About

Mission

SeaChange Capital Partners is a nonprofit merchant bank. Our mission is to enable transactions that increase the impact of nonprofits while offering leveraged opportunities for funders.

In our role as a merchant bank, we facilitate transactions by making grants, loans, and investments from our funds, by providing advisory services, and by “making markets” within our network. We focus only on special situations where there is a benefit to our playing an intermediary role. We seek to create leveraged opportunities for funders and donors. Our principal asset is a network of foundations, individuals, nonprofits and public entities that trust us to make strategic grants and investments, provide advice and analysis, synthesize and flow information, and manage potential conflicts of interest.

 

We strive to be respectful, entrepreneurial, and do no harm.

History

SeaChange was founded by Charles Harris and Robert Steel with the encouragement and inspiration of John Whitehead. The founders – all former partners of Goldman Sachs – shared the belief that a dedicated team providing select merchant banking services to the nonprofit sector could help donors and organizations achieve greater social impact.

 

SeaChange launched in early 2008 with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Omidyar Network, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Surdna Foundation, Goldman Sachs, and a group of individual philanthropists. After an initial focus in education and youth development through the Catalyst Fund (2008-2016), SeaChange expanded into mergers and collaboration with the SeaChange-Lodestar Fund for Nonprofit Collaboration (2009-present) and the New York Merger Acquisition and Collaboration Fund (2012-present); into credit with the Contact Fund (2013-present); and into impact investing with the New York Pooled PRI Fund (2014-present). In 2011, we began providing Advisory Services in response to requests from nonprofits and funders. In 2015, we began our relationship with Greater NY and also began working in risk management together with Oliver Wyman. Our work will continue to evolve in response to changes in the environment, feedback from the market, and reflection on our accomplishments and challenges.

Guiding Principles

We are respectful of nonprofit leaders and staff, the importance of the problems they are addressing and clients they are serving; of funders and their autonomy and right to make their own decisions; of each other and the ‘ecosystem’ that supports the sector; and of the best practices of the nonprofit, for-profit, and public sectors and our obligation to draw from each.

 

We are entrepreneurial in seeking new opportunities to add-value, in critically assessing our current activities, and in leveraging the knowledge and experience of our network.

 

We strive to do no harm when interacting with nonprofits and donors by encouraging responsive and clear communication between all parties; by taking a neutral and independent stance in our relationships; by maintaining confidences, and by ensuring that no party is ever worse off for having approached us. (Conflict of Interest Policy)

OUR TIMELINE
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The SeaChange Network

 

SeaChange is fortunate to work closely with and enjoy the financial support of a number of leading foundations – including Altman Foundation, The Booth Ferris Foundation, The Clark Foundation, The Heckscher Foundation for Children, The Kresge Foundation, The Lodestar Foundation, The New York Community Trust, The Thompson Family Foundation, and The William K. Bowes, Jr. Foundation – and a select group of committed and connected individuals. We are also privileged to engage with so many inspiring nonprofit leaders, committed board members, dedicated public servants, and mission-driven peer organizations doing complementary work.

 

If you are interested in learning more about SeaChange or have ideas for how we might work together, please contact John MacIntosh at jmacintosh@seachangecap.org. If you would like to support SeaChange, please click the button below.