Ariadne’s Thread – November 2020

Ariadne’s Thread – November 2020
November 18, 2020 Hannah Stevens

November 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 Anika Huizinga on Unsplash

TAKE PART IN THE 2021 ARIADNE FORECAST: It’s that time of year again, and what a year it has been. We’re creating the seventh (!) Ariadne Forecast for European Social Change and Human Rights Funders, and we need your help. What is your greatest hope for 2021? What opportunities and challenges do you see for your grantees, and how do you think your practice as a funder might change? Tell us your predictions via our short questionnaire. The deadline for filling in the questionnaire is 9th December 2020. Questions? Email

REGISTER: TECHNOLOGY TOUCHPOINT: ON LABOUR RIGHTS, THE GIG ECONOMY, AND WHERE TECHNOLOGY COMES IN: The future of labour rights is shifting under our feet. New industries have led to new professions like content moderation that pose new risks for workers; new technologies have concentrated corporate power, disaggregated workers making it harder to collectively bargain; and people building technology for corporations are organising in new ways to leverage their power against tech companies building tools for oppression. This Technology Touchpoint will engage with these new challenges and opportunities and facilitate conversation between emerging leaders using strategic litigation, tech worker unionising, and gig economy organising to advance human rights in our new labour landscape. Speakers: Cori Crider, Co-founder Foxglove Legal; James Farrar, Founder of Worker Info Exchange; Yonatan Miller, Founder of Tech Workers Coalition, Berlin vs. Amazon. Join us on Monday 30th November, 11:00-12:30 GMT (world clock). Click here to register.

REGISTER: CHANGING CONTEXTS: WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE? This final session of Ariadne’s series of seminars on Gender Lens Investing will think about how COVID and new movements of change and protest alter the context for GLI. Are GLI funds more resilient than other mainstream investments in a crisis? How can we incorporate new priorities around racial and ethnic justice into GLI? Will COVID impact on the GLI sector in terms of diverting resources to other causes? It will also look at how big the GLI market is and what sorts of products are available and coming on stream. Join host Jo Andrews, former Director of Ariadne and co-founder of Equileap, for the session on Thursday 3rd December, 14:00-15:00 GMT (world clock). Speakers: Ceri Goddard, Project Director, Equality Impact Investing Project; Rachel Whittaker, Sustainable Investment Strategist Private Wealth Management, UBS, Zurich. Click here to register.

WEBINAR: HUMAN RIGHTS, CIVIC SPACE AND THE RULE OF LAW IN THE EU: In October, the European Parliament adopted a resolution for the establishment of an EU mechanism to protect and strengthen democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights. The resolution aims to go beyond the scope of the European Commission Rule of law report and become a mechanism against the erosion of fundamental European values. On 5th November, a deal was struck, allowing a qualified majority of member states to impose sanctions where governments fail to maintain democratic standards. You are invited to join this webinar on Tuesday 24th November, 14:00-15:00 GMT (world clock) to hear the insights of rapporteur Michal Šimečka, civil society and philanthropy, into how the EU rule of law mechanism can help address the shrinking space for civil society and restrictions to democracy and fundamental rights. Speakers: Michal Šimečka, MEP (Slovakia), Renew Europe Group Vice-Chair; Carlotta Besozzi, Civil Society Europe Coordinator; and Ewa Kulik-Bielińska, Executive Director, Stefan Batory Foundation. Click here to register.

WEBINAR: THE EU WHISTLEBLOWING DIRECTIVE: THE KEY ROLE CIVIL SOCIETY PLAYED IN ACHIEVING IT AND HOW IT IS TAKING A LEAD IN ITS IMPLEMENTATION: New EU-wide rules will soon kick in, as we come to the end of the two-year transposition period of the EU Whistleblowing Directive. The directive requires the creation of safe channels for reporting, guarantees protection against retaliation to whistle-blowers, and requires national authorities to inform citizens and train public officials on how to deal with whistleblowing. You are invited to join this webinar on Tuesday 1st December, 13:00-14:00 GMT (world clock) to explore how the EU Directive came to be, the role CSOs played and the advocacy approaches they developed, and the collaboration among different actors. The webinar will also examine how the collaboration is being adapted to make this achievement real across the EU and how CSOs are deploying new monitoring tools and cooperating in national and cross-border advocacy to ensure a strong transposition. Speakers: Anna Myers, Executive Director, Whistleblowing International Network; Martin Jefflén, President, Eurocadres; and Nicholas Aiossa, Deputy Director, Head of Political Integrity, Transparency International. Click here to register.

*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

Liberties Report: Does Germany Have a Civic Space Problem? Germany’s legislation regulating the work of civil society organisations is outdated and vague, leaving them vulnerable to attacks by some politicians and commercial lobbyists, Liberties’ new report finds.

Black people, racism and human rights: This report from The Joint Committee on Human Rights reveals that over three quarters of Black people in the UK believe their human rights are not protected equally compared to white people. The report highlights that there are fundamental flaws with how Black people’s human rights are protected and recommends that Black people are represented at the top level of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC). There are also questions about the effectiveness of the EHRC. Specifically, when it comes to championing the Black community. See also, Police spying inquiry to examine targeting of UK black justice groups.

Investigation into the Labour Party: The Equality and Human Rights Committee in the UK has released its report on their investigation into allegations of antisemitism in the Labour Party.

$280m ‘dark money’ spent by US Christian right groups globally: An openDemocracy investigation has found that US Christian right groups, many with close links to the Trump administration, have spent at least $280m in ‘dark money’ fuelling campaigns against the rights of women and LGBTIQ people across five continents. This article reveals that lawmakers say scale of spending – particularly by Trump’s lawyers and allies – is ‘alarming,’ and call for urgent action to increase transparency.

Upholding human rights in times of crisis and pandemics: gender, equality and non-discrimination: On 13th October, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe adopted a report on upholding human rights in times of crisis and pandemics through the lens of gender, equality, and non-discrimination. According to the report, governments rarely took into sufficient account the different situations and needs of LGBTI people and minority groups when designing measures to contain and combat the pandemic. The Assembly calls on all Council of Europe governments to mainstream equality issues, including LGBTI equality, into the work they undertake in response to COVID-19. See also, the resolution.

Platform power to the people: This article from Stanford Social Innovation Review looks at how the coronavirus pandemic has shown how digital tools can foster online engagement that leads to real benefits for working people.


Blogs and Other Sites of Interest

PODCAST: Departures: 400 Years of Emigration from Britain: What would it take for you to leave your home? To leave everything and everyone you know to move to another country and start again. Over the past 400 years, that’s exactly what millions of British people have been doing. Today, the news headlines are full of stories of migrants trying to come to Britain. But for most of this country’s history, it’s actually been the other way around. And Britain’s emigration rate remains one of the highest in the world. Why has such a small island nation produced so many migrants and how have they shaped the world we live in today? Departures is a new podcast from the Migration Museum, in which Mukti Jain Campion speaks to people who are shedding new light on this often hidden history. Episodes will launch fortnightly from Thursday 26th November.

ACTIONS: 50 ways to be a better ally: BAME Recruitment has shared a list of 50 actions you can take to be a better ally in the workplace, and beyond.

LOGBOOK: The logbook of Moria: A logbook was found in the ashes of Europe’s most notorious refugee camp. Written by the workers that were there to protect the unaccompanied minors, but often felt incapable of doing so, its pages reveal the horrific reality that they endured. The logbook of Moria’s safe zone is an indisputable document of Europe’s failure to protect the most vulnerable group of asylum seekers that sought safety within its borders.

TOOL: Blacklight: A Real-Time Website Privacy Inspector: Who is peeking over your shoulder while you work, watch videos, learn, explore, and shop on the internet? Enter the address of any website, and the Blacklight tool (recommended by Mozilla Foundation) will scan it and reveal the specific user-tracking technologies on the site—and who’s getting your data. You may be surprised at what you learn.

ARTICLE: Burnout from an organisational perspective: This article from Stanford Social Innovation Review argues that, instead of pressuring already-stressed individuals to fix themselves, true wellness requires organisation-level interventions.

ARTICLE: ‘Borat 2’ misses the mark because it perpetuates cruel stereotypes and is a vehicle for mockery: In an op-ed article, the South-eastern European political scientist Jasmin Mujanović writes that “Borat 2” misses the mark and is difficult to watch. Mujanović writes that Baron Cohen “is clearly a supremely talented satirist and character actor” but says “whatever comment the franchise makes on American ignorance and bigotry, its biggest effect is in its cruel portrayals of Kazakhstan, Central Asia, and even Eastern Europe.” Overall, he calls it “a movie that punches down.” “Those who see these depictions as satire may feel they are in on the joke, but a far larger portion of the audience is laughing at Cohen’s portrayals of ‘Kazakhstan,'” he says.

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


Funding the Future – How the climate crisis intersects with your giving: This guide from Active Philanthropy illustrates how the climate crisis impacts funding portfolios and highlights where there are co-benefits with taking climate action. It looks at five ‘climate intersections’: just and democratic societies, public health, disadvantaged groups, education and nature conservation.

Funding for sex workers’ rights: Sex workers in communities around the world are organising to end exploitation and violence, to access appropriate and respectful health care, and to build movements for lasting change. However, as a result of criminalisation, discrimination and stigma, few institutions are willing to fund the fight for sex workers’ rights. This factsheet from Mama Cash outlines why to fund sex workers’ rights, the current funding situation for sex workers’ rights, and what is needed.

Intersex human rights funding a pressing issue: In this special feature for Alliance, Dan Christian Ghattas from Organisation Intersex International (OII) Europe asks, ‘Intersex issues are human rights issues. So where is the funding for our movement?’

Global Black Funding Principles: The Covid pandemic, recession, racial injustices, and climate change are decimating Black communities everywhere. Despite high levels of entrepreneurism and giving, Black people do not have equitable access to the private capital necessary for community recovery and wellness. Black Philanthropy Month encourages all philanthropy, social investment, and venture funders to sign the Black Funding Equity Pledge to ascribe to their principles for more fair, effective and transformative impact on racial equity and social justice.

UK Giving – COVID-19: UK Giving is the largest multi-year study of giving behaviour in the UK. This special report from Charities Aid Foundation is based on research conducted between January and August 2020, it includes responses from more than 9,000 people across the country. The report sets out the impact that the pandemic has had so far on people’s giving behaviours, and the outlook for the coming months.

Measuring what matters: This consultation paper is designed to advance a conversation about measurement in civil society, and to identify more meaningful approaches to organisational learning and accountability. The paper is jointly published by published by Candid, the Global Fund for Community Foundations and Philanthropy for Social Justice and Peace. See also, article ‘Unearthing secret excel spreadsheets – why measuring what matters, matters.’

Philanthropy questions itself to stay relevant: The philanthropic sector is hugely varied, and we must be careful about speaking about philanthropy as if it were a homogenous field. However, at a time when the global philanthropy sector is going through a major period of self-reflection in light of rapid social and economic change, there is still enough of a common thread to identify a set of topics that should be of interest to anyone engaging with funding for social good. In this blog, CAF provides a snapshot of some of the key themes that have been at the forefront of people’s minds over the past months.

Funding Organisational Development: A smart investment to multiply impact: Views from five foundations: The aim of this paper is to share key insights collected over the past several months on how to engage in Organisational Development (OD), set up OD programmes, examine the OD process and address dilemmas. The underlying intention is to promote OD as a key dimension in the daily work of any grantmaking foundation. The authors distinguish between capacity building and organisational development: capacity building encompasses technical knowledge and focuses on strengthening specific organisational areas. Organisational development (OD) takes a holistic view of the organisation and its broader context. OD is greater than the sum of multiple capacity building interventions.

The next Thread will go out on Thursday 10th December. We would love to hear from you! Please contact Hannah Stevens by 8th December if you would like to share announcements, events, or resources for the next issue.


Jobs and Tenders

Global Network Weaver – Global Fund for Community Foundations: The Global Fund for Community Foundations focuses on growing community philanthropy globally as a central pillar of people-led development.  In a Global Network Weaver, they are looking for someone who is interested in processes and ways of working that facilitate others, and someone who is excited at the prospect of being part of a small, virtual, global team operating within the context of bigger and diverse global networks. Location: Remote. Deadline for applications is 27th November.

Grants Management Associate – American Jewish World Service: American Jewish World Service is hiring a Grants Management Associate who will be responsible for supporting the grants management team in implementing AJWS’s core grantmaking portfolio. The successful candidate will be systems-oriented with strong attention to detail and organisational abilities. In collaboration with other International Operations Department colleagues, they will work closely with programme teams to administer hundreds of grants and liaise with the Finance Department to ensure that payments are made in a timely manner. They will report to the Associate Director of International Operations and work with the entire Programmes Division, as well as the larger organisation, to ensure the effective and efficient management of AJWS’s core grantmaking. Location: New York, United States or a permanent remote work location. Candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

Program Officer – Ford Foundation: The Ford Foundation’s U.S. Program in Civic Engagement and Government (CEG) is seeking a collaborative, strategic, team-oriented Program Officer to help evolve and implement the foundation’s efforts to strengthen representation, participation, and leadership in U.S. democracy nationally as well as in priority regions across the U.S. The Foundation seeks a dynamic, credible, proven field leader who brings a strong intersectional analysis to the work with a clear track record working on gender and racial justice issues. The Program Officer must have significant lived and/or work experience working closely with communities that have been historically marginalized from the systems that affect their lives so as to always keep the lived experiences of people and communities at the centre of CEG’s grantmaking approach. Location: New York, United States. Candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

Grants Manager – European Endowment for Democracy: The European Endowment for Democracy is recruiting a Grants Manager to support its flexible democracy support work. The successful candidate will support EED in the contractual and financial management of grants across the mandate of its operations. Given the current balance of the team, candidates must have good working knowledge of Arabic. Location: Brussels, Belgium. Deadline for applications is 6th December.

Head of UK Democracy Fund – Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust: Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust is recruiting for a Head of its UK Democracy Fund. This is an exciting opportunity to support the trust’s work to tackle political inequality, reform the voting system and raise voter participation by low-voting demographic groups. The consultant will develop the strategic direction, source and assess grant applications, manage stakeholder relations, develop projects such as convening or research, find partners and secure funding for the work of the Fund. Location: United Kingdom, and remote. Deadline for applications is 2nd December but applicants are advised to apply as soon as possible.

Consultant – Civitates: Civitates is a philanthropic initiative for democracy and solidarity in Europe, which provides funding for civil society actors to come together, revitalise public discourse, and ensure that all voices are heard. Civitates is looking for a consultant to conduct a mapping of the current state of the shrinking space for civil society in Europe. Location: Belgium and remote. Deadline for applications is 30th November.

Managing Director – filia.die frauenstiftung: filia.die frauenstiftung is the largest community foundation in Germany that supports women’s projects worldwide, with a focus on equal participation in society, freedom from violence and respect for human rights. The organisation is seeking a Managing Director to manage and coordinate the office, to be responsible for the financial management and the coordination of the investment, and more. Location: Hamburg, Germany. Deadline for applications is 24th November.

Strategic Consultancies – Mama Cash: The Mama Cash Programmes Team is engaging up to two strategic consultants to explore, assess and recommend ways to strengthen its partnerships, engagement and outreach within the networks of Black Feminist and Muslim Feminist activist and movement communities in Europe. Location: Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Deadline for applications is 18th November.

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


Public Meetings


Until December 13th
No lockdown in the imagination: Creativity has been prisoners’ escape and saviour during the pandemic. Using limited materials and unlimited imaginations, people across the criminal justice system have kept themselves going. This exhibition will showcase some of this important artwork, which was entered into this year’s Koestler Awards, despite all the challenges faced by the criminal justice system. Visual art and poetry will be reproduced onto the windows of Southbank Centre in London, alongside audio performances of poetry and spoken word entries. The artwork will be on display in London (outside the Southbank Centre in London) and online from 12th November until 13th December.

November 22nd – 28th
Power and the role of philanthropy: For far too long, power has existed within a top-down paradigm. Now, we see shifts towards more distributed models that root agency in individuals and groups of changemakers. In the wake of COVID 19, governments have exercised an increased use of central power while communities are illustrating the potential of resilient organisations and local action. As we confront the long-term impact of the current crisis on the power distribution in society, we must seize the opportunity this crisis creates. We must rethink the way power is leveraged and distributed, first within the philanthropic sector, then with other actors of social change. The COVID-19 pandemic presents an opportunity to explore the limited adaptations in power distribution, the alternative and innovative ways to shift power dynamics and harness unrecognized power for social justice and the greater good. You are invited to join a panel of thought leaders to explore how the philanthropic field needs to address and transform imbalanced power dynamics within the sector and beyond, many of which continue to be impacted by the ongoing pandemic. The online event will take place on 24th November.

November 22nd – 28th
Workplace allyship: Promoting BAME inclusivity: BAME Recruitment and Avanade invite you to join a virtual panel discussion which will give attendees the opportunity to hear from a diverse range of panellists discussing allyship in the workplace and inclusion for BAME employees. The aims of the sessions are to provide tools for colleagues to better support one another, to expand awareness of other people’s career experiences and to explore effective actions and solutions to increase feelings of value and belonging in the workplace for all. The online event will take place on 24th November.

November 22nd – 28th
Why radical change is required to address the climate crisis: Nesta talks to Ann Pettifor: To protect the future of life on earth, we need to do more than just reimagine the economy; we have to change everything. In this discussion, Ann Pettifor, author of The Case for the Green New Deal, argues that economic change is wholly possible, based on the understanding that finance, the economy and the ecosystem are all tightly bound together. Join this Nesta event to explore Ann’s manifesto for total decarbonisation, and an economy based on fairness and social justice. The online event will take place on 24th November. 

November 22nd – December 5th
Refugee nights with the Imperial War Museum: Refugee Nights is a virtual festival created by the Imperial War Museum Institute, in collaboration with English PEN, International Organisation for Migration, and Disasters Emergency Committee.  Over three nights, the festival will explore refugees’ stories throughout history in talks, eyewitness accounts, music and food, and celebrate refugees’ rich and important cultural contributions to UK public life. The events will be hosted by Hassan Akkad, Syrian refugee and creator of BAFTA-winning documentary ‘Exodus’, and feature guests including actor Jude Law; comedian and actor Omid Djalili; chef, entrepreneur and refugee Imad Alarnab; and Syrian activist and award-winning filmmaker Waad Al-Kateab. The online event will take place on 24th November and 1st December.

November 22nd – 28th
Reimagining ‘Women, Peace and Security’: Twenty years ago, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security, as part of a global effort to highlight the impact of conflict on women and the need to bring the voice of women into peace processes. In this second event in the Commonwealth Foundation’s Critical Conversations series, peace advocates will ask how the Resolution can be reimagined to better serve the needs and aspirations of women and communities across the Commonwealth. Speakers will draw on their front-line experience to tackle these questions; sharing concrete examples of what has worked well and their perspectives on what needs to be done differently. The online event will take place on 25th November.  

November 22nd – 28th
In conversation with Ekow Eshun and David Lammy MP: During this Guardian Live event, David Lammy MP will be joined by writer and curator Ekow Eshun to explore the colonial organisation of society and why it needs to change. In a meeting of politics and culture, they will discuss the issues that surround aspects of storytelling, and how they are often influenced by unearned privilege and power. The online event will take place on 26th November.

November 29th – December 13th
EFC Grantmakers East Forum 2020: The annual Grantmakers East Forum offers an open space and stimulus for debate and new ideas. Grantmakers, academics, civil society actors, and representatives from EU and international organisations will be provided with the opportunity to discuss pressing questions on philanthropy, the new normal, rising authoritarianism, soaring inequalities, community resilience, and more. The online event will take place between 2nd-3rd and between 9th-10th December.

November 29th – December 5th
Racial justice in philanthropy: From transactional to transformational: In this SIR Live! webinar, Crystal Hayling, the Executive Director of The Libra Foundation and founder of Democracy Frontlines Fund, will talk about philanthropy’s role today and tomorrow in addressing racial justice. Eric Ward, Executive Director of the Western States Center will share what frontline groups need from philanthropy, in the wake of the multiple upheavals of 2020. Teresa Younger, president and CEO of Ms. Foundation for Women will speak to the deep work of transformation philanthropy needs to do now to meet this moment. The online event will take place on 2nd December.

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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