Ariadne’s Thread – November 2023

Ariadne’s Thread – November 2023
November 16, 2023 Jana Stardelova

November 2023

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

Ariadne’s 2024 Annual Reconnect:

We’re delighted to announce that registration is now open for Ariadne’s 2024 Annual Reconnect, taking place in Tbilisi, Georgia, from 22 to 24 April 2024, where we’ll also celebrate Ariadne’s 15-year anniversary!

Ariadne’s 2024 Annual Reconnect will take place from the 22nd to the 24th of April and HRFN’s Global Funding Futures Festival will be held from the 24th to the 26th of April. The 24th of April will be an overlap of both events with joint sessions and networking opportunities with civil society, in partnership with Women’s Fund in Georgia.

For further information, including registration fees and discounts for attending the whole week, check out our event microsite.

Ariadne’s 10th Forecast Questionnaire:

It’s that time of year again, and what a year it has been. We’re creating Ariadne’s 10th Forecast for European Social Change and Human Rights Funders. A decade of your invaluable insights have shaped our understanding of the future landscape, and now we need your wisdom more than ever as we embark on this milestone edition. Please join us in answering the following questions:

– What is your greatest hope for 2024?
– What opportunities and challenges do you see for your grantees?
– How do you think your practice as a funder might change? 

You can easily submit your responses via our short questionnaire, available in French, Italian, Spanish, German or English (simply switch languages at the top of the form).

Healing Solidarity sessions:

Join the BIPOC Only Collective Care Space on 29 November, 15:00 BST, 16:00 CET. Come and sit alongside Sarah Diedro Jordão for our monthly BIPOC only space. There is no need to prepare anything. Just show up as you are. We normally have a small group of between 3 to 9 people and these sessions will run monthly, until the end of 2023. Register here.

Many members are sharing on Ariadne’s Community Hub! Log in to join the diverse communities, connect and collaborate with other funders on Ariadne’s Community Hub! Have a colleague who doesn’t yet have access? They can sign up here. Need assistance? Take a look at our guide or email to schedule a demo.

All these resources and more can be found on Ariadne’s website and Member-only Community Hub.


New Research, Articles and Judgements

Report: The International Civil Society Centre launched “A history of civic space, 2024–2034”, the latest report from its Solidarity Action Network. The report presents insights from and practical ways of engaging in a collaborative scenario-writing exercise that took place over ten weeks to envision possible futures for civic and civil society operating space. A method called ParEvo was utilised to build unique narratives, allowing for the collective examination and evaluation of alternative futures. The outcomes of this ParEvo exercise will inform the next phase of the initiative “Anticipating futures for civil society operating space”, which will focus on using insights from these scenarios and translating them into concrete strategies and practices.

Report: “Routes to Safety: A New Approach to People Crossing the Channel” from Safe Passage International. The report identifies three priorities to support asylum seekers’ journeys to the UK:
I. Establish safe alternatives: ruin the smugglers’ deadly trade by establishing safe alternatives for those seeking asylum.
II. Renew Britain’s commitment to international cooperation.
III. Restore the right to seek asylum and rebuild our asylum system.
Find the whole report here.

Reports: These two reports by Digital Freedom Fund underscore the Fund’s efforts and commitment to advancing digital rights discourse and fostering a more accountable tech landscape:
Evidence Gathering for Platform Accountability Project Report: Uniting technologists and litigators in 2022, the Fund enhanced Big Tech accountability. Download here.
Digital Rights are Charter Rights: Explore the fusion of digital and EU Charter on Fundamental Rights. Engage with essays illuminating this intersection. Download the essay series here.

Report: The Protecting Rights at Borders (PRAB) initiative has just released its 7th report, continuing its work to document evidence of the use of illegal pushbacks in the context of border management in Europe. This report is a critical resource for a better understanding of demographic information, migratory routes and trends in the challenges faced by individuals at Europe’s borders.

Report: “Women on the Frontlines of Extractivism: How funders can support women environmental defenders” draws upon and synthesises independent research conducted by the Global Alliance for Green and Gender Action (GAGGA), Global Greengrants Fund, and SAGE Fund, three funders dedicated to supporting women on the frontlines of environmental justice activism. This cross-field collaboration was supported by the Ford Foundation through the Resilient Women and Natural Resources Initiative, which aims to expose how natural resource extraction both fuels and reinforces structural violence, with particular attention to the impacts on women and girls. Access here.

Report: Development banks (or Development Finance Institutions – DFI) play a major role in financing development projects in the Global South. However, their operation has raised important questions, especially about human rights. In the report commissioned by KIOS, it was particularly highlighted that the implementation of the recommendations of the financial mechanisms should be monitored even more closely. Click here to access more details about the issue and report “Human rights in DFI-funded projects”.

Report: “The Impact Of Strategic Human Rights Litigation On Corporate Behaviour” report was commissioned by The Freedom Fund’s Corporate Accountability initiative and authored by leading business & human rights experts Surya Deva, Justine Nolan, and Ebony Birchall. It explores the impacts of strategic human rights litigation on corporate conduct and the broader international ecosystem. Read more.

Report: International Migration Outlook 2023: The 2023 edition of International Migration Outlook analyses recent developments in migration movements and the labour market inclusion of immigrants in OECD countries. It also monitors recent policy changes in migration governance and integration in OECD countries. Available in English and French.


Blogs and Other Sites of Interest

Blog: In this blog, Global fund for Children president and CEO, John Hecklinger raises the case for investing in grassroots groups to improve the mental health of children and youth: “An increasing number of conflict- and climate-fueled catastrophes appear to be a certain part of our future. Many young people are working to address them. Others are just struggling to get through each day. All of them need urgent attention and support as the largest youth generation in history grapples with seismic shifts and new challenges.” Read more.

Publication: “Global Feminist Pitch: Feminism in Pictures” by Heinrich Böll Stiftung is a collection of graphic novels. It results from a collaboration with seven incredible feminist illustrators from Brazil, Iran, India, Georgia, Pakistan, Turkiye, and Kenya for the Global Feminist Pitch. In diverse global contexts, these graphic novels are evidence of the continuing streams of feminist resistance and resilience.

Story: This blog is brought by the Fund for Global Human Rights. “Artists Advocating for Clean Water” explores how an arts festival is bringing communities and experts together to advocate for the right to clean water. Read the story.

Podcast: In a podcast on climate philanthropy, Esmée Fairbairn‘s CEO, Caroline Mason and Clima Now Foundation CEO, Nathalie Moral, talk to ProspectUs about the different ways they’re engaging in this space, and how funders can be more proactive in tackling climate change.

Blog: “Over half of the world’s population currently lives in cities, and this is expected to grow to nearly 70% of us by 2050”. On this years World Cities Day James Drinkwater, head of built environment at Laudes Foundation, blogs about the new cities focused films Laudes helped put together with their partners at Built by Nature and Climate-KIC. Click to read.

Blog: Lysa John, Secretary-General of CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation, has spent her career working for grassroots organisations fighting to end urban poverty in India, and has led transnational campaigns calling for government accountability. In this blog, “Elevating Voices – Dignity through civic engagement”, Lysa shares thoughts on human dignity. Read episode 4 of The Human Dignity Series, by Porticus, here.

Podcast: In the second edition of the BRIDGES Podcast Series #2: Building new narratives on migration, civil society representatives from Germany, Italy and Spain bring their own experiences and reflect on the best strategies to promote successful counter-hegemonic narratives on migration. The podcast counts on the participation of Ada Ugo Abara, founder of Arising Africans; Juli Tello, member of Stop Mare Mortum; and Lisa Lynch, an active member of the local chapter of Seebrücke in Mainz. Listen to it on Spotify, RSS or Youtube.


Report: The Civic Power Fund launched the report “Funding Justice 2”, a comprehensive map of where UK social justice foundation giving goes. Here are some of the findings from over £950 million worth of 2021/2022 grants:

  • Just 5.7% of UK foundation giving in 2021/22 went towards work to tackle injustice.
  • Just 0.3% of UK foundation giving in 2021/22 went towards building people power through organising.
  • Nearly a third of social justice grants went towards service delivery.
  • Another 37% went to ‘inside game’ work in elite settings.
  • By contrast, less than 10% of social justice funding is going towards ‘outside game’ activities that excluded communities rely on to be heard.

The report is linked here and Eliza Baring’s Medium piece summarising the research is linked here. You can also find the release recording here.

Philanthropy Tool: The Advancing Participation in Philanthropy Tool (APPT) was developed by Diana Samarasan and Katy Love, and is a self-assessment tool for funders to gauge where they currently are in terms of participatory practice across all areas of work and operations. It is designed as an internal assessment to spark reflection, dialogue and goal setting. It is organised by functional areas typically found in a foundation, like governance, grantmaking, communications, finance, and more. The APPT can be used by individuals but is best used by teams working across departments and at different decision-making levels to instigate internal dialogue and increase joint understanding about how participation is functioning or can function within a funding institution. Resource links are also provided for foundations who agree to move their work to the next level.

A funder’s journey: In 2022, the Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP) grantmaking team embarked on a journey to review and improve our grantmaking process. In a series of blog posts, the team explains why they wanted to update their grant management process, how they did it, what changes they implemented to their grantmaking and lessons they learned along the way. The CDP team invites you to join them on their learning journey and review your grantmaking practices. Learn more.

Funding approach: Esmée Fairbairn Foundation is testing a new approach to funding and are ringfencing £1.5m for a New Connections programme to find and support organisations that could not, or would not, usually apply. Recognising that their funding criteria for annual income and governance has limited access for newer, smaller, and historically underfunded organisations. Esmée is testing a new approach to find and support them. Learn more about the New Connections programme.

Blog: This blog tells the story how the Public Interest News Foundation (PINF) recently helped Dr. Debs Grayson and the Media Reform Coalition create and launch a guide to participatory grantmaking in journalism. This blog shares a quick summary from PINF’s Deputy Director, Joe Mitchell, as well as access to the full guide, and recording from the launch. Access it here.

Analysis: From May to August 2023, Philea conducted its first “Exploring 21st century philanthropy” survey with a wide range of organisations* representing philanthropy, civil society, academia, business, media and governments. The blog shares key highlights from the survey and what the Philea team interpreted from them. Stay tuned for upcoming editions, that will discuss internal risks facing philanthropy in the next decade and implications for future action.

The last 2023 Thread will go out on Thursday 21st December. We would love to hear from you! Please contact us by Tuesday 19th December if you would like to share announcements, events, or resources for the next issue. 


Jobs and Tenders

Wellspring Philanthropic Fund – Deputy Vice President Of Programs For Strategy, Monitoring & Learning. The Deputy Vice President of Programs for Strategy, Monitoring and Learning (DVPP) will report to the Vice President of Programs (VPP), serving as a trusted thought partner on the strategy development and implementation, grant making effectiveness, cross-programmatic learning, and management of the program teams. Key to this role is working with the VPP on developing and analysing key indicators of success and outcomes, and the partnership with the Director of Evaluation. Salary: $365,000 – $385,000. Location: NYC, USA. Applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

Mama Cash – Director of People, Finance and Operations. In this role, you will be at the forefront of our team, leading and supervising the People & Purpose team while making significant contributions to the overall success of the team. As part of the Management Team, the Director of People, Finance and Operations (DPFO) is co-responsible for the management, strategy and results of Mama Cash. The DPFO is responsible for the organisational systems and infrastructure that support the strategic objectives of Mama Cash. The purpose of the position is to contribute to Mama Cash’s overall mission and sustainability by leading and supporting seamless fiscal, operational (administration, data management, IT, facilities, etc), human resource management (HRM) and learning, monitoring and evaluation (LME) systems, procedures, and processes. Location: Amsterdam. Applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

Ford Foundation – International Security, Safety and Risk Mitigation Manager.The Office of the Deputy Chief Operating Officer is hiring an International Security, Safety and Risk Mitigation Manager that will be based in the New York office. The International Security, Safety and Risk Mitigation Manager will work with the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) to develop and implement a global security and risk mitigation framework that fosters a culture of safety awareness and risk mitigation. Salary: $109,000 – $127,000. Location: NYC, USA. Applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

Porticus – Programme Manager MENA. The Programme Manager is responsible for the design, coordination, execution and delivery in grant making and programme development in MENA specifically on the topics of democratic governance and civic engagement as well as gender equity. Salary: €60.000 – €87.500. Location: Vienna, Austria. Applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

Thousand Currents – Digital Media Coordinator, Philanthropic Partnerships and Influence. Initially reporting to the Director of Communications for one year due to the Editorial Manager’s parental leave, the Digital Media Coordinator will play a pivotal role in driving digital engagement and fostering fundraising and donor education opportunities to expand the online influence.  The successful candidate is a creative and passionate social media guru who loves following emergent trends in the digital landscape, has an understanding of, or commitment to, Thousand Currents mission, vision, and values, and is a highly motivated team player familiar with cross-collaborative work. Salary: USD $72,675. Location: Flexible within the United States, and open to outside the United States. Applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

The Legal Education Foundation – Grants Officer. The Grants Officer is an important role, part of a small collaborative grants team delivering the Foundation’s five-year strategy to 2025 and looking towards the development of our new strategy. The Foundation’s priorities are to widen their reach to organisations using the law in creative ways, especially those that are lived-experience-led, and to develop stronger relationships with their grantees to better support them and to learn more from what LEF funds. Salary: £35,000. Location: Hybrid: currently in our central London (Bloomsbury) office for two days per week. Deadline for applications is 24 November.

FICS – Development Officer. FICS is recruiting a Development Officer to join their fundraising team who will provide crucial support across FICS including the programmes Civic Futures and the Global Narrative Hive. The primary responsibilities will include managing or contributing to production of both interim and final reports for funders, establishing a system with the programmatic teams internally to ensure that the data required is captured, any writing input is obtained in a timely manner and submitted in time for deadlines, and to ensure the highest standards of reporting are adhered to. Salary: GBP 33,300. Location: Hybrid, UK. Deadline for applications is 25 November.

European AI and Society Fund – Senior Partnerships Manager. The Fund is looking for someone with enthusiasm, energy and commitment to take on the new role of Senior Partnerships Manager and collaborate closely with the Director to develop and deliver the strategy for the next phase of their growth. You will work with their existing philanthropic partners to deepen their relationships, research new potential partners and scout opportunities to influence the philanthropic field by sharing the Fund’s unique perspective. We value diversity and especially encourage applications from people who consider themselves under represented in this sector. Salary: €66.000 – 68.000. Location: Brussels or remote (CET +/- 1 hour) with frequent travel to Brussels & within Europe. Deadline for applications is 28 November.

FICS – Administrative Assistant. FICS equips funders with the tools they need to understand and anticipate trends in civic space, bringing them together to tackle the problem of shrinking civic space. FICS is looking for a new Administrative Assistant to provide additional support to the FICS Director as well as fulfil a number of important administrative functions. FICS is a warm, friendly team, with a culture that values administrative skills and strives to ensure that everyone has opportunities to learn and grow. Salary: £26,600. Location: UK (remote). Deadline for applications is 29 November.

Esmée Fairbairn Foundation – Funding Officer, A Fairer Future. If you’re passionate about social justice, this is a great opportunity to work with and support a range of organisations, initiatives and projects seeking to create change, and challenge systems that stand in the way. Salary: £34,500 – £38,500. Location: Hybrid/London (Kings Cross office). Deadline for applications is 29 November.

Mozilla Foundation – Program Associate, Fellowship & Awards. Mozilla is seeking a Program Associate to support their Fellowships and Awards (F&A) team. The Program Associate is responsible for providing support in the management of grantmaking and program cycles, including fellowships, awardees and our alumni community. This role is also facilitative, working to connect the work of the F&A team internally as well as externally with program participants. The ability to work in a remote culture that spans multiple time zones, with the median time zone being Eastern Time. This would be an ideal role for someone who has a passion for building a more open, secure, and inclusive internet and is interested in pursuing a career at the intersection of philanthropy and technology. Salary: Dependant on location. Locations: Remote UK, Remote US, Remote Germany, Remote Canada. Deadline for applications is 30 November.

The Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice – Program Officer, Intersex Human Rights Fund (IHRF). The Astraea Foundation seeks a dedicated, passionate, and collaborative Program Officer to sustain their Intersex Human Rights Fund (IHRF) and join their program team. The IHRF disburses around $700,000 annually to intersex organisations in all regions, using a participatory grantmaking approach. Working with the Intersex Fund team (currently 2 persons) and the program team, the Program Officer, IHRF will be responsible for managing relationships with grantee partners, providing support and accompaniment, engaging in capacity building and advocacy in philanthropy, and participating in learning and evaluation of IHRF and Astraea’s programs. Salary: $80,000 – $88,200 USD. Location: Remote, Global. Deadline for applications is 1 December.

The Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice – Program Associate, Intersex Human Rights Fund (IHRF). The Program Associate supports the Intersex Fund’s grantmaking and capacity-strengthening programs. In addition to day-to-day programmatic and administrative activities, the program associate will work with the Intersex Human Rights Fund (IHRF) program officers to provide accompaniment and technical assistance to grantee partners and ensure overall smooth operations of the team. The program associate reports to the Astraea Foundation’s Associate Director, IHRF, and can be based anywhere in the world. Salary: $55,000 – $63,559 USD. Location: Remote, Global. Deadline for applications is 1 December.

The Ford Foundation – Program Officer, Southern Africa. The Ford Foundation, Southern Africa office seeks a dynamic, innovative Program Officer to be part of a team that is driving and shaping the foundation’s social justice work in the Southern Africa region. The Program Officer will support the implementation of the strategy of the Office for Southern Africa (OSA) and the broader social justice goals of the Foundation globally. This role will primarily support the Foundation’s work on Natural Resources and Climate Change (NRCC). The ideal candidate should have knowledge of natural resources governance and the following climate related issues: land and community rights, benefit sharing, accountability and transparency in relation to energy transition and resource extraction. Location: Johannesburg, South Africa. Deadline for applications is 4 December.

Gulbenkian – Gulbenkian Research Fellowships in Portuguese Culture for Foreigners. Applications are open for the Gulbenkian Research Fellowships in Portuguese Culture for Foreigners, which aim to support non-Portuguese postgraduates, living abroad, to carry out research in Portugal on topics of Portuguese culture, in the field of humanities. Submissions until 31 January 2024. Learn more and apply here. (in Portuguese)

Various roles – American Jewish World Service (AJWS)
Various roles – Fondation de France
Various roles – Global fund for Children

*For more jobs, see the ‘Career Opportunities’ section of Ariadne’s Community HubTo address pay gaps in the charity sector, we strongly encourage you to #showthesalary in your job adverts.



Online & Berlin

20 November

“Marejesho” exhibition and symposium “We Want Them Back”. After an analysis initiated by the research-exhibition “Marejesho,” ancestral remains of victims of German colonial rule have been identified through DNA-matching for the first time. The descendants in Tanzania are now demanding prompt repatriation, an apology from Germany for colonial crimes, and negotiations on reparations. Personal belongings are also to be returned. The exhibition “Marejesho” at TA T in Berlin is currently open to the public. The symposium, organized by Decolonize Berlin and ECCHR, brings together those affected and guests from Namibia, Tanzania, Ghana and Zimbabwe with representatives from civil society, politics and cultural institutions to discuss questions of repatriation and restitution. Location: Refugio Berlin, Lenaustr. 3-4, 20 November, 10:00 am – 6:00 pm (in-person and online). Register here for the event.


21 & 24 November

Combating fuel poverty also means understanding European policies and their impact on the lives of Europeans. To answer these questions, the Fondation Abbé Pierre organises two webinars on European policies as part of the 2023 Day against Energy Poverty.

– Electricity market reform: what solutions for the most vulnerable? Tuesday 21 November 9h30 – 10h3 Register here.
– Green Deal and renovation in Europe – Where do things stand? Friday 24 November 11h 12h. Register here.

23 November

Warm Spaces webinar for funders. As the temperature drops and thoughts turn to winter, Warm Spaces are coming back. The Warm Welcome Campaign and Funders Collaborative Hub are hosting a webinar to help funders understand what’s happening with Warm Spaces this winter and how they can engage. Last winter saw more than 7,000 Warm Spaces join the Warm Welcome Campaign, receiving almost 2.5 million visits and having a huge positive impact, not just in terms of keeping people warm but also in tackling loneliness and isolation. Register for the webinar here.


28 November

Philanthropy and politics. There is a long-running debate about the relationship between philanthropy and politics. Traditional received wisdom is that philanthropists should steer of politics, but there is a growing view that the two are inseparable and that philanthropy both can and should take a political position. Some do more than take a political position, funding political parties, too. This happens at both ends of the political spectrum, with left- and right-leaning funders supporting not only campaigns by politicians but also funding opinion formers who adopt the same views. What are some of the ways that the relationship between philanthropy and politics is playing out, what form should the relationship take and where should the limits lie? This 1 hour webinar on 28 November at 15:00 GMT will explore these questions. Register here for the webinar.

30 November

Discovery session of the The Charity Digital Skills Report. Are you funding digital, either as part of grantees’ projects or a standalone programme? What would you like to know about digital funding in order to increase your impact? Join this short discovery session, facilitated by Zoe Amar and Nissa Ramsay of The Charity Digital Skills Report, to have your say on what data you’d like them to gather from charities in the 2024 report in order to develop your digital grant-making and your team’s skills. Register for the webinar here.

11 December

Modern Grantmaking and friends discuss How to Spend-Down Well. On the evening of 11 December we will be hosting an online event on how spend-down foundations actually function. We’ll be interviewing two fantastic speakers, Emily Bild from GoPhilanthropic and Lynda Mansson, ex CEO of the MAVA Foundation, to share their first-hand experience of starting and ending a spend down process. Register here for the webinar.


22 November

UK LGBTQI Global Giving Summit. GiveOut and The Baring Foundation are hosting a half day summit, bringing together businesses, philanthropists, foundations and political leaders to discuss increasing UK funding to the global LGBTQI movement. There will be an exciting line up of speakers as well as recently commissioned research presented at the event. If you are are interested to learn more about this event taking place on 22 November in London, please email

Ariadne’s core operations are supported by the American Jewish World Service, Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, Oak Foundation, Open Society Foundations, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and Sigrid Rausing Trust.

Ariadne is also supported by voluntary contributions from its participants.

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