Desert Fast Pitch Grant Competition: Where Nonprofit Fundraising Meets Entrepreneurship

Desert Fast Pitch Grant Competition: Where Nonprofit Fundraising Meets Entrepreneurship

The Desert Fast Pitch Grant Competition, presented by NPO Centric, a program of the Regional Access Project Foundation (RAP), ignites the spirit of entrepreneurship within the nonprofit sector. This highly anticipated event brings nonprofit professionals together to compete for cash grants by pitching their innovative ideas and compelling stories in a friendly “Shark Tank” format. Over $60,000 in grants are awarded annually.


Through this competition, I not only honed my presentation skills but also formed lasting bonds with other inspiring contestants. The process and valuable feedback helped me to understand how to craft a compelling pitch, while the mentors and fellow participants made the experience unforgettable. Winning the Audience Choice Award provided crucial funding and visibility for Elder Love USA, allowing us to expand our programs and reach more seniors in need. I am forever grateful to NPO Centric and the RAP Foundation for the opportunity to have a transformative journey of personal growth, skill development, and community building.

Shannon Shea, Founder, Elder Love 2022 Desert Fast Pitch Audience Choice Winner

Desert fast pitch helped me to become a more confident speaker in a supportive environment. Not only did we learn how to tell our stories, we also built a community. Desert Fast Pitch was an amazing experience and I would recommend it to anyone in nonprofit development who talks to people.

Calista Vassios, 2023 Semifinalist

Having been selected as one of the twelve contestants out of a talented and dedicated pool of other non-profit professionals to compete in the Fast Pitch Competition was an honor, even before I knew the true value of what I was getting in to. The Fast Pitch competition was more than about money; it was about honing my abilities as a non-profit leader by crafting my messaging and supporting materials to benefit the Museum and our fundraising efforts best. I had the privilege of working with experts in their fields to learn about everything from marketing to grant writing to public speaking. The element of attendance proved the determination and commitment of all of the contestants, but also the team and staff who supported us along the way. A special bond was created amongst the contestants as we cheered for one another and each of our important causes and hard work in and out of the competition. The NPO Centric Team and RAP Foundation gave me an opportunity that was invaluable. I can truly say that I left with new friends, new skills and a new appreciation for how much heart is in this Valley.

Cindy Burreson, Children's Discovery Museum, 2023 Desert Fast Pitch Grand Prize Winner