Grant Advisory Committee
Since June 2011, the Foundation's Wikimedia Project and Event Grants program involves a Grant Advisory Committee, made up of volunteers from the Wikimedia community. The role of the GAC is to provide feedback on grant proposals – helping to improve applications and projects for which funding is sought, ensuring that sufficient information is provided and that estimates or goals are realistic – and generally to advise applicants and the Foundation on improving grants and the grants process.
The GAC has two fundamental goals:
1. To encourage and mentor chapters and other groups to:
- learn about and understand the Wikimedia Project and Event Grants program;
- draw up compelling project plans with an emphasis on strategic alignment and measurable goals;
- request funding for those programs by submitting grant proposals.
2. To help the Foundation evaluate requested grants, not by a yes/no vote, but by deliberation and evaluation of strengths and weaknesses of individual proposals on the talk page of each proposal.
Members are tasked with the following:
- To peruse requests. The committee's attention will be pointed to new grant requests by Asaf Bartov, who manages the Wikimedia Project and Event Grants program at the Foundation. It is not required that each member of the GAC engage on every proposal, but members are encouraged to engage on as many proposals as possible. Members are expected to evaluate a request and either leave comments and questions on the talk page, declare that they have no objection to the request, or abstain. If the proposal is made by a group the GAC member is affiliated with, GAC members are expected to recuse themselves.
- To offer feedback and to request improvements. This is done in terms of clarity, focus, detail, and goals, on the talk page of the request (or privately if absolutely necessary). Committee members typically ask questions, offer advice or encouragement, or express concerns or point out potential problems.
- To make assessments. This is done on the talk page when a request has stabilized following any appropriate improvements, in terms of the program criteria. Program staff (at the Wikimedia Foundation) will take GAC input into account, and will only make a decision about open grant proposals after at least some GAC members have commented.
A note on attitude
In evaluating requests, please bear the following in mind:
- Grant applicants are offering the Foundation a way to achieve impact through funding their activities. They are not asking for a favor; they are offering a benefit and a service to the Foundation (and the movement)! We appreciate and respect the people who take the time to articulate plans and offer us the chance to make progress on our mission through grantmaking. Even when the offer is ultimately not beneficial enough and we decline to fund it.
- For many applicants, this is the first grant proposal they've ever been involved in. They may not present information very well; they may not express their plan clearly enough. Be patient and forbearing, and remember no one is born a grant-writer. :) Don't compromise on what's important, and by all means point out weaknesses and ask for improvements, but remain civil and respectful.
- Remember that from the applicants' perspective, there is almost unavoidably at least some anxiety involved in the whole application process, until a decision is made. If your questions or comments are seen as disrespectful or dismissive, that anxiety is needlessly and unfairly increased. Try to present your questions and concerns sympathetically; put yourself in the applicants' shoes.
|User name||Real name||Affiliation||Since|
|Kiril Simeonovski||Kiril Simeonovski||WMMK||2011-06-03|
|Nasir8891||Nasir Khan Saikat||WMBD||2012-07-24|
|Aegis Maelstrom||Michał Buczyński||WMPL||2013-08-31|
|Danny B.||cs & sk sister projects||2013-08-31|
GAC members who have not engaged on any request for at least three months will be asked privately whether they're still interested in serving on the GAC or whether they would like to step down. GAC membership of those who do not step down but who remain inactive for another month will lapse and be terminated.
Interested in volunteering for the GAC?
- Review the membership criteria and make sure you meet them.
- Add your name to the candidates page. Ideally, also include a brief statement about your background and involvement demonstrating you meet the criteria. To comment on someone's candidacy, please use the talk page.
- Wait until new members are accepted. The next draft for the GAC is scheduled for March 2014.
- Informal observations on the best and worst practices from the grant proposals we have reviewed, as "accumulated wisdom" for applicants, GAC members, and staff.
- Table of the status of current and former grants
- Applications currently under review
|User name||Real name||Affiliation||Since||To||Note|
|Perohanych||Yuri Perohanych||WMUA||2012-07-24||2012-09-19||resigned due to joining the FDC|
|Cindamuse||2012-07-24||2013-02-17||resigned due to current health concerns|
|Josepnogue||Amical||2011-06-03||2013-03-30||inactive member removed per policy|
|Surya Prakash.S.A.||2012-07-24||2013-03-30||inactive member removed per policy|
|Wifione||2012-07-24||2013-03-30||inactive member removed per policy|
|Notafish||Delphine Ménard||2012-07-24||2013-06-??||resigned due to joining the FDC|