The aim of the first 2015 Ariadne Forecast is to help funders see the big picture and discover new trends so that they can plan ahead. It does this by tapping into the collective knowledge and wisdom of a diverse network of over 450 funders working in the field of social change and human rights grantmaking, over 90 of whom helped to create the Forecast.
Late last year we asked the entire network six simple questions, including: What are the most pressing challenges facing your grantees in 2015? and What developments are expected to have the biggest impact on your practice as a grantmaker in 2015? We then interviewed 16 funders in more depth and convened meetings in The Hague, Brussels and London.
The Forecast showed that European social change and human rights funders see two major trends at work in their world, one structural and one political. The structural one is the dissolving of boundaries between philanthropy and civil society under the twin pressures of lower public spending and less money available for grantmaking on the one hand and the growth of alternative finance on the other. Foundations are increasingly deploying additional methods of using their assets and influence, and creating new kinds of grantmaking vehicles; civil society groups are mutating into different entities to access these resources.
The political trend is the profoundly depressing disabling environment for cross-border funding. The global growth in obstacles and restrictions placed on civil society groups receiving cross-border funds, and increasingly on the funders themselves, is having a baleful impact on the ability of groups and individuals to hold states to account and bring about change.
In 25 pages, in English, Dutch and French, the 2015 Ariadne Forecast tracks and compares trends in the UK and the Netherlands, and at European and global levels. We hope to repeat it next year, and would welcome feedback via email or twitter to help us improve the 2016 Forecast. Please let us know if you would like to join next year’s forecasters.
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