Next Stage today announced the selection of six (6) nonprofits for participation in the 2019 cohort of CULTIVATE, an incubator designed to provide expert strategic and relational supports to emerging social cause organizations based in Mecklenburg County. Now in its second year, the incubator focuses on increasing capacity for emerging nonprofits to sustain their operations and helps them build social capital toward achieving their missions and visions.

The pilot year of CULTIVATE served three organizations: Charlotte is Creative (Matt Olin and Tim Miner), Learning Help Centers of Charlotte (Brent Morris) and Promising Pages (Kristina Cruise).   Next Stage has developed an impact measurement strategy to track participant outcomes and will publish an annual report summarizing results from CULTIVATE’s pilot year in February 2019.

The 2019 cohort organizations were selected through an in-depth RFP process and assessment by a selection panel of community leaders, including Dianne Bailey (US Trust), Kellie Cartwright (United Way of Central Carolinas), Jennifer DeWitt (Duke Energy), Charlie Elberson (Reemprise Fund), Blair Primis (OrthoCarolina) and Charles Thomas (Knight Foundation). The panel met in early November 2018 to review applications from over 40 local organizations, making recommendations for the selection of six finalists.

Selection criteria included commitment and leadership potential of participant, mission and programs that are unique, innovative and differentiated from others in local community, alignment with local priorities, initiatives and current events, and the opportunity for impact and organizational strengthening through CULTIVATE involvement.

The 2019 cohort for CULTIVATE includes:

  • Aspire Community Capital (Manuel Campbell, Founder & CEO): ASPIRE Community Capital drives business start-up, growth and expansion by providing training and access to financial products that support wealth creation for low to moderate income entrepreneurs, with the ultimate goal of bringing much needed stability and stimulation to target communities.
  • Brave Step (Crystal Emerick, Founder & Executive Director): Brave Step strengthens adults impacted by sexual abuse by providing meaningful steps on their journey to heal. We design personalized care plans and offer inspiration, education and connection for survivors and their loved ones.
  • Queen City Unity (Jorge Millares, Founder & Executive Director): Queen City Unity drives equity and equality for people of all races, religions, genders, sexual orientations, and socioeconomic statuses in Charlotte, NC through four areas of focus: volunteerism, community engagement, assisting minority families with upward mobility and addressing inequities in schools.
  • Rebuilding Together of Greater Charlotte (Beth Morrison, Executive Director): Rebuilding Together of Greater Charlotte’s mission is repairing homes, revitalizing communities, rebuilding lives. The organization mobilizes community volunteers and contractors to provide repairs that make homes safer and healthier for our neighbors in need.
  • Stiletto Boss University (Jania Massey, Founder & Executive Director): Stiletto Boss University is a youth training program for high-school girls, that uses entrepreneurship as the foundation for teaching the power of collaboration, sisterhood and community impact.
  • Transcend Charlotte (Trey Greene, Co-Founder & Executive Director): Transcend Charlotte’s mission is to promote authenticity, connection, and social justice by empowering transgender individuals and all gender diverse people impacted by oppression and/or trauma.

Kicking-off in January 2019, CULTIVATE will offer these six participating nonprofits in-depth training and coaching on core monthly topics focused on organizational development and strategic business planning.  The curriculum for CULTIVATE includes one-on-one work and personalized coaching with the Next Stage team, online assignments managed through a learning management system, small group workshops for the six participating leaders and engagement activities designed to increase social capital.

CULTIVATE is made possible through the generous support of the Reemprise Fund and the OrthoCarolina Foundation. Next Stage is pleased to have Hygge Coworking on board as its official coworking partner. Participating organizations will receive free membership at Hygge Coworking and have access to Hygge’s West Side location for the duration of the incubator. Next Stage is also proud to have the Children and Family Services Center as a partner for CULTIVATE.

More about CULTIVATE can be found here. 

About Next Stage Consulting:

Next Stage works with nonprofits to develop visions, set goals and create strategies for all aspects of operations, implementing organizational and fund development efforts with an eye toward efficiency and effectiveness. Led by Managing Director Josh Jacobson and Project Manager Caylin Haldeman, Next Stage exists to serve the varied needs of nonprofits in the Carolinas. By partnering with staff and leadership volunteers, the firm’s talented consultants prioritize identifying needs and opportunities, developing a plan to address them and working tirelessly to ensure optimization in pursuit of mission. The firm is dedicated to working with a limited number of nonprofits to guarantee all clients receive expert counsel, specialized strategic and development planning, and in-depth implementation services. Next Stage Consulting is committed to being a different kind of consulting firm, as interested in designing unique solutions as working to see them implemented.