Sustained Excellence Alliance, Corp. (SEA Corp) is the first practitioner-driven cooperative for innovation in the development of financial products and collaborative learning in the field of community development. SEA Corp creates links for direct investments in local community development through the establishment of a loan pool that mitigates the risk to the lender. It provides a national forum for learning and investment across issues and geography to establish a basis for the standardization of "social return on investment."
SEA Corp is determined to offer to its members the opportunity to grow in their effectiveness by learning from one another and from other experts in Community Development, business and other nonprofit fields. Through round-table discussions, case studies, problem-solving seminars and presentations by experts, SEA Corp will give key staff members greater expertise in their particular areas of concern and work.
One area of particular interest to SEA Corp is the Social Return on Investment. The ten members of SEA Corp are looking carefully at the investments made in their work and that they have made in their local communities in an effort to determine how effective they have been, and how they might be even more effective in the future.
SEA Corp also seeks grant funding from larger foundations/corporations and individuals who might see the consortium of organizations as having sufficient size and impact to invest in the group, when they might not choose to invest in the individual organizations. Through the Calvert Foundation, SEA Corp offers investors the opportunity to support effective community development initiatives by placing loan capital on softer returns. Investors may choose from interest rates 0%, 1%, 2% and 3%.
SEA Corp member organizations reach low-income people in New York, San Francisco, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Central Coastal California, Minneapolis, Washington, DC and rural Louisiana. Over the last three years, SEA-member organizations have generated more than 1500 units of affordable housing, bringing much needed housing and community facilities to benefit families in the most demanding neighborhoods across the country.
Each organization of SEA Corp conducts exemplary and innovative community programs. From l997 - l999 combined, these organizations generated 1,152 multifamily housing units and 443 single-family units, for a total production of 1,595 homes. To finance these units, the organizations leveraged $183 million in private capital. Through 2002, SEA Corp members project producing 2,038 additional homes. Members anticipate raising more than $400 million in commercial financing to realize these housing production goals.
When Vincente and Elodia moved to the United States from Mexico, they had dreams of a better life. Once in the US, however, the family found themselves living in a series of small apartments. With hopes of owning a home of their own, Vincente and Elodia turned to Project for Pride in Living (PPL), a SEA Corp organization. PPL was able to help the family secure a home mortgage and now the family enjoys a spacious, four-bedroom home. Full Story