Nonprofit Fast Pitch

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A Fast Pitch competition will be held for local nonprofits March 28 at the Scottsdale Center for Performing Arts. Participating nonprofits will have to give a three-minute pitch in front of a live audience to convince judges to award them cash, mentoring and communication-building training. The top prize is $20,000 a year for up to five years, plus continued hands-on attention from top business executives. Terri Wogan, executive director of Social Venture Partners Arizona, a group that brings a venture capital approach to supporting nonprofits, will talk about the fast pitch event along with Kristy Roschke, executive director of SPOT 127, the top winner of Fast Pitch 2014.

PAULA KERGER: HI, I'M PAULA KERGER, PRESIDENT OF PBS. WHEN YOU FUND YOUR FAVORITE SHOWS ON THIS STATION, YOU ENSURE GREAT TELEVISION IS AVAILABLE FOR YOURSELF AND EVERYONE IN YOUR COMMUNITY. ONE OF THE EASIEST WAYS TO DO THAT IS MAKE A MONTHLY CONTRIBUTION ON AN ONGOING BASIS. WHEN YOU CALL, TELL US HOW MUCH YOU WOULD LIKE TO DONATE EACH MONTH. CURRENTLY, 10, 15 OR $20 IS BEST FOR THEM. YOU DECIDE WHAT'S BEST FOR YOU. WE'LL DEDUCT THAT AMOUNT FROM YOUR CREDIT CARD OR BANK ACCOUNT. RENEWAL NOTICES WILL BECOME A THING OF THE PAST. YOUR ONGOING SUPPORT MEANS THE BEST TELEVISION ON TELEVISION WILL COME YOUR WAY EVERYDAY OF THE YEAR. PLEASE, CONSIDER A SUSTAINING CONTRIBUTION TODAY. THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT OF THIS PBS STATION.

TED SIMONS: A FAST PITCH COMPETITION WILL BE HELD FOR LOCAL NONPROFITS NEXT WEEK AT THE SCOTTSDALE CENTER FOR PERFORMING ARTS. PARTICIPATING GROUPS WILL GIVE A THREE-MINUTE PITCH IN FRONT OF A LIVE AUDIENCE TO COMPETE FOR CASH, MENTORING AND COMMUNICATION-BUILDING TRAINING. FOR MORE ON ALL THIS WE WELCOME TERRI WOGAN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF SOCIAL VENTURE PARTNERS ARIZONA, A GROUP THAT BRINGS A VENTURE CAPITAL APPROACH TO SUPPORTING NONPROFITS, AND KRISTY ROSCHKE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF SPOT-127, THE TOP WINNER OF "FAST PITCH 2014." GOOD TO HAVE YOU BOTH HERE. THANKS FOR JOINING US. FAST PITCHED COMPETITION FOR NONPROFITS. EXPLAIN ALL THIS.

TERRI WOGAN: WE HAVE A TWO-MONTH INTENSE TRAINING FOR NONPROFITS WHICH I CALL MESSAGING BOOT CAMP. THEY ARE ASSIGNED MENTORS AND THEY PRACTICE AS TO HOW THEY IMPACT THE COMMUNITY.

TED SIMONS: THIS IS A THREE MINUTE PITCH IN FRONT OF A LIVE AUDIENCE.

TERRI WOGAN: YES, IT CULMINATES WITH A LIVE PITCH.

TED SIMONS: WHAT HAPPENS BEFOREHAND?

TERRI WOGAN: WE SELECT 25 NONPROFITS TO GO THROUGH WITH PROGRAM. THEN WE SEVEN NONPROFIT FINALISTS ARE SELECTED TO PRESENT LIVE ON STAGE IN FRONT OF A LIVE AUDIENCE, 600 OR 700 PEOPLE THERE. THEY GIVE THE THREE-MINUTE PITCHES AND THE AUDIENCE DECIDE WHO IS THEIR FAVORITE.

TED SIMONS: SO THE AUDIENCE DECIDES.

TERRI WOGAN: IT'S INPUT ON THE $10,000 AWARD. THERE IS A $25,000 COMMUNITY AWARD. WE HAVE EIGHT JUDGES THAT SELECT THE ONE THAT THEY THINK IS SCALABLE, HAS IMPACT AND MOVED THEM. WE HAVE THE SCP AWARD, $25,000 FOR THREE YEARS. THAT IS WHO WE SELECT AS OUR NEXT INVESTMENT.

TED SIMONS: SPOT 127 WON THIS IN 2014. THIS IS BEFORE YOU WERE WITH 127.

TERRI WOGAN: MY PREDECESSOR DID THE BIG PART.

TED SIMONS: WHAT WERE YOU HEARING ABOUT THE PITCH, HOW THE PITCH WAS RECEIVED, I MEAN THIS WAS A BIG DEAL. FIRST QUESTION, WHAT IS SPOT 127?

KRISTY ROSCHKE: THANKS FOR ASKING. SPOT 127 IS THE YOUTH MEDIA CENTER. WE PROVIDE FREE AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAMMING AND LOW-COST SUMMER PROGRAMS FOR TEENS WITH DIGITAL MEDIA THAT MAY NOT HAVE ACCESS TO TOOLS AND TECHNOLOGY WE MAY PROVIDE.

TED SIMONS: INTERESTING. IS THAT PART OF A THREE-MINUTE PITCH?

KRISTY ROSCHKE: IT WAS PART OF A THREE-MINUTE PITCH. MY PREDECESSOR PITCHED -- AT THE TIME WE WERE TWO YEARS OLD AND WE HAD INTEREST FROM ALL OVER THE VALLEY AND MY PREDECESSOR PITCHED OPENING A SECOND LOCATION IN THE VALLEY.

TED SIMONS: WHEN THEY PITCH THESE THINGS, A BIT OF SHOWBIZ INVOLVED?

TERRI WOGAN: WE ASK THEM TO LOOK AT THEIR VALUE PROPOSITION. HOW ARE YOU UNIQUE?

TED SIMONS: WERE THEY SURPRISED? THIS IS A BIG AWARD HERE.

KRISTY ROSCHKE: IT WAS A GAME CHANGER. FOR US, IT LAID THE FOUNDATION FOR THE CAPITAL CAMPAIGN THAT ALLOWED US TO RAISE MONEY FOR A SECOND LOCATION. THEY WERE ELATED. I HAVE SEEN GREG'S PITCH. I HAVE BEEN THROUGH THE PROCESS AND I HAVE SEEN THE ACTUAL SHOW. IT'S A BIG DEAL. WE ARE SO THANKFUL.

TED SIMONS: YOU TALK ABOUT WINNOWING FOLKS DOWN TO A CERTAIN NUMBER AND THEN FURTHER. WHO DECIDES ON THAT?

TERRI WOGAN: WE HAVE DIFFERENT FOLKS. THE BIG AWARD IS SOCIAL VENTURE PARTNERS, A SELECTION COMMITTEE THAT HAS READ ALL OF THE APPLICATIONS, ATTENDED THE PRACTICE SESSIONS AND THEY MAKE THE SELECTION FOR THE WINNER.

TED SIMONS: HAS THERE EVER BEEN CONCERN THAT A REALLY GOOD IDEA GOT LOST IN A REALLY BAD PITCH?

TERRI WOGAN: ABSOLUTELY. WE ENCOURAGE THEM IF THEY DIDN'T MAKE THE FINALS TO COME BACK AGAIN, GO THROUGH IT AGAIN. WE HAVE A PARTICIPATANT THIS YEAR THAT IS COMING BACK AND HAS MADE IT INTO THE TIMES TO SHARE HER IDEA. IT DOES HAPPEN.

TED SIMONS: SO ESSENTIALLY, I COULD COME OUT THERE WITH THE TED IDEA WHICH IS A BUNCH OF BOLOGNA, BUT IF MY PITCH WORK, I COULD WIN BUT SOMEONE THAT'S GOT SOMETHING SHARP, THEY HAVE TO KEEP TRYING?

TERRI WOGAN: YOU HAVE 600 PEOPLE IN THE AUDIENCE. THEY ARE ALL GOING TO HAVE THEIR OPINIONS. WHEN I HAVE GONE TO OTHER PITCH COMPETITIONS, I HAVE NOT PICKED THE WINNER YET. YOU HAVE A LOT OF OPPORTUNITY. THEY HAVE BOOTHS. YOU CAN LEARN ABOUT ALL OF THEM. PEOPLE CAN INVEST AND VOLUNTEER AND GET ON THE BOARD OF LOTS OF ORGANIZATIONS.

TED SIMONS: WITH 600 PEOPLE, THEY'LL SPOT THE BOLOGNA.

TERRI WOGAN: AND PEOPLE ARE REALLY SMART.

TED SIMONS: YOU ARE TELLING ME I HAVE NO SHOT. TALK ABOUT WHERE YOU ARE AT NOW, WHAT THE FUTURE LOOKS LIKE?

KRISTY ROSCHKE: ABSOLUTELY. WE OPENED THE SECOND LOCATION, THE BASE OF OUR PITCH 2014. WE OPENED IN JANUARY. IN ADDITION TO THE MONEY, THERE IS MENTORING AND SUPPORT, NETWORKING OPPORTUNITIES. SINCE I HAVE BEEN WITH THE ORGANIZATION, I HAVE BEEN ABLE TO BENEFIT WITH THAT. IT'S NOT JUST ABOUT THE MONEY BUT THE ORGANIZATION AS A WHOLE.

TED SIMONS: FOR SOMETHING LIKE THIS, WHAT KIND OF MENTORING WORKS?

KRISTY ROSCHKE: I HAVE TWO LEAD PARTNERS. THEY BRING PERSPECTIVE TO THE NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION. THEY PROVIDE ALL TYPES OF ADVICE IN FORMS OF SCALING AND EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN. THEY HAVE BEEN SUPPORTIVE TO ME IN OPENING A SECOND LOCATION. WE ARE DOUBLING THE NUMBER WE CAN SERVE.

TED SIMONS: I GUESS YOU TAILOR THAT MENTORING SO THE SPECIFIC ORGANIZATION YOU WORK WITH.

TERRI WOGAN: WE WORK SHOULDER TO SHOULDER WITH THE ORGANIZATION. WE LEARN THE KIND OF GAP AREA THEY HAVE IN THE CAPACITY OF ORGANIZATION. THAT'S WHERE WE PUT OUR TIME AND ENERGY.

TED SIMONS: HOW DID ALL OF THIS GET STARTED, THE IDEA OF STANDING IN FRONT OF FOLKS FOR THREE MINUTES TO CONVINCE THEM YOU HAVE SOMETHING?

TERRI WOGAN: VENTURE CAPITAL FOLKS HAVE BEEN DOING PITCH COMPETITION FOR A LONG TIME.

TED SIMONS: ELEVATORS AND SO ON.

TERRI WOGAN: WE HEAR IT ALL THE TIME WE DON'T KNOW HOW TO GET OUR MESSAGE ACROSS. ONE OF OUR AFFILIATES IN LOS ANGELES HAD THE IDEA TO PUT IT TO NONPROFIT. WE TOOK THE IDEA. WE BELIEVE IN RECYCLING GOOD IDEAS, SO WE BROUGHT IT TO PHOENIX.

TED SIMONS: HOW LONG HAS IT BEEN IN PHOENIX?

TERRI WOGAN: THIS IS OUR SEVENTH YEAR.

TED SIMONS: PREVIOUS WINNERS. ARE YOU SEEING THEM GROW? ARE YOU SEEING THEM GET OUT THERE?

TERRI WOGAN: YES, WE ARE. THE FIRST WINNERS WERE CALLED POPSICLE. WITH THEIR WORK WITH VSP OVER FIVE YEARS THEY REBRANDED, CHANGED THEIR NAME AND CAME TO US WITH A $300,000 BUDGET AND THEY ARE NOW WELL OVER $1 MILLION.

TED SIMONS: THAT'S A GOOD SUCCESS STORY. IF SOMEONE COMES TO YOU AND SAYS, I'M INVOLVED IN THIS PITCH THING AND I KNOW YOU WON. WHAT KIND OF ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE THEM IN TERM OF GETTING THE MESSAGE ACROSS AS SUCCINCTLY AS POSSIBLE?

KRISTY ROSCHKE: IT STARTS WITH THE NEED, A SPECIFIC NEED, MAKES IT EASIER TO CONVEY IN THREE MINUTES. YOU CAN'T SAY GIVE ME MONEY. YOU GET THE SUPPORT TO REFINE IT OVER A TWO MONTH TIME PERIOD.

TED SIMONS: AND PRACTICE, MAKE SURE YOU KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING.

TERRI WOGAN: PRACTICE, PRACTICE.

TED SIMONS: WHEN IS THIS BIG EVENT GOING TO BE?

TERRI WOGAN: MARCH 28TH, TUESDAY, SCOTTSDALE CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS, DOOR OPENS AT 5:30, PITCHES START AT 6:00.

TED SIMONS: GOOD LUCK TO ALL INVOLVED. IT SOUNDS LIKE QUITE A SUCCESS STORY. CONGRATULATIONS TO YOU AS WELL. THANK YOU BOTH.

NARRATOR: WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU. SUBMIT YOUR QUESTIONS, COMMENTS AND CONCERNS VIA E-MAIL @"ARIZONA HORIZON."

Terri Wogan: Executive director of Social Venture Partners Arizona

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