Charlotte Nonprofit Among Finalists in One of The Most Innovative Competitions


Charlotte-based nonprofit GardHouse is gearing up to showcase its impact at SEED20 OnStage, where 10 nonprofits present three-minute pitches to a community audience for cash prizes. During the event, GardHouse will highlight its work with over 200 Charlotte-area small businesses and nonprofits to provide paid internships for underserved college students. This year’s SEED20 OnStage will take place at 6:30 p.m. on April 27 at Children’s Theatre of Charlotte’s McColl Family stage at ImaginOn.

“We are so excited and experiencing tons of anxiety as we gear up for the pitch competition. My goal is to win, but more importantly, I want attendees to learn more about what we do to help students of color as they prepare for life after college,” said Jonathan Gardner, founder and executive director of GardHouse. “I am very proud of the work we do, the students we support and the business partnerships we have established along the way.”

Created by Social Venture Partners (SVP) Charlotte, the annual SEED20 program identifies, highlights and connects the community to the region’s most innovative ideas for tackling pressing social challenges. Gardner was one of the 10 nonprofit entrepreneurs selected for the two-month program that included training, coaching, feedback and mentoring on how to succinctly and powerfully tell their story. SEED20 OnStage is the culmination event.

GardHouse launched in 2019 and partnered with Charlotte-based businesses and nonprofits, such as the Latin American Chamber of Commerce and 100 Black Men of Charlotte, to provide paid 10-week internships at roughly $22 an hour for college students. The organization also offers financial literacy workshops for students throughout the academic semester led by corporate partners such as Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Ally and Commonwealth Charlotte. GardHouse welcomed its largest cohort of college interns into its pipeline last fall. To date, GardHouse has provided over 180 paid work-based experiences across North Carolina.

Most recently, Gardner was named one of Forbes’ “30 Under 30” for his impact on education, and GardHouse received United Way of Greater Charlotte’s 2023 UNITE Charlotte capacity building support grant – which is awarded to local grassroots organizations led by people of color.

Tickets are available for purchase here to see GardHouse at SEED20 OnStage.