It all started when…


Seeking L.A.’s most innovative and high-impact nonprofit organizations


Applications Due: Monday november 19th, 5pm pst

 Applications must be submitted online:


Over $40,000 in awards and the chance to tell your story to an audience of hundreds, including representatives from major foundations, corporations and the community.

Fast Pitch is a free 10-week communication skills training program for nonprofits that are creating lasting social change in Greater Los Angeles. This year, it culminates on March 21, 2019 at the Wilshire Ebell Theater.  The program trains nonprofit leaders to powerfully communicate their story, and connects them with leaders in the business, philanthropic, and nonprofit communities who help them achieve their goals.  

Leaders from 12 organizations will be selected to participate based on the degree to which their approaches to pressing issues give them a competitive advantage to significantly increase social impact.  Past participants have described the program as invaluable – resulting in greater confidence and effectiveness when presenting, increased exposure for their organization, important new relationships, and additional support from donors and volunteers.

At the Fast Pitch Showcase event, up to 12 presenters will make three-minute pitches to a panel of judges and an audience of approximately 500 philanthropic, business, civic, and nonprofit leaders, competing to win awards totaling over $40,000.  Audience  members and the nonprofit presenters will be able to meet and connect during an interactive showcase reception.

Past prize winners include Youth Movement Against Alzheimer’s, FreeFrom, 2nd Call, Flintridge Center, Swipes, Wolf Connection, New Earth, Young Invincibles, First Place for Youth, Gumball Foundation, Food Forward, and many others.  


Innovative nonprofit organizations are finding creative, effective ways to deliver lasting social impact.  Leaders of these organizations have a vision for solving social issues rather than simply alleviating the symptoms.  We look for organizations who meet the following criteria: 

  • They are entrepreneurial, resourceful, and focused on long-term outcomes.  

  • They create elegant solutions to complex social problems.

  • They design new, non-obvious approaches to improve products or services or deliver them to new populations in ways that society does not expect.

  • They may be employing advanced technologies, leveraging collaborations with other nonprofits, or applying promising business models to create earned income or employment.

  • They generate greater social return than the status quo through better outcomes and/or more cost-effective solutions. 

SVPLA believes that diversity creates a rich learning environment, and we seek to build a cohort of leaders that reflects the diversity of race, ethnicity, gender expression, age, ability, and sexual orientation here in Los Angeles.



Social Venture Partners builds powerful relationships among people who want to give back and the nonprofits that make change possible.  We are a diverse group of individual donors (“Partners”) – business people, entrepreneurs and nonprofit leaders – who combine our skills, resources and networks to help nonprofits succeed.  We focus our philanthropy on capacity building, and work with you to strengthen your nonprofit and increase your impact in the community.  SVP Los Angeles is a member of the Social Venture Partners network of more than 3,500 engaged donors in 40 cities globally.  For more information, visit


  • Nonprofit organization Applicants must be IRS-designated 501(c)3 organizations or fiscally sponsored. Individuals are not eligible.

  • Location Nonprofits must have significant operations in, and impact benefiting, residents of L.A. County. Organizations may be based outside of Los Angeles but preference will be given to organizations that are headquartered here. 

  • Presenter Individuals presenting on behalf of their organization must hold the title of Executive Director, CEO, Founder, or equivalent position with significant organizational decision-making responsibility, and should have at least six (6) months of tenure with the organization. Presenters should work or live in L.A. County in order to utilize the coaching resources available to them.

  • Size/Budget There are no restrictions based on organizational size, budget or age of organization.

  • Cost There is no fee for selected nonprofit presenters to participate in the program.

  • Alumni Prior applicants who were not selected may reapply; but organizations and/or individuals who previously participated in any portion of the Fast Pitch coaching process are not eligible to apply.



A team of SVP Partners will assess applications based on the following criteria:

  • Social Problem – The social problem that the applicant organization is trying to solve is clearly understood, as well as why they do what they do, and as who is affected by their work.

  • Organization and Programs – Clearly articulates what the organization does and how they do it.

  • Innovation in service of greater impact The approach to solving the social problem demonstrates an approach that leads to more dramatic long-term results than other, conventional models or practices. Innovation can come in many forms: new products or services, new ways of delivering services, applying technology creatively, or new business models or collaborations. If the idea isn't new, the organization should share how they are a refreshing change from the usual approach.

  • Potential for significant societal impact – The organization addresses a pressing social issue in Los Angeles County. Metrics are being used to assess long-term outcomes, not just outputs or activities.  Organization shows signs that progress has been made towards goals.

  • Leadership – The organization leadership possesses relevant experience and is deemed likely to succeed.



  • We are looking for presenters who are committed to the process during the program timeline. Therefore, presenters must attend all of the program dates outlined below.

  • If you have a known conflict with any of the program dates, please contact SVP to discuss prior to applying to the program. Absences will be taken into consideration when selecting finalists.

  • 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 feedback and coaching from SVPLA coaches, who span the private, nonprofit, and public sectors.

  • 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 4 hours a week working on their pitch outside of the group sessions.  Many past participants reported spending significantly more time.


  • Applications must be submitted online through our website, by November 19th at 5pm.

  • An SVPLA Selection Committee will review all submissions, and invite a total cohort of 12 organizations to participate.

  • The 12 organizations will participate in group coaching sessions and receive one-on-one mentoring between sessions. This process will help participants to distill the key elements of their message into a three-minute pitch.  Participants will have access to valuable strategic advice and resources, and have the opportunity to cultivate ongoing relationships.

  • The final Showcase Event on March 21st will be a platform for all 12 participating organizations to present and attract cash and in-kind awards. In previous years, SVPLA invited 20 organizations to participate in the 2 month coaching process, then selecting only the top 10 strongest participants to present on stage at the final Showcase event. This year, there will be no elimination process – all 12 organizations who are invited to apply are able to pitch on stage as long as they are ‘pitch ready’.

  • Participants will have the opportunity to practice their pitch at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre before the evening of the showcase event.



  • Monday, November 19th, 5:00pm: Deadline for applications

  • By December 14th: Applicants notified of outcome      

  • Tuesday, January 15th: Orientation Workshop, 10am – 2:30pm, DTLA

  • Tuesday, January 29th: Coaching Session #1, 10am – 2:30pm, DTLA

  • Tuesday, February 12th: Coaching Session #2, 10am – 2:30pm, DTLA

  • Tuesday, February 26th : Coaching Session #3, 10am – 2:30pm, DTLA

  • Tuesday, March 12th: Rehearsal at Wilshire Ebell, 10am – 2:30pm, Wilshire Ebell Theatre


  • Read the questions in the application HERE and familiarize yourself with the application form.

  • Submit the application here by Monday, November 19th by 5pm. We encourage you to submit early.

  • We will notify you by email as soon as we have received your application and will let you know whether you’ve been selected into the program or not by December 14th.                                            



We encourage you to reach out if you have questions about eligibility, program participation requirements, the application or other questions. You can also join us for an informational webinar on Wednesday October 24th at 10:30am PST, to learn more about Fast Pitch and how to apply. CONTACT: Sharon Stratton