Impact at Scale Profile: Debi Pfitzenmaier

The Impact at Scale Profile Series brought to you by Philanthropitch spotlights past nonprofit finalists from Philanthropitch and how they are scaling their impact and creating new opportunities for their organization. 

Screen Shot 2018-08-28 at 3.25.22 PM.png

In celebration of #NationalNonprofitDay, we're featuring Debi Pfitzenmaier, the Founding Executive Director of Youth Code Jam, an out-of-school program that encourages upper elementary through high school students to imagine themselves in emerging technology-driven jobs. Debi’s presentation at Philanthropitch San Antonio blew the judges away and garnered Youth Code Jam over $50,000 in prize money.

Learn how participating in Philanthropitch helped Youth Code Jam expand their impact in San Antonio and beyond. 

1. What opportunities have come out of you involvement in Philanthropitch?

Philanthropitch accelerated our growth by placing us in front of new donors and volunteers in a way that really raised awareness of our work as a relatively new nonprofit. Many members of the audience reached out to us after the event, opening all kinds of new doors and opportunities. The biggest opportunity is the development of new advocates in our community who saw the pitch and were inspired to go back to their companies and recruit other volunteers for us. We can’t do what we do without a volunteer corps of hundreds, so this is key to our growth. The second opportunity - a new major donor - was secured using much of the important work we put into developing our pitch for Philanthropitch.  

2. How has Philanthropitch helped your organization scale?

The build out of our platform for scale is moving, and we have already seen the fruits of our labor. To date, we’ve reached more than 100 teachers with training in how to run their own jams, and at least a third of them have committed to hosting an event at their school. That’s a potential of nearly 2,000 more students getting excited about computer science! We’ve had at least one confirmed school-based jam in the RGV, and we know of several others that are currently being planned. Just these few efforts are expected to reach several thousand more children and parents, which we’ll know as we start collecting data back from these events once they are held. In addition, the ongoing mentorship from Philanthropitch has been helpful in terms of providing a sounding board and really solid feedback.

3. What is next for your organization as you continue to build a scalable, sustainable nonprofit?

Our next step is the development of new advocates in Austin and the Rio Grande Valley, where we will host jams in 2019, as well as the continued school initiative expansion. We will continue to work with the teachers we have trained to help them execute their own events. In addition, we are working on hiring a curriculum specialist to further develop our materials and further expand our platform for those materials.


Interested in participating in or supporting Philanthropitch programs in Austin, San Antonio, or Columbus? Contact us at

Philanthropitch is a social impact fast pitch competition on a mission to scale innovative nonprofits. With nearly one million dollars raised in donations since its founding, Philanthropitch accelerates nonprofits by providing the risk capital they need to expand their impact and fund initiatives that aren’t covered by traditional grants. Learn more at