The Self-Education Foundation was active from 1998-2005 as a small grassroots fund, run by young activists who raised money to give grants of $100-$500 to inspiring activism.
The Self-Education Foundation (SEF) is a nonprofit organization led by young people committed to supporting individual and community empowerment through self-education. To this end, we utilize the tools of grantmaking, community organizing and outreach. We believe that self-education is the practice of freedom.
In a society where it is not passion or vision but money that is a barrier, we see fundraising as a vital element of building a movement for social justice. We are shattering the conventions of the philanthropy world by showing that young people who do not have a large source of personal wealth can successfully run a foundation by drawing upon years of grassroots organizing experience and the skills of self-education.
- homeschoolers and dropouts organizing for educational resources outside of institutions
- student-led school reform
- incarcerated self-educators and their supporters
- independent media, and popular education projects.
- The Practice of Freedom: A History of the Self Education Foundation (Jessica Hoffmann, enoughenough.org; 2010)
- Interview with SEF Director Emily Nepon (Life Learning Magazine; 2002)
- SEF’s origins in No More Prisons (William Upski Wimsatt, 1999)
- Social Change Philanthropy and How It’s Done (Allison Goldberg, Foundation News; 2002) (PDF Attached)
- Where Help is Felt Most (Silja J.A. Talv, Christian Science Monitor; 2000)
Looking for grant funding?
The Self-Education Foundation is no longer active as a grantmaking organization. When we closed the organization in 2005, SEF transferred our remaining savings to RESIST, an activist grantmaking organization with similar values and grassroots focus. While RESIST does not focus on education-related activism, we believe that many of those seeking grants from SEF will find RESIST to be a relevant, user-friendly grantmaking resource.