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Tucson ‘Fast-Pitch’ event to help fund local nonprofits

Loni Nannini Special to the Arizona Daily Star
March 6, 2024

If you have ever wanted to be a social change-maker, a problem-solver, and/or a philanthropist, Social Venture Partners Tucson is offering the chance to do something about it.

All you need to do is attend the SVP Tucson Fast Pitch Main Event at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 26, at the Fox Tucson Theatre, 17 W. Congress St.

“The Fast Pitch Main Event is an experience for all those who want to be part of making community-level change because it activates the giving spirit and helps people direct their resources or their gift-giving to organizations that are on the front lines doing vital work to make a difference in our community,” said Brittany Battle, Fast Pitch Director for SVP Tucson.

Now in its ninth year, Fast Pitch has funneled more than $1.5 million directly to community nonprofits that have participated in its free five-month training program. The program is highlighted by the live audience event/virtual broadcast that showcases a three-minute “Fast Pitch” presentation by each nonprofit. Up for grabs is more than $120,000 in on-stage grants. Every participating nonprofit will receive unrestricted funding and donations made by the audience in real time will be matched up to $40,000 by the Connie Hillman Family Foundation.

Last year, more than $218,000 was distributed among nonprofits at the event.

Battle emphasized that funds generated that evening are just the beginning.

“We know that lots of donations are made in the weeks and months following the event when someone who was in the audience logs on to the nonprofits’ websites and donates,” Battle said. “We are thrilled to be part of investing in the community in a way that directly impacts these nonprofit organizations and their revenues. One report found the nonprofits that participate in Fast Pitch increase their revenues by 144% afterward due to the awareness, funding and support generated in the community.”

Ultimately, awareness is paramount for the class of 2024 nonprofits, which includes Borderlinks; Casa de los Niños; Children’s Clinics; Interfaith Community Services; Parent Aid; Special Needs Solutions; The Haven; and TMM Family Services, Inc.

In spite of the fact that many of the organizations have long histories in the community, Battle said that Fast Pitch can help them refine their messages to resonate with potential supporters.

“This is about nonprofits uniting on behalf of our community to spread awareness about these important causes and inviting others to help find solutions,” said Battle. “It is not a competition: It is the nonprofits coming together to share their stories in a way that honors the past, acknowledges the present and builds a better future.”

Building a better future is at the core of the mission for Special Needs Solutions (SNS, found online at, a small nonprofit that creates custom-made furniture, clothing, devices, and equipment to help individuals with disabilities progress physically, emotionally and cognitively. Annually, SNS serves more than 200 individuals directly and an additional 400 through clinics and special needs programs at area schools. About 95% of clients served are children.

“We support individuals with disabilities and their caregivers and therapists by providing developmental devices to help them live fuller lives,” said David Gordon, executive director of the organization. “In other words, we make equipment that supports them in living their daily lives so they are able to walk, dress, communicate and interact with the world around them. We want them to have agency in the world they live in.”

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