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SVP Fast Pitch Jumpstart Workshop: Marketing, Sales, and Social Impact

Posted by Bryce Merrill
Andrea Gates Sanford speaks at the third Jumpstart clinic: Marketing, Sales, and Social Impact

The third SVP Fast Pitch Jumpstart workshop—Marketing, Sales, and Social Impact—took place at Impact Hub Seattle last Friday, June 27th. SVP Fast Pitch’s three-part “Jumpstart workshop” series is designed to help Social Innovators refine their business plan and practices, help them determine if they should apply to Fast Pitch, and to prepare them for the upcoming competition if they do decide to apply.

Andrea Gates Sanford of She Can DO It LLC and Washington Social Purpose Corporations helped thirty-five attendees refine and focus their marketing strategies and pitches. She also provided insight on how to measure social benefit and set measureable, attainable goals.

“My major takeaway from this workshop is that my message needs to be shorter at this point. If you can break down your message into 30 seconds, you can then build it back up to 5 minutes for an effective Fast Pitch” –Eric Renn of SoDo Makerspace, a creative space with tools that empowers consumers by providing training and equipment to turn them into producers.

“The primary way in which this clinic helped me was the extensive feedback I received from my peers”—Stan Kehl of Eastside Legal Assistance Program, a nonprofit which provides free, high-quality legal service to domestic violence victims and low-income households.

Key lessons

The first and most important step in designing a marketing strategy is to clearly define the goals of the company or organization. This may take the shape of a mission statement or vision, but should help focus your marketing materials and pitches.

Working at SVP Fast Pitch social impact

Another important consideration in maximizing the impact of a marketing campaign is to consider how people will retell your story. If people can easily relate to your message, they will make it their own, and it will spread exponentially faster than it would if nobody retold it. Conversely, avoid any widespread controversial opinions, because how people talk about your organization or company will define it in the public eye.

In addition to teaching effective marketing strategies, Andrea covered a wide variety of ways to measure social impact, including many third party metrics such as B Labs, GRI, DJSI, CDP, and SPC. Each of these organizations measure social impact slightly differently, and social innovators are encourage to utilize whichever one best suits their company or organization.


The workshop’s attendees

Thirty-five social innovators, including 14 who intend to apply to Fast Pitch, attended.

Attendees practice pitching to each other in the Jumpstart clinic: Marketing, Sales, and Social Impact.

Some social innovators are still in the idea stage, such as Scott McCready, who has plans for creating a nonprofit organization that would collect and utilize info on the users of service providers and social workers. This would help level the playing field, as currently a minority of people in need are utilizing the majority of benefits, leaving many people unable to access the services they deserve. Another promising idea is Olivia Johnson’s tentatively-named Ross Park Clothing Company. This would be the first ever “slow fashion” company, drawing on many of the successful practices of the slow food movement. Costumers would receive higher-quality clothing through the hand-tailoring and hand-maintenance of each garment, and currently underpaid refugee and immigrant seamstresses would receive wages and work more fitting to their skills.

On the other hand, Brian McDonald of SOURCERER, an already up-and-running menu-based web platform that facilitates peer-to-peer and business-to-business food distribution, intends to apply to Fast Pitch this year. Eric Renn and Jon Madamba of SoDo Makerspace, already mentioned above, also intend to apply to Fast Pitch in order to add a entrepreneurship incubator on to the Makerspace, which is itself expected to open August 9th.

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