Announcing CULTIVATE – An Incubator for Emerging Nonprofits

Charlotte, NC (October 4, 2017) — Next Stage Consulting today announced the launch of CULTIVATE, an incubator for 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations designed to provide expert strategic and relational supports to emerging social cause organizations based in Mecklenburg County.  The incubator will focus on increasing capacity for emerging nonprofits to sustain operations and building social capital toward achieving their missions and visions.

CULTIVATE launches in January 2018 with four (4) participating nonprofits selected by a panel of community leaders, who will consider applications based on an in-depth RFP process.  Organizations selected to participate must demonstrate a unique approach to addressing a challenge facing Charlotte and commit to a 12-month program designed by Next Stage.  The online application can be accessed here. The deadline for submitting an application is November 10, 2017.

Next Stage is able to provide this incubator at no cost to deserving nonprofits with generous support from funders like the Reemprise Fund.  While Next Stage continues seeking funds to undergird the effort, the firm is committed to making this resource available with its inaugural class in 2018.

The curriculum for CULTIVATE includes one-on-one work and personalized coaching with the Next Stage Consulting team, assignments managed through an online learning management system, small group workshops for the four participating organizations and community engagement activities designed to increase social capital.

Core monthly topics covered by the incubator will include:

  • Aligning Mission, Vision & Values
  • Building Program Fidelity
  • Strengthening the Board of Directors
  • Sourcing Volunteers and Staff
  • Seeking Partnerships That Make Sense
  • Building a Pipeline of Individual Donors
  • Mastering Grantsmanship
  • Leveraging for Sponsorship
  • Onboarding Earned Revenue
  • Designing Online Communications
  • Appealing to the Media/PR
  • Refining the Strategic Business Plan

In addition to best-in-class training and strategic supports, Next Stage anticipates making available an opportunity fund for organizations that successfully complete the incubator program.  This funding will help support the organizations as they work to implement the strategic business plans they will have developed throughout the year as a part of CULTIVATE.

“The launch of this incubator is the next stage for our firm, pardon the pun,” Josh Jacobson, Managing Director of Next Stage Consulting said.  “We believe strongly in the ability of emerging nonprofit founders to bring new ways of serving our community to the table, and we want to help them build solid business plans that ensure their long-term success.”

In addition to Josh Jacobson’s leadership of the incubator, Next Stage’s Project Development Manager Caylin Viales will serve as its project manager.  Next Stage is also engaging a team of practitioners in the fields represented by the topics above to augment the program as co-facilitators.

The selection panel for CULTIVATE includes Dianne Bailey (Robinson Bradshaw), Jennifer Dewitt (Duke Energy), Charlie Elberson (Reemprise Fund), Blair Primis (OrthoCarolina) and Charles Thomas (Knight Foundation).  The panel will meet in late November 2017 to consider applications and make recommendations for participating organizations.

Next Stage is pleased to have SHARE Charlotte and the Children and Family Services Center serve as partners on CULTIVATE.  SHARE Charlotte will help Next Stage get the word out about CULTIVATE, and opportunities to share learnings from the incubator and its curriculum will be made available to SHARE Charlotte partners throughout 2018.  Next Stage is particularly thankful to the Children and Family Services Center for serving as a fiscal sponsor for support from area grantmakers.

More about CULTIVATE can be found here.