Community Solutions Incubator

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The Community Solutions Incubator believes in the power of social innovation and creativity to address our community’s most significant challenges. And we believe that local community members are best able to identify our unique problems and offer effective solutions.

At the Community Solutions Incubator, emerging and young nonprofit entrepreneurs are able to pilot their ideas and create supporting structures alongside other social innovators in a well-resourced co-working space, receiving hands-on mentorship and guidance from some of the area’s most successful community leaders in a variety of fields and disciplines. Networking opportunities, workshops, and seminars — along with limited access to financial support — creates a generative and innovative environment in which the next generation of community leaders and organizations will emerge, not only strengthening our local community but potentially producing replicable programs across the nation.


The Community Solutions Incubator is a program of the Community Foundation of East Central Illinois, a publicly-supported 501(c)(3) tax-exempt philanthropic organization created in 1972 to encourage and receive contributions establishing endowments and other funds for the long-term benefit of east central Illinois. It supports and serves its donors by managing and administering endowed funds that have been donated for philanthropic purposes.

Recognizing the importance of nonprofit organizations in enhancing the community’s quality of life, the Community Foundation launched the Community Solutions Incubator to help strengthen and grow these important social change agents. In addition to its many granting opportunities, the Community Foundation helps nonprofits through its Center for Nonprofit Excellence and “Building Better Boards” initiative.

Leadership Team

Joan Dixon
Manage President and CEO | Community Foundation of East Central Illinois
Joan Dixon, as President & CEO of the Community Foundation of East Central Illinois, works with donors to ensure that their charitable wishes are achieved. In addition, through the Foundation’s “Center for Nonprofit Excellence,” Dixon helps nonprofit organizations with board training and development, strategic planning, fund development, stewardship, succession planning and other areas critical to success. Dixon holds a B.A. in communications from Dominican University in River Forest, IL, as well as a M.A. in Theatre and an M.B.A. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Before joining the Community Foundation, she was Senior Director – Public Relations, Marketing & Allied Services for Christie Clinic. Dixon received the Dr. Arthur H. Larsen Leadership Award from the East Central Illinois Area Agency on Aging and has been named an honorary Park Commissioner by the Champaign Park District. She has the served on the boards of a number of nonprofit organizations, is a past president of Champaign Rotary and past president of the Alliance of Illinois Community Foundations. She currently chairs the Alliance’s Public Policy Committee and serves on the Illinois Attorney General’s Charitable Advisory Council. Dixon is firmly convinced that her four nieces and nephews, grandnephew and grandniece are truly exceptional.
Rebecca McBride
Director, Community Solutions Incubator | Executive Director and Founder, 4 Osprey & Ecofluent
Rebecca McBride brings over 30 years of professional experience in management, strategic planning, and marketing to the Community Solutions Incubator. Recently retired from from the University of Illinois after serving nearly 25 years as Senior Associate Director of Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, Rebecca is deeply committed to giving back to her community by sharing her skills and expertise with the next generation of leaders and social innovators. She is equally committed to 4 Osprey and its Ecofluent Initiative, a nonprofit environmental organization devoted to helping individuals live in balance with the environment. Since earning her MBA and BS from the University of Illinois, she has been committed to applying her skills and knowledge to the nonprofit arena. At Krannert Center, Rebecca was recognized for her leading role in developing groundbreaking public engagement and marketing initiatives, designing innovative organizational structures and management systems, advancing the Center’s efforts toward sustainability, and for her leadership in re-imagining and developing the Center’s capacity to support new creative work. She was given the Chancellor’s Academic Professional Excellence Award in 2016 in recognition of her sustained and outstanding work at the University of Illinois. Prior to joining Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, Rebecca served as Director of Marketing and Public Relations for Christie Clinic Association and Director of Marketing for the Urbana Park District. A Champaign native, Rebecca has served on various community and campus boards and committees, including the Eastern Illinois Food Bank, 40North/88West Inception Team and Board, Champaing County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Habitat for Humanity, Allerton Advisory Board, Champaign Downtown Development Corporation, among many others. Ms. McBride currently serves as board member of the Prairie Rivers Network and the Community Foundation of East Central Illinois. Outside of her community work, Rebecca enjoys writing and organically managing her 7 wooded acres along the Sangamon River in rural Champaign County.
Jill Guth
Broker | Guth & Associates
Jill Guth has over 30 years of leadership and management experience in the economic development arena which cultivated a variety of relationships in numerous sectors. Prior to forming her own commercial real estate firm, Guth & Associates, Jill served as the Director of Commercial Leasing & Marketing for JSM where she successfully negotiated leases with local, regional and national retailers and office users like Urban Outfitters, Panera Bread, CVS Health, University of Illinois, and many more. During her time with JSM, Guth served on several boards and committees throughout the community and founded the Champaign Center Partnership which works to promote Champaign's Center City. Before her role at JSM, Guth served as the President/CEO of Campustown 2000 where she implemented programs to redevelop and revitalize the greater Campustown area, serving the University of Illinois. After Campustown 2000, Guth served as the Executive Director of the Champaign County Economic Development Corporation where she led efforts to increase economic development activities on a county-wide basis. Combining her experience in marketing, real estate, and economic development, Guth is able to provide tailored strategies to meet the needs of each individual client. Jill served as the co-chair for the 2017 American Heart Association's Heart Ball.
Noah Isserman
Director | Social Innovation at Illinois Assistant Professor (Visiting) | School of Social Work Assistant Professor (Visiting) | Business Administration
Noah is currently Assistant Professor of Business Administration and Social Work (visiting) at the University of Illinois, where he co-founded and directs the university-wide Social Innovation at Illinois initiative and the award-winning iVenture Accelerator. He also serves on the four-person core team tasked with the design and rollout of the upcoming $48m Design Center. Noah was formerly at the University of Cambridge, where he was a Gates Cambridge Scholar and member of Gonville and Caius College. Noah has worked with dozens of organizations on strategy, sustainability, process, and messaging, generally at the board level. This work, undertaken both independently and as a consultant with Washington, DC-based Common Ground Consulting, has taken place on six continents. As an entrepreneur and CEO, Noah has helped build and sell two profitable enterprises, WholeData LLC (acquired by the Upjohn Institute) and MAStorage, Inc, both of which deliberately generated social as well as commercial value. He supports entrepreneurship from several advisory boards and expert groups, including the Council of LAUNCH, an initiative of USAID, Nike, the US State Department, and NASA. Noah joins his professional experience with broader theory in academic teaching and research. He has designed and delivered courses at the Universities of Cambridge and Illinois at the undergraduate, MBA, MSt, and MTech levels. Noah’s work in enterprise and civil society has been funded by the Aga Khan Foundation, US State Department, Google, and VentureWell, among others, and has been recognized by more than a dozen awards and fellowships. He holds degrees from Amherst and Cambridge.
Mike Royse
President | Center for Community Adaptation, LLC
Mr. Royse works with communities and anchor institutions on community and economic development strategies to bring about a more sustainable future. In his role he works to initiate projects in renewable energy, transportation and land use, and community health. Mr. Royse also focuses on encouraging entrepreneurial initiative in the communities he serves with an eye for bridging age, culture, and economic gaps. Mr. Royse was President of One Main Development, LLC. until January of 2013 In his role, Mr. Royse worked closely with city leaders and partners to ensure the success of each project and the continued growth of One Main Development. Mr. Royse's experience is as a business generalist, and he has served professionally as a business strategist both organizationally and financially. He has been extensively involved with a sixty million-dollar residential property portfolio owned by his family. As CEO of Royse Wagner (a small national branding firm), Mr. Royse consulted on teams leading high growth activities within a variety of industries. His crowning achievement was the development of the environmental communications platform for the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, 2002. Mike is tireless in his service to the local business and academic community. He frequently takes time to meet with students and young professionals who are just beginning to define their careers or refine their business vision. Mike currently serves as President of the Center for Community Adaptation which aims to help communities come together around strategies and initiatives that build health, wealth, and sustainability.

Our Founding Partners

The Incubator’s Founding Partners are area companies and organizations who have generously offered their skills and knowledge to Incubator members as needed. From marketing to finance to governance to human resources, these organizations represent a diverse and impressive cohort of professionals who will mentor incubator members through one-on-one mentoring, workshop presentations, and networking.

[CO][LAB] Neutral Design Group
4 Osprey | Ecofluent News Gazette
Academy for Entrepreneurial Leadership
Busey Bank Pixo
Center for Community Adaptation Parkland College
Champaign Public Library Smile Politely
Clanin Marketing Research Park/Enterprise Works
CliftonLarsonAllen SBDC/ EDC
Community Coalition Social Innovation at Illinois
Community Foundation of East Central Illinois Students Consulting for Nonprofit Organizations
Cozad Asset Management Surface51
Enactus The Bridge Incubator – City of Champaign
Guth & Associates School of Social Work
Krannert Center City of Urbana
Meyer Capel Law Firm University of Illinois iVenture Accelerator
Mowgli Studio Wolfram


For more information
email at
phone at 217-000-0000