Our 2016 SVP Fast Pitch WINNERS!
$10,000 Overall Judges Award Winner: Women’s Empowerment
$7,500 In-kind Blanket Marketing Group Media Makeover Award: Sacramento Urban Debate League
$5,000 Coaches Award: Improve Your Tomorrow
$3,000 Audience Award: Improve Your Tomorrow
$1,500 Random Act of Kindness Award: Sacramento Mandarins
$1,000 People’s Choice Online Contest Award: Women’s Empowerment
2016 SVP Fast Pitch Finalists Announced!*
Food Literacy Center
Improve Your Tomorrow
Roberts Family Development Center
Sacramento Urban Debate League
Shoulder To Shoulder
Stanford Settlement Neighborhood Center
The Center for Violence-Free Relationships
*Note: All 14 semifinalists will host tables at the final event. Our 10 finalists will present their pitches for audience vote.
Center for Land-Based Learning: The nation urgently needs a new crop of farmers and food system entrepreneurs, and the Center for Land-Based Learning is inspiring youth to give agriculture a chance, believing the answer lies in cultivating opportunity. For the last twenty years, the Center for Land-Based Learning has been exposing youth to agriculture as a means to a future filled with technology and innovation. In 2012, we developed a beginning farmer-training program to support adults seeking a career in farming.
The California Farm Academy is a seven-month intensive overview of what it takes to succeed as a farmer. Students learn and practice basic crop planning and production, soil science, pest management, irrigation methods and other field and greenhouse work. They even learn to drive a tractor.
Youth programs like FARMS Leadership and SLEWS, are cultivating opportunity for high school students in need of a career path; youth who may otherwise have never been exposed to agriculture or environmental science careers. Participants learn by doing as they plant trees, lay irrigation lines, harvest crops, visit post-secondary institutions and laboratories doing cutting edge agricultural research. In these ways, the Center for Land-Based Learning is cultivating opportunity for the future of agriculture.
Cristo Rey High School Sacramento (CRHSS) provides private, college-preparatory education to students from the Sacramento region. We educate students with limited financial means, only accepting those whose families are at or below the federal poverty level. Ultimately, our goal is to send every one of our graduates to college. Five classes have graduated from CRHSS (2010 – 2014) and 97% of these 253 graduates have been accepted to college. The educational opportunities we provide for low-income youth is unparalleled in the Sacramento region.
This private college-preparatory education is made accessible to students through CRHSS Work-Study, Inc., an innovative Work-Study program in which students work five days per month in businesses throughout the Sacramento region. The funds paid by the sponsors go directly to CRHSS Work-Study, Inc. to offset the cost of students’ education. Currently over 100 corporations, businesses and non-profit organizations sponsor CRHSS students. As a result of the Work-Study program, not only are students able to offset 60% of the cost of their education, but they will also break down the financial and social barriers that exist for low-income students wishing to obtain an excellent education and ensure their future success.
Food Literacy Center: Only 25% of kids eat enough fruits & veggies. In Sacramento, 40% of children suffer from obesity. Our Mission is to inspire kids to eat their vegetables. We teach low-income elementary children cooking and nutrition to improve our health, community, and environment. We’re a Sacramento-based 501c3 nonprofit.
Food Literacy [fu: d lit-er-uh-see]
noun: Understanding the impact of your food choices on your health, the environment, and our community.
We teach low-income elementary children cooking, nutrition, fruit and vegetable appreciation, science of cooking, math of measuring and using recipes, new cooking vocabulary, financial literacy through food budgets, and more. For Adults, we train community members through our Food Literacy Academy to become certified Food Geniuses to teach and scale our programs.
Our Results: 82% of kids know how to make a healthy snack. 73% of kids agree it matters where our food is grown. 58.5% of kids took fewer chips at the end of the program. “Fiber allows us to be great!” ~ 1st grader. “I like cabbage in my burritos because it is purple.” ~ 2nd grader
Improve Your Tomorrow (IYT) is a college preparatory program for young men of color in South Sacramento at Valley High School and Samuel Jackman Middle School. Specifically, IYT’s purpose is to help these young men gain admission into and ultimately graduate from four-year colleges and universities. IYT students receive weekly tutoring, advisement on college planning and preparation and personal statement coaching on college application essays. All students are assigned a mentor to assist in their academic and personal development and are required to attend monthly institutes where facilitators present on a variety of topics ranging from entrepreneurship to cultural awareness. Moreover, IYT organizes for its students between 2-5 college visits per year.
Reading Partners: Serving Sacramento since 2009, Reading Partners is dedicated to unlocking the skills of students who struggle with reading. Regardless of their environment, given the right support and resources, all kids can learn to read. Reading Partners believes that reading is the foundation for future learning. Without it, children fall behind their peers and don’t have an equitable chance at success.
Through partnerships with eight under-resourced elementary schools in Sacramento, Reading Partners engages over 700 volunteers as reading tutors to help 455 students who are up to two years behind in reading. These volunteers work one-on-one with the same student for 45 minutes twice a week, following a structured, research-based curriculum. Through this tutor-student relationship, children make measurable progress toward the development of the foundational reading skills they need to succeed in school and in life.
Reading Partners is proud to partner with over 60 community organizations in Sacramento who have generously provided volunteers and services to help close the reading achievement gap for students, working toward a future where every child has the individualized support they need to become strong readers and lifelong learners.
RedRover is a national organization based in Sacramento. Our three programs help people and animals in crisis and strengthen relationships between people and pets. Through our RedRover Readers program we train teachers, after-school staff and volunteers how to use stories, discussion, activities, genuine listening, facilitation and reciprocal teaching strategies/questions to actively engage students’ independent thinking, increase understanding for animal behavior and practice empathy skills. We also provide resources for parents and educators on developing empathy and will be releasing a new e-book app to extend the reach of our program in 2016. Our RedRover Relief program provides grants for low-income individuals with veterinary emergencies and domestic violence victims seeking to escape their abusive situations with their pets. We also provide grants for family violence shelters to build on-site facilities for pets. Our domestic violence initiatives are growing quickly given the increased awareness regarding the central role pets play in manipulating victims to stay with their abuser. Lastly, our RedRover Responders program provides emergency temporary sheltering for the animal victims of natural disasters, as well as animals seized in criminal cruelty cases, like dogfighting. We also provide disaster preparedness resources and education for communities.
Roberts Family Development Center (RFDC) is a community based organization that provides support services to individuals living in high-risk communities in the Greater Sacramento area. We focus on providing education and advocacy services that help individuals become self-sufficient and empower them to meet their full potential.
Roberts Family Development Center is an organization of action. We step in where many others are reluctant to go; in neighborhoods plagued by poverty, crime, and discord. Our sustained work in communities creates empowered individuals and a ripple effect confronting many negatives community influences head-on, leading to a safer environment for all residents. Currently, we have sites serving families in the following locations throughout Sacramento: North Sacramento/Del Paso Heights (95815), Downtown River District (95811), Broadway Corridor (95818), Robla (95838), South Sacramento/Meadowview (95832), and Foothill Farms (95842).
The majority of individuals we serve are racial/ethnic minorities who live at or below the poverty level in high-risk neighborhoods and feel ill-equipped to change their stagnated circumstances. Through partnerships and direct service we support individuals of all ages, with the majority of our resources devoted to programs that support the growth and development of children ages 3-17.
Sacramento Children’s Museum is a hands-on learning environment for children from birth to eight years old. Our mission is to spark a passion for life-long learning and we strongly believe that play is an essential part of a child’s “work.” The imaginative and interactive atmosphere throughout the Museum provides children with a gateway for opening up their minds to developing new abilities, building confidence and making connections between their dreams and real world experiences. Museum exhibits, programming and special events introduce the concepts of science, technology, engineering and math that take root in our young visitors and flourish over time. Additionally, SCM offers free admission and programming to children with special needs, teaches children about healthy habits, brings different cultures to life, inspires visitors to create unique and exciting artwork and encourages children to explore what they love. Sacramento Children’s Museum makes an impact where it matters most – with our children.
Sacramento Mandarins: Founded in 1963, the Sacramento Mandarins are committed to the growth of the lives of young people through a commitment to youth development and performance excellence while providing enjoyment for the Sacramento community and audiences worldwide.
The Sacramento Mandarins is today comprised of three main entities:
The Mandarins Drum and Bugle Corps is the largest part of the organization with over 150 participants. The major league organization performs at the country’s biggest stadiums on a U.S. wide tour. Every summer the drum corps travels over 10,000 miles, competing in over 30 shows. The Mandarins have been two-time recipients of the prestigious Spirit of Disney award, signifying outstanding achievement in educational and entertainment programs for youth and have won Drum Corps International World Champions eight times.
The Mandarins Academy provides an educational opportunity for middle and high school age performers in brass, percussion, color guard and band leadership. This program is provided in partnership with the Sacramento State University School of Music and typically has up to 100 members per year.
Mandarins Entertainment provides performances throughout the region. These semi-professional performers can be seen at NBA Sacramento Kings games, NFL Oakland Raiders games and numerous non-profit and corporate events.
Sacramento Urban Debate League (SUDL): Debate is an academic activity that builds research and critical thinking skills in a competitive event. Competitive debate has always been available to students at suburban schools, but it has never been widely available in more cash-strapped urban public schools. SUDL levels the playing field, giving low-income urban students access to the same academically rigorous debate programs available to their suburban peers.
Coached by teachers and SUDL staff, debaters conduct extensive research on the annual resolution and develop arguments for and against it. Debaters hone their arguments in afterschool practices and compete at weekend tournaments. Two-person teams participate in a series of 75-minute debates and each team alternates sides, arguing for the resolution in one round and against it in the next.
Research shows that competitive debate helps close the achievement gap and prepare for college. Benefits of debate stem from research, communication, creativity, collaboration, civic awareness, and critical thinking that it demands from its participants. Studies demonstrate a significant rise in GPA and college enrollment rates for debaters when compared to their peers, a decrease of drop out rates, and an increased readiness for 21st century careers. We are the only Sacramento organization that creates and funds high school policy debate programs for low-income students.
Shoulder to Shoulder: Fatherlessness is the greatest social challenge of our day. In 2010, more than 31.6 million children, (43 percent) lived in a home without a father. Our vision is to equip fatherless young men for life, enabling them to become well-balanced, mature men in their families and community, breaking the cycle of fatherlessness, one life at a time.
Shoulder To Shoulder provides long-term mentoring to at-risk fatherless boys starting in the 4th grade. Simply put, STS volunteer mentors ignite hope and purpose, challenging our young men to take responsibility for their lives.
There are four key factors that make the Shoulder To Shoulder approach unique:
STS provides extensive training and ongoing learning support for our mentors and coaches.
St. HOPE Public Schools (SHPS): is a 501(c)3 non-profit public benefit corporation focused on educating Sacramento students from traditionally underserved communities such as Oak Park and South Sacramento. Founded in 2002, SHPS provides all students with a high-quality, rigorous college preparatory education. PS7 (grades K-8), Oak Park Prep (grades 7-8) and Sacramento Charter High School (grades 9-12) provide personalized attention to their students and commit more time to learning with an extended school day. Individually, each of the schools has experienced remarkable academic results. A few examples include: PS7 being named charter school of the year for the state of California, Oak Park Prep was the highest performing middle school in the city of Sacramento in just its first year, and Sac High setting a school record with 94% of the seniors in the Class of 2015 earning acceptance to a four-year college. SHPS also operates Triumph Center for Early Childhood Education, a public preschool providing a unique early childhood education to approximately 90 children. Triumph has been recognized as a model site for the California Department of Education. The four schools in the SHPS system serve almost 1,800 students in the 2015-16 school year.
Stanford Settlement Neighborhood Center: We empower children, youth, seniors, and families so they can thrive. From After School Groups and Summer Day Camp for children, a Teen Center for youth, a comprehensive Senior Center, and Operation Cratchit, our annual Christmas Basket Program, the agency is an anchor in the community for those in need.
Founded in 1936 by the Sisters of Social Service, Stanford Settlement is a neighborhood-based social service agency with a long, successful history of serving the community, using limited resources, with integrity. As a settlement house, the agency is concerned with helping those in the immediate neighborhood, and engaging those people in making improvements to their lives and their community. As the neighborhood has changed over the years, programs have evolved to meet the needs.
Services impact the overall health, well-being, and functioning of those we serve. Specifically, our seniors are able to avoid isolation while maintaining their independence; our teens have support to stay in school, graduate, and stay out of trouble; our children are able to bounce back from abuse and neglect because we foster resiliency. Prevention services save thousands of dollars that would be spent on intervention later.
The Center for Violence-Free Relationships: is dedicated to building healthy relationships, families and communities free from sexual assault and domestic violence through education, advocacy and services in western El Dorado County. Our vision: Stop the inter-generational transmission of family violence; Empower victims of family violence and their children to build a life free from violence; facilitate a process for the community to assume personal & collective responsibility and pro-actively respond to end family violence. Our mission is to accomplish our vision through the utilization of best practice prevention and intervention education programs, comprehensive case management and the delivery of appropriate services.
The Center serves victims and survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault and their families. Current services to survivors and their families include: a 24-hour crisis line; crisis case management; group counseling; emergency food, clothing and transportation; legal assistance and accompaniment; a safe house; hospital and court accompaniment and advocacy; information and referrals; group counseling for those who have battered their partners; and a trauma focused cognitive behavioral group counseling program for children exposed to domestic violence. The Center’s community outreach and education programs include: Bully prevention program for tweens, healthy relationships program for high school students; professional trainings on bullying, sexual assault, and domestic violence; and college presentations on sexual coercion. Over 27,500 victims have been served to date.
Women’s Empowerment: The mission of Women’s Empowerment is to educate and empower women who are homeless with the skills and confidence necessary to secure a job, create a healthy lifestyle, and regain a home for themselves and their children.
Located in Sacramento, CA, our mission was created by homeless women expressing their needs and a community that came together to change lives. Instead of ignoring the problem and allowing the cycle of homelessness to continue—our community came together and created a solution. Fifteen years later, homeless women have a place where they can gain job readiness skills, work with an Employment Specialist, develop their career, and achieve life goals. Their children are given the nurturing needed to heal from homelessness so they can succeed in school. Whether it’s through classes, mentoring, or on-the-job training—homeless women are provided a pathway back to work, back to our community, and back to contributing to our society.
Eight out of ten women we work with regain a home, go back to work, or enroll in school within a year of meeting us. And unlike other programs, we do this without government funding. We are funded by individuals and businesses and have help from over 600 amazing volunteers.
March 6th, 2015
Following an inspiring event featuring 10 nonprofit pitches, awards and prizes totaling more than $25,000 were awarded to five of our ten Fast Pitch finalist organizations. But Fast Pitch is about more than just a 1-time pitch – since our 3/6/15 event, 8/10 finalists have been invited to use their pitch to compete for additional funding. And, just three weeks after the final event, more than $80,000 in follow-on funding has been granted to finalists as a result of audience members hearing their stories of regional impact and leadership.
Below are videos from our 3/6/15 Event. We know you’ll agree – the Sacramento Region is incredibly lucky to count these nonprofit leaders among our own!
Social Venture Partners (SVP) – Who we are and what we do!
916 Ink - Winner $5,000 Coaches Award, $1,000 People’s Choice Award
A Touch of Understanding
B Street Theatre
Green Tech - Winner $1,500 Random Act of Kindness Award
SAGE Global - Winner $10,000 Judges Award
Teach For America
Wind Youth Services - Winner $3,000 Audience Award Winner
Yolo Basin Foundation
Youth Development Network - Winner $6,000 value Uptown Studios Media Makeover Award