Ariadne’s Thread – September 2021

Ariadne’s Thread – September 2021
September 16, 2021 Hannah Stevens

September 2021

Ariadne’s Thread is a monthly update of events, briefings and research for social change and human rights funders. 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


Ariadne News & Events

Photo by elnaz asadi on Unsplash

WE HAVE BIG NEWS. ARIADNE’S PORTAL IS GETTING A NEW LOOK: Today (17th September), the current portal will close. But, on 27th September, a new one will open! For those ten days in-between, the Ariadne team will be working behind the scenes to get everything looking great. We’ll see you on the other side! Questions? Email

ADVANCING HUMAN RIGHTS: ANNUAL REVIEW OF GLOBAL FOUNDATION GRANTMAKING – 2018 KEY FINDINGS: Human Rights Funders Network (HRFN) and Candid are pleased to share their new analysis of the human rights funding landscape: Advancing Human Rights: Annual Review of Global Foundation Grantmaking – 2018 Key Findings. In a year of global unrest, this report serves as a baseline and an offering to track trends in human rights funding. The findings, based on in-depth analysis of $3.7 billion in human rights funding, raise critical questions about where funding does and does not meet the needs of human rights movements around the world. The research sheds light on foundational issues, such as the link between health and racial justice, that have become ever-more visible in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. This research was made with contributions from Ariadne and Prospera – International Network of Women’s Funds. The Advancing Human Rights initiative is a research project that documents the landscape of foundation funding for human rights and tracks changes in its scale and priorities. A recording of the launch has also been made available.

NEW BLOG: THE IMPORTANCE OF EVIDENCE: HOW FUNDERS AND ADVOCATES ARE LEVERAGING OUR ADVANCING HUMAN RIGHTS RESEARCH: Data matters. It adds scale to stories and weight to advocacy. At its best, data helps us understand how our individual realities fit within a shared experience. For human rights organisations and movements, HRFN and Candid’s joint Advancing Human Rights research contextualises foundation funding, showing that grant dollars to protect and promote human rights are a drop in the bucket compared to what is needed, and a fraction of what is possible. The latest report tracked $3.7 billion in grants to support human rights work in 2018. The detailed analysis has generated buzz amongst partners and in the media and led to a number of articles on the implications for human rights and philanthropy today. In this blog, Rachel Thomas, Director of Research Initiatives at HRFN, shares some of these examples.

NEW BLOG: JOIN UP FOR JUSTICE: In this blog, friend of the network Barry Knight introduces his recent paper, Planning in a Pandemic, focusing on conversations with members of Ariadne and the wider support infrastructure for philanthropy.

*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

First global report on sex worker rights defenders at risk: Front Line Defenders has launched the first ever investigation into targeted violence, threats, and attacks against sex worker rights defenders. The report documents threats and attacks against sex worker rights defenders occurring as a direct result of their activism; visibilizes their human rights work; and affirms their HRD status to support greater access to HRD protection services and mechanisms.

Recognise, fund and support Afghan peacebuilders now: In an article for The Hill, Vahe Mirikian and Shannon Paige argue that the international community cannot default to the military responses of the past if it is serious about building peace. They stress that the impact of Afghan peacebuilders must be recognised, their efforts must be supported, and communities must be protected so that the country can build hope and prosperity in the next 20 years. See also, article, ‘I keep crying’: Young Afghan women are terrified about life under Taliban rule.’

The incel movement is a form of extremism and it cannot be ignored any longer: On 12th August, an adherent of misogynistic incel culture, shot and killed five people in Plymouth, UK. In this article, Laura Bates, founder of the Everyday Sexism Project and author of Men Who Hate Women, describes how, across a sprawling internet community, an ideology of violent misogyny is spreading – with tragic, ‘real-world’ results.

Where we are now: Civil Society report on the state of race and racism in England to the United Nations CERD, 2021: This report provides a civil society perspective to the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination by examining the situation of race and racism in England. It was drafted by the Runnymede Trust, following consultation with over 100 civil society organisations working to promote race equality and human rights. The report shows that racism is systemic in England and impacts BME groups’ enjoyment of rights. Legislation, institutional practices, and society’s customs continue to combine to harm BME groups. As a result, in England, BME groups are consistently more likely to live in poverty, to be in low-paid precarious work and to die of COVID-19. Disparities facing BME groups in England are sustained across the areas of health, housing, the criminal justice system, education, employment, immigration, and political participation. See also, article ‘Campaign against threatened anti-Traveller law rolls on to Appleby and beyond.’

Building Feminist Policies for Climate Justice: The Feminist Green New Deal Coalition in the US has launched a set of policy and screening resources for policymakers and movement advocates to support building feminist policies for climate justice at all levels.

The voices of women in tech are still being erased: In this article for MIT Technology Review, Mar Hicks argues that TikTok’s decision to use a woman’s voice without her permission is only one recent example of a problem that some mistakenly think we’ve moved past.


Blogs and Other Sites of Interest

RESOURCE: The World Inequality Lab: The World Inequality Lab gathers social scientists committed to helping everyone understand the drivers of inequality worldwide through evidence-based research. The new website links to various projects: World Inequality Database, Inequality Transparency Index, Income Comparator, Political Cleavages and Social Inequalities, and more.

SCI FI: Earthquake relief. Mexico. 2051. A glimpse into tomorrow’s humanitarian world: In The New Humanitarian’s first ever fictional story, author Malka Older, known for her science-fiction thrillers, draws on more than 10 years of experience in the aid sector to take us to post-disaster Mexico in 2051.

SURVEY: Ethics of Philanthropy: The Grant Givers’ Movement is a non-hierarchical gathering of those working in the grant giving sector. It’s a space for those who feel passionate about making positive change in and through the sector, to do so with collective power behind them. Their most recent survey is an investigation into what grantmaking staff and volunteers think about a wide range of subjects relevant to the ethics of philanthropy including: philanthropy’s role in addressing societal issues; reparations; how endowments are invested; conduct within foundations; accountability; and more. Survey closes Monday 27th September.

BLOG: Afghanistan: How to provide effective emergency assistance: As the western world watches Afghanistan slide into Taliban control, there is a pressing need for emergency relief. In the chaos many people, both professional funders and individuals looking to make a donation, are asking how they can support the relief effort. How can they, what are the risks and what will make a difference? This blog from NPC tries to answer some of these questions. 

NOMINATIONS: Aspen New Voices Fellowship: Aspen New Voices has opened its nominations for the 2022 Fellowship, a year-long programme of advocacy, media, and leadership training to help development experts use their voice and experience to create positive change. If you know someone who could benefit from this programme, nominate them for the class of 2022 via the website.

INTERVIEW: Judith Butler: ‘We need to rethink the category of woman’: 31 years since the release of the esteemed Gender Trouble, Judith Butler sits down in an interview with The Guardian to bring the critique into the modern day. The author says we should not be surprised when the category of women expands to include trans women.

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


Mismatched: Philanthropy’s response to the call for racial justice: A new report from the Phlanthropic Initiative for Racial Equity is the most comprehensive assessment of racial equity and racial justice funding to date, providing a detailed analysis of funding from 2015–2018 and a preliminary analysis for 2020. Written by Malkia Devich Cyril, Lyle Matthew Kan, Ben Francisco Maulbeck, and Lori Villarosa, the report examines trends, contradictions, and divergences in funding for both racial equity and racial justice work.

Specialising in the wholly impossible: Black women leading in philanthropy: In the early 1900s in a series of letters back and forth, U.S. educator and activist Nannie Helen Burroughs and social worker Jane Edna Hunter stood in awe of the obstacles they had overcome to fund, either with their own money or the philanthropy of others, schools, and training programmes for Black girls. Burroughs wrote to Hunter, ‘be it ever so difficult… we specialize in the wholly impossible.’ This statement from Burroughs has become a rallying cry for Black women who stand in the vanguard for social justice in the world and inside the field of philanthropy. Alliance has made available the summary and recording of its recent webinar exploring the power of black leadership in philanthropy.

The future of participatory grantmaking: At the end of July, the Participatory Grantmaking Community hosted eight people to re-imagine what the future of participatory grantmaking could be. The recording features a creative fast-paced round of presentations, poetry, and storytelling from: Melody Powell from ALLFIE; Jen Bokoff from Disability Rights Fund; Tiffany Kagure Mugo from FRIDA Fund; Farzana Khan from Healing Justice; Mario Lugay from Justice Funders; Coco Jervis from Mama Cash; Bea Karol Burks; and Eshban Kwesiga. See also, report and recording,COVID in her voice: A girl-led and centred participatory research study’.

Call for LGBTI grants data: The Global Philanthropy Project (GPP) is seeking LGBTI grants data for 2019 and 2020 for the next edition of the Global Resources Report. The deadline for sharing your LGBTI grants data is 30th September. GPP is eager to include all relevant funders in the fourth cycle of this biennial resource tracking report which provides philanthropy, governments, multilateral agencies, corporate foundations, and civil society with the most detailed and accurate understanding of the global funding landscape LGBTI issues. The Global Resources Report provides an essential baseline to analyse funding levels, trends, and gaps over time. Data submission guidance, support, and more information are available at on the website.

Global Engagement Lab webinar series 2021: Throughout July, EDGE Funders’ fourth Global Engagement Lab cohort curated and presented the 2021 GEL Webinar Series. During the three webinars, panellists and participants shared examples of how to support changes that foster accountability in the philanthropic sector; explained how to approach supporting justice and equity work and decolonizing practices in the context of the Global South; and gave an in depth analysis of what it means to be an ally in solidarity with social movements, specifically through restructuring reporting practices. In case you missed them, EDGE Funders have released the recordings of the webinars.

Investing in youth impact: A toolkit on funding youth-led organisations: While commissioned and authored by CHOICE, this short toolkit was made possible by the passionate contributions of nearly 150 activists, organisations, and donors. The main audience is youth-led organisations, but this toolkit also set out to share insights and best practices to make funding more accessible to youth.

How funders can address ableism in the environmental justice movement: In 2018, Global Greengrants Fund began an initiative to support work at the intersection of disability rights and environmental justice. The initiative was supported by The Ford Foundation, as well as Yolanda Muñoz, a previous Programme Officer with the Disability Rights Fund, who offered her experience supporting disability rights, gender equality and Indigenous movements around the world. Over the past two years, Global Greengrants has supported more than 60 grassroots organisations in 30 countries working to engage persons with disabilities in environmental justice action. In this conversation with Yolanda and Peter Kostishack, Global Greengrants Vice President and Director of Programmes, the two reflect on what they are learning about the connections between disability rights and environmental justice and what it takes to build more inclusive movements. See also, article, ‘We have hope: How philanthropy can ensure climate justice.’

Growing Urgent Action Fund Asia & Pacific: The Rhythms of Coordinated Gardeners: In this article, Mary Jane N. Real and Virisila Buadromo, who together head up the Urgent Action Fund Asia & Pacific, reflect beautifully on their co-leadership. Describing themselves as gardeners, the pair say: “our garden was of a different kind: it’s the creation of a new organisation not from a tried and tested model or template, or a bureaucracy steeped in hierarchy and protocols, but something creative, more organic, alive and living, indigenous to the backyards of the Asia and the Pacific regions where we both grew up.

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


Jobs and Tenders

Senior Grant Operations Manager – Laudes Foundation: Laudes Foundation seeks a Senior Grant Operations Manager to oversee the grant management lifecycle and the foundation’s global grant operations activities. The post holder will liaise with the soon-to-be established services business unit, to ensure smooth and effective operations for the foundation and that the foundation works in a professional and globally aligned manner. Location: Flexible. Deadline for applications is 19th September.

Project Manager, Movement Strategy – Wikimedia Foundation: The Wikimedia Foundation is seeking a Project Manager to plan and execute the foundation’s activities in support of its Movement Strategy 2030. The successful candidate will report to the Senior Manager of the Movement Strategy & Governance team and will work closely with other teams at the Foundation, as well as Wikimedia communities of volunteers and affiliates. The post holder will be responsible for creating project plans, organising project tasks, and communicating with stakeholders. Location: USA or remote. Candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

Chargé de programmes et fondations, Solidarités Internationales & Urgences – Fondation de France : Fondation de France recherche un-e Chargé-e de programmes et fondations rattaché-e à la l’équipe thématique « Solidarités Internationales & Urgences ». Il ou elle participera à la gestion des projets financés par les programmes «Urgences» à l’international (actuellement Liban, Haïti, Syrie, Népal) et assurera l’accompagnement de fondations abritées à la Fondation de France sur les thématiques liées aux problématiques internationales. Location : Paris, France. Les candidats sont encouragés à présenter leur candidature dès que possible.

Programme Manager, RESPOND – BMW Foundation: The BMW Foundation is recruiting a programme manager, whose work will ensure the smooth implementation and operation of strategic programmes in RESPOND. The successful candidate will predominantly focus on operating the RESPOND Accelerator programme together with the team at the BMW Foundation and in close collaboration with the team at Unternehmer TUM, Europe’s leading entrepreneurship and innovation centre. They will also support the project management of related programmes at RESPOND, such as strategic partnerships and events. Location: Munich, Germany. Candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

Programme Lead (Shifting the Power) – Comic Relief: Comic Relief is recruiting a Programme Lead to join its Shifting the Power programme. The programme invests in the organisational strengthening of civil society organisations in Ghana, Zambia and Malawi. The Lead will find ways to unlock the inherent power of local communities to complete the design of projects. Location: Remote, but applicants based in Sub Saharan Africa preferred. Deadline for applications is 21st September.

Programme Officer South Asia – Open Society Foundations: The Open Society Foundations is looking for a Programme Officer for South Asia, to work with local, regional, and international partners to bolster human rights, and expand inclusive democratic space in the region. The role includes supervising grantmaking interventions and operational strategies, providing a results-oriented, strategic vision for programme development, and analysing political and social developments in South-Asian geographies. Location: London, UK, or East Asia. Deadline for applications is 21st September.

Funding Manager for North East England – The National Lottery Community Fund: The National Lottery Community Fund has an opening for an individual who is passionate about their community and the voluntary and community sector. Based in the North East of England, the successful applicant will be one of two managers leading a team of remotely based Funding Officers and reporting into the Regional Head of Funding. Location: Newcastle, UK. Deadline for applications is 26th September. 

Climate Projects Coordinator (three-year, fixed-term) – Open Society European Policy Institute: The Open Society Foundations is seeking a Climate Projects Coordinator to support the coordination and implementation of the OSF Initiative on Systemic Climate Action. The successful applicant will prepare grants and contracts, and assist with budget planning, monitoring, and financial reports. They will also co-organise events with partners and provide background research on EU and global climate policies and trends. Location: Brussels, Belgium. Deadline for applications is 27th September. 

External Grant Assessor – Rosa: Rosa is recruiting an External Grant Assessor, for their pool of independent UK assessors, who will provide independent insight and objective assessments of applications. Rosa is looking for a diverse pool of assessors, from marginalised communities, who will bring an array of unique experiences to the fund’s grantmaking practice. People from Black and minority ethnic backgrounds are encouraged to apply as they will work on the Black and minoritised fund, which is launched in September 2021. Location: remote and flexible. Deadline for applications is 30th September.

*For more jobs, see the ‘Career Opportunities’ section on the landing page of the Ariadne portal. To address pay gaps in the charity sector, we strongly encourage you to #showthesalary in your job adverts.


Public Meetings


Until October 12th
Shifting power in grantmaking to improve child and youth outcomes: The Shifting Power series seeks to help funders in child education, rights, and wellbeing to explore what shifting power means for them, and how they can value community action and agency in their grantmaking. The series looks to support grantmakers with case studies from organisations making the shift themselves. This 6-week Shifting Power series consists of weekly 60-minute webinars, culminating in two hands-on workshops. The online event will take place until 12th October.

September 22nd
UK Democracy Fund seminar for funders: The Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust invites you to join an online seminar on democratic participation and inequality focusing on young people, ethnic minorities, and immigrant communities. Join the UK Democracy Fund and like-minded funders to hear early findings from thought provoking new research and hear from a small group of grantees who are working to address the stark imbalance of power faced by young people and black and minority ethnic communities. The online event will take place on 22nd September.

September 27th
Understanding the needs of disabled people’s organisations: The Funders’ Collaborative Hub and The National Lottery Community Fund invite funders to explore the needs of Disabled People’s Organisations (DPOs). In 2020, Inclusion London’s research found that DPOs are in an increasingly precarious situation, with a funding landscape that doesn’t necessarily recognise or support disabled-led work. This practical session will explore the research and its subsequent recommendations. It will also provide an opportunity to reflect on how the findings could impact on funders’ work and a call to action to create thriving DPOs across the UK. The online event will take place on 27th September.

September 27th – October 7th
Art of participatory leadership training: New types of leadership are required for these times. The pandemic, fake news and other complex issues like the climate crisis require us to step into different ways of seeing and organising. How can we prepare ourselves and our organisations for the future? Participants of these workshops will be introduced to a global network of practitioners actively involved in creating new systems of living and working. Participants will discuss models, methods, and design techniques to explore collaborative work so that diverse or even conflicting perspectives can create a new future. The online sessions will take place from 27th September to 7th October.

28th September, 21st October and 16th November
Funding the intersection between migration justice & racial justice: Funders for Race Equality Alliance and Migration Exchange invite you to this three-part webinar series. The purpose of the series is to provide a space for funder staff committed to working on the intersection between race and migration in the UK to critically discuss the history, current issues, share funder practice and hear from those working in the field to challenge the ways in which trusts and foundations approach and fund justice work. At the first meeting, participants will hear from Colin Prescod, Chair of Institute for Race Relations; Dr Luke de Noronha, Lecturer at the University of London; and Pragna Patel, Founder and Director of Southall Black Sisters Centre. You are invited to commit to attend all three sessions, so that the learning and conversation can build. If you register but can’t attend, please ensure someone from your organisation can attend in your place. Register for part one on 28th September, part two on 21st October, and part three on 16th November.

September 28th – October 19th
Power in numbers: Evidence-based advocacy to move money to social justice movements: “No stories without data, no data without stories”. Activists and funders are successfully drawing on growing evidence to push for more and better funding. Join the Human Rights Funders Network for a two-part series about how to change the narrative and move more money to the forefront of social change. Participants will hear from advocates working across the human rights field, learn about resources to use for advocacy and fundraising, and share their experiences of mapping their funding. Register for the first session on 28th September and the second session on 19th October.

September 30th
Britain talks COP26: Engaging different UK audiences around COP26: Public awareness of and engagement with COP26, due to take place in Glasgow in November, is crucial to put pressure on politicians to make ambitious decisions, and to engage more people with the global climate crisis. This webinar, based on recently completed research, will explore how to communicate about COP26 in a way that resonates across a broader base of society. Designed for UK-based climate advocates and campaigners, the webinar will present the research itself and then focus on its implications for campaign communications with different audiences. The online event will take place on 30th September.

1st October
How foundations and philanthropy in Europe are regulated: Key trends and insights: Philanthropy in Europe is as diverse as European societies are, and this reality is reflected in the varied legal traditions and approaches to regulating these unique civil society actors. You are invited to attend the launch event of the 2021 edition of “Comparative Highlights”, the joint flagship publication of the European Foundation Centre and Donors and Foundations Networks in Europe. The report provides a nuanced understanding of the legal and fiscal regulation of foundations and philanthropy in Europe and seeks to inform the work towards an enabling environment for philanthropy in Europe. The launch will open a space for discussion on the publication’s key insights into the transparency, regulation, and accountability of philanthropy in Europe. Participants will get an overview of the latest findings from renowned academics and EU policymakers around a wide range of issues, such as anti-money laundering legislation, cross-border philanthropy, taxation, and innovative approaches to philanthropy. The online event will take place on 1st October.


October 11th – 15th
EDGE annual conference: Building collective power for change: EDGE Funders’ annual conference will be a space for funders and social movements to connect, learn and organise together in support of systems change. EDGE members and friends will have the opportunity to share practices and tools and coordinate around future activities. This virtual conference will include open spaces, panel conversations and workshops, with translation to and from English, Spanish and French during most sessions. The online event will take place from 11th to 15th October.

12th October
Disinformation and what can be done about it: Social change activists and funders around the world are seeing a significant rise in problems due to disinformation. In many societies this is causing serious damage to community cohesion, to democracy and to wider stability and well-being. Social Change Initiative is hosting an international discussion featuring a panel of experts examining the impact disinformation is having on community cohesion and how we should respond. Speakers: Mike Posner, Director of the New York University Centre for Business and Human Rights; Aoife Gallagher, Analyst at the Institute of Social Dialogue; and Kavisha Pillay, social change activist working with Corruption Watch in South Africa. The online event will take place on 12th October.

October 12th – 14th
NPC Ignites 2021: The three-day NPC Ignites conference will aim to help the sector, as it traverses the road to recovery from the pandemic. It will explore current issues in the charity and philanthropy sectors, such as social inequality, the climate crisis, the government’s ‘levelling up’ agenda and ways to rethink and rebuild the sector. The line-up of speakers includes Professor Michael Marmot, author of the highly influential health inequalities review. An interactive networking platform will also allow participants to connect outside of the speaker sessions. The online event will take place from 12th to 14th October.

14th October
A role for intermediaries in Trans and Intersex funding: Join the Trans and Intersex Funding Working Group of Global Philanthropy Project to learn about how funding through intermediaries can be used to support trans and intersex groups around the world. The workshop will provide grantmakers with insights on how intermediaries function and how they can help shift donor-grantee power dynamics. Speakers will share examples of successful models of intermediary funding in collaboration with private foundations, high net wealth individuals, and donor governments to increase and improve trans and intersex grantmaking. Hear concrete recommendations for funder actions and best practices and explore how funding through intermediaries can be a path to develop and expand your trans and intersex funding portfolio. The online event will take place on 14th October.

October 19th
Intersections between violence against children and violence against women: Identifying evidence, gaps, and opportunities for collaboration: This event will share evidence and foster discussion on intersections between violence against women and violence against children, highlighting opportunities for greater collaboration to build knowledge and translate it into policy and programmes. Participants will be updated on latest findings and interact with a diverse group of panellists to share perspectives on how to address gaps in evidence. The online event will take place on 19th October.

October 20th
People, power, and the law: Using legal action to get justice for your community: Considering legal action can be daunting, but it can also be an important way to advance justice and challenge power. This online session will cover different ways of using the law, from launching a judicial review to putting people’s legal rights at the heart of your advice, advocacy, and policy work. Participants will hear from three small organisations representing different communities that have recently used or are currently exploring legal action in their work. The online event will take place on 20th October.

January 26th – 28th
PeaceCon@10: COVID, climate, and conflict: Rising to the challenges of a disrupted world: This year’s PeaceCon comes at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, displacement, disinformation, and democratic backsliding are just a few of the disruptions facing the peacebuilding field. The conference will welcome diverse stakeholders: practitioners, policymakers, donors, NGOs, the private sector, academics, and experts, from a range of disciplines (human rights, democracy and governance, development, and environment). Participants will explore how to develop effective strategies and how to carry out inclusive approaches that integrate peacebuilding into collective efforts to shape a more just, secure, and peaceful future. The online event will take place from 26th to 28th January 2022.

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.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email