Desert Fast Pitch

Postponed until further notice due to the coronavirus.

The Desert Fast Pitch is being postponed due to safety concerns revolving around the COVID-19 Pandemic. Please check this page often for the latest updates! This is an important event for the nonprofits in the Coachella Valley, and we are working to make sure it is as special as last year’s event!

If you have further questions, email


Winner: Best Pitch Desert Best Friend's Closet

Connie Gold

Winner: Most Innovative Pitch Boo 2 Bullying

Dimitri Halkidis

Winner: Audience Choice Friend's of the Desert Mountains

Colin Barrows


On November 20, 2019, the Regional Access Project Foundation, through its NPO Centric, presented the Desert Fast Pitch at UCR Palm Desert.


The annual event is a Shark Tank-style, high-energy, quick-fire presentation in which nonprofits powerfully communicate their story and make a 3-minute pitch for funding. Seven nonprofits made it to the finals and competed for cash grants of $64,500.00 awarded by the Regional Access Project Foundation (RAP). They delivered their pitches to a panel of judges and an audience of approximately 275 philanthropic, business, civic, and nonprofit leaders.


This year’s finalists were Dimitri Halkidis for Boo 2 Bullying, Cathy Teal for FAIR Foundation, Connie Golds for Desert Best Friend’s Closet, Irene Rodriguez for Cabot’s Museum, Colin Barrows for Friends of the Desert Mountains, Debra Ann Mumm for CREATE Center For The Arts, and Pamela Grogan for Coachella Valley Housing.


The Best Pitch Award went to Desert Best Friend’s Closet for $20,000.00. Boo 2 Bullying received the award for Most Innovative Pitch, for $15,000.00, and Friends of the Desert Mountains was awarded $10,000.00 for Audience Choice.


NPO Centric, a program of the RAP Foundation, runs this annual event. The finalists engage in a 6-month training and mentoring program that includes marketing, branding, and speaking training so that the nonprofits can effectively raise the funding they need to be self-sustaining. The program culminates in the live, Fast Pitch competition.


This year’s judges included Palm Desert Mayor Susan Marie Weber, Bryan Gallo of NBC Palm Springs, Shaun Clark of the 4 Shay J Foundation, Judi Olivas President of AFP, Aurora Wilson Board Trustee for College of the Desert, and Van Tanner RAP Board member. The Keynote Speaker was Dr. Michele Borba.

A High Energy Event

Judge Bryan Gallo and Emcee Dareen Deiss

2019 Desert Fast Pitch Finalists

Singing along with Dr. Michele Borba

CREATE Center For The Arts

Debra Ann Mumm


Leticia DeLara

Keynote Speaker

Dr. Michele Borba

Cabot's Pueblo Museum

Irene Rodriguez


Cathy Teal

Coachella Valley Housing Coalition

Pamela Grogan

Audience Participation

2019 Fast Pitch Judges

From Right to Left:
Palm Desert Mayor Susan Marie Weber, Bryan Gallo of NBC Palm Springs, Shaun Clark of the 4 Shay J Foundation, Judi Olivas President of AFP, Aurora Wilson Board Trustee for College of the Desert, and Van Tanner RAP Board member.

The 2019 Desert Fast Pitch is in the books! Thank you to all who participated, attended and supported the event! We will continue to add photos and videos to our page on Facebook. Click the buttons below to navigate your way to the page and the photo albums.

Fast Pitch 2019 Information

The 2019 Fast Pitch contestants went through a regimen of training classes on topics such as branding, networking, social media and marketing plans, successful storytelling and developing a multipurpose pitch to inspire donors. A combination of presentation and workshop-style classes gave the participants a more personalized learning experience and helped them develop marketing tools that work for their organization’s size, scope of service and long-term plan. Each of the finalists presented to a panel of judges and a live audience.

Congratulations to the 2019 Desert Fast Pitch Candidates!

The RAP Foundation’s Desert Fast Pitch is a competitive, three month training and coaching program that helps nonprofit staff succinctly and powerfully “tell their story”. The program helps participants to develop key skills, foster new relationships, gain exposure, and increase their organizations’ ability to attract new resources over time. After weeks of classes, trainings and a preliminary competition, selected finalists presented a 3-minute pitch about their non-profit organization to a panel of judges and audience.

Please note the following:

  • For next year’s Fast Pitch (2021), participants will need to complete an application for acceptance into the program. Please check our website periodically for updates and the release of the application.  Reach out to Christine Demonaco to get on our waitlist for Fast Pitch at