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Startup Makes Training Part of Growth Plan

SeaChange Capital Partners

Launched in 2006, SeaChange is in the nonprofit business of arranging transformational funding for organizations working in education reform and youth development for low-income young people. Two years after launch, SeaChange Managing Partner Lincoln Caplan attended training. “We didn’t have an organization then,” he said in a 2010 interview. “Now we’re 10 people.”

By the time of training, said Caplan, “we had some sense of how we expected our operating model to work, of who our important constituents were, and of which nonprofit segments we aimed to serve, and had begun to speculate about the communications tools that would be most effective.”

Afterward, “It was absolutely clear to me how important communications tools were for SeaChange,” Caplan said. He also began looking to add a staff person “excited about and sophisticated and skillful in communications.” Soon after, the organization hired Jenn Goldstone as a vice president who fit that description. “Training made me open to this skill set sooner than we had expected,” Caplan said, “and others at SeaChange agreed about its importance to our firm.”

With the leadership of Goldstone, SeaChange has generated a set of factsheets about the organization and its affiliates, a newsletter rich with stories, and more. Partners of the organization eagerly anticipate the debut of a new website to replace the modest one used during launch of the organization. “I spoke with a presenter [from training] and talked about our model and our uncertainties about how to use the web,” said Caplan. “He mapped out an approach, and we will be testing out that approach soon.”

Lincoln Caplan attended a 2008 communications training session that was typical of the core program experienced by most participants. His particular session was specifically designed for executive directors of grantee organizations.

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