News Date:
October 2011

LASVP “Fast Pitch” Competition Awards Four Nonprofits Over $100,000 in Prizes. Event Held on First-Ever Official Nonprofit Day in LA.

Led by philanthropist Wallis Annenberg, the Annenberg Foundation Alchemy Peer to Peer event gathered more than 1,200 nonprofit leaders, funders and government officials to salute the contributions of Los Angeles’ nonprofit organizations and to watch the final rounds of the Social Innovation Fast Pitch competition at Club Nokia in downtown Los Angeles.

The top honors of the competition went to L.A. Diaper Drive, a nonprofit that distributes diapers and offers parenting education to low-income families.

A major component of the Peer to Peer program was the final competition of Los Angeles Social Venture Partners (LASVP) Social Innovation Fast Pitch Competition with four awards and more than $100,000 in prizes:

  • L.A. Diaper Drivereceived two of the awards — the $20,000 Judges Award and the LASVP Investee Award of $20,000 in cash and a three-year commitment from LASVP for philanthropic support including $60,000 in total funding and ongoing coaching to accelerate the organization’s growth.
  • Gumball Foundation, which helps students start small-scale vending machine businesses to earn money for college, won the Annenberg Audience Award of $10,000 based on the audience’s text voting.
  • Get On The Bus, a nonprofit that provides children with free transportation to visit a parent in prison, received the Coaches Award of $5,000.

The other finalists that competed were the Beauty Bus Foundation, Cardborigami, GRID Alternatives, Inner-City Arts, Mother’s Day Radio, Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden and Village Market Place. 

The Los Angeles City Council in conjunction with Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa declared Tuesday, October 25, as Nonprofit Day in Los Angeles, a first in the city.

Mayor Villaraigosa said, “The City’s first annual Nonprofit Day honors the good works, imagination and compassion of the 245,000 men and women who so tirelessly work in this crucial sector that generates $35 billion for the Southern California region. We can and must do more to assist nonprofits by removing the bureaucratic hurdles and cutting red tape to allow our nonprofits to do what they do best – help our fellow Angelenos and make this a better, more caring city.”

The Los Angeles region is home to more than 30,000 active nonprofit groups and 2,000 grant-making foundations.

“We are honored that Peer to Peer is a significant event for Los Angeles that has served as a catalyst for the declaration of the first official Nonprofit Day,” said Leonard Aube, executive director of the Annenberg Foundation.  “Peer to Peer is a thank you to leaders whose hard work and dedication deserve acknowledgement and celebration.  In this setting, nonprofits and funders exchange ideas and resources that will help strengthen the sector.”

Hosted by George Lopez and Jamie Lee Curtis, the Annenberg Foundation event offered an opportunity for nonprofits to learn new ways to expand the reach of their organizations, to meet others in the nonprofit community as well as key funders, and to be entertained by Los Angeles Philharmonic violinist Robert Gupta and singer/songwriter Michelle Branch.

“The theme for the 2011 Peer to Peer program was The Art of Human Engagement Through Effective Storytelling, which is at the heart of what we teach with the ‘Fast Pitch’ program,” noted Diane Helfrey, founding partner and executive director, LASVP.  “We were thrilled to partner with the Annenberg Foundation on this event, which provided the perfect forum for our finalists to share their messages with a large audience, including potential donors and volunteers.  Being able to communicate the essence of your organization in a compelling and succinct manner is an invaluable skill.”

Judges for the “Fast Pitch” were Eileen Heisman, president and CEO of National Philanthropic Trust; Nike Irvin, vice president of programs for California Community Foundation; Warren Olney, producer and program host at KCRW and Jake Winebaum, Internet entrepreneur and founder of numerous Internet businesses and the business incubator and investment firm Blue Waters Research.

Peer to Peer was held at Club Nokia at L.A. Live thanks to the generosity of AEG and the STAPLES Foundation and AEG President and CEO Timothy J. Leiweke.  The event also received the support of Sony Pictures Entertainment, Inc., the Los Angeles Business Journal and the Entertainment Industry Foundation.  Peer to Peer was produced by Academy Award-winner Bruce Cohen and Bruce Cohen Productions.

Social Innovation Fast Pitch sponsors include California Community Foundation, Capital Group, The Nicholas Endowment, Harris myCFO, Beverly Hills Women’s Club and the USC Marshall Society & Business Lab.

Media Contacts:

Liza DeVilla, Annenberg Foundation, lameen@annenbergfoundation.org 310-209-4571

Karen Diehl, Casey & Sayre, kdiehl@cswpr.com 310-473-8090


  • Published: 6 years ago on March 23, 2012
  • By:
  • Last Modified: March 23, 2012 @ 7:42 pm
  • Filed Under: News

Leave a Reply