Ariadne’s Thread – September 2020

Ariadne’s Thread – September 2020
September 17, 2020 Hannah Stevens

September 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

Grant Skills Week Speakers L-R: Seyi Akiwowo, Founder and Executive Director, Glitch; Deborah Raji, Fellow, Mozilla; and Patrick Williams, Senior Lecturer (Criminology), Manchester Metropolitan University

LAST CHANCE TO REGISTER: 2020 ARIADNE DIGITAL POWER GRANT SKILLS WEEK: Our first ever (online!) Grant Skills Week will focus on Digital Power, to kick-off our new initiative of the same name (by the way, have you met Alix and Maya?). We’ll start off with insights into the way that emerging technology is reshaping human rights considerations, then provide hands-on support for Ariadne members to improve their practical grantmaking to technical projects and fields, and close out with support for crafting technology grantmaking strategy. We’ll be joined by our amazing speakers: Seyi Akiwowo, Founder and Executive Director, Glitch; Deborah Raji, Fellow, Mozilla; and Patrick Williams, Senior Lecturer in Criminology, Manchester Metropolitan University, plus some familiar faces who will be facilitating our hands on sessions. Online sessions on 28th, 29th September and 1st October 2020. To register and view the full agenda, click here. Questions? Email

 NEW BLOG: DIGITAL POWER – WE DON’T NEED TO BE ‘GEEKS’ TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE! To give you a taste of what you can expect during our upcoming Grant Skills Week, Vera Franz– advisory member of Ariadne’s new Digital Power initiative – has written a blog about how tech is used by corporations and governments to undermine social justice and human rights, and how grantmakers should be supporting civil society as they fight back.

THEY’RE HERE! THE HUMAN RIGHTS GRANTMAKING PRINCIPLES: Last year, Ariadne, in collaboration with HRFN and PAWHR set up a funders advisory committee and embarked on a journey to identify guiding principles for human rights grantmaking. For us, this journey meant that we had to be introspective and honest with ourselves about what it means to be bold and just in the field of philanthropy. We are pleased to launch these Human Rights Grantmaking Principles (en Français, en Español) which reflect the contributions of approximately 300 human rights contributors including funders and activists from over 40 countries. We’re holding a six-part workshop series for funders and human rights activists and organisations where we will dive into the grantmaking principles, jointly exploring how we can apply them in practice. The first workshop, ‘Why these principles and why now?’ will take place on Tuesday 20th October, 17:00-18:00 CEST. To register, please click here. Questions? Email

WEBINAR: EMBRACING COMPLEXITY: TOWARDS A SHARED UNDERSTANDING OF FUNDING SYSTEMS CHANGE: There is growing awareness among funders about how deeply funding practice impacts civil society organisations and social movements. In several European countries, two myths combine (that non-profits should cost very little and that all funding must be allocated to output-based activities) to create the “starvation cycle,” reducing the capacity of CSOs to be resilient, bold and influential changemakers. They need mission-oriented, flexible and long-term core support, but mainstream funding practice is mostly short-term and project-restricted. Could this be a self-imposed stumbling block in promoting systems change? In emergency responses to Covid-19, there were initiatives to encourage more flexible and less top-down funding. Will these change funder practice in the long-term, or will they just be a short-term response? Tuesday 22nd September, 16:00-17:00 CEST. To register, please click here.

REGISTER: ARIADNE’S AUTUMN LEARNING SERIES ON GENDER LENS INVESTING: Ariadne invites you to take part in a special course of online seminars on Gender Lens Investing. These are for grant-makers, trustees and board members; high net worth individuals; programme, investment and management officers; and anyone in the philanthropic community who is interested in investing to help achieve gender equality and justice. They will be hosted by Jo Andrews, former Director of Ariadne and co-founder of Equileap, which works to accelerate gender equality in the workplace. The seminars will explain gender lens investing, why it matters and how it can be carried out or incorporated into your practice of philanthropy. It will also look at how GLI might include non-binary gender definitions and intersectional marginalisation, such as racial justice. There is no cost to take part, and it is possible to sign up for the whole series or individual sessions. Online sessions on 8th October, 22nd October, 5th November, 18th November and 3rd December. To register, please click here.

WEBINAR: WORKER-LED INITIATIVES TO END EXPLOITATION IN SUPPLY CHAINS: Traditional Corporate Social Responsibility has failed to address abuses in global supply chains, not only because it is largely voluntary and unenforceable, but because it fails to put workers at the centre of the response. Workers are the people who most directly suffer human rights abuses in global supply chains, who are the first to see it happening, but yet are absent from the vast majority of solutions to remedy such abuses. You are invited to join Ariadne and the Freedom Fund for an exclusive online panel discussion which will explore different worker-driven methods and models to address exploitation in global supply chains. Expert speakers will discuss their efforts to build worker power within global supply chains and the successes and challenges they have faced. Tuesday 13th October, 14:00-15:00 CEST. To register, 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

Alternatives to detention: building a culture of cooperation: How can governments achieve legitimate migration governance goals without the use of detention? A growing body of evidence suggests that case management in a community setting, focusing on voluntary engagement rather than enforcement, can be a key tool to build trust and safeguard individual rights, whilst also supporting government objectives around compliance and case resolution. Since 2017, EPIM has been supporting case management based ATD pilot projects in Bulgaria, Cyprus and Poland. Relying on voluntary engagement and trust-building through case management in a community setting, these pilots are aimed at testing the added value of ATD on multiple levels and across different national contexts. Building on a first independent evaluation conducted in 2018, a follow-up evaluation report which captures data collected over the course of 2019 is now available.   

For black students, badly-predicted grades are the tip of the iceberg: You’re more likely to have your exam grades incorrectly estimated as a black student – but this isn’t the only reason we should be worried about how the education system treats marginalised students during coronavirus. This gal-dem article looks at some of the other reasons. See also, ‘The problems AI has today go back centuries.

Disability Demands Justice: It’s time to expand our definition of justice. Around the world, there are one billion people with disabilities who experience inequality in all its forms. To build a world where everyone is equal, we need to recognise how disability interconnects with the issues of social justice and follow the lead of the individuals at the centre of the fight. Ford has recently published “Disability Demands Justice,” a dynamic, ever-evolving hub where a diversity of voices and perspectives can share their experiences, disability activists and social justice organisations can teach one another, and where meaningful partnerships can take shape.

Data collection is not the solution for Europe’s racism problem: In a recent opinion piece for Al Jazeera, Brandee Butler of OSIFE argues that European Union countries need to collect more equality data to address systemic racism in the region. In this response, Nani Jansen of Digital Freedom Fund, argues that structural racism can be combatted only if there is political will, not more data.

Taking Hard Line, Greece Turns Back Migrants by Abandoning Them at Sea: Many Greeks have grown frustrated as tens of thousands of asylum seekers languished on Greek islands. Now, evidence shows, a new conservative government has a new method of keeping them out. This article covers how the Greek government has secretly expelled more than 1,000 refugees from Europe’s borders in recent months, sailing many of them to the edge of Greek territorial waters and then abandoning them in inflatable and sometimes overburdened life rafts. See also, We must hold the media responsible for amplifying government anti-immigrant rhetoric.’

Belarus has torn up the protest rulebook. Everyone should listen: One messaging app helped protesters fight Alexander Lukashenko’s digital blackout. This article from Wired asks: Can it (Telegram) bring him down?

User Privacy or Cyber Sovereignty? Amid declining faith in the international system, a different form of protectionism is gaining steam with adverse consequences for billions of internet users. Authorities in a growing number of countries are weighing measures to control the flow of data in and out of their national borders. Cyber norms promoted by China and Russia are expanding to countries such as Brazil, India, and Turkey, where legislators had been debating data localization provisions as this report went to press. If passed, these measures will facilitate the collection of sensitive data by government agencies, enabling a further crackdown on free expression, privacy, and a range of human rights. This splintering of the internet will also embolden more governments to pursue a model of cyber sovereignty, with grave implications for the future of internet freedom. This report examines the implications of data localization policies on users’ human rights. See also, ‘Is the US about to split the internet?’


Blogs and Other Sites of Interest

FRAMING GUIDE: Six ways to change hearts and minds about climate change: On Road Media has published research-backed guidance prepared by the FrameWorks Institute to help us all talk about and create content on climate change in a way that helps to change hearts and minds. The resource pack seeks to support the need to turn the urgency on talking about climate, without bringing people down.

VIDEO: CLIMA Video: A New Beat: For over 20 years we’ve been hearing the same drumbeat: that ‘climate change can only be addressed with top-down, market-driven strategies.’ Yet, catastrophic climate change continues unabated. Maybe it’s time to listen to a different beat – to use familiar tools to make a breakthrough. The CLIMA Fund just released a new video to bring attention to grassroots climate solutions, like agroecology, community-controlled energy, and Indigenous rights.  We can limit the impacts of the climate crisis and pandemics by supporting local solutions that build resilience and dramatically cut carbon emissions. Philanthropy can resource strategic, interconnected climate solutions led by those at the frontlines of the climate crisis: women, Indigenous Peoples, youth, and peasant farmers.

SURVEY: Foundation approaches to journalism funding: The Journalism Funders Forum invites you to participate in its survey to understand the practices and attitudes of philanthropic foundations towards media funding in Europe and how they are supporting media and journalism. They are looking primarily for input from foundations with headquarters in Europe (irrespective of whether they are active in Europe or worldwide), but also from foundations which are based elsewhere, yet engage with European media.

VIDEO: Transgender asylum seekers wait out COVID-19 in Mexico’s dangerous border cities: For five months, the Trump administration has effectively ended migration at the US-Mexico border, leaving countless asylum seekers indefinitely stuck, without a clear path forward. This limbo is especially difficult and dangerous for LGBTQ+ asylum seekers, who are scared to return home, but see little hope in their current situation. While immigration to the United States has dried up, there has been an uptick in gay and transgender asylum seekers arriving in Tijuana in recent months, says Jaime Marín, who opened the first shelter for LGBTQ+ people in the border city. One of them is Alejandra, who fled her home in El Salvador to try to start a new life in the United States after an assault by a gang left her in a coma. Unable to get a job in Mexico due to her status as an immigrant and her gender identity, she has been forced to engage in sex work – an act that may subject her to further violence and coronavirus exposure. Hear Alejandra’s story and those of others like her in this atmospheric film and accompanying article by William Martin III.

SCORE CARDS: HRC Elections | How do the candidates for 2021 rate and what have they pledged to do as Council members? ISHR has published ‘score cards’ for each of the States seeking election to the UN Human Rights Council for 2021- 2023. They called on each of them to make concrete commitments to promote and protect human rights.

EMBROIDERY: Meet the artist embroidering Belarus’ protests: For Rufina Bazlova, if the revolution can’t be live-tweeted, it must be embroidered instead. This GlobalVoices article shares some of the Belarusian artist’s embroidery. 

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


Participatory Grant Giving During Covid-19: In March, Camden Giving opened an appeal to raise money to support the short-term needs of civil society in its community, with the aim of supporting the additional demand for services and covering lost income. This led to two COVID-19 emergency grant giving rounds, on top of its ‘business as usual’ programmes. This time has highlighted the strength of our communities but also the huge amount of work that is still needed to reset and rebuild, and Camden Giving aims to put those who might feel powerless at the centre of this process. This review was put together in the hope that the findings are helpful to anyone who is interested in or considering using a participatory grant giving model.

FRIDA Young Feminist Fund’s Resource Mobilisation Ethics Policy: FRIDA | The Young Feminist Fund recognises that wealth is rooted in exploitation of the planet’s resources, of people, and of their labour. Through their long-established participatory processes, FRIDA has worked for the past few years to develop their first Resource Mobilization Ethics Policy. With this policy, they intend to shed light on the ethical dilemmas the Fund faces while operating in the global philanthropic ecosystem, increase transparency of FRIDA’s fundraising efforts, better engage their community in the decision-making processes, and ensure that none of the partnerships they enter harm the movements they set out to support.

Giving Thought Podcast: European philanthropy during & after COVID-19, Pt III with Julie Broome: CAF’s Giving Thought podcast is releasing a mini-series on European philanthropy during and after the COVID-19 pandemic, exploring how philanthropic funders have responded to the crisis and how it might affect philanthropy longer term. In the third podcast, CAF speaks with Julie Broome, Director of Ariadne, about philanthropic funding for social change and rights issues now and in the future.

Former organisers drive change as elected officials: In this article, the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy takes a look at how former community organisers like Pramila Jayapal are putting their skills to work in the halls of Congress. They ask, what is the lesson for philanthropy? Funding community organisers not only helps produce policy wins in the near-term but creates a pipeline of effective elected officials that will produce wins years and even decades down the line.

Future News Pilot Fund: End of programme report: For a democracy to function, people need access to reliable and high-quality sources of news. But the sector is in the midst of a ‘perfect storm’, with the immediate impact of COVID-19, a sharp decline in advertising revenue and a slump in print sales. One ray of light has been the record number of visitors to local news websites over recent months as people try to stay up to date on a volatile and ever-changing situation. This tells us that there is not only a huge appetite but also a great need for local news. Nesta’s Future News Pilot Fund set out to tackle two key problems – financial instability of news outlets and reaching communities who are currently without reliable local news. It supported a diverse group of organisations made up of not-for-profits, tech companies and independent newspapers. This report is for those who want to find out more about the innovative projects working to increase income, audiences and diversity in the media sector.

Philanthropy’s role in genuine change: 15 lessons from today’s grassroots movements and their backers: The Altruist League brings together governments, businesses and philanthropists determined to create real change in our societies. Their new study on the state of modern activism distils 15 lessons on the state of the world, the nature of systemic change, and the type of philanthropist and non-profit that it requires.

The next Thread will go out on Thursday 15th October. We would love to hear from you! Please contact Hannah Stevens by 13th October if you would like to share announcements, events, or resources for the next issue.


Jobs and Tenders

Power & Accountability Programme Evaluation Tender – Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust: Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust established its Power and Accountability Programme in 2014, with the aims of strengthening democratic accountability, corporate accountability and encouraging a responsible media. The Trust is inviting tenders for an evaluation of the programme, to identify what has been learnt over the past six years of grant-making, both to consider how well JRCT’s overall approach is enabling them to address the agenda, and to inform their assumptions about change and priorities going forward. Deadline for applications is 28th September, 09.00 BST.

Director, Women’s Funds Collaborative: The Women’s Funds Collaborative is seeking a committed and knowledgeable candidate with experience in feminist philanthropy to serve as the Director of an exciting new initiative. The Collaborative is an ambitious, five-year initiative aiming to strengthen the infrastructure and visibility of women. Launched by Foundation for a Just Society, the Open Society Foundations, the Wellspring Philanthropic Fund, and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Collaborative seeks to amplify the profile of feminist philanthropy and advance gender justice around the world. Location: Global. Deadline for applications is 25th September.

Program Officer, International Human Rights – Wellspring Philanthropic Fund: Wellspring Philanthropic Fund’s International Human Rights Program seeks a Program Officer to manage an international grantmaking program focused on ensuring that the international community prevents and responds to large-scale, systematic violence against civilians – situations that include genocide, crimes against humanity, ethnic cleansing, and other mass atrocities. Location: New York, United States. Candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

Trustees – The Polden Puckham Charitable Trust: The Polden Puckham Charitable Trust seeks to contribute to the development of a just society based on a commitment to nonviolence and environmental sustainability. The Trust is looking to grow its trustee board by up to a third – to bring in the strengths, skills, experience and energy that they need to set an exciting and effective future strategy for the foundation, and to identify the changemakers and work they need to support in the coming years. To arrange an initial, informal discussion with Trust Secretary Christine Oliver, email

Fund     Manager – Civitates: Civitates is a philanthropic initiative for democracy and solidarity in Europe. It provides funding for civil society actors to come together, revitalise public discourse, and ensure that all voices are heard. The pooled fund supports cross-sectoral coalitions that strengthen the resilience of the civil society sector, initiatives that push for a healthy digital public sphere, as well as independent, public interest journalism in Europe. Civitates is recruiting for a Fund Manager, to drive the initiative forward. Location: Any of the EU, UK or EFTA countries (preferably in Brussels). Deadline for applications 20th September.

Head of Funding Equity and Inclusion (Policy and Practice) – The National Lottery Community Fund: The National Lottery Community Fund is seeking a Head of Funding Equity and Inclusion. The Fund is striving to make its funding even more flexible and accessible to everyone, promoting diversity and inclusion throughout society. The successful candidate will champion EDI, challenge the status quo and help the Fund identify areas for intervention and transformation. Location: Various, United Kingdom. Deadline: 21st September.

Membership and Engagement Trainee – DAFNE: DAFNE brings together 30 national associations in 28 countries across Europe, representing over 10,000 public-benefit foundations, big and small, who want to make a difference to society. They have created an alliance for collaboration across philanthropy networks in Europe to address big philanthropy questions of our time. DAFNE is offering a full-time paid Membership and Engagement Trainee for six months starting on 28th September 2020. The successful candidate would support the DAFNE team at the Philanthropy House in Brussels, Belgium and be able to work remotely. Location: Brussels, Belgium. Deadline for applications is 10th September, but candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

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


Public Meetings

September 20th – 26th
Threats to democracy: can philanthropy sit on the side-lines?
COVID-19 has triggered an unprecedented stress test for the stability of political institutions and countries’ governance capacity. According to the 2020 Bertelsmann Stiftung’s Transformation Index, the pandemic will contribute to the increase in the concentration of power in the executive branch, accelerate an erosion of the rule of law and restrict political rights such as freedom of assembly and expression. It will increase severe fiscal and monetary instabilities and have a particularly severe impact on the weakest members of society, thereby increasing poverty and inequality. As private foundations deploy their resources to speed up health and economic recovery, the growing threats to democracy demand urgent attention too. In 2017, philanthropic giving for governance amounted to USD 463 million, representing 8.1% of all philanthropic giving for development. With the pandemic on the brink of a second wave, will the global community and foundations start paying greater attention to governance in developing countries? The online event will take place on 25th September.

Various Dates
Black Lives Matter & Business: In this upcoming six-part webinar series, the UN Global Compact Network UK and a diverse selection of expert guest speakers will explore the role of business in advocating for the rights of Black people. The next webinar, ‘BLM & Business: Where to start’ will present actions the business community can and should take to start supporting the Black Lives Matter movement. The webinars in this series will take place on 30th September, 14th October, 28th October, 10th November and 24th November.

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

October 11th – 17th
Climate Change, Displacement and International Justice: This panel will bring together experts in human rights, ethics and global governance to debate the principles of climate justice and how they can be applied to climate-induced displacement. This event forms part of LSE’s Shaping the Post-COVID World initiative, convening a series of debates about the direction the world could and should be taking after the crisis, collaboratively producing a roadmap for the future. The online event will take place on 14th October.

October 4th – 10th
The 1619 Project on the Legacy of Slavery in the US: The 1619 Project is an ongoing initiative from The New York Times Magazine that began in August 2019, the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery. It aims to reframe the country’s history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very centre of its national narrative. You are invited to join the conversation between Nikole Hannah-Jones, Pulitzer Prize winning author of the New York Times Magazine’s 1619 Project, and LSE’s US Centre Director, Peter Trubowitz. The online event will take place on 5th October. See also, 1619 Project.

October 18th – 24th
2020 PILNet Global Forum: You are invited to join the 2020 Virtual PILnet Global Forum, to connect with activists, academics, pro bono professionals, and public interest law champions around this year’s theme, ‘Protecting our Future,’ and to forge alliances and develop strategies for using the law to protect civil society and the communities you serve. Session themes on the 2020 forum agenda include: addressing systemic racism; activating pro bono in the time of Covid-19; using the law to protect the planet; understanding data and its impact on pro bono; defending those who are vulnerable due to forced migration; ensuring businesses respect human rights; and  using technology to promote access to justice The online event will take place between 19th and 21st October.

October 18th – 24th
Building the Community Organising Movement in Europe in Times of Crisis: Community organisers often serve as ‘front line workers,’ embedded in communities most affected by crisis. They are also well placed to help ‘build a bigger we’ and support local communities to make meaning of, and take action on, events that can otherwise feel like they are spinning out of control. This is important when trust in political institutions is low and political answers don’t meet the challenges’ complexity. It is also important because the local, the cross-local and participation are levers for achieving inclusive societies. Enemies of open society in Europe are exploiting crisis to suit their authoritarian agendas, and inequality and the climate crisis are worsening, meaning that we will be living with crisis for years to come. The European Community Organizing Network invites community organisers and funders to take part in frank and strategic conversations about growing the community organising sector in Europe. The online event will take place on 21st October. For more information and to RSVP, email ECON Network Coordinator Steve Hughes at

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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