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What We Do

Social change can happen faster than you think.

Every second, the world becomes more connected than ever before. Modern communications technology is revolutionizing the way people reach out to each other, work together, and share messages and ideas. At CEL Education Fund, we invest in new leaders, tools, and strategies that help individuals and organizations harness the power of these technologies to shift culture and transform society.

The efforts that we support use technology and digital media to keep the public informed about how key institutions like government, corporations, and the media are affecting their lives. By providing opportunities for people to become informed and then act on their individual and collective concerns, our projects inspire and create real societal change.

CEL Education Fund supports Citizen Engagement Laboratory and other nonprofits that align with our mission by incubating high-impact, tech-savvy programs, and by making strategic, restricted grants. We focus our work on the following areas:

1. Powerful Communities Program & Fiscal Sponsorship

When people with a shared purpose come together to act collectively, they can literally change the world.

CEL Education Fund helps accelerate that process through our Powerful Communities program, which supports leaders who have the passion for making change, the knack for bringing people together in action, and the capacity for building effective organizations. Using a combination of coaching and direct services, we help them help their communities achieve near-term impact and build longstanding power.

For projects with more focused needs, we offer several models of fiscal sponsorship. We give funders the confidence they need to make early investments in ideas while providing a ladder of support to give leaders access to robust infrastructure support as their ideas and organizations take shape.

CEL Education Fund incubates organizations at various stages of development, from nascent idea to established entity. But wherever they start, we help them grow bigger, stronger, and (of course) faster.

2. Innovation

Whether it means developing a new tool or bringing a time-tested idea to a new environment, CEL Education Fund recognizes the need to experiment and evolve our social change strategies.

As a social change lab, our staff and project leads work to identify gaps in their fields, chart new courses, build and test new tools and tactics – learning and sharing valuable lessons in the process. That’s innovation, and it’s a part of our DNA.

3. Collaboration

The groups CEL Education Fund works with recognize that most challenges their communities face are too big to fight alone.

CEL Education Fund helps overcome these obstacles by bringing together groups from across the field to share information, identify best practices, test innovations, and work together to win campaigns that could never be won alone. Through collaboration, groups not only gain near-term allies and ideas, they also build long-lasting ties that help them engage more people in deeper ways.