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About Us

We are passionate about our work and committed to partnering for impact.

The world is changing fast, community problems seem bigger than ever and the competition for resources can feel overwhelming. The lines between nonprofit, business, civic and policy impact grow increasingly blurred, as more organizations recognize the need for partnerships and strategies that value both people and sustainability to create systemic change.

These changes are making way for leaders with courageous visions to forge new partnerships and strategies that will create change in communities felt for generations. Leaders and organizations already have the internal drive and expertise to make big impact. Next Stage partners to fuel this drive and make these visions a reality.

Our Values


We are called to this work.


We achieve ambitious goals together.


We say the stuff that needs to be said.


We’re committed to inside-out solutions.


We are mindful of how we deploy resources.


We hold ourselves to a high standard.

The Team

Josh Jacobson, Managing Director

Josh Jacobson specializes in strategic positioning and tactical implementation, helping nonprofits develop the platform and tools necessary to support effective operations and fundraising activities.

Over the last 10+ years, Josh has directly managed engagements with more than 200 nonprofits. His expertise is in business planning, strategic planning, volunteer development, annual and capital fundraising, executive and development search, case strategy, and succession planning. As a consultant, Josh has worked in-depth with every nonprofit sector, bringing new ideas and approaches into every engagement.

Before relocating to NC, Josh worked in NYC – first as Senior Officer at The Juilliard School where he worked on the $150 million Campaign for Juilliard, and later as a Senior Resource Development Director with Manhattan Theatre Club on Broadway. Josh is actively involved in the civic life of Charlotte and is Chair-Elect for the board of Tosco Music, a Charlotte-based music nonprofit.

Caylin Haldeman, Director of CULTIVATE

Caylin Haldeman brings a background in philanthropy to her role with Next Stage. She joined Next Stage in 2017 and has made significant contributions to projects including Arts+, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Food Policy, Plaza Midwood Merchants, Sustain Charlotte, and many others. In addition to her work with clients, Caylin partnered with Josh to launch CULTIVATE, Next Stage’s incubator for emerging nonprofits, in early 2018. In August 2019, Caylin transitioned into the role of Director of CULTIVATE, making it her primary focus.

Before relocating to Charlotte, Caylin worked as a Program Associate with the GreenLight Fund, a philanthropic organization with roots in the venture capital community. Over more than four years, she supported the selection and launch of five high-performing national nonprofits in Philadelphia. Caylin received her BA in Urban Studies from Bryn Mawr College and spent her freshman year in Costa Rica, where she researched the role of gender in community development while working for the Costa Rican Humanitarian Foundation.

Caylin is part of the Charlotte hub of Global Shapers and uses her free time to volunteer with local nonprofits and explore the world through books and travel. She lives in Fourth Ward with her partner and two dogs.

Janet Ervin, Consultant

Janet Ervin brings a depth of experience in strategic positioning, brand development and communications to her role as a Consultant at Next Stage.

Prior to joining the team in October 2019, Janet spent more than 13 years working with Charlotte-based nonprofit organizations, including the 24 Foundation (formally 24 Hours of Booty). Her expertise includes strategic planning, brand development, fundraising, grant writing, marketing and communications, volunteer development and organizational culture. She also has experience in the corporate sector, including the development of social responsibility and impact strategy and programs. She is passionate about bringing new ideas to the nonprofit sector and making sure that every client is positioned for success.

A North Carolina native and graduate of Appalachian State University, Janet spends her time outside of work volunteering with several nonprofits focused on children and students. She lives in Charlotte with her family, a dog and four chickens.

Tanya Varanelli, Project Manager

Tanya Varanelli joins Next Stage as a Project Manager with a background in nonprofit recruitment and search operations. She is focused on sourcing talented leaders for Charlotte’s thriving nonprofit community.

Tanya spent several years working for Koya Leadership Partners, a national executive search firm serving nonprofits, where she recently served as Director of Research and Special Projects. Prior to joining Koya, Tanya was Associate Director of Recruitment at The Broad Center, where she helped recruit and train executive leadership talent to become urban school district leaders. Tanya’s previous recruiting experience includes positions with DIRECTV, and Bain & Company.

Tanya is a member of the North Carolina Center for Nonprofits and volunteers with nonprofits focused on healthcare advocacy and environmental issues. Tanya holds a B.A. in Human Development/Organizational Studies and Human Resources Management from Boston College. She lives in Huntersville with her family.