SeaChange provides grants, loans, analysis and advice to help nonprofits work through complex financial and organizational challenges. We also share our insights to support the larger universe of nonprofits that we do not work with directly.
We make grants to help nonprofits explore or implement mergers, joint-ventures, programmatic alliances and other types of formal, long-term and sustainable collaborations.
We make flexible, impact-first loans to support the real estate, working capital and expansion capital needs of nonprofits working in New York City.
We provide analysis and advice to nonprofits facing organizational or financial challenges. Most of this work is provided on a pro-bono basis.
SeaChange has helped hundreds of nonprofits with grants, loans, analysis and advice. Explore our portfolio of engagements below.
Brooklyn Community Bail Fund
SeaChange's $700,000 loan to the Brooklyn Community Bail Fund allowed them to establish the largest bail fund in the country, freeing more than 5,000 people who were in jail solely for their inability to pay bail and to advocate for the abolition of wealth-based detention.+ read more
The Bushwick Starr
SeaChange’s $1 million loan to The Bushwick Starr enabled them to acquire a new, permanent space for expanded theatrical programming and community artistic education.+ read more
New York City Charter School for the Arts
SeaChange made a $196,500 loan to allow New York City Charter School of the Arts to move to a new location downtown.
Considerable resources exist to help nonprofits achieve their ambitions. We’ve collected the ones that seem most relevant to the areas where SeaChange is active.VIEW RESOURCES
Is SeaChange a nonprofit?
SeaChange is a nonprofit which is tax-exempt under Section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code. We are further classified as a “public charity” because of our diversified funding. We have full-time paid staff and a volunteer board of directors. All support for SeaChange is tax-deductible.
When was SeaChange established and why? How has it evolved over time?
SeaChange was founded in 2007 in the belief that some of the skills developed in finance, technology, and real estate could, if combined with empathy and humility, help nonprofits facing complex challenges while meeting the needs of funders. After an initial focus on education and youth development, we gradually expanded into grantmaking in support of mergers and sustainable collaboration, high-impact lending, and consulting. In 2021, we expanded into higher education. Our work will continue to evolve in response to the challenges faced by nonprofits and the unmet needs of funders.
What types of nonprofits does SeaChange work with?
We have worked with nonprofits of all sizes and operating in all issue areas. We particularly value engaging with smaller, community-based groups, often led by people of color, that are typically the most under-resourced. However, our lending is resricted to New York City at this time.
Are there other organizations like SeaChange?
We know of no single organization providing our range of offerings—loans, grants, analysis, advice —for nonprofits and funders. There are organizations—CDFIs, grant-making collaboratives, community foundations and consulting firms—that do some of these things individually and at a much greater scale than SeaChange. Although we are small, we believe that our culture and values differentiate us from others.
What is SeaChange’s operating model?
We maintain a lean, high-quality team by partnering with others wherever possible. We pilot new ideas with our own money before seeking outside support. We organize our discrete, on-going activities into separate funds structured to meet the needs of nonprofits and the participating funders. We embrace risk.
What is SeaChange’s financial model?
The majority of our operating budget comes from management fees paid by our funds which cover the cost of the associated work. These fees are bolstered by restricted and unrestricted support from foundations, and unrestricted support from individuals, including board members. We seek support from funders who are interested in our work and wish to be actively involved over and above their financial support. Although most of our individual supporters come from corporate backgrounds, they believe in the nonprofit sector and are deeply involved with nonprofits as donors, volunteers, and board members.
What are SeaChange’s core values?
We are driven by the facts, professional and level-headed, entrepreneurial, and creative. We prize our independence of thought and action. We respect our partners and one another. We strive to do no harm.
How does SeaChange manage potential conflicts of interest?
Our mission—to be the champion for nonprofits facing complex challenges and be the partner of choice for funders—is rife with potential conflicts. We try to be thoughtful about how to identify and manage conflicts. Here is our formal policy for managing conflicts.
How can I apply for a grant or a loan?
Here is the link to our grant and loan applications: Apply
Who approves the grants and loans made by SeaChange? How long does this take?
Our grants and loans come from the funds that we manage. SeaChange leads the evaluation on the basis of which we may recommend a grant/loan which is then approved, or not, by the participants in the associated fund. (The funders generally follow our recommendations but not always.) We can usually get back to you with a decision within two weeks of our evaluation being completed. We are committed to keeping nonprofits informed about the status of evaluation, recommendation and approval process.
Can I get involved and/or support SeaChange? Can I join a fund?
We welcome your financial support, your ideas, and your time. While anyone can make a donation to SeaChange, some of our funds are subject to securities regulations. Our funds may not be appropriate for you or may no longer be open to new participants. If you are interested in learning more about SeaChange or its funds please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
How does SeaChange add value?
SeaChange operates within a network of funders and nonprofits who trust us with the resources (e.g. funds, ideas, information) we need to help nonprofits address their complex challenges. Our long-term success depends on the quality of this network which in turn depends on our reputation for professionalism and fairness in balancing the sometimes conflicting interests of its members.
Although SeaChange exists to help nonprofits meet complex challenges, we also create opportunities for funders which they could not easily participate in without our involvement.
In addition to the value of the grant or loan, we seek to add value to grant-seekers and borrowers through our evaluation and portfolio management processes. We take an observer seat on the finance committee of all borrowers. We also try to add value by sharing what we have learned through calls, meetings, articles, and events.
How do you measure success?
Each grant, loan, and consulting engagement is judged at completion against its original expectations. Our target is that 80% or more meet or exceed these expectations. We evaluate our insight work by the actions and decisions they support or encourage. We further evaluate our operations for efficiency and effectiveness in light of the financial and human resources that we employ.
How can I learn more about SeaChange?
We look forward to hearing from you. Call us at (844) 869-7842 or email us at email@example.com. We promise to get back to you within 5 business days.