SEASIDE Institute™

Santa Rosa Beach, FL   |


Inspiring Livable Communities through new urbanism design.

Ruling year info


Executive Director

Christy Milliken

Main address

PO Box 4875

Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459 USA

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NTEE code info

Research Institutes and/or Public Policy Analysis (B05)

Research Institutes and/or Public Policy Analysis (W05)

Urban, Community (S31)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

At the Seaside Institute we strive to implement programs and education that support our core values which include connectivity, adaptability, and sustainability. A few areas that are currently strong initiatives at the Institute currently are safer and more connected bike paths in our communities. We are also supporting a wellness program for the aging community that will incorporate proactive approaches to maintaining health in a sustainable way. Educational support about environmental issues and our resiliency along the coast in a proactive approach to hurricane season. Our overall goal as an organization that was built with New Urbanists principles in mind we advocate and educate the community on a more holistic approach to living better. We work through symposia and education to better achieve awareness and implement strategic partnerships to achieve this.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Sustainability, Connectivity, Adaptability

SUSTAINABILITY: Centers around preserving our world’s resources with consideration to those who come after us. Sustainable development respects climate and environment, rather than striving to overcome it. Communities that are loved and cared for by successive generations are inherently more sustainable than places that quickly become obsolete.

CONNECTIVITY: Communities connect in many ways, Transportation, Technology and Communication. The physical manifestation of connectivity in neighborhoods—streets that intersect with each other rather than ending in a cul-de-sac—expands to a world view. Communities can be linked through innovative transportation such as autonomous vehicles or connected through communication and the sharing of ideas.

ADAPTABILITY: Our world is changing rapidly. Adaptable communities can withstand, adjust and recover from adversity. The 2020 COVID Pandemic is an example of how individuals and communities must be prepared to adapt as the world changes. Preparing for such change is vital to resiliency.

Our Adaptability programming brings thought leaders together to, learn from each other, from various communities and encourage new ideas and innovation.

Population(s) Served

As we age, access to quality healthcare becomes more important. In addition to its availability, convenient locations, telemedicine and accessibility of buildings and transportation are issues that can impede anyone's ability to maintain their health throughout their lifespan.
Combining access to healthcare while maintaining a healthy lifestyle that is active is the main focus of Aging With Grace.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.


This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Sustainability, Connectivity, Adaptability

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success


Context Notes

We are currently working on our connectivity and adaptability goals by assessing our mobility issues and are actively working on and partnering to change outcomes in this area for our community.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

We believe in promoting the building of sustainable places through education and design.
Seaside has always been a small town based on big ideas—a charming tourist destination that inspired an urban planning movement now known as New Urbanism. For a generation raised in Suburbia, Seaside’s invitation to get out of the automobile and walk was revolutionary. Time Magazine said the mixed-use, pedestrian-friendly community “could be the most astounding design achievement of its era.”

Like Seaside itself, the Seaside Institute is a proud incubator of ideas. Beginning in the 1980s, the Institute brought together early New Urban practitioners, coming together for the first time to discuss best practices in design, construction, retailing, market analysis and governance and to teach the techniques to others.

As Seaside and the New Urbanism movement matured, the Institute took on new challenges.

Positioned on the Gulf of Mexico in the Florida Panhandle, Seaside is frequently threatened by hurricanes. By surviving these storms—and watching neighboring communities suffer significant damage that Seaside had been spared—the Institute began to explore issues of disaster preparedness and resilience.

Seaside’s walkable design—and the lessened dependence on automobiles—spurred research into the benefits of walkable communities. These outcomes, including better health and the ability to age in place, became themes for the Seaside Institute’s research and seminars.

With the development of other New Urban communities along County Road 30A, the Institute has begun exploring innovative new means of transportation connecting walkable communities, as well as other common interests with neighboring communities. Seaside itself continues to be a living laboratory, inviting students and others to walk its streets and experience the built-out example of its innovative design.

Just as the design community has used the charrette as a way to bring together all the expertise in one room, the Seaside Institute invites many fields of expertise to collaborate and build on each other’s ideas. Our three core tenets—Sustainability, Connectivity, Adaptability—continue to inspire the Seaside Institute as we explore new ways to build community and connect with each other.

We strategize through work with county officials, communities, and professionals both locally and globally to create an environment that is about adaptable change. This is done through active symposia, building alliances, and sustaining partnerships that align with our overall mission. We create environs that are mindful of intentional design and offer an outlet for education.

We work through active channels for press and readership in achieving messaging and participating in an ongoing community conversation.

We will achieve all goals in alignment right our organizations strategy by working with our Board of Governors and with our community through symposia, marketing and promotion, collaborative partnerships, and active implementation.

We have made progress in partnering with resiliency programs such as The Water Institute, and environmental programs such as The Paper Bear. We have an active voice in our community through podcasting. We will be building ongoing partnerships with Congress for the New Urbanism, Urban Guild, the Alys Foundation, and various mobility strategists. We will also be helping incubate a wellness program that will help our community age gracefully and with integrity and purpose. Our mission is about placemaking for people.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We share the feedback we received with the people we serve, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, The people we serve tell us they find data collection burdensome


SEASIDE Institute™

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


Connect with nonprofit leaders


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Connect with nonprofit leaders


Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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SEASIDE Institute™

Board of directors
as of 06/15/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Mr. Jeff Zehnder


Term: 2019 - 2024

Board co-chair

Lisa Burwell

Vie Magazine

Robert Davis


Daryl Davis


Scott Merrill

Merrill, Pastor & Colgan, Archtects

Doris Goldstein

Walkable Mixed Use

Jeffrey Zehnder

Zehnder Communications

Ann B. Daigle

New Urbanist

Larry Davis

Davis Properties

Elizabeth Case

Davis Polk & Wardwell, LLP

Lisa Burwell

Vie Magazine

John Robert Smith

Transportation for America

Mike Ragsdale

The 30a Company

Micah Davis

Seaside Community Development Corp.

Roger Hall

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 6/15/2023

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity


Sexual orientation

No data


No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 05/16/2023

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.