Ariadne’s Thread – July 2021

Ariadne’s Thread – July 2021
July 15, 2021 Hannah Stevens

July 2021

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

(DIGITAL POWER) OFFICE HOURS: MEET WITH MAYA: Maya Richman, the project lead of Ariadne’s digital power programme, would like to offer ‘office hours’ for the month of July/August for Ariadne members. Are you interested in discussing issues related to technology and data and the intersection of human rights? Are you looking for resources to inform your grantmaking but don’t know where to start? Book a 30-minute conversation with Maya here.

APPLY NOW! DIGITAL POWER STRATEGIC COHORT: Last year we launched the first iteration of the Digital Power Strategic Cohort process. We have since worked with 11 members to support their learning journey, and tackle sticky issues related to organisational development and strategic grantmaking on the intersections of technology, data, and human rights. We’ve talked about participatory grantmaking, CRMs, algorithmic decision-making systems and more! The thematic focus is tailored to the group and the individual member. We plan to have a new cohort every 3 – 4 months and would love any members interested to fill out our survey so we can include you in a future group. The next cohort starts in July and runs for roughly 3 months. Click here to apply now.

#PhilanthropyForClimate: COMMIT TO MEANINGFUL CLIMATE ACTION TODAY: The International Philanthropy Commitment on Climate Change is a global call to all foundations regardless of their mission, status or geographic location to come together and signal their commitment to climate action. We believe that all foundations and philanthropic organisations can and should play a role in addressing the climate emergency. Make it clear that your organisation is committed to act on climate: sign the International Commitment and join foundations from around the world on the journey to meaningful climate action.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: UPROOTING RACISM IN GRANTMAKING: In this blog series for Alliance Magazine, Paul Hamlyn Foundation’s Jane Tanner, Kamna Muralidharan, and Kate Hitchcock reflect on key learnings from some uncomfortable conversations about racism among European foundations. The authors participated in a series of anti-racism sessions last year hosted by Healing Solidarity and supported by Ariadne. In this series, they each share their experience of Healing Solidarity’s cohort learning (and un-learning) model to support development of anti-racist grantmaking practices.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: IN THE WRONG HANDS. WHAT IF THE FAR-RIGHT TAKES OVER FRANCE? In this blog, Florent Gonthier, Ariadne’s Programme and Events Assistant, explores the rise of the far right in France and its implication on the upcoming French elections.

WE’RE OFF ON HOLIDAY: Ariadne’s Thread will be taking a break in August, with the next issue out on Thursday 16th 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

New narratives: A seat at the table: Whether as community activists, NGO workers, or diplomats, most of us who support human rights are involved in putting stories out into the world. ISHR has published a new guide to crafting effective human rights narratives at the UN.

Tip of the iceberg: Religious extremist funders against human rights for sexuality and reproductive health in Europe 2009-2018: This report from European Parliamentary Forum for Sexual & Reproductive Rights reveals the funding system which supports the efforts of anti-gender actors to roll back human rights in Europe. The report attempts to paint the transnational picture of the clandestine funding system which supports the anti-gender actors’ deliberate strategy to roll back human rights in Europe. It examines 54 anti-gender funding actors active in Europe and the main channels through which religious extremists generate funding and how it circulates. The picture that emerges is of a transnational community of likeminded religious extremists and related alt- and far-right actors making strategic funding decisions across international borders. The carefully orchestrated strategy is producing concrete results, such as the 2020 de facto ban on access to safe abortion in Poland, bans on equal marriage in several Central European countries and over a dozen comparable acts at national level and in European institutions aiming to limit women’s and LGBTI rights. Also available is a recording of the report’s launch. See also, article, ‘Aid donors to investigate anti-gay ‘therapy’ revealed by openDemocracy.’

A new deal for journalism: This report has been produced by the Working Group on the Sustainability of Journalism of the Forum on Information and Democracy, in response to a worsening international crisis facing the economic viability of independent professional journalism everywhere. It calls for immediate and sustained action from, and collaboration between, governments and other influential actors to improve the policy, funding, and enabling environment for independent professional journalism – a New Deal for Journalism amounting to up to 0.1% of GDP annually in direct and indirect funding worldwide. The measures outlined in the report are evidence-based and can already point to broad support in many countries around the world.

Roma deaths are newsworthy in their own right: On 19th June, a Romani man called Stanislav Tomáš died in the city of Teplice in the Czech Republic after a police officer knelt on his neck for several minutes. Many have drawn comparisons with the murder of George Floyd. But, in this article for Al Jazeera, Finnish-Romani writer and filmmaker Carmen Baltzar argues that we should not feel the need to co-opt the Black Lives Matter movement to bring the plight of Roma to the world’s attention. 

Children on the move: Why? Where? How? Climate Mobility and Children: A Virtual Symposium: To shine a light on the plight of children on the move and to better understand how children and young people are affected by climate-related migration and displacement, UNICEF and the International Organisation for Migration hosted a virtual symposium in November 2020. Over two days, experts, policymakers, and young people from around the world met to discuss and debate pertinent questions, unpack key concepts, propose actions, and outline an agenda to ensure that children’s rights and needs are part of the wider debate on climate change. This background paper was produced following the virtual symposium.

Long overdue need to confront legacies of slavery, the transatlantic slave trade and colonialism and to seek reparatory justice: In this article, ISHR, as part of a broad civil society coalition from the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe, Africa, and international human rights organisations, calls on the UN Human Rights Council, during its 47th session, to adopt a resolution that ensures effective accountability and follow-up to HRC Resolution 43/1 on systemic racism and police violence against Africans and people of African descent in the United States and globally.

The rise and rise of biometric mass surveillance in the EU: A legal analysis of biometric mass surveillance practices in Germany, The Netherlands and Poland: The European Digital Rights (EDRi) network has commissioned an independent report from the Edinburgh International Justice Initiative (EIJI) which brings together stark evidence of abusive facial recognition and other forms of biometric surveillance across the EU. The research shows that harmful biometric mass surveillance practices have become worryingly normalised by law enforcement, other public authorities and private companies in Germany and the Netherlands, with Poland starting to catch up. It argues that the EU and its member states must act now to set clear legal limits to these practices which create a state of permanent monitoring, profiling, and tracking of people. 

Berta Cáceres assassination: ex-head of dam company found guilty: A US-trained former Honduran army intelligence officer who was the president of an internationally financed hydroelectric company has been found guilty over the assassination of the indigenous environmentalist Berta Cáceres. Cáceres, winner of the Goldman prize for environmental defenders, was shot dead two days before her 45th birthday by hired hitmen on 2nd March 2016 after years of threats linked to her opposition of the 22-megawatt Agua Zarca dam. This article from The Guardian tells the story of her assassination, the trial of Roberto David Castillo, and the recent ruling.


Blogs and Other Sites of Interest

VIDEO: How can we build a world where Black lives really matter? This video from openDemocracy and The Democracy Collaborative is narrated by Tricia Rose, animated by Ermina Takenova, and inspired by Rev. Ronnie Galvin and Dr Ron Daniel’s piece ‘Repaying the debt owed to Black people requires a democratic and reparative economy.’ It marks the launch of openDemocracy’s new series on the reparative economy, inviting contributors from around the world to participate.

ARTICLE: Stop saying “diverse” when you mean something else: Despite the heightened conversations around racial justice last year, a recent survey shows that 40% of respondents were afraid of saying the word “Black” when talking about race at work. One in five also use the word “diverse” as an umbrella term while referring to people of different races, ethnicities, religions, sexual orientations, genders, or disabilities. Why are people still afraid of talking about diversity and inclusion at work – and how do we overcome that fear? In this article  for Harvard Business Review, Asad Dhunna, the CEO and founder of The Unmistakables shares his views.

PODCAST: A global movement for environmental justice: Uncharted Ground tells the stories of non-profit and social entrepreneurs at the forefront of global development. Host Jonathan Levine takes you on their journeys to solve some of the most daunting social issues on the planet. This episode of the podcast looks at Namati, a provider of legal knowledge to communities around the world to help them defend their land, environmental, and other civil rights against abuse by commercial and political aggressors.

VIDEO: What is the digital divide? Mozilla explains: What is the digital divide, and can we bridge it? Nearly half of the world is still offline, meaning half of the world is still unable to benefit from the digital age and the digital economy. In this Mozilla Explains video, Alice Munyua, director of Mozilla’s Africa Mradi, explains the causes and effects of the digital divide, and how we can help to bridge it.

BLOG: Enough is enough: Why it’s time to independently and publicly rate foundations: In this Alliance Magazine blog, Danielle Walker Palmour, Director of the Friends Provident Foundation, introduces a new initiative to rate UK foundations according to their diversity, accountability, and transparency. It will look at key aspects of not what foundations fund, but how they fund. 

RECORDING: Helping charities tackle digital exclusion: Digital exclusion affects millions of people across the UK. In this recording of an event convened by Catalyst, a panel of experts – from Diversity and Ability, Good Things Foundation, Citizens Online, Inclusion London and Nominet – discussed how charities can respond to digitally excluded beneficiaries’ needs and put digital inclusion at the heart of their service delivery. ​

BLOG: Rethinking poverty: What needs to change? In this blog, Barry Knight looks at failed approaches to poverty in the UK, things worsening with the pandemic, and ‘making life next to impossible for people towards the bottom of the income distribution, with minorities and women most affected’. He points out how politicians are ill-informed about poverty and, as a result, mistakes are repeated. Employment-based political economies have receded, and governments today favour ‘capitalists rather than the population as a whole’ and the whole system is driven towards a single goal – economic growth. While Knight writes about the UK, this is a universal problem. He makes suggestions about what might be done differently, arguing for a new way of seeing and thinking from a broad range of actors including politicians, philanthropists, activists, economists… ‘requiring a leap in moral imagination that cascades through participants and filters through to social attitudes in society’. He provides examples of, and calls for, a diversity of approaches and ideas that draw on ‘different resources and sources of power, celebrating diversity, experimenting, testing, sharing learning, and building strength through connectedness’.

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


SDGs – Driving societal priorities: Leading to a just society: This issue of the Philanthropy Impact Magazine looks at the UN Sustainable Development Goals and their role in creating positive impact and transformative change. With the shift of focus for many (U)HNWI towards driving positive environmental and societal change around the world through their wealth generation and business practice, SDGs are important for measuring impact and enabling collaboration across sectors in addressing the greatest challenges the world faces. Parts one, two and three are now available. 

The Forge: Philanthropy & Organising: The Forge is a magazine built by and for organisers. This edition of the magazine examines the relationship between philanthropy and organising – sometimes distant, sometimes fractious, sometimes constructive, but always deserving of scrutiny.

On taking pride in funding LGBTQIA+ activism: COVID-19 has exposed the everyday struggles of the most vulnerable like never before. LGBTQIA+ activists are facing homophobia, transphobia, and biphobia everyday as they continue to organise and support their community bearing the brunt of a pandemic. What does philanthropy need to do more? How can it better support LGBTQIA+ communities in the present moment? As we continue into the second year of the pandemic, Deepa Ranganathan and Juliana Camara, from FRIDA | The Young Feminist Fund, facilitate an engaging roundtable discussion with LGBTQIA+ members of the FRIDA ecosystem, summarised in this article.

Racism and climate (in)justice how racism and colonialism shape the climate crisis and climate action: How have racism and colonialism contributed to creating the climate crisis; how have they shaped the response to it; and why is the crisis hitting Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPoC) the hardest? This framing paper addresses these questions through a broad framing of the complex historical and empirical realities that show that colonialism and racism have played an integral part in shaping, and continue to shape, climate change and climate policy to this day. It demonstrates that there can be no climate justice without racial justice. See also, report, ‘Towards Climate Justice: Rethinking the European Green Deal from a racial justice perspective.’

MacKenzie Scott’s latest round of gifts prioritises philanthropy infrastructure: MacKenzie Scott has announced her latest round of financial gifts – this time allocating $2.7 billion to almost 300 organisations. Among the groups receiving grants are many U.S. philanthropy ecosystem and infrastructure bodies, which Scott has described as ‘historically underfunded’. This Alliance Magazine article looks at the significance of this decision.

Constitutional change and devolution: In this blog for Alliance Magazine, Director of the Social Initiative, Martin O’Brien, outlines ways in which philanthropy can help in the growing conversation about future constitutional uncertainties in and between the islands of Britain and Ireland. 

How to responsibly end funding relationships with charities: Throughout the pandemic, philanthropists, trusts, and foundations have done a phenomenal job of supporting charities and other social purpose organisations by providing them with emergency grants. However, many of the emergency grants made by funders at the beginning of the crisis have now ended. Sometimes there are good reasons for funders to bring a funding relationship to an end but doing so can cause big problems for the charities they currently support. Funders should prioritise long-term support where possible but, when they must draw their funding to a close, make sure they do this in the right way. So, how should funders go about ending funding relationships with the organisations they support? And how can funders reduce the chances of negative impacts? This NPC blog provides three tips for funders thinking about bringing a funding relationship to a close.

How funders can make disability visible: Disability is a relatively untapped area of investment for philanthropy, but one that offers promise of change and multiple avenues for donor impact, write Catherine Hyde Townsend and Bess Rothenberg in this article for Stanford Social Innovation Review.

The next Thread will go out on Thursday 16th September. We would love to hear from you! Please contact Hannah Stevens by Tuesday 14th September if you would like to share announcements, events, or resources for the next issue.


Jobs and Tenders

Programme Officer (Civic Engagement & Immigrant Justice) – Wellspring Philanthropic Fund: Wellspring Philanthropic Fund seeks a Programme Officer to help implement new strategic efforts to strengthen diverse representation, participation, and leadership in democracy in selected U.S. States. The successful candidate will also help to promote the protection of the rights of immigrants and their children. The Programme Officer must be a proven leader in both fields and bring a strong intersectional analysis to the work with a clear track record working on racial justice issues. Location: Flexible within the USA. Candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

Programme Officer (East Asia) – Open Society Foundations: Open Society Foundations is looking for a Programme Officer based in East Asia to represent the foundation and make decisions on the allocation of funds. The successful candidate will manage programme strategies in East Asia, including grants, projects, and contracts with diverse organisations and individuals. They will also research fields of interest, build and manage relationships with grantees and serve as the programmatic focal point for the region. Location: East Asia. Candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

Grant Administrator – Porticus: Porticus is recruiting a Grant Administrator who will ensure the quality of the foundation’s grantmaking processes and provide support to grant managers during the entire life cycle of a grant. Although a largely administrative role, this is an opportunity to gain an insight into the workings of an international philanthropic organisation. In this role, the focus is on education and civic engagement programmes. Location: Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

Responsable de Programmes et Fondations Handicap – Fondation de France : Fondation de France recrute un.e Responsable de Programmes et Fondations Handicap. Il ou elle mettra en œuvre le programme Handicap, en binôme avec la chargée de programmes et fondations, et accompagnera des fondations abritées agissant dans le champ du handicap. Location : Paris, France. Les candidats sont encouragés à présenter leur candidature dès que possible.

Programme Assistant – Ford Foundation: Ford Foundation is hiring a Programme Assistant to work in their Creativity and Free Expression team. The role holder will provide key support to two Programme Officers and manage various activities including meetings and grants administration. At the Foundation, Programme Assistants help to manage the various workflows of programme staff and of the programme team more generally. Location: New York, USA. Candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

Grants Managers – Trust for London: Trust for London is looking for two Grants Managers with a keen interest in tackling the root causes of poverty and inequality in the English capital. The applicants will need at least three years’ experience of project management at a senior level in the voluntary and community sector, preferably in London. They will also need to have good analytical and communication skills and an understanding of relevant social policy issues. Location: London, UK. Deadline for applications is 16th July.

Portfolio Officer – The National Lottery Community Fund: The National Lottery Community Fund is recruiting two Portfolio Officers. The successful candidates will work across the whole lifecycle of grant-making (design and pre-application, assessment, decision making and grant management). They will write thorough progress and assessment reports and provide evidence-based recommendations on how proposals fit with the Fund’s strategic objectives. Location: Flexible within the UK. Deadline for applications is 4th August.

Grants Officer – European Climate Foundation: The European Climate Foundation (ECF) is looking for a Grants Officer to join the Grants Officers team and report to the Director of Grants Management. The successful candidate will support 3 or 4 programmes, platforms or projects and will ensure consistency of approach and compliance with the internal processes. They will serve as the liaison between the programmatic work and the Finance department. Location: Flexible within Europe. Deadline for applications is 5th August.

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


Public Meetings


June 9th – August 8th
Investigative commons: This exhibition showcases a new model for collaborative truth-production and investigative aesthetics, bringing together open-source investigation, “counter-forensics” and strategic human rights litigation. Combining the situated knowledge of survivors of violence and dispossession with the toolkits of investigative reporters, whistle-blowers, activists, lawyers, scientists, artists, architects and cultural institutions, the exhibition presents casework that confronts urgent contemporary issues: racist policing and border regimes, cyber-surveillance, environmental violence, the ongoing violence of colonialism and the complicity of institutions in them. This exhibition and accompanying programme mark the launch of Investigative Commons, an interdisciplinary practice initiated by Forensic Architecture, FORENSIS and the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR). Further, they introduce FORENSIS, a new Berlin-based association founded by Forensic Architecture. The exhibition will run until 8th August in Berlin, Germany.



July 7th – September 26th
War inna babylon: The community’s struggle for truths and rights: War Inna Babylon chronicles the impact of various forms of state violence and institutional racism targeted at Britain’s Black communities since the mass arrival-upon-invitation of West Indian migrants in the late 1940s. The exhibition includes original tributes from victims’ families, case studies of the controversial ‘sus’ (suspected person) laws and the Gangs’ Matrix and highlights legal developments that have resulted from Black justice campaigns. The exhibition will run until 26th September in London, UK.



October 18th – 20th
EFC Conference 2021: From crisis to opportunity : How can philanthropy accelerate sustainable change? European Foundation Centre’s conference in Vienna will be the first opportunity for its members to come together since the start of the pandemic. The conference will look at how philanthropy can help catalyse a more holistic response to the vast challenges that still lie ahead. The event will take shape via four interwoven strands (Climate, Democracy, Philanthropy and Society), each moderated by an expert who is widely recognised in the field, and will consider the four underlying themes of culture, digital agenda, education, and civic engagement. The event will take place between 18th and 20th October in Vienna, Austria.



July 17th
Amnesty UK London Online Activism Conference: This series of live talks is for people of all ages and backgrounds. Hosted live on Zoom by activists in London and neighbouring regions, the conference will explore what Amnesty supporters are doing to protect human rights across the UK and beyond. It will include presentations and interactive discussions from the world’s largest human rights movement. The online event will take place on 17th July.

July 20th
Persevering through crisis: The state of non-profits: The report ‘Persevering through Crisis: The State of Non-profits’ sheds light on how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted non-profits, how funders have stepped up, and how foundations have been more flexible, responsive, and communicative with grantees. In this interactive discussion, the panellists will analyse the report findings and hear from community-based non-profit leaders and a foundation CEO on their experiences of the past year and their advice for funders going forward. The online event will take place on 20th July.

July 20th
It’s complicated: Global perspectives on funding justice and equity: As foundations increasingly work to integrate racial justice, decolonial practices, and equity into their work, how can they consider the ways in which justice, equity, and power play out differently across the globe? This webinar will bring together funders and grantees to reflect on their experiences embedding a justice and equity framework into their work in the Global South. What should funders consider when supporting organisations in contexts outside of their own localities? What are the challenges both funders and grantees face in this work? This funder-grantee dialogue will touch on these questions and more. The online event will take place on 20th July.


July 21st
Frontlines of resistance to authoritarianism, caste supremacy and Islamophobia: This webinar will provide an overview of the current context of the pandemic and vaccine-apartheid in India through the framework of understanding its roots in the anti-Muslim, Hindu supremacist, and casteist nature of its authoritarian rule. Participants will explore how donors can strategise to provide support to movements and organisations led by Dalit-Bahujan, Muslim, Adivasi, and other historically marginalised communities that are at the forefront of struggles for democracy and human rights in India. The online event will take place on 21st July.

July 21st
Joining forces to end violence in and through schools: Safe to learn strategy and world bank investment case launch: Joy Phumaphi, Board Co-Chair of the End Violence Partnership, will chair a discussion including senior representatives from government, the Global Partnership for Education, World Bank, Education World Forum, Coalition for Good Schools, and global education advocates. They will explore how the global community can work together to end the violence that undermines education and make sure every child, including the most marginalised, is safe to learn. The online event will take place on 21st July. 

July 22nd
The new decisionmakers: Funding youth-led change through participatory grantmaking: Elevate Children Funders Group (ECFG) and the Fund for Global Human Rights (the Fund) partner to highlight powerful evidence for investing in child- and youth-led grantmaking. This interactive session will start with an overview of ECFG’s ‘Shifting the Field’ research, highlighting why youth-led grantmaking is so vital. This will be followed by a panel discussion about the Fund’s youth participatory grantmaking pilot, the Tar Kura initiative. The panel line-up includes one of the Tar Kura youth participants, who will highlight the benefits of youth-led participatory grantmaking and support peers who are considering similar initiatives. The online event will take place on 22nd July.

July 27th
Walking the walk: trust, relationships, and breaking power dynamics in grantmaking practices: For decades, the philanthropic sector has underfunded and harmed social movements, especially those led by Black and Indigenous people. Funders must vigorously continue the work to undo oppressive systems that manifest explicitly or implicitly within their organisations, and that includes how funders form their grantmaking policies and practices. In this Global Engagement Lab webinar, EDGE Funders will explore what it means to be an ally in solidarity with social movements, through grantmaking practices. Funders and grantees are invited to join this reflective conversation on the grantmaking tools and practices that have either built or broken trust between funders and grantees. The panel will be composed of two grantees and two funders, who will speak on their experiences from both the global south and global north perspectives. The online event will take place on 27th July.

August 12th
Giving Black: The Black philanthropy month conference: The Giving Black Conference will focus on transformative black philanthropy. It will draw on philanthropic voices and viewpoints from across Africa’s diaspora to explore how collective action can elevate equity in this unequal world. The online event will take place on 12th August.

August 30th
Why do we need a new human rights law in Scotland? The Scottish Government has made a promise to introduce a new human rights law for Scotland. The law would incorporate four major United Nations treaties and would protect economic, social, cultural, and environmental rights. During this webinar, the Human Rights Consortium Scotland and others will explore what incorporation means and why it should matter to all those who work in civil society in Scotland. The online event will take place on 30th August.

September 21st – 23rd
Building a healthier future: Creating personal, organisational and societal well-being: After a year and a half of crises, social innovation leaders must aspire to go beyond a return to ‘normal’. The challenge we now face is: How do we create better systems, for ourselves, our organisations, our constituents, and our communities, that are healthier, more equitable, and more sustainable than those we had? Over the course of three half-day sessions, Stanford Social Innovation Review will bring together non-profit and business executives, noted academics, and prominent public-sector leaders to explore pathways to strengthening and renewing collective commitment to improving society. The online event will take place between 21st and 23rd September.

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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