Social Venture Partners Fast Pitch


The Social Venture Partners of Sacramento (SVP) are corporate executives, community leaders, volunteers, philanthropists, parents – a network of local partners connecting passion and purpose. SVP sees the chasm between the challenges we face today as a society and the way we engage those challenges. Since its inception in 2008, SVP has united the power of the business community with the passion of the nonprofit world.

This grant opportunity is closed.

Please note that the requirements articulated below were developed for a previous round of the grant opportunity. Details for future rounds may differ.

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The SVP Sacramento Fast Pitch process is a four-month training and mentoring program for innovative nonprofits effecting change in the broad category of education in the greater Sacramento region, culminating into the Fast Pitch Competition and Showcase in March 2020. Modeled after other efforts in Los Angeles, New York, and Boston, Fast Pitch brings to Sacramento a venture capital-like “pitch stage” where innovative nonprofits focused on improving area education outcome will share their achievements.

The program culminates in a “Fast Pitch” competition – a high-energy, fast-moving, quick-fire presentation event. Organizations share their work, how they differentiate from others working in their space, their impact, and success stories with the audience and judges–each in under three minutes! Participants are eligible to win prize money and in-kind support, with winners selected by audience and judging panel vote.

For last year's process video, with coaches and nonprofits giving perspective on the process, please click here.

  • Maintain tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code or provide evidence of fiscal sponsorship.
  • Reside or provide services in one of the following geographical service areas: Sacramento, Yolo, Placer, El Dorado, Sutter, and Yuba counties.
  • Dedicated staff member with title of: Executive Director/CEO, Development Director, or Program Director must be willing to participate as point person through entire process.  

  • Nonprofit mission or project is educationally focused (includes mentoring and preparation for or return to work, does not have to focus on education for K-12 though it certainly can) serving one or more of the following populations: Pre-K, Youth (K-12) in school or outside of the classroom, Post-secondary education, Addressing an issue proven to increase level of educational attainment (i.e., sports for youth, mentoring programs beyond school day, etc.), Adult education. 

  • Differentiation from other organizations solving the same or a similar stated problem OR differentiation of delivery of programming, allowing organization to serve more individuals. 

  • Collaboration: not required to participate, but a demonstrated record of collaborative effort(s) with other agencies within the community will be considered by the application review committee.  

  • Able to dedicate a minimum of 50 hours to the process, from November 2019 - March 2020 (most participants report 60-80 hours total). 



Application Opens

September 2, 2019

Applications Due

October 4, 2019 (5:00 PM)

Committee Review

October 18, 2019                     

Cohort selected

November 4, 2019

Cohort commitment forms due 

November 2019

Data Workshop & Process Intro

December 2, 2019

Strategy/Messaging Workshop & 

Coach Networking Session 

December 16, 2019

Voice & Movement Session

January 6, 2020

Mandatory Pitch Sessions 

Please hold all dates

January 13, 2020 | 3:00 P.M. – 6:00 PM

February 3, 2020 | 5:00 P.M. – 9:00 PM

February 24, 2020 | 5:00 P.M. – 9:00 PM

Finalists selected for final pitch 

February 25, 2020

Final Pitch Event 

Golden 1 Center 

Please hold all day for prep 

March 18, 2020 (Note: Subject to Change)

A few things organizations should consider before they apply:

  • Across the 2015-2019 SVP Fast Pitch Events, 53/85 of the organizations that participated designated their Executive Director/CEO as the main pitch contestant, 21/85 designated their Development Director, and 12/46 designated their Program Manager. If you are a Director of Development or a Program Manager applying for this opportunity, please consider who is the face of fundraising for your organization and ensure your main pitch contestant is aware you are applying for this opportunity (if not you). 
  • Is your organization able to send two representatives to each pitch session (if accepted)? You are not required to send more than your designated pitch performer, but past participants overwhelmingly suggested it was important to have one additional organizational representative at each session. Additionally, if you have an emergency and are unable to attend a session, you must send an organizational representative in your place or face disqualification from the process. 
  • Are your Board and leadership teams supportive of this undertaking? Fast Pitch is a significant time commitment from November 2019 to early March 2020. The main pitch contestant can expect to dedicate 25-40 hours from November 2019 to March 2020 refining their pitch, attending three pitch sessions, and attending 2:1 coaching sessions in-between each pitch session as well as an additional 30-50 hours practicing and memorizing their pitch should they be accepted into the finals. Your Board should also be planning to attend the culminating Fast Pitch event (tentatively planned for the evening of 3/18/20) to network with engaged philanthropists and to spread the word about your work!

To learn more about SVP Sacramento, Fast Pitch and the application process, please review the two-minute promotional video.

If you have more questions about the process and your organization’s fit for SVP Fast Pitch 2019, please review the 25-minute webinar recording about organizational fit

Apply now! 

For questions regarding the Fast Pitch opportunity, eligibility requirements and criteria, and online submission process, please contact Cameron Law, Executive Director, SVP Sacramento, at