Social Venture Partners is the largest network of engaged donors in the world. Our model of engaged philanthropy is so successful because we invest more than just money; we invest time and talent as well. This model helps to cultivate philanthropists, strengthens nonprofits and social ventures, and invests in collaborative solutions, all aimed at tackling tough, social problems.
Recently, 15+ SVPAZ Partners read through more than 40 applications from local nonprofit ventures and convened to ultimately select 20 semifinalists for our signature program, Fast Pitch. Now in its seventh year, Fast Pitch has become the premier nonprofit and social entrepreneur pitch competition in the Valley. This unique initiative is a two-month communication skills building program and competition for innovative ventures in Maricopa County. Fast Pitch equips innovators to effectively communicate their story and connects them with business and community leaders who help them create significant impact. We know from participants that this program is truly invaluable to their professional and personal development and it gives the greater community access to vetted organizations to potentially deploy resources.
Fun, informative, contentious, and though-provoking, the meeting of our selection committee saw a lively discussion about our guiding principles and what innovation truly looks like especially in social ventures. However, at the end of the two hours, we were able to come to consensus about the venture who would move forward in our program and below, you will find the 20 nonprofits that will participate:
- All Walks Project
- Amanda Hope Rainbow Angel’s
- Arizona Coalition for Military Families
- Arizona Lifelong Fitness Foundation, Inc.
- Arizona YWCA Metropolitan Phoenix
- Camp Colley Foundation
- Cancer Support Community Arizona
- Empower College Prep
- Florence Crittenton Services of Arizona
- Furnishing Dignity
- Kids Enjoy Exercise Now – Phoenix
- Labor’s Community Service Agency
- Mindfulness First
- NorthBridge College Success Program
- PAL Experiences
- Read Better Be Better
- Skate After School
- Stepping Up For Seniors
- Support My Club
- The Nagi Foundation
Continuing with our strategic partnership with Arizona State University and its Changemakers Challenge, an opportunity for undergraduate and graduate students from all four ASU campuses to make a difference in local and global communities through innovation. Through our partnership, we choose three ventures from this program participate in Fast Pitch. For 2017, the ventures are:
- Fortune Financial
- Parent Check In/Check Out
Our Partners also discussed the best next steps on how to truly impact the Valley through dollars from SVPAZ and decided that we wanted to make a (small) leap into supporting for-profit ventures with a social mission. With that in mind, we are inviting the following for-profit socially conscious companies to participate:
We are excited and honored to engage with all of the ventures participating this year.
If you are interested in learning more about Fast Pitch or Social Venture Partners Arizona and the amazing work we are doing, please reach out to Sentari Minor.
We look forward to seeing you at Fast Pitch on March 28, 2017.
Bruce Weber and Marissa Theisen, 2017 Selection Committee Co-Chairs