The role of philanthropy in advancing democracy and belonging to counter authoritarianism

Location: Atelier 5

This session will gather funders interested in sharing ideas and practices to strengthen democracy and belonging. We are keen to discuss emerging work in the European context and how this connects with learning and experiences at the global level. Participants will explore how philanthropy can tackle the root causes of authoritarianism, populism, and intersecting global crises by renewing and re-imagining democratic societies, structures and practices, grounded in justice, human rights and belonging. We hope this session will be the beginning of a conversation to build a shared understanding, support and collaboration for this work amongst philanthropies in a European context (e.g. sharing strategies, grantees, plans). In this session, three foundations will present their perspectives and strategies for supporting this work. Following their short interventions, we will open the floor for a discussion for all participants to share their experiences and perspectives.

Please note, as this session intends to be an focused space where funders share candidly about their plans, challenges and tactics, attendance will be limited to those working in this space. 

If you are a funder and would like to participate, please email Sara Grossman at to register your interest.

Presented by Ariadne Network and EDGE Funders Alliance 

Ariadne Network is a European peer-to-peer network of more than 600 funders and philanthropists who support social change and human rights. Ariadne helps those using private resources for public good achieve more together than they can alone by linking them to other funders and providing practical tools of support. What connects the diverse membership of Ariadne is our efforts to create societies that are inclusive, just and offer opportunities to all. 

EDGE Funders Alliance is a community of donors, foundation officers, trustees and advisors in more than 40 countries based globally, passionately engaged in local, national and international grantmaking within 140 diverse institutions with differing priorities and strategies, but a shared belief that equity and justice are critical to furthering sustainable, global well-being. Our community funds greater equity and sustainable practice today, while exploring and supporting strategies that address systemic challenges and contribute to transformational change over the long term. EDGE Funders Alliance organizes within philanthropy to raise awareness and deepen understanding of the interconnected crises threatening our common future, to increase resources for systemic alternatives that support justice, equity and the well-being of the planet.

Friday, October 27, 2023