Ariadne’s Thread – July 2020

Ariadne’s Thread – July 2020
July 23, 2020 Hannah Stevens

July 2020

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


Ariadne News & Events

NEW BLOG: AS DESTITUTION RETURNS TO THE UK, WHAT CAN PHILANTHROPY DO? In this blog, friend of the network Barry Knight looks at the history of poverty in the UK – highlighted by the current ‘tsunami’ of crises in health, the economy and race – and sets out three things philanthropy can do (which governments can’t) to #BuildBackBetter. This blog is the fifth in a series which marks the release of the 2020 Ariadne Forecast, and looks at the challenges and opportunities identified by funders through the lens of the current pandemic.

WEBINAR : CITOYENNETÉ, INSTITUTIONS, SOCIÉTÉ CIVILE – LA DÉMOCRATIE FRANÇAISE SOUS TENSION : Philanthropie et société civile travaillant ensemble sur le devenir de nos sociétés avec un objectif de justice sociale et environnementale avaient constaté des évolutions et difficultés pour lancer et mener à bien les activités de solidarité. Pays reconnu à l’international pour les valeurs et principes liés aux droits humains et ayant un secteur associatif très riche, pays où la philanthropie est en pleine évolution malgré sa taille plutôt petite comparée à l’international, contexte où des espaces de débat et de changement social s’ouvrent et d’autres se referment : Quel est l’état des lieux des espaces démocratique et de la société civile en France ? C’est la question que pose le rapport réalisé par l’ENTPE (École nationale des travaux publics de l’État) de l’Université de Lyon entre novembre 2019 et juillet 2020. Développé ensemble avec un comité d’orientation composé d’experts de la société civile et de chercheurs, accompagné par une réunion de fondations en début 2020 et commandité par Porticus et OSIFE, le rapport se veut fournir une vue d’ensemble inclusive et trans-sectorielle. Venez nous rejoindre dans ce wébinaire co-organisé par Porticus, OSIFE et Ariadne pour apprendre plus sur les conclusions et recommandations du rapport et échanger ensemble sur les conclusions et pistes d’action et de collaboration. Le webinaire déroulera le 8 septembre 2020, 14h30 – 16h00 CEST. S’inscrire ici.

ARIADNE GRANT SKILLS DAY: This year’s Grant Skills Day will take place online, during the week of 28th September. A ‘save the date’ and further information will be released in the coming weeks.

DID YOU MISS A WEBINAR? WE RECORDED IT! If you missed one of our great webinars, don’t worry! We record all of them, and Ariadne members can access them right here.

NEXT ISSUE: Ariadne’s Thread will be taking a break in August, with the next issue out on Thursday 17th September. We hope you have a great summer!

*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

Holding our ground: Voices for food sovereignty: As the COVID-19  pandemic launches us all into new realities, we are seeing how communities in the Global South have been, and continue to, lead ways of life that sustain and ensure the wellbeing of all of us and the earth. This is why Thousand Currents is proud to launch ‘Holding Our Ground: Voices for Food Sovereignty,’ a  narrative series that features the stories of 13 African farmers – their struggle for food sovereignty, victories and work around community self-determination, and their journeys to practicing agroecology while being up against challenges created by the push for industrial agriculture.

For the EU to effectively address racial injustice, we need data: In this article for Al Jazeera English, Brandee Butler of OSF writes about racism in Europe and the critical need for equality data. 

Media decline is damaging deeply divided societies – can we ‘build back better’ after Covid- 19? The decline of traditional journalism and the rise of social media is blamed for fuelling populism and polarisation around the world, but what impact is it having in societies which already face deep divisions or violence? Ahead of the Covid 19 outbreak, Social Change Initiative held an international conference on the importance of supporting journalism, but it also revealed the impact that a weakened news industry is having on divided societies, including in Northern Ireland where the conference took place. SCI has published a package which looks at the international issues revealed in the conference, examines Northern Ireland as a case study, and publishes videos with international media experts addressing challenges and solutions. See also, video ‘What role can philanthropy play in peacebuilding?’

Impact of new technologies on the promotion and protection of human rights in the context of assemblies, including peaceful protests: In this report, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights focuses on new technologies and their impact on the promotion and protection of human rights in the context of assemblies, including peaceful protests. Given the importance of the enjoyment of the right of peaceful assembly for democracies, it is concluded in the report that every effort should be made to ensure full enjoyment of this right. Certain new technologies can be enablers for the exercise of the right of peaceful assembly. At the same time, the use of some such technologies to surveil or crack down on protesters can lead to human rights violations, including infringement of the right to peaceful assembly. Regulatory frameworks that are in line with human rights norms and standards are needed to avoid unlawful limitations by Governments on the right of peaceful assembly and related rights.

UNSR Report: Right to freedom of association of migrants and their defenders: This report provides a thematic study on the right to freedom of association of migrants, in which the Special Rapporteur examines recent trends in restrictions in law and in practice on freedom of association for migrants and civil society organisations that work to protect migrants’ rights. See also, article entitled ‘Migrants’ Civic Freedom and COVID-19.’ 

Protecting activists from abusive litigation: SLAPPs in the Global South and how to respond: In this report, ICNL presents the first cross-regional survey of SLAPPs in the Global South, along with the first rigorous comparative analysis of anti-SLAPP policy responses undertaken in the Global North and the Global South. ICNL has produced a full report, as well as an overview document that highlights key findings and recommendations.

COVID-19 impacts on LGBTI communities in Europe and Central Asia: The purpose of this rapid assessment report is to provide specific references to the impacts of COVID-19 on LGBTI people, organisations, and communities in Europe and Central Asia, based on inputs from a survey of ILGA-Europe members, direct communications with members, as well as publicly accessible reports and webinars from members and organisations in the region. See also, blog ‘Living the crisis and the change: How women, girls, trans, and intersex people are coping with COVID-19 around the world.’        

The Data Delusion: Protecting individual data isn’t enough when the harm is collective: In the era of big data and AI, people can suffer because of how the sum of individual data is analysed and sorted into groups by algorithms. Novel forms of collective data-driven harms are appearing as a result: online housing, job and credit ads discriminating on the basis of race and gender, women disqualified from jobs on the basis of gender. In his new  paper, published by Stanford University’s Cyber Policy Center and edited by their International Policy Director Marietje Schaake, Martin Tisné argues that privacy concerns surrounding COVID-19 brought to the surface a number of systemic mismatches between individual privacy law and the value of collective data processing. See also, Q&A with Martin and Marietje.


Blogs and Other Sites of Interest

PRINCIPLES: FRIDA’S principles to guide data and technology: Over the past 18 months, FRIDA staff have engaged in a deep reflection process on the technology they use. They have worked with cyberfeminist groups, coders and organisations to review, understand and question the apps, platforms and tech tools they thought were convenient and weighed them against a political context of persecution and suppression of freedom of expression faced by young feminist human rights defenders. FRIDA is committed to supporting movement resiliency, sustainability and safety when doing their activism. They strive to be an example, to always question, experiment and innovate to respond to an ever-changing tech ecosystem fit to their needs and priorities. Tech is fundamentally a human and social process that is as personal as it is collective. This set of principles is the result of a collective reflection on what the foundations of our tech and data look like.

FILM: Clemency: Years of carrying out death row executions have taken a toll on prison warden, Bernadine Williams. The emotional wedge in her marriage grows. Memories of a recently botched execution plague her daily. As she prepares to execute another inmate, Bernadine must confront the psychological and emotional demons her job creates, ultimately connecting her to the man she is sanctioned to kill. If you’re in the UK or ROI, you can book your virtual screening of the film until Sunday 23rd August. Funds raised from your ticket will go to the Death Penalty Project. 

RECORDING: 2020 Ashden Awards: In this recording of the 2020 Ashden Awards, you will discover 11 climate heroes from around the world, fighting the climate crisis with innovative solutions that are saving lives, creating jobs, cleaning up our air and saving rainforests.

ROUNDUP: Unmasking Racial Inequality Amid COVID-19: The COVID-19 Roundup from Digital Impact is a curated list for social sector practitioners and policymakers navigating the complexities of the global pandemic. This particular roundup covers how police surveillance amid the pandemic underscores discriminatory policies against Black Americans.   

BLOG: Leaders with Lived Experience Pilot Programme: At the beginning of 2018, following an analysis within The National Lottery Community Fund of the different types of leadership that the Fund supports, approval was granted to develop a funding programme centred on leaders with lived experience, people who use their first-hand experience of a social issue to create positive change for, and with, communities and people they share those experiences with. This blog provides an overview of the programme’s pilot year.

LIST: 50 actions your organisation can take after posting about Black Lives Matter: This list of 50 actions an organisation can take around the Black Lives Matters (beyond posting about it) is divided into the following themes: amplify the voices of Black staff without placing additional burden on them; make space for leaders to learn – especially white and non-Black POC leaders; create real accountability for this priority in the ways you would any other; assess the role you play in keeping money in wealthy circles; hire more BIPOC and folks who identify as LGBTQ; remove barriers to Black staff advancing. Give people air; and make a long-term commitment.

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


Advancing Human Rights: Annual Review of Global Foundation Grantmaking: 2017 Key Findings: Candid and Human Rights Funders Network have released a new report that shows how human rights funders are making important contributions to combat injustice and inequality. The report highlights the diversity of funders and strategies addressing tough issues in the world today. This research is conducted in partnership with Ariadne and Prospera – International Network of Women’s Funds, and is the latest product of a 10-year collaboration. See also blog, ‘Meeting the Moment: More and Better Funding for Human Rights.’

Philanthropy and racial justice – can it be different now? Let’s face it, racial justice hasn’t exactly been a top agenda item for mainstream philanthropy. The brutal reality is that much of philanthropy has been built on historical and racial injustices and on oppressive structures which continue to be maintained to this day. COVID-19 and its manifestly disproportionate impact on people of colour, together with the global outpouring of disgust in response to the killings of black people, is forcing philanthropic leaders to confront why they have allowed their evident ‘corporate blindness’ to continue. In this blog for Alliance Magazine, Jenny Oppenheimer shares examples of how these issues have been manifesting in the past couple of months.

Learning to fund through a climate lens: ‘I know the climate is important, but I’m not a climate funder.’ In this article for Part II of the summer edition of Philanthropy Impact’s magazine, Ariadne Director argues that choosing between climate and other social issues does not have to be a zero-sum game. And there are many ways to be a climate funder. See also, OSIFE’s call for expressions of interest on climate justice in Europe.

Philanthropy for a safe, healthy, and just world: In 2019, Candid and Centris, with support from PeaceNexus Foundation, conducted a survey, ‘Philanthropy for a Safe, Healthy, and Just World.’ The results, presented in this new report, based on 823 civil society organisation responses, reveal philanthropists can do better to support global peacebuilding efforts. The world continues to be shaken by armed conflicts, yet, according to the research, peace-related grantmaking comprises less than 1 percent of all grants.

Giving Thought podcast’s European philanthropy mini-series: CAF’s Giving Thought podcast is releasing a mini-series on European philanthropy during and after COVID-19 pandemic, exploring how philanthropic funders have responded to the crisis and how it might affect philanthropy longer term. The first conversation is with Max von Abendroth, Director of DAFNE, and Rosa Gallego, Director of International Relations at the Spanish Association of Foundations. further episodes of the series will be released on 28th and 31st July.

Investing with an LGBTIQ lens: Rethinking gender analysis across investing fields: LGBTQI individuals around the world face inequities. Through integrating an LGBTQI lens into process, structure and analysis, investment can be a tool to address these inequities. Produced with the support of Dreilinden gGmbH, a German LGBTQI funder and impact investor, this guide sets out a theoretical grounding demonstrating why LGBTQI lens is germane to investment decision making and providing the tools needed to conduct financial analyses. Investors currently investing with a gender lens would benefit from the integration of an LGBTQI lens to achieve their desired investment goals and their gender equality outcomes.

The next Thread will go out on Thursday 17th September. We would love to hear from you! Please contact Hannah Stevens by 15th September if you would like to share announcements, events, or resources for the next issue.


Jobs and Tenders

Power and Accountability Grant Committee Member – Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust: The Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust is appointing a co-opted member to join its Power and Accountability Committee. The role of a co-opted member is to complement the trustees’ grant-making knowledge with expertise in corporate accountability. Co-optees contribute to reflections on the context within which JRCT makes its grants and advise on which new applications to support as well as other issues that arise in its work. The Trust is looking for someone with knowledge of the policy landscape and current challenges and opportunities and an awareness of organisations working in the field. Deadline for applications is 17th August.

Head of Climate Advocacy – Open Society Foundations: The Open Society European Policy Institute (OSEPI) is seeking a Head of Climate Advocacy. This is a new dimension of OSF’s work in Brussels and will involve developing advocacy to promote an effective, just and inclusive transition to a zero-carbon economy. This will include influencing climate action to ensure a fair transition, broadening and deepening public participation in climate policy making, ensuring greater accountability in climate finance, promoting progressive fiscal and investment that serves climate objectives, and threading climate and environmental objectives through the EU’s external policies. Location: Brussels, Belgium. Deadline for applications is 11th August.

Knowledge & Learning Officer – National Lottery Community Fund: The National Lottery Community Fund is looking for a Knowledge & Learning Officer to join its team to support colleagues, grant holders and stakeholders to share, create and use Knowledge & Learning (K&L) effectively by: delivering activities to share and exchange K&L to support the Fund’s work and that of others; helping the Fund to understand and respond to the external environment; and using K&L to support funding development & demonstrate the impact of Lottery funding to stakeholders. Location: Cardiff, Wales. Deadline for applications is 27th July.

Data Associate – Ford Foundation: Ford Foundation is looking for a Data Associate to join its Office of Strategy and Learning. The Office of Strategy and Learning provides critical support to the programme teams on strategy development and refinement, evaluation, and drives organisation-wide learning to advance the Foundation’s social justice mission of reducing inequality. Reporting to the Senior Director of Strategy and Learning and working closely with the Senior Strategy and Evaluation Officer, and the Evaluation and Learning Officer, the OSL Associate will support programmes on strategy monitoring, including through data analysis and visualisation, and help to make meaning around and communicate about the Foundation’s grantmaking writ large. Location: New York, United States. Deadline for applications 31st July.

External Member (Grants, Programmes and Learning Committee) – Legal Education Foundation: The Legal Education Foundation’s Grants Committee has recently expanded its role to take on responsibility for oversight of delivering the Foundation’s new five-year strategy from 2020, covering both grant-making and policy or research work that it undertakes directly. The new strategy has an increasing emphasis on how The Legal Education Foundation supports grantees and learns from their work, and so they are looking to strengthen the committee – through hiring an external member – to better scrutinise and support their grant-making.

Programme Manager – European Artificial Intelligence Fund:  The European Artificial Intelligence Fund is hiring a Programme Manager for a three-year temporary position (renewable) to coordinate grant making and management of the Fund. The successful candidate will cultivate, support, and track a cohort of high-impact investments from the funding coalition. They will support the coalition administratively by acting as the liaison between the Network of European Foundations (where the fund will be housed) and the funders themselves. Location: This position is based in Europe. The organisation can hire in the jurisdictions of the United Kingdom and Europe. Deadline for applications is 31st July.

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


Public Meetings

July 26th – August 1st
Black and British: Expressions of black masculinity: For the first in a new livestreamed series, The Guardian will explore what it means to navigate modern Britain as a young black man. When George Floyd was killed at the end of May, many UK media outlets and politicians pointed to the US as an example of what we are not, declaring that black people in the UK do not experience police brutality. The reality is very different: Rashan Charles, Edson Da Costa and Sheku Bayoh are just three young black men to have died in police custody in the UK within the last few years. Young black people here are also disproportionately at risk of being excluded from school, stopped and searched, and incarcerated. As the news cycle moves on, we will be asking: how do the early encounters of black young men shape their later lives? What does the controversial expansion of stop and search mean for their progression? How can we avoid the Black Lives Matter revolt from becoming a cultural debate? Participants will have the opportunity to put their questions to the panel, which includes Guardian reporter Aamna Mohdin, All Black Lives UK organiser Tyrek Morris, StopWatch chief executive Katrina Ffrench, and chair Lanre Bakare. The online event will take place on 30th July.

August 2nd – 8th
Building resilience through and beyond the Covid-19 crisis: Charity trustees have acted quickly to refocus efforts and activities as the world responds to Covid-19. But as this crisis drags on, and a major economic downturn becomes more imminent, trustees are switching their focus to how they deliver their mission over the medium and longer term. This seminar, run in partnership with the Clothworker’s Company, explores what trustees are and should be doing now that the initial shock has passed. It will cover issues, such as: how Covid-19 is affecting the people and communities charities work with and what new needs are emerging from the fallout; what trustees can do to ensure their charity’s mission remain relevant to changing need, and how they can help their organisations become more resilient to the new threats posed by the outbreak; and what actions trustees can take now to help shape the post-Covid world. The online event will take place on 4th August.

September 13th – 19th
The Power of Protest: 2020 Annual Freedom House Awards: You are invited you to join Freedom House from your home to recognise courageous honourees and celebrate the important work of Freedom House. In 2019, a striking number of citizen protest movements emerged in every region of the world. While the spread of COVID-19 forced activists to re-think their activities, people are taking to the streets once again, putting their health and well-being at risk in an effort to fight oppression. Join this online event to honour and celebrate the unquenchable desire for freedom, human dignity and equality, and the courage of the people demanding it. The online event will take place on 16th September.

September 20th – 26th
Building Alliances for Impact: EVPA’s 16th Annual Conference – now an online event – will be dedicated towards ‘Building Alliances for Impact.’ The event will provide delegates with the opportunity to: network and collaborate with 700+ world class practitioners and experts in the field from 50+ countries; discover new global trends on investing for impact and deepen your knowledge to support social change; and share your expertise and lessons learnt with your peers. This is an opportunity to explore concrete ways of closer cooperation with affiliate #Investing4Impact networks and stakeholders and to deep dive into topics like ‘just transition’, climate change and socially sustainable development. The online event will take place between 21st and 24th September.

September 20th – 26th
COVID-19: Reshaping Social Innovation: You are invited to join Stanford Social Innovation Review for its 15th annual Nonprofit Management Institute, ‘COVID-19: Reshaping Social Innovation.’ SSIR will bring together non-profit and business leaders, noted academics, and prominent public-sector leaders to share experiences and insights on how organisations have weathered the impact of COVID-19, what we can learn from these experiences, and how we can emerge stronger as a sector. Topics will include: the new transparency between funders and grantees; how to rapidly rethink and change programs and services; maintaining focus and purpose while managing distributed teams; the crucial role of technology in operations and service delivery; creating partnerships with the private sector; implementing effective crisis communications; and lessons for non-profits from the Great Recession of 2008. The online event will take place between 22nd and 24th September.

October 18th – 31st
Annual Conference on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2020: This online conference will address the barriers that persons with disabilities still face when accessing justice in practice, in particular persons deprived of their legal capacity and obliged to act through an appointed legal guardian. The conference will provide a forum for discussion of the challenges involved in the application of key notions of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, relevant EU law and the European Convention of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, as well as of best practice in the field. The online event will take place between 21st and 23rd October.

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.


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *