Since 2018, CULTIVATE has existed as an annual six-organization cohort, committed to helping emerging community leaders strengthen their organizations. Demand for the program has always been high and during the last year we have considered  how to further ‘unleash’ its impact, expanding the curriculum to even more deserving leaders.

Beginning in the first quarter of 2022, CULTIVATE will evolve into an on-line platform that will allow many more organizations and nonprofit founders to participate. Features of the new model will include a self-paced curriculum, a community forum for network development with organizational peers, and workshops featuring guest speakers and presenters on core CULTIVATE topics.

This is an important shift for us to make at this time. As Next Stage continues to evaluate how to make a profound impact on our community, it is clear that the CULTIVATE curriculum, speakers and cohort incubator format could expand to empower even more founding leaders striving to better our community. We believe it is a more equitable approach to fuel the changemakers making real impact at a pivotal time in history.

We are especially excited about the increased collaboration this new format provides participants. Not only will it surround them with invaluable resources, but also important connections to others walking the same path of establishing a community nonprofit, often an overwhelming venture.

Access to the new CULTIVATE platform will be available for the founders and leaders of emerging nonprofit organizations located in Mecklenburg County and established in the past five years.

Stay tuned – Next Stage will continue to share more about this new format in the coming months! Please feel free to share this message with others in your network and encourage them to sign up here (select CULTIVATE), so they can also get the latest updates.

Next Stage thanks the Reemprise Fund, the OrthoCarolina Foundation and the Knight Foundation for its vision and support of CULTIVATE that has helped us arrive at this exciting moment for the program.


Who is able to sign-up for Cultivate?
Leaders of emerging nonprofits located in Mecklenburg County (Charlotte, NC area).  Nonprofits must have been established within the past five years and already have or are pursuing receipt of their 501c3 status.

What does Cultivate provide to leaders of emerging nonprofits?
Cultivate is an online community with a self-paced, merit-based curriculum program that connects leaders with community, curriculum and cohorts as they lead their emerging organization. A couple key features include:

  • Online cohort and learning management platform
  • Monthly workshops for participants on the platform
  • Guest speakers and online events
  • Certification upon completion

When can I sign-up if my organization meets the eligibility criteria?
The program is currently in development. More details about the 1Q 2022 launch to come in January.
How will the program be different then in the past?
The previous program format only allowed six organizations to participate each year, but this new online community and learning platform will make it possible for all leaders in  eligible organizations to participate and benefit.
Is there a cost associated with the program?
CULTIVATE is offered at no cost to organizations. Next Stage sources sponsorship to sustain the platform from its corporate and philanthropic partners.

How will I access the Cultivate program?
Upon meeting eligibility requirements, you will receive an invitation to join an online social learning community where the program will be hosted and further details will be provided atthat time.