Grants:IEG/Questions

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Individual Engagement Grants

questions
Go ahead, add a topic and ask us anything you like about Individual Engagement Grants! We may use these for building out FAQs later.
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Pages associated with this project[edit]

I find the IEG pages nice to look at but a little hard to edit as the Media WIki markup is complicated and there are no edit buttons for each subsection. We also do not have the standard TOC and there is a fair bit of white space between section. IMO it is usually best to keep markup simple so more people can get involved. Anyway just my 2 cents. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 04:07, 25 February 2013 (UTC)

I agree that this would be quite helpful. Libcub (talk) 19:34, 14 June 2014 (UTC)

IEG Committee[edit]

Hello! I've wanted to ask - when will a new round for election of new Committee members be announced? As I see at this page, I can add myself even now but Grants:IEG/Committee/Candidates/Selection_process says that candidates are added according to schedule of rounds, though I see no schedule for future rounds... So, I am a bit confused whether I can apply or not :) rubin16 (talk) 18:41, 16 February 2014 (UTC)

Hi rubin16! You'd be welcome to add yourself to the list of candidates now :) We'll be announcing the call more formally along with the proposal open call on March 1, and the new members will be announced by March 15 (see here for the schedule of this upcoming round. Hope to see you there! Siko (WMF) (talk) 18:16, 17 February 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, Siko (WMF)! Let's try to do it :) rubin16 (talk) 19:41, 17 February 2014 (UTC)
Siko (WMF), hello once again :) According to schedule committee members were to be finalized at 15 march but I see no changes on the list of candidates yet. Are there any changes to schedule? :) rubin16 (talk) 09:52, 26 March 2014 (UTC)
Hi rubin16. We are almost done closing the committee discussion and should have our consensus out this week. Sorry for the delay! (IEG Committee) Ocaasi (talk) 12:38, 26 March 2014 (UTC)

membership criteria at Grants:IEG/Committee[edit]

demands not being involved in allegations of unethical behavior. I suggest dropping or clarifying that because the definition largely depends on everyone's local laws. For example, in Uganda, the president just signed an anti-gay law, and in some Muslim countries, fowling Jewish traditions may be considered unethical behavior, just to pick a few examples. Are the people affected not allowed applying for the committee? Looking forward for your reply -- Rillke (talk) 20:21, 28 February 2014 (UTC)

Hmm this is an interesting point, thank you for bringing it up, Rillke. We're definitely not trying to keep people out based on the examples you mention - the language was more intended to give us some criteria to decline, say, a person involved in bank fraud (probably not the best representative for a committee overseeing distribution of funds). What would you think about changing this to something like "allegations of unethical financial behavior, etc" ? Other suggestions also welcome :) Siko (WMF) (talk) 23:37, 6 March 2014 (UTC)
Note: I went ahead and added the word "financial" to this phrase so we can try it out until someone has a better suggestion. Siko (WMF) (talk) 23:41, 6 March 2014 (UTC)
I'm stumped. I am not a native speaker and these terms sound very professional. I think your addition of "financial" sufficiently clarified what this criterion is about. Thank you! -- Rillke (talk) 00:34, 7 March 2014 (UTC)

Some technical questions[edit]

I have some technical questions about the actual granting process:

  • Are there any limits on the payment of contractors? I've seen funded projects with hourly rates that seemed to me quite high (even considering the country) and some that seemed very low (but could perhaps be explained by location). I was looking for some guidelines like what the WMF has on the lodging and incidentals in other grant programs (75% of the department of state limits)
    • There are no technical limits per-se, we consider reasonable requests on a case-by-case basis. Many of the past requests are based on what people state they need in order to complete their project, keeping in mind our non-profit context, rather than a standard market rate for labor. Happy to discuss your specific case more if you'd like! Siko (WMF) (talk) 20:01, 7 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Would it be OK to sign the contract on behalf of an individual enterprise? (not sure how they're called in the US, but they are a special type of "company" that cannot hire other people and has simplified accounting; basically it's a 1 person business) I'm asking as it would simplify the reporting and taxing in some countries.
    • Our grant agreement is with an individual, not a business. However, if a grantee wanted to pay a business some portion of their grant to contact out work, that would be acceptable. Siko (WMF) (talk) 20:01, 7 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Alternatively, can part of the grant be transferred to subcontractors directly?
    • WMF transfers funds to grantees directly, we don't generally transfer funds to your subcontractors, we expect grantees to do this (unless your contractor is an individual who would also like to become part of your grantee team, sign a grant agreement, and contribute to your reporting requirements etc - we're happy to transfer funds directly to multiple grantees). Siko (WMF) (talk) 20:01, 7 March 2014 (UTC)
  • I've seen a question above on the talk page about the WMF not covering banking fees, which was unclear to me; AFAIK, international transfers can be paid for by either the sender, the receiver or both. What is the option used by the WMF?
    • When WMF wires funds, your bank may charge you for receiving the wire transfer, and you're responsible for that cost. However, we're happy to reimburse grantees for their wire transfer fees if you include this in your budget request. Siko (WMF) (talk) 20:01, 7 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Are the grants disbursed in USD? It seems obvious, but I though I'd ask :)
    • You may request disbursement in your local currency. There are a few currencies we're unable to disburse in, but we are generally able to meet most requests. Siko (WMF) (talk) 20:01, 7 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Is there a grant model available?
    • A model? There is a kit for proposals, and you can always look at past IEGrant projects for other examples. If I'm not understanding the question correctly though, please let me know! Siko (WMF) (talk) 20:01, 7 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Can outreach events be coupled with a technical proposal (i.e. travel to events to promote the new tool)?
    • Absolutely - outreach and community organizing is strongly encouraged for technical proposals (we think tools + people = good results!). Even though a proposal will be assigned one category for type, good proposals should incorporate multiple strategies. Siko (WMF) (talk) 20:01, 7 March 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for your answers.--Strainu (talk) 18:54, 7 March 2014 (UTC)

Hi Strainu! I've threaded some answers above to your questions. Hope this helps! Please let me know if I can be of further assistance. Cheers, Siko (WMF) (talk) 20:01, 7 March 2014 (UTC)

Also, a small piece of advice for 2015: it seems to me that the "spring edition" of the grants begins a too late to take advantage of the student workforce in look for a summer practical project. In order to take advantage of this resource, it would help if the project would begin 2 months earlier (e.g. from January)--Strainu (talk) 19:10, 7 March 2014 (UTC)

There are a few reasons that we've got the schedule setup this way currently, but we'll keep this feedback in mind for the future. Thanks! Siko (WMF) (talk) 20:01, 7 March 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for your answers Siko! When I asked about a model, I was referring to a contract model (or whatever is signed between the WMF and the grantee).--Strainu (talk) 20:08, 7 March 2014 (UTC)

Ah, I see! We don't have a published version of the grant agreement currently, sorry, but as a grantee you'd of course have time to review the agreement before signing. Cheers! Siko (WMF) (talk) 21:04, 7 March 2014 (UTC)

Content creation - photos[edit]

Hi, you answered near similar question about content creation - article creation. But, what's about photos from cities or villages in my country? It is therefore possible to get a grant for a photoshoots missing villages and other "have article" things in my country (like observes, nature reserves, rivers, bridges, etc). It is possible?--Frettie (talk) 21:36, 10 March 2014 (UTC)

Hi Frettie! Like with kinds of other content, we won't pay someone to take or upload photos. These grants can, however, fund expenses involved in organizing volunteers to make photo expeditions, or something along those lines if that is what you had in mind. Hope that helps! Cheers, Siko (WMF) (talk) 21:47, 10 March 2014 (UTC)

Wikimedia merchandise for volunteers[edit]

While copyediting and revising the Pronunciation Recording Gadget proposal, I discovered Wikimedia merchandise for volunteers in a comment below Tools, technologies, and techniques -- what would be covered by "Wikimedia merchandise"? Would it be possible, for example having a pronunciation rally and issuing a merchandising article to the winners? Would I have to check whether participants are legally allowed to take part in such a rally (there are restrictions in some countries ...) -- Rillke (talk) 19:59, 24 March 2014 (UTC)

Hi Rillke, I think having a rally with merchandise as prize is definitely possible (although I'll defer to your understanding of local restrictions, we haven't come across much of these yet). Past IEGs have included some funds in their budget for WMF merchandise (as contest prizes, thank you gifts for volunteers, etc). and in those cases how it works is you include a line item in your proposal for the amount of money you plan to spend on merchandise overall (see the WM shop for an idea of prices and what's available). Then, when making the grant, we'd work with you to see what specific items you'd like to order, and most likely send you the items directly instead of that portion of funds. Hope this helps, Siko (WMF) (talk) 19:25, 27 March 2014 (UTC)

Use non-gender-specific terminology[edit]

The infobox instructions include Guys' Name. I suggest changing that to Person2's' Name. Libcub (talk) 22:43, 31 March 2014 (UTC)

Good point. Will have a lookout for issues like these in our next template-update sprint, thanks! Siko (WMF) (talk) 14:44, 31 May 2014 (UTC)

next round deadline[edit]

The deadline for proposals for the next round should be 30 September, not 31 September, since there is no 31 September, right? Sumana Harihareswara 13:24, 31 May 2014 (UTC)

You are so right. Fixed! :) Siko (WMF) (talk) 14:43, 31 May 2014 (UTC)

Two suggestions[edit]

Hi, I wonder whether "step 1", "step 2", etc, could be made a sharper colour, in line with their reasonably high position in the hierarchy of headings. At the moment they're a very light shade of grey.

"We are best able to support proposals submitted in English"—that does sound as though you've got a better chance of approval if the application is in English. I'm not sure that's what you intended to mean. Perhaps it would be better to say "Proposals submitted in English are dealt with a little more promptly, since they don't have to go through the process of translation." That would be more neutral ... if it's what you intend to mean. Tony (talk) 16:52, 1 June 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for raising these, Tony. Paging Heather for considering the feedback regarding color changes in future design updates. As for the text about languages, agree it is clunky/discouraging as currently phrased! What would you think about something more like "You are welcome to submit a proposal in any language. If you are not submitting in English, we'd encourage you to submit your proposal as early as possible to ensure time for translation. If you have questions about this, please contact us to discuss." Seem better? Siko (WMF) (talk) 17:37, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
Siko, your suggested text sounds very good to me. (May I propose a slight tweaking of the text? "You're welcome to submit a proposal in any language. If you're planning to submit in a language other than English, we encourage submission as early as possible to ensure time for translation. If you have questions about submitting a grant request in a language other than English, please contact us to discuss.")? I see that a similar question has been raised about languages other than English at GAC. Perhaps grantmaking staff and GAC might consider your suggested wording for that process too? I've left a note there. Tony (talk) 14:38, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
Tony, sounds good, and I've updated the IEG rules as discussed :) Thanks!Siko (WMF) (talk) 18:22, 3 June 2014 (UTC)

Goals[edit]

In reading WMF's proposal to the FDC, it was stated that the WMF's grant-making goals were focused on "Structures, systems, and processes; Learning and mentoring; Diversity". Is this true for IEG's prioritizing and evaluating individual grant proposals or are these loose guidelines just provided for a general proposal for the entire WMF organization? Thanks. Liz (talk) 03:11, 5 June 2014 (UTC)

Hi Liz. As a committee member, I'd like to point you to the IEG selection criteria:
Impact potential - Does it fit with Wikimedia's strategic priorities? Does it have potential for online impact? Can it be sustained, scaled, or adapted elsewhere after the grant ends?
Innovation and learning - Does it take an innovative approach to solving a key problem for the Wikimedia movement? Is the potential impact greater than the risks? Can we measure success?
Ability to execute - Can the scope be accomplished in 6 months? How realistic/efficient is the budget? Do the participants have the necessary skills/experience?
Community engagement - Does it have a specific target community within the Wikimedia movement, and plan to engage it often? Does it have community support? Does it support diversity?
The total amount of funding available - annually approved by the WMF Board.
I'm sure Siko Bouterse will have more to say on that, but I know that these are what guide us in reviewing and rating applications. Best, Jake Ocaasi (talk) 16:39, 5 June 2014 (UTC)
Nothing to add here, Ocaasi covered it! IEG has its own selection criteria, as described above, which is aligned with the broader WMF grantmaking goals, but they are a bit more specific to IEG's aims. Cheers, Siko (WMF) (talk) 16:59, 6 June 2014 (UTC)

Archiving[edit]

This discussion page is getting long and a bit hard to navigate. How about setting up automatic archiving by date (for example, with a threshold of 180 days initially)? @Sbouterse (WMF), Heatherawalls: will there be any complication in styling when auto archiving is set up? whym (talk) 14:24, 24 June 2014 (UTC)

Agree, great idea, whym! I don't think it will break the styling, since the bot should just be looking at sections below that, but I guess we'll find out :) Any chance you want to set it up? :) Siko (WMF) (talk) 00:39, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
Sure, it's now turned on. A regular run in a day will (supposedly) archive threads older than 180 days. whym (talk) 11:06, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
Thank you whym! It looks like the bot ran. Is there a way to have it add links to archival pages in the archive template here, for those who want to browse rather than search archives? Siko (WMF) (talk) 22:39, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
There was a parameter missing. This edit should fix it. whym (talk) 22:56, 7 July 2014 (UTC)

Problem with a template on the final report page[edit]

I need some help with a template. In the final report page you are asked to fill in a template to report "Progress towards stated goals and targets". The content in the first row left ("Planned measure of success (target)") does not appear. I have checked also other final reports and also there – even if content is provided – it does not appear. I had a look at the template but i'm not good enough to identify and correct the mistake. Can someone have a look? here is an example of how it appears Grants:IEG/Elaborate_Wikisource_strategic_vision/Final#Progress_towards_stated_goals_and_targets and here are the templates I have looked at:

thank you, --iopensa (talk) 09:11, 11 July 2014 (UTC)

@Heatherawalls:, I took a look but it's above my paygrade. Cheers and hope you're well. --Jake Ocaasi (talk) 19:00, 11 July 2014 (UTC)
Got it. The parameter was changed in the template but not on the pages, so it wasn't calling anything. If you want to change it to target, all the pages where the template is used have to say target=, too. I switched it back to goal because it's the easiest way to solve it. ;). Yay for an easy fix! Yes check.svg Done heather walls (talk) 22:21, 11 July 2014 (UTC)