Social Venture Partners Arizona (SVPAZ) is seeking innovative and entrepreneurial nonprofits to apply for its annual Fast Pitch competition. Now in its seventh year, Fast Pitch is a two-month social impact program that culminates in a live event where nonprofit leaders compete for more than $50,000 in funding.

Fast Pitch, affectionately known in the business and philanthropic communities as “American Idol with a soul,” asks local nonprofit leaders to answer one question in just three minutes: How can you change the world?

In the two months leading up to the live competition, 20 nonprofit semifinalists are mentored by local business leaders on honing their pitch, sharpening their social impact and communicating with power and purpose. Three students from Arizona State University and three for-profit leaders will also take part in the mentoring program.

“Everyone has a story, but many of us struggle to tell those stories effectively. This is a critical skill set in the nonprofit world, as funding and awareness hinges on it,” said SVPAZ Executive Director Terri Wogan Calderón. “Through the Fast Pitch program, nonprofits are exposed to some of the Valley’s most prominent business and community leaders who guide them through the pitching process. It’s truly an invaluable experience.”

Seven nonprofits, one student and one for-profit will advance to the final stage of the competition, using their training to contend for SVPAZ cash awards, as well as thousands of dollars raised during the event by attendees.

Interested nonprofits can apply at Deadline is Oct. 28, 2016. The competition will be held March 28, 2017 at the Scottsdale Center for Performing Arts.

Businesses interested in sponsorship opportunities can contact Wogan Calderón at (602) 845-1376 or Last year, more than 600 business, community and philanthropic leaders came out to support the nonprofits.