by Josh Jacobson

Next Stage has new branding and I couldn’t be prouder of what that means.

When I started the firm back at the end of 2013, I have to admit that I didn’t have a clear picture of where it was going. I knew the type of work I wanted to do and the organizations with which I wanted to work, but specifics on the business I was building were still somewhat fuzzy. It was just me with a laptop.

Time is a funny thing. We stopped doing anniversary parties after year three because it felt sort of weird and self-congratulatory to keep celebrating the passage of time for a firm consisting of just one person. But then I hired Caylin Haldeman to start 2017 and things started to change. We built CULTIVATE together, launching Charlotte’s first incubator for emerging nonprofit organizations. The projects began to get bigger in scope, with larger organizations entrusting us to facilitate their strategic planning. We got an office at Hygge West where I discovered my intense love of whiteboarding.

Last year, Next Stage added two additional members to its team: Janet Ervin and Tanya Varanelli. And just like that, the firm had doubled in size. This was no longer the Next Stage hatched at my dining room table. And as such, it was deserving of a new beginning.

The branding we are sharing today is the product of an intentional process that began late last year with a collaborative effort to define our values and guiding principles. We are a social enterprise company, and like the nonprofits we serve, we are guided by a set of principles that define who we are, how we work, and most importantly, our “why.”

Our new logo reflects these principles. Whereas our old logo reflected a staircase up, our new logo eschews privileged notions of climbing and instead suggests an ever-forward orientation. Our new brand mark is efficient in its design, reflecting our purposeful approach to advancing our community.

It is one of many changes you will see as you scroll through our updated website. We have included a number of client stories that illuminate how our services lead to impact. We are also repositioning our highly-successful “The New Normal” Friday afternoon webinar series as “What’s Next?” highlighting where our social good community is going as it moves forward.

Forward. It is the theme of our firm and the work that we do. And we look forward to working with you to continue shaping our community one project at a time.