Ariadne’s Thread – September 2023

Ariadne’s Thread – September 2023
September 21, 2023 Jana Stardelova

September 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

Upcoming webinars:

1. Funders’ lunchtime learning session: ‘How can Digital Responsibility Goals (DRGs) mitigate the negative impacts of digital technologies?’. The session will be delivered by Identity Valley. Jutta Meier and Ferdinand Ferroli will provide an overview of what DRGs are, how they work, and how they can serve philanthropy, followed by an open Q&A and discussion. It will take place on Thursday, September 21st at 12:00 BST/13:00 CET via Zoom. Register here.

2. ‘Feminist Philanthropy’s response to Crisis: leading with trust, care and flexibility’. Speakers: Betsy Hoody, Wellspring Philanthropic Fund; Rose Marandu, Co-executive Director, Tanzania Women’s Fund and Zanele Sibanda, Director, Fenomenal Funds. Moderated by Amanda Mercedes Gigler. Join our panel of women’s fund leaders and funding partners on September 27th at 14:00 UTC/ 16:00 CET to explore lessons from this experience. Register here. 

3. ‘Exploring the State of Rule of Law in the EU -Insights from the 2023 EU Rule of Law Report and Perspectives from European Philanthropy’. Speakers: Sara Vassalo Amorim, Policy Officer, Fundamental Rights and Rule of Law Unit, DG Justice and Consumers, European Commission; Linda Ravo, Senior Advocacy Consultant, Civil Liberties Union for Europe and Veronika Mora, Director, Ökotars Foundation. Moderator: Mira Luthe-Xu, Project Manager, Mercator Foundation. When: October 5th, 13:00-14:00 BST/14:00-15:00 CET. Register here.

If you missed an Ariadne event, don’t worry! We record most of them and share the recordings on our portal.

Healing Solidarity sessions:
Senior Leaders session on Facing Challenges and Maintaining Momentum with Nishma Jethwa & Jamie Pett: Recognising the central importance of leadership in enabling culture and systems change in our sector, Ariadne is organising a special event for the senior leadership of European foundations to have an honest and supportive conversation about your institutions’ anti-racist work and practices. Healing Solidarity’s inter-racial team will facilitate 90-minute workshops on September 26th. Registration information is available on our Members-only portal.

BIPOC Only Drop-In Space with Sarah Diedro Jordão is happening on September 29th, 14:00 BST/15:00 CEST​. Feel welcome. Take the time. If you have any questions, feel free to email Sarah Registration information is available on our Members-only portal.

Save the date – April 2024: Ariadne and HRFN are thrilled to announce that the Ariadne Annual Meeting and HRFN’s Funding Futures Festival will take place in Tbilisi, Georgia the week of 22 April 2024. We are pairing up with Women’s Fund in Georgia to bring together vibrant, needed conversations in philanthropy today. Keep your calendars open the week of 22 April 2024. More information on registration, dates, and agendas to come soon!

Online course by Active Philanthropy ‘Climate + Philanthropy: A Compact Learning Journey’ – final cohort of 2023 starts on 16 October.
Confused about how to start applying a climate lens to the work of your foundation? Join Active Philanthropy’s online course, Climate + Philanthropy: A Compact Learning Journey, to start planning your first steps. Please find all the information on the course website here. For group registrations, please contact the organisers directly to discuss discounted rates.

New Branch Magazine is OUT and ready for reading!
We are happy to present the multilingual ‘Branch Magazine Special Issue 6: Green Screen Edition’ that aims to amplify voices from feminist, decolonial, and indigenous perspectives that approach the climate and environmental impact of internet infrastructures and new technologies. Read this blog by the editors to learn more.

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

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


New Research, Articles and Judgements

Report: The Advocates for Human Rights releases new report on Civil Society strategies to counter the Far-right, Anti-Gender Movement. The 2023 report, describes the innovative strategies undertaken by civil society in response to anti-gender activity. This report also describes the needs of civil society to continue working effectively and with enjoyment of freedom of association and assembly.

Report: The Association for Charitable Foundations has published the latest Funder Commitment on Climate Change report. It offers examples of actions taken by foundations to combat the causes and effects of climate change, from funding and investment policies to carbon audits and refurbishments.

Report: In its latest report, titled “Information Access: A Self-Protection Shield for Civilians in Ukraine“, Center for Civilians in Conflict (CIVIC) delves into the heart of the Ukrainian conflict, revealing how access to information has become a vital tool for the survival of civilians caught in the crossfire. This report provides a snapshot of the information needs of Ukrainians during the early months of the Russian invasion that began in February 2022. It uncovers the struggles of civilians as they navigate through gaps in critical information, conflicting reports, and misleading narratives.

Report: On 26 July, ILGA-Europe published a new report ‘Intersections: The LGBTI II Survey – Trans and Non-binary Analysis’, in association with Transgender Europe (TGEU), taking a deep dive into the European Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) 2019 LGBTI II Survey. Some of their recommendations includes funding community-led initiatives that support trans people to support access to housing and employment, focusing especially on the most marginalized groups within the trans community. Read more and download your own copy of the report.

Elevate Children Funders Group – Framework to Decolonize Child & Youth Philanthropy: With this framework, Elevate Children Funders Group (ECFG) continues its network-wide efforts to identify colonial legacies and practices in child and youth philanthropy through collective learning and reflection, identify promising practices in decolonized grantmaking and shift practices across the network to support  commitment to decolonial approaches. Access it here.

Report: Climate Refugees: Facts, Findings, and Strategies for ‘Loss and Damage’. This latest report produced by Othering & Belonging Institute‘s Global Justice program examines how civil society, policymakers, and other stakeholders across the globe can advocate for guaranteed protections for climate-induced displaced persons within international refugee law in ways that support and are supported by the fights for climate reparations and just transitions.

Article: Want to support the well-being of grantee staff? This article by Candid explores the expanding of funder’s focus on well-being of grantee staff. Click here to learn more.

Report: Case Studies Illustrate Media Resilience in Europe published by Freedom House. Based on interviews with media professionals and experts in Estonia, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, and Poland, these case studies from Reviving News Media in an Embattled Europe examine emerging responses to sustain independent journalism and build resilience against pressures.


Blogs and Other Sites of Interest

E-magazine: Our Work, Our Lives: The latest issue ‘Women Workers Organise’ published by the Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women shares stories from community organisers and union leaders. There are stories of organising and unionising from women domestic workers, home-based workers, porters, entertainment workers, farmers, and sex workers. Read more.

Report: Brilliant Transformations: Toward Full Flourishing in BIPOC Leadership Transitions: This report by Robert Sterling Clark Foundation gives insight from 29 leaders of color who have succeeded white predecessors and reflects their wide range of experiences and strategies for navigating these transitions. It provides specific recommendations to help everyone involved in leadership transitions become more aware of the impact of their choices — and, therefore, more intentional — at the many junctures of a planned transition, including outgoing leaders, boards, staff, recruiters, consultants, and funders.

Article: When protection becomes threat: Cybercrime regulation as a tool for silencing women and LGBTQIA+ people around the world: With the support of the Association for Progressive Communications (APC), Derechos Digitales has mapped cases involving the abusive use of cybercrime regulation to silence and cirminalise women and LGBTQIA+ people around the world. The results are troubling and warn of the inherent danger of imposing international standards in this matter without considering national contexts or building in human rights safeguards, particularly for historically marginalised groups.

Digital Rights are Charter Rights Speaker Series: Digital Freedom Fund launched their fourth Speaker Series which explores concrete cases where the EU Charter was utilised to protect digital rights at a national, cross-jurisdictional or EU level. Click to watch the first webinar of the series, titled “Countering Discriminatory e-proctoring systems”.

Podcast: Behind The Rainbow Map: Activism in the Lowest Ranking Countries: This brand-new episode of ILGA EUROPE‘s Frontline Podcast, asks the question, if a country stays at the bottom of the Rainbow Map ranking, where advocacy is not possible, and daily life for LGBTI people is often extremely challenging, what’s happening in the work towards LGBTI rights and equality? And is this mostly invisible activism bringing about change for LGBTI people in the countries where it seems life is getting worse rather than better? Listen to the podcast on your preferred platform.

Manifesto: New manifesto from feminist and LGBTI Roma activists: On 31 July, feminist and LGBTI Roma activists shared a manifesto calling for more inclusivity for Roma LGBTI people in social movements, particularly at Pride. The manifesto says “We no longer tolerate racial injustice or discrimination. We will stand together, with love, respect, values, our struggles, our history, the oppressions, our culture and care for each other. For a more inclusive Pride, for more inclusive spaces, for a more inclusive society”. Read the manifesto here.

Blog: What status should water have in deploying digital projects? Why has the prospect of a Google data centre further heated the water protests in Uruguay, where half the population has no drinkable tap water? the author of a book on technocapitalism’s danger to our ecology explains why for APC.

Article: Investing in Black Women Leaders With the Dream Capital They Need: Author, Gabrielle Wyatt, shares why we all benefit when our most transformative change agents are given the time and resources necessary to dream big. Read more.

Article: To Boldly Give: Learning from the Impact of MacKenzie Scott’s Gifts to LGBTQ Organisations: Building on the Center for Effective Philanthropy’s (CEP) 2022 report ‘Giving Big: The Impact of Large, Unrestricted Gifts on Nonprofits’, the Movement Advancement Project (MAP) sought to understand how MacKenzie Scott’s giving has impacted organisations focused on LGBTQ issues. Especially as LGBTQ communities across the country are facing unprecedented legislative, social, and physical attacks, they found that Scott’s gifts have allowed LGBTQ-focused organisations to increase capacity, respond creatively, and build for the future. Read more in this article by Tessa Juste.

Toolkit: International Safe Abortion Day: Check out the toolkit by Inroads and prepare for September 28! Inroads is part of a global working group of reproductive justice organisations leading an International Safe Abortion Day campaign to demand accessible, legal, safe, and stigma-free abortion care worldwide. Centring the solidarity that drives the #UnstoppableMovement, they have prepared a toolkit with resources, ideas, images, and editable templates to help advocates take action around the world!


Ten insights from the convening on “Breaking the Starvation Cycle using Flexible Funding” for NGOs: During August 24-25, a group of 27 people from national and international NGOs, funders, and analysts/advisers gathered in NYC. The convening was co-hosted by Funding for Real Change, led by Ariadne and EDGE Funders Alliance, Geneva Global, Humentum, and Twaweza. Click here to read the insights and takeaways by Aidan Eyakuze of Twaweza.

Annual report: Esmée Fairbairn shares their new ambitions for A Fairer Future, focusing their support for organisations that are grappling with the complexity of systemic inequity. Partnerships and collaborations continued to play a key role across all their work: enabling them to influence and deliver change on a wider scale, as well as helping us to re-examine and redefine the relationships between funders and those leading the change.

Article: Spending Out: One Funder’s 30-Year Journey: This article by Dena Kimball of Kendeda Fund and David Brotherton of Brotherton Strategies share the stories about the Fund’s approach to a spending out process which will result in their closure by the end of 2023. Read more.

Annual report: Read Berghof Foundation’s latest annual report on how they managed to expand their work by various means to address violent conflicts despite the manifold challenges. From Afghanistan to Somalia or Yemen, the foundation facilitated important dialogues, worked to counter the effects the climate crisis has on some of the areas most affected by conflict, and brought conflict parties together to try to find solutions on the local as well as the highest political levels. Access here.

Annual report: In 2022, Global Greengrants Fund continued to support the collective power of grassroots environmental justice activists, making their highest number of annual grants ever—1,239 grants totaling $15M to groups in 105 countries. Read their 2022 annual report to learn more about their learnings, milestones, collaborative partnerships, and efforts to shift resources to grassroots Global South-based organising in 2022.  The climate crisis is not just a problem to be solved, but an opportunity to build a new way of being in this world, one that values the preciousness and interconnectedness of our planet.

Call for submissions: Last Call! Grantmakers, submit your data for the next Global Resources Report! The final deadline is September 30, 2023. Visit the submission page for more information. Ensure that your grants are included in this fifth cycle of the data collection, analysis, and comprehensive report on the state of foundation and government funding for LGBTI issues.

Urgent Action Fund for Women’s Human Rights announces new name Urgent Action Fund for Feminist Activism: Visit their updated website to learn more about why they made this shift from “women’s human rights” to “feminist activism.” Peek into their latest annual report, documenting the remarkable achievements and impact their grantees made toward advancing feminist activism worldwide over the course of the last year.

The next Thread will go out on Thursday 19th October. We would love to hear from you! Please contact us by Tuesday 17th October if you would like to share announcements, events, or resources for the next issue. 


Jobs and Tenders

Mama Cash – Director of People, Finance and Operations. In this role, you will be at the forefront of their team, leading and supervising the People & Purpose team while making significant contributions to their overall success. 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.

Program Assistant – Ford Foundation. The Gender Racial Ethnic Justice-International (GREJ-I) team is hiring a Program Assistant (PA) to join their team. The PA will support three Program Officers and will play a pivotal role in managing their calendar of appointments, meetings and work-related travel. Additionally, the PA will help support various activities for them, such as managing the logistics of convenings and meetings, managing communications and follow-up. The PA will be required to schedule meetings across multiple time zones and must possess strong cross-cultural competency skills.  The ideal candidate will be a detail-oriented, organised, problem solver who is a self-starter and remains calm and gracious in high-pressure situations. They will also be able to take direction from multiple people while managing competing priorities and should feel comfortable collaborating with people of all levels and backgrounds. This position is an excellent opportunity for someone eager to learn from a collaborative and inclusive team tackling issues on Gender – based violence.  Salary: $75,000-$87,000. Location: USA. Applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

Civitates – Programme Manager (Civic Power and Media). The Programme Manager is responsible for the coordination of the sub fund on Civic Power and the sub fund on Media, and for ensuring strategic alignment and synergies of this work with Civitates’ other portfolio (on Tech and Democracy) and with Civitates’ overall agenda. They are expected to contribute to the development and lead the implementation of the sub funds’ strategies, manage a portfolio of grants, including monitoring and learning processes and organise capacity building for grantee and donor partners. The Programme Manager is also expected to oversee the sub-fund general operations with the support of a part-time Programme and Grants Officer and in coordination with NEF. This includes reporting, budget management and contracts, and other administrative duties and logistics support as needed. Salary: € 45,600 – € 66,000. Location: Preferred in Belgium. Possible for remote work within Europe. Deadline for applications is 24 September.

GPP – Program Associate, Events and Member Engagement. The GPP Program Associate carries out project coordination and communication tasks to facilitate the organization’s member activities. The ideal candidate is highly dedicated and resourceful, can work well independently and collaboratively, and is committed to contributing to global LGBTI liberation. This position reports to the Senior Officer for Programs, Events, and Member Engagement. This position is 100% remote and will require up to 30% travel. This position has a competitive salary and a generous benefits package. Location: Remote. Salary: $60,000 – $70,000 USD. Deadline for applications is 25 September.

EPIM – Programme Manager – Shaping Migration Systems. Are you passionate about transforming Europe’s migration ecosystem and promoting inclusion? EPIM is currently seeking a dedicated Programme Manager, who will be responsible for implementing much of EPIM’s new approach to shaping the future of migration systems in Europe. EPIM will be concluding the foundational phase of its Process of Change in the Autumn, rethinking where it should go as a philanthropic collaborative beyond 2023 and you will play a key role in deploying their new toolkit. This is your chance to be part of a multidisciplinary, migrant-led team that takes a systems lens to improving the lives of migrants and their host societies. Location: Brussels, Belgium. Deadline for applications is 30 September.

Civitates – Senior Programme Manager, Tech and Democracy. This is a new role created to further Civitates’ leadership in the fast-evolving field of technology and democracy. The Senior Programme Manager is responsible for the coordination of the Tech and Democracy portfolio and for ensuring strategic alignment with Civitates’ other portfolios and overall agenda. They lead Civitates’ thinking in this field, strategically grow and manage a portfolio of grants, design fit-for-purpose monitoring and adaptive learning processes and develop capacity building agendas for grantee and donor partners. The Senior Programme Manager is also expected to oversee the portfolio’s general operations, including reporting, budget management and contracts, and other administrative duties. The role reports to the Civitates Director. Salary: 66,000 to € 96,000. Location: Preferred in Belgium. Possible for remote work within Europe. Deadline for applications is 4 October.

Wellspring Philanthropic Fund – Program Associate.Wellspring Philanthropic Fund seeks a Program Associate to join its Women’s Rights Program. The Program Associate reports to the Program Director and works collaboratively with the Program Officers, Administrative Assistant, Grants Management team, and other Wellspring staff. Day-to-day, the Program Associate contributes to the following key priorities: Grants process coordination, program support and communications, research and Institutional Learning . Salary: USD $80,000 to $90,000. Location: New York, New York. Deadline for applications is 6 October.

HRFN – Membership Director. HRFN is looking for a savvy, creative leader to head membership. HRFN’s membership constitutes a diverse and dynamic community of approximately 85 dues-paying organisations. Their current membership includes many of the world’s leading foundations supporting human rights and encompasses a wide range of organisations, from private foundations making grants globally to local and regional funds to public foundations, women’s funds, and community foundations. HRFN’s director of membership will be responsible for reshaping and implementing HRFN’s membership strategy. Working closely with HRFN’s Program Associate and the HRFN team, the membership director will help align their systems (Salesforce, annual renewals) with clear goals for inviting and retaining global membership. Salary: $95,000-$110,000. Location: This position is remote and can be based anywhere. Deadline for application 11 October 2023. 

Thousand Currents – Program Manager, Latin America and The Caribbean. Thousand Currents is excited to hire a Program Manager for the Latin America and the Caribbean program. This position contributes to Thousand Currents’ programmatic efforts in Latin America and the Caribbean playing a role to deepen the programmatic work in the Latin America and the Caribbean regional program, with a focus on partnership development and grantmaking support. By nurturing strong relationships based on respect and integrity with movement partners, the Program Manager works to advance the Latin America and the Caribbean regional strategy. Reporting to the Regional Director, Latin America and the Caribbean, the Program Manager will be responsible for managing knowledge collection and research on food sovereignty, economic justice, and climate justice in the region and working with the Grants Manager to conduct the grantmaking in the region. With the supervision of the Regional Director, Latin America and the Caribbean, the Program Manager also collaborates closely with colleagues in Communications, Philanthropic Partnerships, Learning Initiatives, and Operations to strengthen and support Thousand Currents’ on the three thematic areas and contribute to content development on the work of partners in the Latin America and the Caribbean region. Salary: $92,150. Location: Remote, Global. Deadline for applications is October 15.

Various roles – Legal Education Foundation
Various roles – American Jewish World Service (AJWS)
Various roles – Charles Stewart Mott Foundation

Various roles – Ford Foundation
Various roles – Fondation de France
Various roles – Global fund for Children
Various roles – Urgent Action Fund for Feminist Activism

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


Public Meetings


21 September

INTRAC Webinar: Decolonising Consultancy:  The fourth in INTRAC’s new series of webinars focuses on decolonising consultancy. The webinar will be guided by three key questions: What does decolonising consultancy mean in practice? What needs to change and how can this happen? What roles do different actors need to play – consultancies in the global South, international consultancies, donors? After we have heard from the four speakers, there will be an opportunity to discuss this important topic further. The event will be chaired by Suzanne Hammad, who is a sociologist, consultant, and a member of INTRAC’s Board of Trustees since 2021. Register here.

London, UK

26 September

Shifting Systems, Shifting Power – Decolonizing Wealth Project. Decolonizing Wealth Project have been working with donors globally since 2021, and will be launching a Decolonizing Global Philanthropy report this October.  They will host an event in London this September, and you are invited to join Edgar Villanueva, the new Vice President of Programs, Amber Banks, and Vanessa Thomas on 26 September for the event Shifting Systems, Shifting Power, where they will bring together funders to share the key takeaways from the report, and discuss how we can work together to build an equitable world. To manage capacity, please RSVP here.


26 September

Sharing and amplifying a positive legal standard for the Reproductive Justice and Digital Rights Movements. Women on Web and Women’s Link invite you to a global webinar, which will offer a space to share both the successful legal strategy behind the case and the issues found with its implementation. It will also be a space to hear what other digital challenges and threats activists and groups are facing in their reproductive rights work, what strategies are being used to counter digital suppression, and how strategic litigation and other legal actions combined with advocacy, communication, and social mobilisation strategies can be helpful in different contexts with similar issues and challenges. Time: 8am (San José), 9am (Bogotá), 4pm (Madrid), 5pm (Nairobi). Register here.

3 October

Equity in Philanthropy: Foundations Supporting SocialChange: This session will feature philanthropic leaders from local foundations who are walking the walk on equity – committed not only to social change but to grantmaking practices that are more equitable and impactful. Join for an honest and open conversation about funding the transformative work of social movements and transforming the sector along the way. Time: 4 – 5:30pm CEST. Register here. 

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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