Coachella Valley Nonprofits Win $ 64,500 in Cash Grants from RAP Foundation

The Regional Access Project Foundation, through its Center For Nonprofit Advancement, 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.

The Center For Nonprofit Advancement (CNA), 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.

Past Desert Fast Pitch participants have described the program as invaluable. Stephanie Minor, former Executive Vice President of Martha’s Village and Kitchen and the winner of the 2018 Best Pitch and the $20,000.00 prize from RAP Foundation, said, “Going through the Fast Pitch program was very useful. It helped me gain more confidence and increased my effectiveness when presenting. It increased exposure for Martha’s Village and Kitchen, and helped our organization gain new supporters.”

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.

About Center For Nonprofit Advancement

The Center for Nonprofit Advancement (CNA) is a program of the RAP Foundation that provides capacity building services for nonprofit organizations in Riverside County. CNA provides education and training, consulting services, informational forums, and nonprofit conferences for nonprofit professionals.

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