Ariadne’s Thread – February 2020

Ariadne’s Thread – February 2020
February 20, 2020 Hannah Stevens

February 2020

Ariadne’s Thread is a monthly update of events, briefings and research for social change and human rights funders. 

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Ariadne News & Events

REGISTER NOW – 2020 Ariadne Policy Briefing: You are invited to register for the 11th Ariadne Policy Briefing on 1st-3rd April 2020 in Berlin, for two and a half days of networking, understanding the cutting-edge issues for European funders, improving your grant-skills and having an informative and enjoyable time in the company of fellow funders and grantmakers. This year, Ariadne and EDGE Funders Alliance will hold their annual conferences back-to-back as part of “Change Funders Week” 2020. The EDGE Conference will take place on 30th March – 1st April in Berlin. Click here to register for Ariadne’s Policy Briefing.

WE’RE HIRING! CONSULTANT ON COORDINATION OF DIGITAL POWER INITIATIVE: Ariadne is looking for a part-time consultant to coordinate a new initiative on digital rights and digital power.  This initiative will focus on building funder knowledge and capacity around the implications of digital technology for the causes they support, with a particular focus on accountability in the online public sphere and countering AI-driven discrimination and inequality. This consultancy is supported by a project grant of two years. For the consultancy description and person specification, click here.

WEBINAR: DEMISTIFYING GRANTS DATA: HOW AND WHY TO SHARE: Whether you’re an experienced contributor, or new to the Advancing Human Rights research, we’d love to speak with you about the data submission process. On Tuesday 10th March (15:00-16:00 GMT/16:00-17:00 CET/11:00-12:00 ET) we’ll discuss the mechanics of sharing your grants, demonstrate how detailed grant descriptions can help tell your foundation’s story, and explain how funders are using the data. We’ll also go over recent improvements to our reporting template, answer your questions, and ask for your feedback. We hope you can join us! The Advancing Human Rights research is a collaboration between Ariadne, Candid, Human Rights Funders Network, and Prospera. Click here to register.

HAVE YOU READ? PREVENTING AND RESPONDING TO SEXUAL HARASSMENT – FUNDERS’ PRACTICES AND CHALLENGES: As in the rest of society, among those who work for and interact with foundations, there will be individuals who are the target or perpetrators of sexual harassment in its various manifestations. Foundations committed to social justice and human rights have an important role in combating sexual harassment through their work, but they must also take all steps necessary to prevent and respond to it in their work. This guide is an invitation to think, discuss, and learn.

REGISTER NOW – ARIADNE PORTAL TUITION: A half-hour of tuition to improve your skill in using the Ariadne Portal will be held on Tuesday 17th March at 15:00 GMT. This is an online webinar you can participate in from your desk. To join, you will need a computer or tablet (iPad/Android) to watch the online demonstration. To register, please click here. For additional portal tuition dates, please click here.

*To register for Ariadne events, your institution must be a member organisation of Ariadne. For questions regarding your membership status, please contact Hannah Stevens.


New Research, Articles and Judgements

NGOs embrace GDPR, but will it be used against them? When the world’s most comprehensive digital privacy law – the EU General Data Protection Regulation – took effect in May 2018, media and tech experts focused much of their attention on how corporations, who hold massive amounts of data, would be affected by the law. This focus was understandable, but it left some important questions under-examined–specifically about non-profit organisations that operate in the public’s interest. How would NGOs be impacted? What does GDPR compliance mean in very practical terms for NGOs? What are the challenges they are facing? Could the GDPR be ‘weaponized’ against NGOs and if so, how? What good compliance practices can be shared among non-profits? This article summarises the work of Ben Hayes and Lucy Hannah from Data Protection Support & Management and Vera Franz from OSF, who have examined these questions in detail and released their findings in a recent report.

The Prevention Council: The business case for placing human rights at the heart of the UN’s prevention agenda: In this report, Universal Rights Group calls on the UN Secretary-General and member States to place the Human Rights Council and the wider UN prevention pillar at the heart of efforts to revitalise the UN’s prevention agenda. To support this argument the report presents an economic case for such an outcome.

Poverty and Inequality Policy Toolkit: This toolkit from the London School of Economics examines policies with a potential ‘double dividend’: policies that could lead to reductions of both poverty and inequality in the UK.

Facial recognition can’t tell black and brown people apart – but the police are using it anyway: London’s Metropolitan Police Force have announced that they will begin rolling out live facial recognition technology across the city in February. The potential for abuse is so great that days before the announcement, the European Commission declared that they were so worried about the risks facial recognition posed in its current, unregulated state, they were considering supporting a five-year ban on its use in public areas in EU countries. This article from gal-dem highlights how studies have found it to be hugely flawed when it comes to accurately recognising black and brown individuals, even more so if they happen to be a woman as well.  See also, ‘New humanities-led network will put social justice at the heart of AI research.’

How openDemocracy is tracking anti-abortion misinformation around the world: US religious right activists with links to Trump’s White House have supported the spread of what are called ‘crisis pregnancy centres’ around the world, openDemocracy’s ‘Tracking the Backlash’ project reveals in this article.

Coronavirus coverage shows how epidemics can spread racism: The way we understand illness is rarely defined by science alone. That is particularly evident when there are gaps in scientific knowledge – cliché and prejudice fill the void. Narratives of karmic debts, secret conspiracies, and depraved deviants offer the most irresistible explanation. In our fractious times, misinformation – spread wittingly and unwittingly – through the media and online only exacerbates these fallacies. We see this today both in media coverage and public response to the Coronavirus outbreak. This article from openDemocracy calls for more to be done to stop the harmful stereotypes that surface during outbreaks.


Blogs and Other Sites of Interest

BLOG: Instead of shrinking space, let’s talk about humanity’s shared future: In this blog for OpenGlobalRights, Thomas Coombes argues that to make the case for civil society, we have to talk less about the threats it faces and more about the values it stands for, how it contributes to society and show people how they can make change happen.

GUIDELINES: Guidelines for Creating a Digital Security Policy: Open Technology Fund Digital Integrity Fellow Szeming worked over 12 months to improve the digital security practices of two Southeast Asian human rights organisations. In doing so, she not only created a digital security policy for the organisations, but also a checklist for small organisations to begin incorporating digital security best practices into their day-to-day work. In these guidelines, Szeming shares how to ensure the longevity and sustainability of digital security assistance through the use of a digital security policy.

BLOG: Human rights “inflation”—what’s the problem? In this blog for OpenGlobalRights, David Petrasek argues that, instead of talking about “rights inflation”, we should understand what we are witnessing are new interpretations that respond to new struggles for human dignity.

ARTICLE: Hungary To Survey Households on Roma, Schools, Prisons Amid Critics’ Protests: This article reports that Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has announced plans to conduct a new “national consultation” survey of households next month to gauge their opinion on a variety of matters; a move critics say will provide justification for the far-right leader to further diminish the independence of the courts and inflame prejudice against the Romany minority.

ARTICLE: UK – Banning of journalists from Downing Street press briefing latest worrying move by Boris Johnson’s new government: This article from Reporters Without Borders covers attempts by Downing Street to ban select journalists from press briefings; the latest of a number of worrying steps taken by Boris Johnson’s new government that restrict press freedom. Reporters Without Borders calls for an immediate reversal of this alarming trend before the UK follows the US further down the World Press Freedom Index.

ARTICLE: How is corruption like snow? In this article for El País, Moisés Naím writes how Spanish-speaking countries have a multitude of words to describe corruption but no catch-all term for the heroes that unveil such abuses of power. How can public officials in such places foster a spirit of accountability?  

Do you have a great blog post, case study or podcast you’d like to contribute? We would love to feature it. Email Hannah Stevens at


ClimatePhilanthropy2030: Climate change is a defining issue of our times and the 2020s will be a key decade for philanthropic action. From January 2020, Alliance has committed to weekly coverage until 2030 providing over 500 pieces of unique content on climate philanthropy over the next decade. Click here to read the pledge. See Eva Rehse’s blog ‘Funding through a climate lens: How can funders strategically respond to climate change?’

You can give money away, but how about power? ‘Development can be seen as expanding the real freedoms that people enjoy,’ wrote Amartya Sen. However, Andrew Milner and Halima Mahomed argue in this blog that it seldom has.

We all need to breathe: How philanthropy can act now to tackle air pollution: In this blog for Alliance Magazine, Liz McKeon writes about her recent participation in an air quality meeting in Delhi co-hosted by the newly launched India Climate Collaborative and IKEA’s partner, the Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation. The meeting brought together philanthropies, think tanks and civil society organisations taking action to tackle air pollution in India.

How Philanthropy Can Help Lead on Data Justice: This article for Stanford Social Innovation Review argues that by embracing community-based participatory research and other equity approaches to data, philanthropy can change the game, revitalise research and communities, and realise greater impact.

Philanthropy Networks: Creating Value, Voice and Collective Impact: Value. Voice. Collective Impact. Philanthropy networks, their leaders, members and funders alike, are looking to build a future in which these core elements are reflected in their work. This guide combines thoughtful concepts, frameworks and practical approaches that all philanthropy networks can use to prepare their organisations for the next decade.

Curation with a Conscience: Risk, Impact and Decision Making in Philanthropy: Curation with a Conscience: Risk, Impact and Decision Making in Philanthropy, hosted by I.G. Advisors and GlobalGiving aimed to challenge, question, and expand collective thinking about how we give and who we give to, and create opportunities to catalyse more philanthropy in the UK and around the globe. This blog series from Alliance Magazine gives those who weren’t able to attend, an insight.

The next Thread will go out on Thursday 23rd March. We would love to hear from you! Please contact Hannah Stevens by 21st March if you would like to share announcements, events, or resources for the next issue.


Jobs and Tenders

Program Officer, Just Climate Transition in Europe – Open Society Initiative for Europe: Open Society Initiative for Europe is seeking a Program Officer to lead on its Just Climate Transition work. This body of work seeks to support civic actors across the continent in their endeavour to ensure that climate mitigation and adaptation measures are based on wide public debate and broad-based participation (particularly by the most affected communities), avoid being captured by special interests, and are socially just and inclusive. Location: Berlin, Germany. Deadline for applications is 1st March.

Head of Finance and Investment – Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust: The Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust is looking for an experienced senior financial manager to join its small York-based team. The postholder will maintain exemplary organisational accounting systems and practices and oversee the administration of the Trust’s investment strategy. As a member of the senior management team, they will also contribute to the strategic management and development of the Trust. Location: York, United Kingdom. Deadline for applications is 9th March.

Manager, Wales – Lloyds Bank Foundation: If you’ve got experience in grant-making, and of working closely with small and medium charities in Wales to improve their practice, then Lloyds Bank Foundation wants to hear from you. The postholder will be the face of the foundation and an advocate for small and local charities across Wales. They will champion the work of the charities they support ensuring their voices are heard as well as unique challenges across the Foundation and Lloyds Banking Group, other funders and local and national government. Location: Home-based, in South/Mid Wales. Deadline for applications is 24th February.

Director of Our Natural World – Esmée Fairbarn Foundation: Esmée Fairbarn Foundation is recruiting for an important new role: Director of Our Natural World. The Foundation believes that bold action and impact is needed like never before when it comes to protecting our natural world, so, in addition to funding brilliant organisations they will work alongside partners and collaborators to remove barriers and secure progress themselves, using their voice to quietly influence and effect change. The successful candidate will lead the highly skilled environment team and work collaboratively with colleagues across the Foundation and with external organisations, building on and developing their work to deliver the new strategy.  Location: London, United Kingdom. Deadline for applications is 12th March.

Temporary LME Associate – Mama Cash: Mama Cash is looking for a temporary Learning, Monitoring and Evaluation Associate to support the LME Officer. 2020 is an exciting year for Mama Cash as it manages three end-term reviews as well as the development of the organisation’s new strategic plan, which will include refreshing LME systems and processes for the new strategy. Location: Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Deadline for applications is 27th February.

Consultant (Reducing inequalities through intersectional justice) – Robert Bosch Stiftung: The new inequalities team at Robert Bosch Stiftung is looking for a consultant who will be responsible for the development and implementation of the Reducing Inequalities through Intersectional Practice support programme. Deadline for applications is 26th February.

*For more jobs, see the ‘Career Opportunities’ section on the landing page of the Ariadne portal.


Public Meetings

March 1st – 14th
Mama Cash Feminist Festival: For the first International Women’s Day of the new decade, Mama Cash is going all out: this Feminist Festival they will be celebrating feminist artists and activists all weekend long. You’re invited to join them on 8th March at the fifth annual Mama Cash Feminist Festival in locations throughout the Netherlands: Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, BAK basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht, and WORM in Rotterdam. Don’t want to wait until Sunday to start the celebrations? Then you can make your way to the dance floor at one of the kick-off parties on 7th March in Radio Radio (Amsterdam) or WORM (Rotterdam)! The events will take place on 7th and 8th March in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Rotterdam in The Netherlands.


February 23rd – 28th
A Green New Deal for Europe – Opportunities and Challenges: You are invited to the presentation of the EuroMemorandum 2020 and subsequent panel discussion ‘Green New Deal beyond slogans – Assessing GND proposals: Are we facing transformative and just programs?’ The event will take place on 27th February in Brussels, Belgium. RSVP by 20th February.

March 22nd – 29th
‘It’s time to realise the potential of Philanthropy’: Citizens are increasingly striving to do ‘good,’ working together to fix the systemic issues affecting their communities. As such, they represent a wealth of philanthropic potential, energy and determination to support the greater good of society. In order to make the most of this potential, current roadblocks to philanthropy in Europe need to be removed and appropriate initiatives launched to foster and support European philanthropy. Building on its May 2019 opinion ‘European philanthropy: an untapped potential,’ the European Economic and Social Committee will host a debate between representatives of the EU institutions and the philanthropic sector to develop a policy roadmap for unleashing philanthropy to improve European society. With the release of the recent ‘European Philanthropy Manifesto’ calling for a Single Market for Philanthropy, now is the time to set free the valuable knowledge, expertise and resources of our sector! The event will take place on 26th March in Brussels, Belgium.


February 23rd – 28th
Dialogue with UN Secretary General António Guterres: To mark its 75th anniversary, the United Nations is launching a global conversation on the role of international cooperation in building the future we want. The aim of this initiative is to build a global vision of 2045, increase understanding of the threats to that future, and support enhanced international cooperation to realise that vision. As part of this global conversation, the UN is organising a series of dialogues around the world, with a focus on youth. This event is the third dialogue to be conducted by the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres. The event will take place online on 25th February in Geneva, Switzerland.

March 1st – 6th
The Rohingya Genocide: Beyond the Looking Glass: The Rohingya of Burma have faced cycles of violence since the late 1960s. This talk will discuss how the genocide has evolved and continued and then will look at measures in the status quo which are attempting to address the genocide and whether they will be effective in light of the dynamics in the Rohingya homeland of Burma. The event will take place on 2nd March in Geneva, Switzerland.


February 23rd – 28th
Climate change: what next? Following the 2019 ACF Conference, Taking the Long View: Funding on a Finite Planet, and the launch of the Funder Commitment on Climate Change, this workshop is for foundation staff or trustees who are interested in exploring next steps. This will be an intensive workshop that aims to: provide an opportunity to share ACF member views and responses to the challenge of climate change; raise awareness and understanding of the Funder Commitment on Climate Change; and gather information on what tools, resources, support or networks ACF members want and need in implementing (or thinking about implementing) the Funder Commitment. This event will take place on 25th February in London, United Kingdom.

March 1st – 7th
Power, Philanthropy, and Inequality: Less than 2% of global philanthropic capital is dedicated to climate causes despite the very widely shared view that climate represents a genuine and urgent crisis. At this LSE event, a panel of experts to discuss giving, power, inequality and the climate crisis. The event will take place on 3rd March in London, United Kingdom.

March 15th – 21st
Demystifying the Impact Investment Spectrum – Social Investment, Social Enterprise and Impact: At this event, the panel will discuss the question of whether impact investing is working. What are the failures? What are the successes? What improvements need to be made to be able to invest to scale? How supportive and competent are professional advisers to guide their clients in social impact investing and philanthropy? You are invited to come and learn about how advisors are responding to the increasing demands for sustainable investing products and adopting new strategies to support their clients. The event will take place on 18th March in London, United Kingdom.

March 15th – 21st
Hostile environment: The myths about immigration: Theresa May’s notorious “hostile environment” policy of 2012 led directly to the Windrush scandal, and the unjustified detention and deportation of British subjects. But in a new book, Maya Goodfellow shows that the toxic debate around immigration stretches back much further, from Churchill, to Tony Blair to Brexit. Studies have confirmed that immigration does not damage the UK economy, or put a strain on public services, but there are concerns on both left and right that immigration is a bad thing. Have politicians and the media fuelled anti-immigrant politics? How do we challenge the myths that seek to scapegoat immigrants for home-grown problems? What are our political responsibilities towards migrants, refugees and asylum seekers? This panel will include Maya Goodfellow and will be chaired by Guardian columnist Owen Jones. The event will take place on 18th March in London, United Kingdom.

March 22nd – 29th
Alliance Breakfast Club: Indigenous Philanthropy: Indigenous Peoples encompass more than 370 million people in over 90 countries, and their territories cover almost a quarter of the world’s land surface. Drawing on the latest issue of Alliance, this panel will discuss why Indigenous peoples should be at the centre of the global philanthropy conversation. This event will take place on 25th March in London, United Kingdom.


February 23rd – 28th
False Solutions and Climate Injustice: Applying the People’s Lens to Carbon Pricing: The organisers of this carbon pricing funder briefing urge the philanthropic community to analyse, interrogate and resist market-based carbon pricing initiatives and policies as both ineffective and unjust. Their goal is to educate and equip funders with the information and understanding they need to make choices about resourcing and supporting carbon pricing initiatives in all its forms including biofuels, offsets, taxes and trading schemes. Using the It Takes Roots’ People’s Solutions Lens we ask “Who benefits, and how? Who makes the decisions? What else is impacted? How will this build or shift power?” This webinar is brought to you by EDGE Funders Alliance, Swift Foundation, Grassroots International and the Indigenous Environmental Network. The event will take place online on 24th February.

16th February – 22nd
Nonprofit Trends, Challenges, and Opportunities with Technology: You are invited to join this SSIR Live! webinar, which will explore: how to build more meaningful constituent experiences with support from technology and marketing automation; ways to better leverage data and measurement across departments; best practices for successfully  accessing and aligning available technology; the importance of change management for implementing new technology and fostering a data-centric organization; and additional examples of modern technology use cases and adoption from the social sector. The event will take place online on 25th February.

February 23rd – 28th
Technology and Feminism – Dismantling Power and Aligning our Tech to our Values: The bias and human rights harms caused by the privatisation of digital innovations in ways that perpetuate inequality, and the shrinking of online civil society spaces we use, are some of the issues that emerge once we question the neutrality of technology. Using a feminist analysis, this session will explore how the technology we use reflects, reproduces and entrenches the systemic oppression and injustice embedded in our current global political system, the alternatives being developed and why it is critical for social justice philanthropy to resource alternative digital futures that are aligned with our values. The event will take place online on 27th February.

27th February, 26th March, 30th April, 21st May and 30th July
Funders Learn Tech: Funders Learn Tech is a series of online conversations exploring the dynamics of technology, its applications and implications for civil society. Each month, Rachel Coldicutt of Careful Industries, previously CEO of Doteveryone, will be in-conversation with a domain expert, drawing out relevant insights for Foundations and philanthropy to draw on, followed by a Q&A with all those on the call. The sessions will be recorded and shared online too. The webinars will take place on 27th February, 26th March, 30th April, 21st May and 30th July.

March 22nd – 28th
Mapping Funding of Global “Anti-Gender” Movement: Global Philanthropy Project, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and Open Society Foundations invite you to a discussion on the current funding of the global ‘anti-gender’ movements. Join them as they share the preliminary results of a field analysis assessing relevant public and academic data tracking of the funding sources and key structures, institutions, and activities of the anti-gender movements. The event will take place online on 24th March. There will also be an in-person event on 18th March in New York, United States. Please note this is a grantmaker only event, and space is limited.


February 18th – 24th
ILGA-Europe Annual Conference: The ILGA-Europe Annual Conference 2020 will take place between 21st and 24th October 2020 in Sofia, Bulgaria in close cooperation with three local organisations: Bilitis Resource Center Foundation, GLAS Bulgaria Foundation, and Youth LGBT Organization Deystvie. The event will take place between 21st and 24th October in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Ariadne is supported by the American Jewish World Service, Charles Léopold Mayer Foundation, Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, Oak Foundation, Open Society Foundations, Sigrid Rausing Trust and Zennström Philanthropies.

Ariadne is also supported by voluntary contributions from its participants.

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