorm over and offer practical solutions to an important capacity-building challenge facing you

Who should apply: Nonprofit organizations located in Northeast Ohio who are actively employing innovative ideas to address our community’s needs.

Deadline to apply: Monday, December 9 (by midnight)

Important Dates:


ISSUE AREA FOCUS: SVP’s Call for bigBANG! Applications is open to nonprofits that work in any issue area.

INNOVATION & IMPACT IN THE SOCIAL SECTOR: SVP’s bigBANG! is interested in innovative nonprofit organizations that use resources in creative and effective ways to deliver breakthrough social impact. Innovation can involve:

  • novel solutions or concepts that address social needs
  • taking a more efficient, effective, sustainable, or just approach to serving a constituency—especially underrepresented or disadvantaged communities
  • disruption

Note: An applicant can use an approach tried elsewhere first and then brought to Northeast Ohio.


bigBANG! FAST PITCH PROGRAM: Leaders of nonprofits will participate in a free two-month communication skills training program and competition, culminating in the bigBANG! showcase on February 27, 2020 as a part of Cleveland Leadership Center’s Accelerate 2020: Citizens Make Change.

Capacity Building
Through training, feedback, and mentoring from SVP Partners, bigBANG! participants receive a two-month immersive experience. The Fast Pitch program helps each participant:

  • build communication skills
  • communicate their organization’s vision
  • tell their nonprofit’s story
  • gain exposure for their organization, important new relationships, and the potential for additional support from donors and volunteers like community business leaders, venture philanthropists, and social investors

Many in the community want to give time and expertise but don’t have a good outlet or haven’t been asked. bigBANG! bridges this gap by highlighting social innovations and connecting and engaging community members.

What will happen at bigBANG! at Cleveland Leadership Center’s Accelerate 2020: Citizens Make Change?

  • The Fast Pitch: Each finalist will make one four-minute pitch to event attendees.*
  • Prizes will be awarded from SVP, based on the audience vote including a “Most Compelling Presentation” Award.
  • Reception: Attendees and finalists will network and mingle at a reception before the final pitches on the main stage for winners of the breakout sessions.
  • Main Stage: The bigBANG! winner will give their pitch on the main stage to the full audience of 300+.**

*Cleveland Leadership Center’s Accelerate 2020: Citizens Make Change will have seven concurrent pitch competitions in different categories. bigBANG! will feature nonprofit organizations only, while the other categories will have for-profits and start-up ideas from individual entrepreneurs. Event attendees can choose which breakout session to attend.

**The winner of bigBANG! will not be eligible to receive any prizes from The Cleveland Leadership Center (CLC). The bigBANG! winner will give their pitch on the main stage while votes are being counted in CLC’s competition.


Potential for Effective Societal Impact – The organization addresses an important social issue and is making, or is likely to make, a significant impact.

Innovation  The organization’s innovative approach is creating more dramatic results than other approaches. (See more about innovation above.)

Presenter  Individuals presenting on behalf of their organization must hold the title of Executive Director, CEO, founder, or equivalent, and have at least six months of tenure with the organization.  


Nonprofit organization – Applicants must submit their designation from the IRS as a 501(c)(3) organization or proof of fiscal sponsorship.

Operating Model – Nonprofit social enterprises with revenue-generating strategies are also eligible.

Age – Organizations of any age may apply. Start-ups that demonstrate effective leadership, solid plans, and concrete goals are welcome.

Location – Proposals from organizations throughout Northeast Ohio will be considered.

Previous Presenters – Organizations featured in a previous bigBANG! will not be considered.   

SVP does not consider proposals from individuals, organizations that require participation in religious activities, political organizations, pure sports teams, or those organizations that discriminate by race, sexual orientation, gender, age, marital status, national origin, or physical ability.


The Selection Committee is made up of individual SVP Partners who will review all submissions and select finalists to be coached to present a four-minute Fast Pitch at bigBANG!

Finalists will:

  • attend an information session and have approximately two weeks to work with their individual coach and prepare for the first group coaching session
  • participate in weekly group coaching sessions for two months, working with their individual coach in between sessions
  • have a photo taken by SVP for marketing purposes
  • attend bigBANG! at Cleveland Leadership Center’s Accelerate 2020: Citizens Make Change on February 27, 2020


Please complete the form below by Monday, December 9th at midnight. You will receive an email notification once we have received your application. For an editable and printable version of this form, please click here.

bigBANG! Application

Organization Information

Name of Organization

Mailing Address



Zip Code

Executive Director's Name

Main Phone Number

Website Address (optional)

How did you hear about SVP's bigBANG!?

Presenter Contact Information
(for the person who would develop the pitch, attend coaching sessions, and present at the bigBANG! Fast Pitch event on February 27)


Title (Presenters must hold the title of Executive Director, CEO, founder, or equivalent.)


Main Phone Number

Email Address

# years with organization (Presenters must have been with the organization for at least 6 months.)

Additional Contact Information
(for the person who can answer questions about the application)



Main Phone Number

Email Address

Additional Information

Number of paid staff

Number of full-time staff

Number of part-time/contract staff

Number of members of Board of Directors

Number of individuals you serve annually

Tax ID #

Year organization began operating

Geographic area served by your agency

Age range of individuals you serve

Percentage of individuals you serve under the poverty line

Current fiscal year (2020) expected income

Current fiscal year (2020) expected expenses

Fast Pitch Coaching Sessions
Coaching Sessions will be weekly starting in January. Presenters will also meet with their coach one-on-one in between sessions. Attending the group coaching sessions builds valuable networking among the presenters and provides vital feedback from a wide range of coaches. In anticipation of becoming a finalist, please add the following dates to your calendar.

In order to be eligible, the presenter will need to attend all, or nearly all, the sessions during this two-month span.

Please indicate any existing conflicts by checking the boxes below next to the dates that your Fast Pitch presenter cannot attend.

Information Session, 1/8/20, 4 - 5:30 pm

Session 1, 1/22/20, 4 - 5:30 pm

Session 2, 1/29/20, 4 - 5:30 pm

Session 3, 2/5/20, 4 - 5:30 pm

Session 4, 2/12/20, 4 - 5:30 pm

Session 5, 2/19/20, 4 - 5:30 pm

bigBANG! 2/27/20, 4 - 10 pm

If there is a session that your presenter cannot attend, please explain why.

Please provide a reference for your organization.



Reference's Pronouns

Job Title & Company

Connection to Organization

Phone Number

Email Address

Please upload the following documents*:

Organization Narrative
Please answer the following questions in a single document. (We suggest the entire “Organizational Narrative” document be between 300 and 1,000 words.)

1. Whom do you serve?

2. What important social issue do you tackle?

3. Give one example of how an individual might use your services.

4. What are you doing that is more effective than other organizations working on the same issue?

Innovation Narrative

Please describe how you are innovative in a single document. (We suggest the entire “Innovation Narrative” document be between 300 and 1,000 words.)

See the application guidelines above for more information on innovation.

Equity Narrative

Equity is one of SVP’s priorities. In a single document, please describe the chief ways you address questions of equity, especially racial equity. You could include things like your programming, onboarding, target audiences, staffing, strategic planning, etc. (The “Equity Narrative” document does not have a suggested word limit.)

There are many definitions of equity. Here’s one we like from Equity in the Center*:

"The guarantee of fair treatment, access, opportunity, and advancement while at the same time striving to identify and eliminate barriers that have prevented the full participation of some groups. The principle of equity acknowledges that there are historically underserved and underrepresented populations, and that fairness regarding these unbalanced conditions is needed to assist equality in the provision of effective opportunities to all groups."

*Definition of “equity” is from Equity in the Center which cites “Diversity & Inclusion Definitions,” University of Manitoba: Human Resources Diversity & Inclusion, 2017.

For more on how SVP understands equity, please see the Equity section of our website here.

Copy of your IRS 501(c)(3) letter of not-for-profit status or proof of fiscal sponsorship

Copy of your current-year budget

Copy of financial statements for 2019

If you do not have audited or reviewed financial statements, please upload compiled financial statements or internally prepared financial statements.

Copy of financial statements for 2018, if applicable

If you do not have audited or reviewed financial statements, please upload compiled financial statements or internally prepared financial statements.

Most recent IRS Form 990, if available

Resume or bio of the Presenter

Note: If a document is too large to attach to this form, please email it to grants@svpcle.org and upload a brief memo to this form noting that you sent it separately.