Next Stage Consulting is pleased to announce the second slate of speakers in the Illuminate series at Hygge, the coworking space near uptown Charlotte.

Illuminate is a twice-monthly lunchtime series facilitated by Josh Jacobson of Next Stage Consulting and hosted at Hygge, a coworking community near uptown, where participants gain a better understanding of how nonprofits in the Charlotte region are working on their behalf.  The series is notable for its focus on the business underpinnings of the nonprofit sector and a willingness to tackle challenging topics head-on.

Sessions take place on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month throughout 2016, and lunch is provided for participants by Fit You Meals.  To be added to the list for notification when RSVPs will be accepted for each session, or to suggest future speakers for the series, visit the Hygge website.

Believing Big

WHickeyWendy Hickey, Founder, ArtPop
Tuesday, April 12, 11:45am-1:00pm

Nonprofit founders are often called visionary for their ability to see what others cannot.  Ambition in the form of vision can be easily derided for being too far out of reach.  Against all odds, nonprofit founders must brace themselves in the face of cynics while working to realize their dreams.

In just over two years, ArtPop has gone from launching as a pilot project in Charlotte to expending into ten markets across the United States. The idea of placing the work of local artists on billboards may have come to Wendy more than a decade ago, but ArtPop’s recent success has been rapid.  Wendy will share the ArtPop story, describe how its national expansion has been driven and encourage participants to think big with their nonprofit aspirations… like, billboard-size big!

Playing Well With Others

CRCDuoMichele Houck, Associate Executive Director, Carolina Raptor Center
Robert Touchstone, Development Director, Carolina Raptor Center
Tuesday, April 26, 11:45am – 1:00pm

Did you know the Charlotte region boasts an internationally-recognized institution that is one of the largest of its types in the entire world? For more than 30 years, Carolina Raptor Center has served birds of prey and families across the Carolinas alike.  While many institutions work in silos, Carolina Raptor Center is working across departments to increase income through an innovative RaptorFacts Social Media program.

In this program, subtitled “How Carolina Raptor Center is Leveraging a Google Ads Grant to Support Visitor Service, Marketing and Development,” you can learn how to use Google Ads to create new ways for constituents to connect with your organization, focus your social media and move visitors up the donor ladder to become engaged members of your community.

Handing Off


Deedee Mills, Founder, Behailu Academy
Rebecca Wofford, Founder, The Lunch Project
Tuesday, May 10, 11:45am – 1:00pm

Founders of nonprofits are amazing people, compelled to launch an effort with no assurances of success and often with just their instincts to rely upon.  These servant leaders often see themselves as catalysts for a cause that they never intended to make their life’s work.  Still others feel the onset of exhaustion and desire to see their organizations evolve and become more sustainable.

This session will feature a small panel of nonprofit founders (Deedee Mills and Rebecca Wofford) who have successfully identified successors for the organizations they established.  Facilitated by Next Stage’s Josh Jacobson, the session will explore creating a succession plan, preparing staff and volunteers for the departure, sourcing candidates and on-boarding for success.

Finding Middle Ground

Molly Barker, Founder & VisionGiver, Red Boot Coalition
Tuesday, May 24, 11:45am – 1:00pm

Nonprofit organizations are highly unique structures.  Owned by all taxpayers, 501c3s are managed by a board of directors drafted from the community and tasked with the governance responsibility.  In turn, they manage an Executive Director who has the responsibility to provide oversight of an effective staff team.  It is a structure susceptible to conflict, particularly given the scarcity of resources, differing levels of involvement and enthusiasm, and the discord that can exist between a shared purpose but radically different backstories.

In this session, Red Boot Coalition’s Molly Barker will lead participants in a Red Boot 11-Step meeting, providing insight into the organization’s mission and philosophy while also tackling the topic of conflict inside the walls of nonprofits. This highly engaging session will encourage active participation by all who attend.

Reflecting on the Residency

Staff & Board Leadership, Circle de Luz
Tuesday, June 14, 11:45am-1:00pm

In December 2015, Next Stage launched the Nonprofit Residency at Hygge – an opportunity for an emerging nonprofit to receive free use of an office at a dynamic coworking space and six months of coaching support from the firm.  The inaugural recipient was Circle de Luze, an organization that empowers Latinas by supporting their transformation through extensive mentoring, holistic programming and scholarship funds for further education.

As the residency winds down, Circle de Luz staff and board leadership will talk about their organization, what 2016 has meant to their programming and the impact the residency has had on their work.  Next Stage’s Josh Jacobson will also share information about the second round of the residency which will be accepting application through the end of June.

Asking for Money

JJacobson2Josh Jacobson, Managing Director, Next Stage Consulting
June 28, 11:45am-1:00pm

Sweaty palms. Frog in the throat. Fumbling with formal collateral. No activity is more stress-inducing for nonprofit leaders than making a face-to-face ask for financial support from an individual donor.  And yet, with roughly 80% of giving to nonprofits coming from individuals via gifts and bequests, the face-to-face ask is a must-do activity for any organization looking to leverage affinity for its mission.

In this session, Next Stage’s Josh Jacobson will walk through the ideal ingredients for a successful ask. Whether a major gift for your organization is $100 or $10,000+, Josh will talk through pre-meeting activities, location, meeting participants, verbalizing the solicitation and follow-up. Josh has served as a major gift officer and has worked with more than 120 organizations in the Carolinas. Seating is limited, so RSVP today!

About Next Stage Consulting
Next Stage is a strategy and implementation firm for nonprofits in the Carolinas. Based in Charlotte, North Carolina, Next Stage provides support for strategic planning, fund development, organizational strengthening and project management. The firm is led by Managing Director Josh Jacobson who has partnered with more than 100 nonprofit organizations since 2009.

About Hygge
Hygge (pronounced Hoo-Ga) is a coworking community located at 809-C West Hill Street near Uptown Charlotte. Hygge is Danish for “creating a warm atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with good people,” which is an apt description for this coworking community powered by Garrett Tichy and Kayla Dugger of Ready at 7.