Our advisory work spans spin-outs and divestments, organizational restructurings (including bankruptcy), growth capital campaigns and/or site replications, the establishment of new entities, and real estate projects. We seek engagements that are amenable to a quantitative/analytical approach; benefit from an independent, confidential, third-party perspective; do not require substantive programmatic knowledge; can be staffed as a complement to our principal activity of managing grant-making and investment funds, pose no potential conflict of interest with our other activities; involve both staff and board leadership; and are highly likely to lead to short-term action. We do not respond to RFPs or actively market for advisory engagements. We refer opportunities to other technical assistance providers whenever we believe, as is often the case, that they will be a better fit. Our engagements fall into six broad categories examples of which can be found on our transactions page.
Financial modeling is a prerequisite to making strategic decisions for any business, and nonprofits are no exception. Financial analyses and modeling can help nonprofits better understand their financial situation and the potential impact of business decisions on their sustainability.
Most nonprofits are not regularly involved in transactions; very few have the internal capacity to manage them well. SeaChange helps nonprofits to explore or complete transactions by being a retained, part-time member of the transaction team. SeaChange will not get involved on an advisory basis in any transaction that might be an appropriate investment opportunity for our funds.
Many nonprofits can benefit from a quick review of their strategy without an extensive strategic planning exercise. This is particularly true when they are considering a transaction. During an short but intensive process, we develop a comprehensive and balanced view of the opportunities available to the organization, the risks it faces in pursuing these opportunities, and the factors that mitigate those risks. Our analysis is delivered in the form of a memorandum. The process of working with SeaChange to develop the memorandum helps organizations refine and articulate their vision, mission, and strategy.
SeaChange has designed, launched, and now manages four funds (i.e. multi-funder collaboratives) and has developed deep experience in the associated governance, economic, legal, accounting and operational issues. We help funders – typically foundations – structure and launch collaborative funds, even where SeaChange will have no on-going fund management role.
During 2015, SeaChange partnered with Oliver Wyman, an international management consulting firm, to develop a set of best-practices with respect to risk management. On a selective basis, we work with nonprofits interested in assessing their current state of risk management and exploring how to put our recommendations into practice.
Nonprofits in financial distress, or on the cusp of it, have far less outside support to help them work through restructuring than their for-profit brethren. The lack of support reflects a paucity of relevantly skilled advisors and funders, a sense that financial trouble “taints” an organization, and the absence of any financial incentives for outsiders to help work things out. SeaChange helps distressed organizations think through their options. We treat any request for restructuring assistance as highly confidential.