Ariadne’s 2024 Forecast, celebrating 10 years of forecasts for European Social Change and Human Rights Funders!

Ariadne’s 2024 Forecast, celebrating 10 years of forecasts for European Social Change and Human Rights Funders!
March 27, 2024 Jana Stardelova

We are pleased to announce the release of the 2024 Ariadne Forecast for European Social Change and Human Rights Funders!

2024 is shaping up to be a year in which our political systems are put to the test. With elections being held in over 60 countries across the globe, this will be a decisive year for political leadership. How the international community responds to key threats, including the climate crisis, will be set in motion through the choices made now. For European foundations, the European Parliamentary elections, as well as elections in the UK and the US, loom particularly large, and there are concerns that with the far-right gathering more strength, democracy itself is under threat. Funders are entering 2024 driven to meet this moment, recognising that the stakes are high. Whether that means funding get-out-the-vote campaigns, efforts to combat disinformation, or platforms that raise up the voices and demands of marginalised groups, funders are looking for the roles they can play to help ensure that elections are free and fair and that human rights are protected throughout the political process and into the future.

At this pivotal moment, Ariadne is publishing its 10th annual Forecast. Looking back over the past decade, we can see that certain challenges have only grown rather than been surmounted. Closing civic space and the restrictions facing NGO activities have been a consistent theme over the years, and while there have been small victories, this trend has continued to unfold unabated. Concerns about a backlash against human rights and the need to address the climate crisis have also been present throughout the reports over the years. In our very first Forecast in 2015, funders expressed fears about the role of Russia and its potentially destabilising influence on neighbouring Ukraine and about instability in the Middle East, with one predicting another intifada. These predictions seem prescient today, and we are only too aware of the potential for further violent conflict in 2024.

Although it can feel, looking back through these reports, that the world has not moved on much in ten years, we should acknowledge that our own responses have developed in that time and that we are learning more about what it might take to make progress. The critique of philanthropy and its traditional forms of operating has become much stronger and more mainstream, particularly following the Covid pandemic with the stark light it shone upon inequalities in accessing support. The discourses of trust-based, inclusive, and participatory grantmaking are much more pervasive among foundations today than at probably any point in the past. The sector also increasingly shares a much stronger analysis of the root causes of the social injustices it is trying to address. While the responses are often still siloed and sometimes disjointed, there is a growing recognition of the interconnectedness of the issues and the need for deeper, structural change to move us forward. The momentum for transformational change is gathering pace, in society and in philanthropy, and this energy has the potential to open new opportunities in the face of challenges that can sometimes feel overwhelming.

As we gear up for a year that will likely set the stage for political opportunities in the coming four to five, we hope that this Forecast gives you a sense of what peer funders are most concerned about and focused on as well as the opportunities, however small, to be seized. While philanthropy cannot solve all problems, as a sector we do have strengths to lend to the agenda for social change, and we are better positioned to capitalise on those when we work as a community. I look forward to working with all of you over the course of 2024 to make the most of what we can bring to the table.

Best wishes,

Julie Broome
Ariadne Director

Join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #2024AriadneForecast, or get in touch with Jana Stardelova to write a blog for us.

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