Grants:APG/Eligibility

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Summary of this Section

This section summarizes the eligibility criteria for the Annual Plan Grants (APG) process through the Funds Dissemination Committee (FDC).

An organization must meet these criteria to be confirmed as eligible to receive funds from the FDC in a given round:

  1. It has been formally acknowledged by the WMF Board of Trustees as a Wikimedia organization;
  2. It has a current signed agreement with the Wikimedia Foundation (WMF) (e.g., Chapter Agreement);
  3. It has a record of either:
    • Successfully completing two grants from WMF; OR
    • Successfully completing one grant from WMF and participating in one fundraising campaign as a payment-processor; OR
    • Participating in two fundraising campaigns as a payment processor;
  4. It has submitted a Letter of intent to seek an allocation from the FDC in the current round;
  5. It is complying with any contractual obligations agreed with the Wikimedia Foundation, such as those in Chapter Agreements, Fundraising Agreements, Grant Agreements, or other formal agreements; and
  6. It is complying with all relevant US and local laws.

After an organization submits a Letter of Intent (LOI) to submit a proposal to the FDC in the current round, WMF will publish an initial assessment of eligibility by 15 July (Round 1) and 15 January (Round 2) to give organizations time to address any eligibility gaps before final eligibility is confirmed by 15 September (Round 1) and 15 March (Round 2). Organizations not eligible may still be eligible to receive funding from another WMF grants program, such as the Project and Event Grants (PEG) program.


Requirements for eligibility[edit]

The Funds Dissemination Committee (FDC) can only consider proposals from organizations that meet these eligibility criteria. In some cases, an exception may be made when an organization is actively working toward meetings these requirements as part of a plan with WMF. To count toward meetings these eligibility requirements, grants from WMF must be completed before initial eligibility status is announced for each round. Completion of a grant includes the submission and acceptance of a final grant report and the return of any remaining funds before the date final eligibility for that round is confirmed. Eligible organizations must continue to meet eligibility requirements throughout the duration of the entire Annual Plan Grants (APG) process, even after eligibility is confirmed, in order to continue to be considered eligible or receive funding.

An organization must meet these criteria to be confirmed as eligible to receive funds from the FDC in a given round:

  1. It has been formally acknowledged by the WMF Board of Trustees as a Wikimedia organization;
  2. It has a current signed agreement with the Wikimedia Foundation (WMF) (e.g., Chapter Agreement);
  3. It has a record of either:
    • Successfully completing two grants from WMF; OR
    • Successfully completing one grant from WMF and participating in one fundraising campaign as a payment-processor; OR
    • Participating in two fundraising campaigns as a payment processor;
  4. It has submitted a Letter of intent to seek an allocation from the FDC in the current round;
  5. It is complying with any contractual obligations agreed with the Wikimedia Foundation, such as those in Chapter Agreements, Fundraising Agreements, Grant Agreements, or other formal agreements; and
  6. It is complying with all relevant US and local laws.

How eligibility works[edit]

  1. Submit Letter of Intent. Submit a Letter of Intent (LOI) for your organization before the deadline for the round in which your organization will apply for funding. WMF will evaluate eligibility only for organizations that submit an LOI.
  2. Review checklist and gaps. About ten weeks before the proposal submission deadline (generally 15 July for Round 1 and 15 January for Round 2), WMF will publish a detailed checklist explaining the eligibility status of each organization that submitted an LOI for the current round. This gives organizations about two months to work on filling any gaps that may be listed in the checklist. It's important to also follow any instructions sent to you by WMF carefully at this time.
  3. Eligibility is confirmed. About two weeks before the proposal due date (generally 15 September for Round 1 and 15 March for Round 2), eligibility will be confirmed. At this time, all organizations that submitted LOIs will know whether or not they are eligible to apply in the current round.
  4. Maintain eligibility. Your organization must remain eligible throughout the duration of the Annual Plan Grants process. Make sure you monitor any potential eligibility gaps highlighted in the table and respond to requests from WMF.

The Annual Plan Grants (APG) process only offers general funding[edit]

An organization may only request general funding through the Annual Plan Grants (APG) process through the Funds Dissemination Committee (FDC). Project-specific funding is available through the Project and Event Grants (PEG) program. Please read the information in this section to understand how to request general funding through the Annual Plan Grants (APG) process.

Definition of general funding[edit]

Annual Plan Grants (APGs) provide general funding to support an organization's Annual Plan for a 12-month funding period, including program expenses, operational expenses, and staff expenses:

  • Expenses specific to an organization's program activity;
  • An organization's ongoing operational expenses (such as office expenses, administration, fundraising, governance, legal, etc.); and
  • Staff expenses (including temporary, permanent, part-time, and full-time staff for programs or operations).

Please include your entire budget and plan in your APG request: Since the Annual Plan Grants (APG) process provides general funding, the FDC considers an organization's entire Annual Plan when reviewing each Annual Plan Grant (APG) proposal. Please include the your organization's entire budget for the 12-month period your organization is requesting funding for and include information about all of your organization's programs and activities, even if some of those programs and activities are funded from another sources. The FDC needs this information to review your Annual Plan Grant (APG) proposal. If your organization receives general funding, you may decide to spend it on your programs, your operations, or on staff.

If you receive APG funding, PEG funding will not be available during the same time period: Any organization receiving general funding through the Annual Plan Grants (APG) process, will not be eligible to receive funding from the Project and Event Grants (PEG) Program during the term of its Annual Plan Grant (APG), except in special cases (for example, funding for political and legislative activities that may only be requested through the Project and Event Grants (PEG) Program). This means that an organization should plan to request the entire amount of funding it will need from WMF during a 12-month period through their Annual Plan Grant (APG) proposal.

Differences between the Annual Plan Grants (APG) Program (FDC process) and the Project and Event Grants (PEG) Program[edit]

Annual Plan Grants (APG) process Project and Event Grants (PEG) process
For eligible formally acknowledged and incorporated Wikimedia organizations requesting general funding to support their annual plans. For anyone (including eligible Wikimedia organizations, individuals, groups, and other nonprofit organizations) requesting funding for eligible projects or operating expenses that do not involve longterm commitments.
The Annual Plan Grants (APG) process provides general funding to support an organization's Annual Plan for a 12-month period, including:
  • Expenses specific to an organization's program activity;
  • An organization's ongoing operational expenses (such as office expenses, administration, fundraising, governance, legal, etc.); and
  • Staff expenses (including temporary, permanent, part-time, and full-time staff for programs or operations).
The Project and Event Grants (PEG) Program provides project-specific funding for a limited period of time (usually less than 12 months), including:
  • Detailed project-related expenses specified by line item;
  • In some cases, an organization's operational expenses that do not involve long-term commitments (for example, a temporary or shared office space, administration, fundraising, governance, legal, etc.); and
  • Part-time (less than 50% time allocated) or temporary (terms fewer than 6 months) staff positions to support a project or an organization's programs or operations for a limited period of time.
Organizations receiving Annual Plan Grants (APGs) report on their program, staff, and operational budgets on a high level, and are not asked to report on specific line items unless this is requested. They must report significant variances from their planned budgets, but may make changes to their budgets at their own discretions. Organizations are required to submit audited financial statements to WMF each year. Grantees receiving Project and Event Grants (PEGs) monitor and report on spending by line item, and are required to spend grant funds according to their planned budgets unless they receive written permission from WMF to make changes.
Annual Plan Grant (APG) proposals to the Funds Dissemination Committee (FDC) are submitted and reviewed twice each year. The process begins with a letter of intent submitted in January and a final decision in July for Round 2 and a letter of intent submitted in July and a final decision in January for Round 1. Project and Event Grant (PEG) requests are accepted at any time, but should be submitted at least 60 days before the start of a project to allow time for review and processing before the project starts. The decision process usually takes less than 30 days, although it is not the same for every grant.
The Annual Plan Grants (APG) process produces many inputs that are considered by the FDC during the decision-making process. These inputs include (1) the proposal form submitted by the organization, (2) the organization's annual plan and accompanying documents (including the organization's past reports), (3) community review and discussion around each proposal and annual plan, (4) expert commentary when requested, and (5) proposal assessments published by FDC staff that are based on both internal and public inputs. After the proposal submission date for each round, applicants may not make changes to their proposal forms, since stable documents are needed to support the extensive review process. Applicants for Project and Event Grants (PEGs) are encouraged to make changes to their grant requests during the review process, especially when they are suggested by the Grant Advisory Committee (GAC) or WMF.
The Funds Dissemination Committee (FDC) engages in an extensive face-to-face deliberations process to produce a recommendation to the WMF Board of Trustees that contains specific recommended amounts for each proposal and general guidance for the organizations participating. The WMF Board of Trustees will then make the final decision to approve or not to approve this recommendation. The Grant Advisory Committee (GAC), in an advisory capacity, publicly discusses requests for Project and Event Grants (PEG) and final decisions are made by WMF staff.
Once a proposal is approved by the the WMF Board of Trustees, the organization will sign a grant agreement with WMF and will return a paper copy of this agreement to WMF. Once the agreement is executed by both parties, a first installment of funds will be sent within 30 days. This entire process usually takes 30-60 days. A second installment of funds is sent within 30 days of the submission of the second quarterly progress report. After a request is approved by WMF staff, the grantee will sign a grant agreement with WMF. In some cases, a paper copy of the agreement will be required and in other cases a digital copy may be executed quickly. Grants may be sent in one or more installments, at WMF's discretion, and the first installment of grant funds will be sent within 30 days of the date the agreement is executed by both parties. This entire process usually takes less than 30 days.
Impact reports summarizing the results of the funds are submitted within 90 days of the end of the funding period and are accompanied by audited financial statements submitted within 120 days of the end of the funding period, and three quarterly progress reports are submitted within 30 days of the end of each of the first three quarters as specified by the Annual Plan Grant (APG) reporting requirements. FDC staff reviews these reports within 60 days and publishes a summary document with a portfolio assessment of the reports as well as comments specific to each report. All grantees submit a final report; interim reports may also be requested for some grants. Reports must be reviewed and accepted by WMF staff in order for a grant to be considered complete and WMF staff will provide grantees with feedback on each report on the report's discussion page.
To learn more about the Annual Plan Grants (APG) process through the Funds Dissemination Committee (FDC) process, please visit the FDC portal. To learn more about the Project and Event Grants (PEG), please visit the PEG page.

Funds for political or legislative activities[edit]

Funds for political or legislative activities may not be requested through the Annual Plan Grants (APG) process, and organizations are asked to verify that no APG funds will be used for these activities; however, if an organization does need funds for these activities, they may be available through the Project and Event Grants (PEG) program. While organizations receiving Annual Plan Grants (APGs) are generally not able to receive any Project and Event Grants (PEGs) during the terms of their Annual Plan Grants (APGs), an exception can be made in the case of Project and Event Grants (PEGs) for political and legislative activities when these are permitted under US law and IRS regulations.

The term “political and legislative activities” includes any of the following:

  • Activities relating to political campaigns or candidates (including the contribution of funds and the publication of position statements relating to political campaigns or candidates)
  • Voter registration activities
  • Meetings with or submissions and petitions to government executives, ministers, officers or agencies on political or policy issues
  • Any other activities seeking government intervention or policy implementation (like “lobbying”), whether directed toward the government or the community or public at large.

A summary of some permissible and impermissible political and legislative activities may be found here.

Apply now[edit]

Please visit the FDC portal to create your proposal hubpage for an upcoming round of the FDC process, and contact FDCsupport at wikimedia.org if you have any questions about the application process. Once your organization's hubpage has been created and your organization has submitted a Letter of Intent (LOI) by the deadline for the round in which you are applying, assessment of your organization's eligibility will begin.

Eligibility documents for each round:[edit]


Helpful links[edit]