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Partnership Series: Social Venture Partners LA

At Cohort 6’s second peer convening in August, the Foundation invited Social Venture Partners (SVP) Los Angeles to lead a half-day Fast Pitch workshop for HALO Award grantees. SVP Los Angeles works with individual philanthropists to realize greater impact with their giving, strengthen nonprofits, and invest in collaborative solutions. Their Social Innovation Fast Pitch program trains nonprofit leaders to powerfully communicate their story, while connecting them with leaders in the business, philanthropic, and nonprofit communities.

Cohort 6 with SVP Volunteer Coaches

How does the Fast Pitch program build the capacity of and/or benefit nonprofits?

We work with a cohort of nonprofit leaders over two months, supporting them in developing a powerful 3-minute pitch to share who they are and how they connect to the work, why their organization is critical and impactful, and what they like to ask people to do in support of their great work. They work intensively with our coaches and receive written and verbal feedback from coaches and peers, as well as videos of their practice runs. It’s an incredible amount of feedback on something many of us do regularly – pitching our work – and yet rarely receive feedback on. The program culminates with an inspiring event where the nonprofits deliver their pitches to an audience of 600 philanthropists, nonprofits, and corporate leaders.

Beth Winton, Lake Avenue Community Foundation with a Volunteer Fast Pitch Coach

Why Fast Pitch? What is the secret to storytelling effectively and efficiently in 180 seconds?

Three minutes is a surprisingly long period of time – much longer than your typical elevator ride! Bring yourself into your storytelling! So often in nonprofit work, we tell ourselves it shouldn’t be about us, but we find that when leaders share what connects them deeply to their work, they’re far more likely to inspire people to action.

Rachel Black, Foothill Unity Center presenting her Fast Pitch

What/Who is the ideal candidate for the Fast Pitch program?

We focus on supporting emerging nonprofits and programs that have innovative solutions to pressing social problems, and we look for leaders who are eager to learn and grow.

Besides Fast Pitch, in what other ways can an individual or organization engage with SVP?

We are really excited to have just launched a nine-month Accelerator Program to support systems-change nonprofits in accelerating their growth and impact. We also now offer specialized Fast Pitch workshops for organizations that want to bring us in to work with their teams. And because we are built on an engaged philanthropy model, we always welcome new “Partners” to our community – individuals eager to contribute their time and money in supporting these incredible nonprofit organizations.

Alli Simon, Christine Margiotta, and Sharon Stratton, Social Venture Partners LA

For more information about Social Venture Partners, please visit



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