2021 Pitch To Ditch Poverty

2021 Pitch to Ditch Poverty Challenge

Top 3 Pitch to Ditch Applicants being voted on during the Poverty To Possibilities Summit, 11/9/2021:

Career-Connected Learning for Low-Income Young Adults of Color

Data indicates that only 11% of low-income, first-generation students who enter college graduate in 6 years. This proposal provides wrap-around support to help ensure those students are successful in school and connected to career opportunities upon graduation.

Future Forward Outreach for Tax Time Financial Inclusion

Many families and individuals are not able to maximize their tax refunds and other income because banking services are often not accessible or affordable. This proposal would create informational materials in multiple languages informing low-and moderate-income tax filers of safer banking options and asset-building opportunities.

Read Me Justice

More than 42 million adults in the US, including many in Pierce County, read and write below a third-grade level. This proposal supports learning labs with people with lived experience to help others learn to read, or read better, so they can have more confidence and function better in day-to-day situations.


Pitch to Ditch Poverty Application - Closed

Welcome to our third Pitch to Ditch Poverty contest. This year, we want to renew our focus on big ideas that focus on social justice and help mitigate the racial and social inequities that are evident today. We also want to highlight projects that address the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 crisis in our communities. P2D

Pitch to Ditch Poverty originated from our communities, which are full of groups and individuals with big ideas to address the challenges in their communities. This contest recognizes that groups and individuals impacted by our communities’ challenges also have the knowledge and lived experiences that best equip them to visualize and implement community-based solutions to those challenges.

The Pitch to Ditch Poverty challenge provides funding, support, and recognition to individuals and community-led groups who have big ideas and projects that address the racial and social injustices that disproportionately impact individuals in poverty.

Your big ideas must be designed in collaboration with the people who will use and be impacted by the initiative. There’s no better way to understand the hopes and aspirations of those you are designing for than by involving them directly in bringing that initiative to life! In addition, your ideas must consider diversity, equity, and inclusion in the decision-making process to help remove disparities among groups for the best possible solutions.

Challenge goals are three-fold:

  • Support innovative projects with promising potential for social impact.
  • Foster a diverse pipeline of innovators through targeted outreach, support, and education.
  • Promote/support social and racial justice at the grassroots level.

A. This proposal application must be completed and submitted by 5 pm on August 15, 2021. Proposal applications will only be accepted through this online form. Pitch to Ditch Poverty Application

B. You will be notified by September 14, 2021, if you are selected to do a 7-minute virtual presentation to our panel of judges.

C. Presentations to our panel of judges will take place beginning the week of September 27 – October 1, 2021.

D. Finalists will be selected by October 4, 2021.

E. Finalists must submit a 4-5 minute video presentation by October 22, 2021.

F. Final presentations will be shown during our From Poverty to Possibilities event on November 9, 2021, and the winner(s) announced.


Award Amounts

  • 1st Place - $5,000.00
  • 2nd Place - $3,000.00
  • 3rd Place - $2,000.00

Note: If you have questions about your submission, contact Pitch2Ditch@uwpc.org


Key Dates

  • Aug 16: Phase 1 – Final date to submit application
  • Sep 14: Those moving to Phase 2 notified
  • Sep 27-Oct 1: Phase 2 – 7-minute virtual presentations
  • Oct 4: Finalists notified
  • Oct 5-Oct 22 Phase 3 – Finalists create 4 to 5-Minute video
  • Oct 22: Phase 3 – Final date to submit 4 to 5-minute video
  • Nov 9: From Poverty to Possibilities Event –Winner(s) announced

Eligibility Criteria

Your big idea must address poverty, stagnant wages, financial instability, and foster racial and social justice in our communities. Concepts must be designed with people who are living in poverty that you want to impact. You must consider the following components:

  • Address the racial and social inequities in our communities.
  • Focus on the people who will use your product/innovation.
  • Help solve the fundamental problem, rather than the symptoms.
  • Be willing to test your design decisions with real people to create the best user-experience.
  • Only teams with at least three Pierce County residents as members are eligible to apply.

Eligible Groups

The following groups are encouraged to apply:

  • Student groups and classes (all ages)
  • Groups of individuals with lived experience (e.g. people who have been affected by the justice system or homelessness, youth and young adults, etc.)
  • Any informal group of neighbors and community-led groups
  • Grassroots leadership groups and cross-sector content expert groups
  • Advocacy and special interest groups
  • Faith-based communities
  • Non-profit organizations


2021 Pitch to Ditch Poverty Printable Flyer


2021 Winners