Ariadne’s Thread – May 2020

Ariadne’s Thread – May 2020
May 21, 2020 Hannah Stevens

May 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

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

WEBINAR: THE EUROPEAN GREEN DEAL: IMPLICATIONS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS AND SOCIAL CHANGE: Despite some (such as the Czech Prime Minister) attempting to use COVID-19 to ditch the European Green Deal, it remains relevant, and some even see the pandemic as a characteristic of the climate crisis. The EU remains committed to the deal, and civil society is calling for it to be strengthened and used as a “greenprint” for the post-COVID-19 economy. You are invited to join a webinar, hosted by Ariadne and the Green European Foundation on Tuesday 26th May, 14:00 – 15:00 BST/15:00 – 16:00 CEST/9:00 – 10:00 EST, to learn how foundations might support a just transition in Europe and ensure that no one is left behind. Speakers: Anna Cavazzini, German MEP of the Alliance 90/The Greens; Renee Bruel, Director (Buildings) at European Climate Foundation; and Clotilde Clark-Foulquier, Housing Solutions Platform Coordinator & Project Manager, European Federation of National Organisations Working with the Homeless. Moderator: Dirk Holemans, Board Co-President of the Green European Foundation and Coordinator of Flemish think-tank Oikos. To register, please click here.

ONLINE EVENT: CLIMATE CHANGE AND FORCED MIGRATION WITH ARIADNE & UNHCR: You are invited to join this online event on Tuesday 25th June, 13.00-17.45 CEST, co-hosted by Ariadne and UNHCR, on climate change and forced migration. Key issues to be discussed include: How does climate change, often combined with conflict, drive people from their homes? How can foundations support relevant and innovative programmes to deal with the aftermath of these events? What about anticipatory action, prevention, adaptation and mitigation? How can they help build resilience in the long-term so people can stay and/or return? Linking these debates with the broader European and international policy agendas, the event will also look at how foundations can also support civil society advocacy on this topic to improve both policies and practices.  Please register by 19th June.

BLOG: COVID-19 STOKING THE FLAME OF RACISM AND XENOPHOBIA: In this  blog, friend of the network Katie Lau, reflects on the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on BAME communities, and calls for solidarity, care and transformation as we rebuild and reimagine our world post-pandemic. This blog is the second 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.

BLOG: THE LGBTQI MOVEMENT IN THE TIME OF COVID-19: In this  blog, Ariadne member Claire Tunnacliffe looks at the unique challenges faced by the LGBTQI community during the COVID-19 pandemic, and shares what GiveOut is doing to support the movement. This blog is the third 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.

BLOG: Part I – Generating hope beyond the spotlight: The impact of the COVID-19 lock-down on Italian civil society and the response of the philanthropic sector: In this interview, Debora Guidetti, Ariadne’s European Programme Manager, speaks with fellow Italian Carola Carazzone, Secretary General of Assifero and Ariadne Advisory Board Member, about how Italian civil society and philanthropy is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

BLOG: Part II – Generating hope beyond the spotlight: Tending to the impact of the COVID-19 lock-down on disenfranchised populations and Italian civil society: In this interview, Debora Guidetti, Ariadne’s European Programme Manager, speaks with fellow Italian Vincenzo Linarello, President of GOEL – Cooperative Group, about the impact of the COVID-19 lock-down on disenfranchised populations and civil society in Italy.

BLOG: Ariadne 2020 Forecast for European social change and human rights funders: What holds? In March, we published the 2020 Ariadne Forecast, which explored what the coming year might hold for European philanthropy. The start of 2020 has surprised many of us, and none of our forecasters foresaw the reality in which we now find ourselves, but some of the key issues that were highlighted remain as important, if not more important. While change has occurred very quickly in the past few weeks, in many ways the pandemic has put into sharp relief some of the forces that have been at play over the past decade across the globe. Take a look at this blog for WINGS, by Ariadne Director, Julie Broome. 

REGISTER NOW – ARIADNE PORTAL TUITION: A half-hour of tuition to improve your skill in using the Ariadne Portal will be held on Tuesday 16th June at 14:00 BST. 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

How to use EU law to protect civic space: Civil Society Organisations are instrumental in raising voices and assisting victims. But what happens when CSOs themselves become the actual targets and victims and their fundamental rights to associate, operate, express views, seek and provide information, receive funding and campaign are significantly restricted, especially in times of emergencies? ECNL, in partnership with EFC and DAFNE, wrote a  handbook to provide practical guidance for CSOs to advocate and litigate using EU law to protect their rights and civic space in the EU.

Disease pandemics and the freedom of opinion and expression: In this report, the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, David Kaye, registers alarm that some efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic may be failing to meet the standards of legality, necessity and proportionality. The Special Rapporteur highlights five areas of concern, showing that access to information, independent media and other free expression rights are critical to meeting the challenges of pandemic. 

Nations in Transit 2020: Dropping the Democratic Façade: Freedom House has released ‘Nations in Transit,’ its annual comparative study of 29 countries from Central Europe to Central Asia. The report finds a growing number of leaders openly turning their backs on democracy and driving the region into a stunning breakdown. The political and economic fallout from COVID-19 is expected to accelerate and exacerbate current trends but it also provides opportunities for democratic revival. Now is the time to act.

Feminist Responses to COVID-19: As this global epidemic escalates, feminists from across the world have been examining its gendered impacts and the need for feminist approaches to be at the heart of all responses. The Gender and Development Network has curated a helpful resource list. See also, ‘COVID-19 and Girls’ Rights: A series from With and For Girls.’

2020 Gender Equality in Europe: Assessing 255 leading companies on workplace equality: The special report from Equileap presents key data and insights on gender equality in the workplace in Europe. Key Highlights: top countries for gender equality in Europe are France (average score of 52%), Sweden (49%), Spain (46%) and Germany (44%); only 3 in 10 European companies publish their gender pay gap; and less than half (48%) of European companies have an anti-sexual harassment policy See also, Gender Equality in France & Germany and Gender Equality in Sweden & Denmark.

Organisational Development and Peacebuilding: To mark their 10th anniversary, PeaceNexus Foundation is launching a series of Practice Papers that share lessons from their work with a broader audience. This practice paper is the first in this series focusing on lessons learned in strategy development.


Blogs and Other Sites of Interest

BLOG: From Many Yeses to One Big Yes: Towards a Global Green New Deal: Major shocks can be moments when we lose a lot or moments of transformation, said Naomi Klein, activist and author of Shock Doctrine and On Fire, speaking at a recent webinar hosted by Ariadne and FICS. This blog from Caroline Hartnell for Rethinking Poverty summarises the conversation with Naomi Klein and Asad Rehman at War on Want.

VIDEO: Contact-Tracing – Could letting tech companies retrace our steps be one step too far? Contact-tracing is a technique doctors and researchers can use to determine who should quarantine to limit the virus from spreading and is usually a laborious process performed by public health officials. Proposals for digital contact tracing have recently emerged: Apple and Google in the US are joining forces to anonymously trace our movements using Bluetooth, Singapore is doing the same with its Trace Together app and in China, Tencent and Alibaba are sharing GPS location data with law enforcement to stop the spread of coronavirus. The analogue version of contact-tracing has a proven track record, but its digital equivalent is nothing short of polarizing. Using our phones to track us throughout the world feels undoubtedly invasive – dystopian, even. Though in a time where COVID-19 has reached full pandemic status around the world, would we regret not making use of every tool available to us? To find out more, watch the recording of this recent openDemocracy event. See also, ‘Naomi Klein: How big tech plans to profit from the pandemic.’

BLOG: #Buildbackbetter: Coronavirus has changed our world forever. Plans made a few weeks ago seem outdated at best or undoable at worst. The speed of this has been remarkable. In this blog, Barry Knight shares how we might approach some of the actions we need to take if we are to flourish afterwards.

BLOG: What does solidarity look like in times of coronavirus? In this blog for EFC, Ayşe Gürsöz of Thousand Currents reaffirms the need for solidarity, for community care, for open hearts and asks that you call a friend, connect and share what’s on your mind.

TIPS: 8 Tips for framing Covid-19: In this blog, Ella Saltmarshe shares tips on how we can craft messages that evoke care, agency, the common good, solidarity and interdependence. Not messages that evoke fear, division, passivity, fatalism and individualism.

PODCAST: Le Fonds du 11 Janvier: Il y a un avant et un après Charlie. La génération qui vient devra être résiliente, éclairée et critique devant les travers des réseaux sociaux. Face à ce constat, des gens agissent chaque jour pour déconstruire les préjugés, apprendre à comprendre les médias et à détecter le vrai du faux, à éclairer le sens des images, à aborder les fondements de la laïcité sans oblitérer le fait religieux. Tout cela pour (ré)apprendre à vivre ensemble. Cette série de podcast – produite par le Fonds du 11 janvier – est l’occasion de porter à la connaissance de tous le travail, l’expérience et l’enthousiasme de celles et ceux qui s’engagent pour armer la jeunesse face aux grands défis qui l’attendent.

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


Rethinking civic space in an age of intersectional crises: This new paper from the Funders’ Initiative for Civil Society (FICS) shares ‘futures thinking’ about climate, technological change, and preliminary thoughts on the Covid-19 crisis. The 2020s will be a decade of transition – how will these changes impact civic space and how should funders respond? This is the first of a series of recommendations FICS will publish for funders on how to disrupt and reform the drivers of closing civic space.

COVID-19’s impact on human rights: Recently, Candid’s Inga Ingulfsen and Suzanne Coffman spoke with Julie Broome, Director of Ariadne and Ana María Enríquez, Executive Director of Human Rights Funders Network (HRFN) about the effect the coronavirus pandemic is having on human rights organisations and the people they serve. You can read the highlights of their conversation in this article. 

Impact of COVID-19 on the BAME Community and Voluntary Sector: This report from Ubele is based on two surveys administered between 19th March and 4th April which received 182 responses, of which 137 were Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) led organisations. The findings of the surveys suggest that 9 out of 10 of the UK’s BAME micro and small organisations are set to close if the crisis continues beyond 3 months following the lockdown. See also, ‘Overcoming the Racial Bias in Philanthropic Funding.’

European Philanthropy at the Nexus of Disability and the SDGs: This paper, produced by Fundación ONCE and the European Foundation Centre, looks at how the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals serve as a framework for foundations to develop their action on disability inclusion. The paper includes case studies of eleven foundations from nine countries: France, UK, Italy, Spain, Austria, Ireland, Netherlands, Turkey and Georgia.

How Foundations Can Make Progress on Long-Term Social Change Amid the COVID-19 Crisis: This article from Stanford Social Innovation Review looks at how, amid foundations’ necessary and immediate responses to the COVID-19 crisis, there are unusual opportunities to advance their long-term goals of building more just and equitable societies.

Environmental philanthropy and COVID-19: What’s love got to do with it? In this  blog for Alliance Magazine, Florence Miller of Environmental Funders Network writes about how, although COVID-19 took many of our carefully thought-through plans and scattered them from the window of a fast-moving vehicle, the pandemic has also brought many things into sharp focus.

The next Thread will go out on Thursday 18th June. We would love to hear from you! Please contact Hannah Stevens by 16th June if you would like to share announcements, events, or resources for the next issue.


Jobs and Tenders

Grants Manager – A B Charitable Trust: AB Charitable Trust is seeking a Grants Manager to work closely with the team, trustees and grantees to assess applications and deliver a range of grants. They will work across all three of the Trust’s priority areas and will be expected to develop their knowledge in one or more of their areas of interest. Location: London, United Kingdom. Deadline for applications is 9th June.

Program Officer, Culture and Art (Fixed-Term) – Open Society Foundations: OSF is recruiting a fixed-term Program Officer to join its Culture and Art program. The successful candidate will primarily be responsible for assessing organisations recommended for funding by the Director and Deputy Director of Culture and Art. While most grants will be recommended by the Director and Deputy Director, the Program Officer will also identify additional organisations that align with existing program strategy. Location: New York, United States. Deadline for applications is 29th May.

Acting Programme Officer for Women’s Funds – Mama Cash: Mama Cash is looking for an Acting Programme Officer for Women’s Funds, preferably based in Amsterdam. The successful candidate will carry out the grantmaking policy within a flagship programme area at Mama Cash. They will review, manage, and prioritise requests from women’s funds seeking funding from Mama Cash. Location: Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Deadline for applications is 7th June.

Program Officer – Ford Foundation: Ford Foundation is hiring a Program Officer to support its work in global documentary and emerging media practices to help shape and advance the Foundation’s work at the intersection of non-fiction media and social justice. Location: New York, United States. Deadline for applications 12th June.

Executive Director/Co-Directors – Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice: Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice is seeking a new Executive Director or Co-Directors to build on the Foundation’s proud radical history to create a nimble, thriving, and resilient organisation that effectively and efficiently shifts power to LGBTQI people. In collaboration with the board and staff, the new Executive(s) will leverage the organisation’s expertise to centre its activist-centered grantmaking and expand its global presence. In keeping with Astraea’s commitment to upholding feminist leadership principles and decentralising power, the Board of Directors is open to structuring the role for an individual Executive Director or for a team of two Co-Directors. Location: The Executive Director or at least one Co-Director will work in the Foundation’s New York office. Candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

Honorary Treasurer and Trustee – Global Greengrants Fund: The Board of Global Greengrants Fund UK is seeking a new Honorary Treasurer and Trustee. The key responsibilities of this voluntary role are: to support the Executive Director in general oversight of the finance function of Global Greengrants Fund UK; to present financial picture to the Board in thrice yearly Board meetings; to support the process of annual budgeting, where appropriate reforecasting, and the annual audit; to liaise on an occasional basis with the voluntary Treasurer in Global Greengrants Fund US; and to give advice from time to time on currency hedging strategy. Location: United Kingdom. Deadline for applications is 12th June.

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


Public Meetings

May 24th – 30th
50 Years of the Equal Pay Act: Time to Start Valuing the Care Sector: This year is the 50th anniversary of the UK’s Equal Pay Act. Whilst we have come so far, the current Coronavirus pandemic demonstrates how the work that women do, and women themselves are consistently undervalued, none more so than women in the social care sector. This event is a part of Fawcett Society’s #CoronaConversations series and will focus on why women’s work is undervalued, how it drives pay inequality and what we can do to change it. The webinar will take place on 26th May.

May 24th – 30th
Supporting Sex Workers’ Rights in the Time of COVID-19: Threats and Opportunities: The COVID-19 pandemic has devastated sex worker communities across the globe, and the limited aid available does not reach or explicitly excludes most sex workers. Sex workers have to choose between continuing to work while risking exposure to COVID-19 or not being able to pay for basic needs. Our philanthropic pandemic response is incomplete unless we are listening to sex workers. Sex workers were some of the first to set up mutual aid funds to share resources, they are experts in harm reduction and prevention, and they have long used internet platforms to increase their safety. Sex worker movements can weather this storm – if philanthropy steps up. You are invited to join the Sex Work Donor Collaborative for a webinar with sex workers from all over the world who will share their experiences of COVID-19 and learn what funders can do to support the global sex worker movement. The webinar will take place on 27th May.

May 24th – 30th
Coronavirus explained: What is the environmental impact of Covid-19? We are just starting to emerge from lockdowns around the world and the toll the pandemic is taking is tragic. Clearly, a deadly virus is no way to tackle the climate and wildlife emergencies, but global carbon emissions have fallen sharply as people have needed to travel and work less, air pollution has dropped in cities and wildlife has emerged in unlikely places. Furthermore, trillions of dollars are being mobilised to rebuild the global economy, raising the question: can we build back better? Is a sustainable new economy that stops global heating and the destruction of the natural world possible? What would it look like and how do we get there? In the next instalment of the Coronavirus explained series, Guardian environment editor Damian Carrington will be talking to Richard Black from the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit, and Guardian environment correspondent Fiona Harvey. The webinar will take place on 27th May.

May 24th – 30th
Organising around the emergence of new systems: The COVID-19 pandemic is a clear manifestation of a systemic breakdown that evidences the many flaws and inequalities that are the root causes of the world’s growing problems. In this webinar, EDGE will share its analysis of the current state of the world in order to better understand the situation we are facing from a systemic approach. This moment offers humanity a unique opportunity to organise, resource and uplift the work that social movements are doing all over the globe in developing an array of systemic alternatives that can be the starting point for the emergence of new systems. The webinar will take place on 27th May.

May 24th – 30th
Workers and COVID-19: COVID-19 has further exposed the major gaps in workplace protections and benefits for big tech’s contractors and employees. Amid the pandemic, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ wealth has grown by $24 billion, while frontline Amazon workers who have protested for protective equipment, hazard pay, and expanded sick leave have been fired in retaliation. Although the relief bill that was recently signed will provide short-term support for some workers at Uber, Lyft, Postmates, Instacart, and Amazon, many of these workers are not entitled to workers’ compensation, health care benefits, or sick pay. This webinar will explore the demand for workers protections during COVID-19, as well as the advocacy strategies that are being used – from walkouts to the demand for the creation of employer generation hardship funds – as well as the long-term goal of permanent protections for workers. The webinar will take place on 27th May.

May 24th – 30th
Sea-Level Rise: Displacement, Migration and Human Rights: This lecture will discuss the specific issue of sea-level rise and its impact from the point of view of displacement, migration and human rights, an issue that is meriting attention both from the International Law Association and the United Nations International Law Commission. In particular, it will look at the ongoing work of the ILC’s recently created Study Group on “Sea-level rise in relation to International Law”, of which the speaker – Patrícia Galvão Teles – is one of the Co-Chairs. The webinar will take place on 28th May.

May 31st – June 6th
Overcoming the Racial Bias in Funding: Breaking Down Barriers to Capital: In this complimentary SSIR Live! webinar, Cheryl Dorsey, president of Echoing Green, Jeff Bradach, managing partner and cofounder of The Bridgespan Group, and Kathryn Finney, founder and CEO of digitalundivided, will explore original research that identifies the major drivers of racial disparities in funding in the social sector. The presenters will discuss the racial funding gap and share their first-hand experiences about what has and has not worked, in addition to how their organisations have endeavoured to improve their own practices. The webinar will take place on 2nd June. 

May 31st – June 6th
Lessons from Ebola: How Fund Grantees Work through Public Health Crises in Sub-Saharan Africa: You are invited to join this conversation with Louis-Marie Nindorera and John Kabia, Fund for Global Human Rights Program Officers, on how they and their grantees have maintained grantmaking during moments of crisis. The two will also discuss how local responses to Covid-19 compare to those deployed during Ebola epidemics in West and Central Africa. The webinar will take place on 3rd June.

June 14th – 20th
Supporting Trans Communities During COVID-19: The pandemic and surrounding politics are on track to have devastating effects on marginalized LGBTI communities, and trans communities in particular. Trans-led groups have already reported governments using COVID-19 to enact transphobic laws and/or repress trans communities; trans people have been excluded from receiving emergency aid; and trans-led movements have seen funders pull back and or pause planned grants. Join the Global Philanthropy Project’s Trans and Intersex Working Group and the International Trans Fund for a grantmaker webinar on the reality and impact of COVID-19 for trans movements, and a discussion on how funders can respond. The webinar will take place on 15th June.

June 14th – 20th
Why We Build Strong Groups and Movements: Flexibility and Adaptation in the Era of Covid-19: You are invited to join this conversation with Regan Ralph, Fund for Global Human Rights President (FGHR), and Esra Yarar, FGHR Director of Grantmaking Operations, on how the Fund, since its creation in 2002, has provided $100 million to hundreds of grantees, enabling them to achieve sustainable impact in spite of numerous political, economic, and technological challenges. The webinar will take place on 16th June.

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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