Grants:APG/Funds Dissemination Committee/FDC member roles, expectations, and selection process

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Summary of this Section
  • The Funds Dissemination Committee will be made up of volunteers from across the movement. It will consist of 9 voting members, each serving two-year terms:
  • Four representatives will be appointed by the Board of Trustees
  • Five representatives will be elected by the community
  • Two additional non-voting seats will exist for WMF Board of Trustee members who will serve as liaisons to the Board regarding FDC activities
  • In the first year, the Board of Trustees will appoint seven members to serve as the inaugural committee. The two additional seats (and any lost by attrition in the first year) will be filled by a community election process in the second year
  • FDC members will be expected to dedicate considerable time, focus, and effort, including:
  • In-person attendance at FDC meetings (two to three meetings expected per year);
  • Reading and evaluating proposals during the two proposal rounds per year (March and October);
  • Ongoing monitoring and participation in FDC discussions and activities within the community; and
  • Sporadically intense email and IRC communication with FDC staff and other FDC members.
  • To be eligible for the FDC, members:
  • Must be over 21 years old and over the age of majority in their home country;
  • Must be able to work effectively in English (although full fluency is not required);
  • Must present to WMF appropriate personal identification, a copy of which will be maintained by WMF for record-keeping;
  • Have sufficient time and dedication to commit to this process and availability to attend in-person meetings, as needed;
  • Have a track record of constructive engagement in community discussions and an orientation toward collaborative problem solving; and
  • Be able to set aside any conflicts of interest and work towards the mission goals of the Wikimedia movement without considering individual or organizational interests.
  • Through careful selection of candidates through both the Board-appointment and community election processes, the FDC membership (as a whole) should have the following skills and attributes:
  • Experience directing or evaluating programs;
  • Grant-making expertise (either as a grantee or grantor of funds);
  • Exposure to, understanding of, and personal credibility in the Wikimedia movement (that is, experience in programs, chapters, or administrative roles within the Wikimedia movement); and
  • Gender, geographic and linguistic diversity.
  • FDC members will be expected to adhere to articulated conflict of interest provisions that will reduce their risk of being unduly influenced


Number of FDC members and roles and responsibilities of FDC members[edit]

Number of FDC members[edit]

The FDC will be a diverse body of people reflecting different aspects of the movement, including its geographic, linguistic, and cultural diversity. In addition to nine voting members, two additional non-voting seats will be reserved for WMF Board of Trustee members, who will serve as liaisons to the Board regarding FDC decisions and the overall evaluation and continual improvement of FDC processes.

The Committee shall elect one member to serve as Chair. The Chair shall serve for a term of two years or until his / her term ends, whichever is sooner.

Over time, the FDC will be a blend of elected and appointed members from across the Wikimedia movement:

  • Four representatives will be appointed by the Board of Trustees (with input/support from the FDC)
  • Five representatives will be elected through a community election process similar to that of the community-elected seats on the Board of Trustees.

Roles and responsibilities of FDC members[edit]

FDC members play an important role in the funds dissemination process.

  • To serve, with the support of the staff, as an advisory committee of the WMF Board of Trustees;
  • To be familiar with and support the mission goals of the Wikimedia movement, including its vision, values, and five-year strategic plan;
  • To review and assess materials provided as part of the FDC process, including proposals from eligible fund-seeking entities, assessment materials prepared by staff, and input provided by community members and others;
  • To present the Board with written recommendations regarding funds dissemination, based upon its review of the proposals, submissions, deliberations, and discussions. The FDC will use its members’ best judgment in making its recommendations and will design its recommendations to enable the maximum possible impact towards realizing the mission goals of the Wikimedia movement;
  • To evaluate funding outcomes and reports made to the FDC to ensure that past recommendations to the Board had the intended results, and to use these results when considering future funds dissemination recommendations;
  • To be responsive to community members' questions and input about the FDC process and decisions;
  • To share knowledge about effective approaches to achieving the mission goals of the Wikimedia community;
  • To participate in an annual assessment of the FDC process, including, e.g., a self-assessment and an assessment of staff supporting the FDC;
  • To orient new FDC members to the expectations and practices of the FDC;
  • To cooperate with investigations conducted by the FDC Ombudsperson at the request of the Board representatives on the FDC;
  • To work constructively and honestly with all parties involved in the FDC process, in the best interests of the Wikimedia movement and to support and advance the mission goals of the Wikimedia movement.

Expectations for FDC members[edit]

Serving on the FDC will require considerable time, focus, and effort. At a minimum, members should expect to undertake the following:

  • In-person attendance at FDC meetings (two to three meetings expected per year);
  • Reading and evaluating proposals during the two proposal rounds per year (March and October);
  • Ongoing monitoring and participation in FDC discussions and activities within the community; and
  • Sporadically intense email and IRC communication with FDC staff and other FDC members.

To fulfill these duties, it will be critical for FDC members to remain active and responsive throughout their tenure. In extraordinary circumstances, if members anticipate they will need to be inactive from the FDC for a period of time, they should notify the FDC Chair in advance. If FDC members become inactive without warning, the FDC Chair will reach out to the member to better understand the situation and work with the member to rectify it. If the member is unresponsive or their inactivity becomes chronic, the FDC Chair has the authority to request that the Board of Trustees vote to replace the member with a Board-appointed replacement to finish the term of the original member. If the FDC Chair becomes inactive and unresponsive, other FDC members should call this to the attention of the Board of Trustees.

New FDC members will be carefully trained and on-boarded to ensure continuity of process and ongoing operations of the group. Existing FDC members and the FDC staff will be responsible for training and on-boarding new members. In the inaugural year, the FDC Advisory Group will help to onboard the first FDC members.

Expenses associated with fulfilling FDC membership (e.g., travel costs) will be reimbursed. Over time, certain benefits that support the role of the FDC member, such as a travel and admission expenses for Wikimania, admission to a professional conference or training sessions, or participation in site visits, may be offered to attract, engage, and assist members.

Criteria for FDC membership[edit]

Wikimedia community members who seek to volunteer as FDC members should meet the following criteria, in addition to agreeing to the expectations as outlined above.

To be eligible for the FDC, members:

  • Must be over 21 years old and over the age of majority in their home country;
  • Must be able to work effectively in English (although full fluency is not required);
  • Must present to WMF appropriate personal identification, a copy of which will be maintained by WMF for record-keeping;
  • Have sufficient time and dedication to commit to this process and availability to attend in-person meetings, as needed;
  • Have a track record of constructive engagement in community discussions and an orientation toward collaborative problem solving; and
  • Be able to set aside any conflicts of interest and work towards the mission goals of the Wikimedia movement without considering individual or organizational interests.

Through careful selection of candidates through both the Board-appointment and community election processes, the FDC membership (as a whole) should have the following skills and attributes:

  • Experience directing or evaluating programs;
  • Grant-making expertise (either as a grantee or grantor of funds);
  • Exposure to, understanding of, and personal credibility in the Wikimedia movement (that is, experience in programs, chapters, or administrative roles within the Wikimedia movement); and
  • Gender, geographic and linguistic diversity.

Conflict of interest provision[edit]

Staff / board members of entities requesting funds through the FDC may serve on the FDC; however, they must recuse themselves from deliberations pertaining to their entity's proposal. In addition, FDC members may not accept compensation or payment in any form (including travel and lodging expenses) from persons or entities that have or will likely have activities before the FDC, including proposals for grants (an exception to this includes reimbursements and benefits provided by the Wikimedia Foundation to FDC members). The conflict of interest provision is not intended to prevent compensation to FDC members when that compensation is for work - such as staff duties - for an affiliate organization (like a chapter) and that compensation is unrelated to the member's FDC service. Therefore, an FDC member may be employed by a chapter or other affiliate organization and receive a salary, provided that this salary is not tied to the member’s duties, responsibilities, or actions on the FDC. Of course, in this situation (as stated above), the FDC member must comply with all the requirements of the Pledge of Personal Commitment and the Conflict of Interest Policy, including disclosing the relationship and abstaining from any voting or discussions relating to that particular affiliate organization.

Selection process for FDC members[edit]

The term of FDC membership will be two years, with a round of either elections or appointments every year (election years will coincide with elections for the community-elected seats on the Board of Trustees, to streamline processes and communications). There will be no term limits, so FDC members may serve multiple consecutive terms so long as they are re-elected or re-appointed. As shown above, up to four or five seats (including community-elected and Board-appointed) may turn over each year.

Interested candidates will self-nominate for either a community-elected or Board-appointed seat. The Board, the FDC and other members of the community can encourage individuals to self-nominate if they identify someone who would be a particular asset. In either case, the Board will vet all nominations and present a slate of eligible candidates.

  • For community-elected candidates, this slate will then go to the community for election.
  • For Board-appointed candidates, the Board will work with the FDC to identify the most qualified members who would best complement the make-up of the existing FDC members.

Off-cycle attrition would be addressed through Board-appointed replacements. The Board of Trustees has the right to remove any FDC member if it determines that member has not fulfilled their responsibilities as FDC members.