On Wednesday, November 4th, EOD received a grant of $25,000 after winning the top prize at the inaugural Heart of Dallas Fast Pitch competition.
After being selected for the competition from a pool of over 50 applicants, EOD competed against seven other nonprofit organizations for a portion of the $100,000 total pool. The setup and rules of the competition were modeled after the popular ABC show Shark Tank, in which companies have a few short minutes to pitch their product to a group of investors. For this event, the nonprofits each had only three minutes to pitch a panel of five judges, who would then vote on the breakdown of which organization received which sum of money. EOD’s Executive Director, Jayda Batchelder, gave an impressive pitch that outlined the success of EOD, as well as an exact outlook of how the grant money would be used by EOD for the betterment of DISD students.
The nonprofit organizations EOD competed against are all doing exceptional work in and around Dallas, and gave moving pitches of their own. Here is a list of who participated and the amount they were awarded:
America SCORES Dallas: $7,500
Behind Every Door: $5,000
Bryan’s House – Open Arms, Inc: $10,000
Dallas Tennis Association: $7,500
Education Opens Doors: $25,000
Equal Heart: $20,000
HopeKids North Texas: $7,500
Rae’s Hope: $2,500
The event took place at the beautiful bar and event center d.e.c. on Dragon St, located in Dallas’ Design District. After each organization gave their pitch – in front of the judges as well as a sell-out crowd of 300 – everyone moved to the rooftop for cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and networking while the judges discussed the pitches. During this portion of the night, Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks received an award of $10,000 for the Dirk Nowitzki Foundation, for his work as a community leader both on and off of the basketball court. When receiving the award, he gave a meaningful speech for those in attendance about the powerful work nonprofit organizations are doing in Dallas. After this portion, the organizers of the event began to announce the donations earned by each organization.
To say the EOD staff was thrilled when it was announced that we had won $25,000 would be a massive understatement. The hard work Jayda and the team put in in preparation for the event paid off, and it was a humbling experience to see all of EOD’s successes be recognized in front of so many people.
The night could not have gone better. It was a memorable experience; EOD celebrating against the backdrop of downtown Dallas, the vast skyline representative of the inspiring, hardworking nonprofit organizations that EOD competed against for the top prize. The event was illustrative of the promising growth of the nonprofit sector in Dallas, which EOD is proud to be a part of.