05.31.17

Pledge 1% Colorado Pitch Contest: El Centro Amistad shares lessons learned

On May 16, as part of Boulder Startup Week, Pledge 1% Colorado – an initiative of the Community Foundation Boulder County – and other sponsors launched a contest to showcase how cross-sector collaborations are positively impacting our community. El Centro Amistad, one of the six finalists, shared with us their approach to the contest, and what they learned: 

 
Who we are & why we entered the contest
I’m Jorge De Santiago, AMISTAD Executive Director, and I want to share why we decided to enter the Pledge 1% Colorado Pitch Contest.
 
The idea to submit our application was an organizational process (Board of Directors, Staff, Volunteers). We all agreed it was the perfect opportunity to connect with the Startup community and talk about the health equity issues in Boulder (many of us in Boulder County have many more health issues and reduced access to healthcare). We wanted to use this platform to present our innovative way to address this issue in our community using our Promotora de Salud model – a grassroots effort to educate and empower the less privileged.
 
Winning the 1st prize $10K grant was “la salsa on the taco,” and having the opportunity to learn other ways to create organizational capacity to present our programs to a broader audience was a big plus.
 
What we did
I am Josh Forman. I was assigned as AMISTAD’s pitch coach. In total, there were six prep meetings over 11 days that included nine people to create our winning pitch. It was a true team effort: Ana, the feet on the street passionate about the mission presenter was never really sure how it would all come together, and did what was needed anyway; Elena and Jorge, the charisma of the organization who helped keep the vision as focused as possible; and Robin, the board member who really cares, helped refine the message and remove parts that didn’t directly relate to the community we serve, the problem addressed, the solution we have, and the possible impact of the grant. Leticia Abajo and the TechStars team (Natty Zola, Julie Penner, and Zach Nies) also provided valuable insight.
 
What happened and how we feel
I am Elena Aranda, Director of Wellness, Health, and Education. We WON! Our entire community was so happy with this news. They felt validated and empowered to continue their commitment and expand the Promotoras de Salud project. Promotoras have been 100% voluntary work. Winning this contest gives us the opportunity to expand and economically compensate their work. Many members of our Latino community have not had access to recreational and health prevention activities. With this achievement, we can continue our work and break the barriers of inequity to make our healthy community healthier for all residents!
 
How this process was for us
I am Ana Casas, Promotora and Pitch Presenter. In general, the whole process was challenging and rewarding for me. Going into it not knowing what we really needed to do, then putting together a lot of information that you want people and other organizations to know, and having to say this in less than four minutes. Wanting to say so much, but having to say only the essential without losing the heart of why we are doing the work we are doing. 
 
Where we go from here
My name is Robin Luff and I am a board member and a donor for Amistad. We were so grateful to have had the opportunity to promote Promotoras de Salud. This experience is so essential for our team to learn how to condense our message and speak to our community.  Amistad has been working with the Latino immigrant community for 16 years, and has many successful programs. We now have the tools and a framework to pitch our message for each of our programs. 
 
For more information about Amistad and the Promotora de Salud model, visit us at elcentroamistad.org, and follow us on Twitter (@amistadinfo), Facebook, and Instagram and Snapchat (@elcentroamistad).