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Can you change the desert in 180 seconds?

"Your Fast Pitch event today was amazing!  I loved the guest speaker, Jose Hernandez who is an amazing speaker and an inspiration to Reach for the Stars!


-Diane Barrett, Volunteer Coordinator

(760) 835-1461


RAP Foundation's Desert Fast Pitch

The program is starting its third year to provide cash investments, consultation, and coaching to tax exempt organizations providing services in health, mental health, and juvenile intervention to residents of eastern Riverside County.  The Desert Fast Pitch  program is modeled on  FAST PITCH, the Los Angeles Social Venture Partnership’s (SVP) venture capital funding competitions .  These competitions are held around the country in 8 cities by SVP affiliates.  Desert Fast Pitch is:

  • 12 local semi-finalist non-profit / tax exempt organizations competing for cash investment awards and in-kind services; and
  • Workshops for training, coaching and mentoring non-profit / tax exempt participants; and
  • 6 finalists selected to compete in the Desert Fast Pitch event to be held October 26th with the nonprofit conference to benefit local organizations; and
  • 6 exciting 3 minute “pitches” before a panel of judges and an audience of funders, businesses, non-profit leaders, philanthropists and foundation executives; and
  • Over $72,000+ in cash investments and in-kind grant services to be awarded! 

RAP Foundation’s Desert Fast Pitch is geared to be an opportunity for tax exempt organizations and agencies to develop or improve their presentation skills in a fast paced “pitch” process while competing for immediate cash awards and on-going technical assistance through the coaching/mentor interaction.  Our goal is to assist these organizations with building greater confidence in their presentation skills and to give them the tools necessary to tell their story, convey their organizational values, create a donor and volunteer base, and improve their organizational capacity.

We hope you will submit an application on-line.

If you have questions, attend one of two information meetings offered to learn more about the Desert Fast Pitch program.  Contact person for Desert Fast Pitch is Eva Guenther-James, RAP Foundation, at 760-674-9992 or email

Qualifications:  Tax exempt agencies) and organizations (501 c 3 designation) providing programs and/or services in the focus areas of Health, Mental Health and Juvenile Intervention are elligible for the Desert Fast Pitch program.

Applications general open during the first part of the year.  If you would like to be notified, please ensure you have signed up to receive our eNewsletter


Workshops:  Semi-finalists are required to participate in one day-long training and 3 mandatory group coaching sessions held at the RAP Foundation offices. Participants will be coached on making an effective presentation of key elements of their organization, mission, impact and needs.   Participants will be given to opportunity to practice their “pitch” and receive feedback from other participants and coaches.

Finalists:  Six (6) finalists will be selected during RAP Foundation’s Nonprofit Conference.

Event:  Desert Fast Pitch finalists will make their 3 minute “fast pitch” presentations before a panel of judges and an audience of their peers, businesses, non-profit leaders, philanthropists and foundation executives.

Awards:  Each of the semi-finalists will receive an award of $1,500.  Those organizations will have demonstrated experience in the non-profit community and exhibited the greatest potential to effect positive social change in eastern Riverside County. 

First place cash investment award is $20,000, Coaches’ Most Improved cash investment award is $15,000, and Audience Choice cash investment award is $10,000. 


  • Fully engaged in the process, including coaching to produce a compelling three-minute presentation of your organization’s unique value and plan for future impact, without visual or audio aids.
  • Be open to advice and coaching by business and community leaders.
  • Understand that a good pitch is about more than just asking for money.   The grant award is important but it’s the training and coaching that is the grand prize!


  • Applicants must submit their designation from the IRS as a 501 (c) 3 organization or proof of fiscal sponsorship with their application.  Individuals are not eligible.
  • Organizations may be located outside of eastern Riverside County but must provide services and/or programs to residents in eastern Riverside County (just outside of Palms Springs east to the California/Arizona border – Supervisorial District Four).  Preference will be given to organizations that are headquartered in RAP Foundation’s funding area.
  • There are no restrictions based on organizational size, budget or age of organization.
  • Organizations must provide programs or services in RAP Foundation’s focus areas of Health, Mental Health and Juvenile Intervention.
  • Applicants, selected in the program, must have as their representative participating in the program either CEO, Executive Director or other senior level management who interfaces and communicates with the public, donors, grantmakers, funders on a regular basis and is tasked with public speaking responsibilities.
  • There is no cost to participate in the program or to present at the event.


  • Potential for tangible societal impact – Does this non-profit address an important social issue in eastern Riverside County?
  • Leadership – Is the team resourceful and results-oriented?  Are they inspired, innovative and committed to making a difference.
  • Strategic Focus – Does the program or service have clear objectives and an ability to measure results?
  • Sustainability – Can this program generate long-term support?
  • Scalability – Does the program or service have the potential to expand to create a larger impact?



Andy Goodman, The Goodman Center

cvHIP  Health resources in the Coachella Valley
cvHIP Health resources in the Coachella Valley

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