Grants talk:APG/FDC portal/FDC recommendations/2012-2013 round2

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This page is for comments about the FDC's recommendations to the board on funding allocations for Round 2, 2012-13.

Please leave comments under the appropriate section for each entity. For general comments, please leave them in the designated section below.

Formal complaints should be submitted to the Board representatives on the FDC.

General comments on overall recommendations[edit]

Comments on Volunteers and staff recommendations: Our volunteers are taking their time off from school to run educational program last year. And now FDC is recommending these program should be ran by volunteers. I hope FDC realize that there is overlapping in school time and work hours.--Simon Shek (talk) 00:19, 29 April 2013 (UTC)

The text summararize our learning from working through the propsals from both Round 1 & 2. The key word is "coordinating". We want to highlight that employed staff should not be seen to replace volunteers but support/empower/encourage their efforts. And this is relevant for WMF as well when they are involved in activities where there are volunteers involved. The FDC allocations are in the form of general funds to support the annual plans of entities. This means is is up to the chapters to decide on teh detailed allocations of funding within their chapters.Anders Wennersten (talk) 10:19, 29 April 2013 (UTC) (secretary)

Comments regarding WM CZ[edit]

Comments regarding WM FR[edit]

Comments regarding WM HK[edit]

Regarding impact of our program, as we stated in the FDC proposal, we are going to partner with one of local internet learning organization WebOrganic; and part of the program is to teach them use/edit Wikipedia. No. of enrolments from last year is 24,226. We need extra manpower deal with administrative works to prevent volunteers burnout. Would you please define FDC's "high impact" meaning? --Simon Shek (talk) 07:11, 3 May 2013 (UTC) edited 07:27, 3 May 2013 (UTC)

Thanks for your comment. Impact is defined by how well the results from a program support the stratgy of the movement, in particlar to generate growth in editors and contributers and by giving support of communities in the global south. Programs that just target outreach in general, ie introducing wp to a wider audience, can be good but is not by itselves seen as giving high impact result, even when many persons has taken part. The FDC process has up to yet mostly been discuused in terma of the receomended figures and how to come to these. In the longer run, though, the issue on how to concentrate and execute program with maximum impact will be more and more important. And here learn by best pracice and sharing these among chapters, as suggested by WCA, will be important. So I am very glad you bring up one question related to this and FDC and FDC staff will be happy to support and give you more info on this important issue.Anders Wennersten (talk) 17:24, 3 May 2013 (UTC)
Just to build off of what Anders said, Impact has been defined as: "the extend to which program outcomes lead to long-term and sustained changes on Wikimedia projects. Examples are the amount of new contributors recruited through programmatic activities, the increase in the percentage of female Wikipedia editors on a specific wiki, the quality of content on a Wikipedia language version..." So, the measures of Impact are really linked to Wiimedia's strategic goals. Jwild (talk) 23:32, 8 May 2013 (UTC)

Comments regarding WM NO[edit]

The funding proposed for WMNO is reduced to 140 thousand dollars. This is not enough for 2 fulltime workers and if this is the final outcome I would recommend that WMNO inform WMF that the local chapter is better off without it, better to keep on as volunteers than to waste money on something that will not work. To start working supporting volunteers will be hard enough as it is for two fulltime workers, just hiring one is just wasting money. Ulflarsen (talk) 15:16, 1 May 2013 (UTC)

FDC does not direct how the money should be spent. You could for example hire one from Oct 1 and a second on from April 1. Experience tells it take a long time getting employees on board.Yger (talk) 16:54, 2 May 2013 (UTC)
Thanks Yger for clarifying that the FDC makes recommendations for general (or "unrestricted") funding; this is indeed the case. And I want to thank Ulflarsen for sharing thoughts and feedback as well. KLove (WMF) (talk) 16:58, 2 May 2013 (UTC)
Sorry I used wrong nick. It is also possible for you to look for complemntary funding, and being able to take on a second employee earlier.Anders Wennersten (talk) 17:03, 2 May 2013 (UTC)
In my opinion the money sought by WMNO is the minimum needed to have two full-time positions, and even with that money it will not be easy to have the positions filled given the labor market in Norway. Contrary to the rest of Europe Norway swim in money and costs are high. If I get the comments above right then the money could of course be used to hire two persons and then use them for writing applications for more money from other sources, something that already have been tried. It may work, but not very useful for the two language versions. Regarding capping the amount at 140 thousand, where is the logic for that? If one is worried about rapid increase, why not half the amount, or nil? After all WMNO have not had any paid staff at all, then why take the risk of hiring one?
I guess I am the one in Norway with the most experience in doing what those two should do, outreach work for Wikipedia and I readily admit that it is a risk that the investment do not pay off, as far as I can see there have not been many new contributors from the dozens of courses I have run, unpaid, as a volunteer. But if we go on like now it means that I and others have to take time off what we would like to do, and probably do best, that is to contribute to Wikipedia, to run courses. Given that Wikipedia is huge in Norway and that it should be possible to attract many more contributors I believe it is a small gamble to try to hire two persons for one year to test if we actually get an increase in working systematically and full-time with this.
It is however my view that two persons is needed, they need some time allocated, one year is the absolute minimum. I have some experience in this as I during my 40+ years working has had a wide range of jobs, some 10 of them as an political activist. One has to have someone to "play ball with", one person for this is simply asking too much. If this is not possible (money for 2 persons for one year that is), then I strongly believe we should say no to the money, no use to waste them on something that will not work. Anyway this is not a big deal for us. We have Wikipedia and I do not need money to contribute. That we could have more contributors and a more extensive encyclopedia of a higher quality with say double the amount of contributors is not my problem. Ulflarsen (talk) 17:27, 2 May 2013 (UTC)
As already mentioned, FDC has NOT said no to two persons. FDC has raised concern over the proposed rapid budget and staffing growth and also encourages WMNO to seek diverse sources of funding. This means FDC is not saying you should give up your aim, but means a slower pace is both more realistic and also what experince tells us is best for a volonuteer driven board.Anders Wennersten (talk) 17:55, 2 May 2013 (UTC)
I buy that, but how realistic is it? The amount FDC propose is enough to hire 2 persons for six months. In Spain you may find someone running for a part-time job, but in Norway we are basically running at full capacity, and large amounts of workers from other countries, like Sweden and Poland, move to Norway as work is more easily available. And we are not talking about students are we, if we are to employ someone they should be both skilled in outreach, running courses, lectures and work with conferences, contacting various organisations for cooperation, applying for funds etc.
It is of course not proved impossible, but the problem is that the one's administering and making this fly is the same volunteers that got their work given a bad grade by FDC. They got a big task, that require a lot of effort (recruiting 2 persons for six months), and the period covered is very short. One has to ask the question: Is it worth it? Is it not better that those people use their time on tasks we know the output of, like writing articles? If FDC/WMF do not want to take the risk, why should they/we? Fair enough that FDC do not trust our estimates and local knowledge, but then I believe the best outcome is to put our effort where we know it works, forgetting about working on recruiting new contributors in a systematic way and just go on writing articles as we volunteers already do and have done for some 10 years. Ulflarsen (talk) 19:16, 2 May 2013 (UTC)
I do not undertand. FDC has not meant to send any negative siganlas to WMNO, where have you read this into the proposal? Facts are it take a time to put out an ad, interview people, and doing the base work for the formal employment, especially during the vacation time. You would be extremly successful to hire your first person by Sept 1, more probably Sept 15, and then this person can have three month befor she/he can start, taking us to December. And it is almost as much work getting a second one onboard, and as you say, you are volonuteers and can not work fulltime in the hiring process. And experince exist from many chapters going through the same phase what this means and how this should be done to make it reasanobale for Board and volunteers. And for you to be not fully dependant on FDC funding it would be nice for you future planning to have had some work in finding also other funding sources for next applifcation round, which also will take time of your volonteers time. Sum keep your aim but do it in slower pace.Anders Wennersten (talk) 20:12, 2 May 2013 (UTC)
Is cutting the amount of money asked through a careful prepared application for funds by roughly 1/3 not a negative signal? Regarding my arguments, I honestly can not see that you address them. True that hiring takes time, but we have a situation where the board would have to choose between hiring one person for one year (not good at all as I explained above) or two persons for 6 months (which I doubt is possible, given the situation regarding labor market in Norway). A good test would be to ask oneself: Would I take on such an assignment? Apart from that I am not into it, I clearly would say no. No way I would work alone with this for a year, or enter into a short 6 month stint. Of course, there could be the hope of more funds, but given the lack of trust already shown by FDC & the problem of raising money for this in Norway I believe most - if not all - the candidates we could use would say thanks, but no thanks.
What I do agree with you on is that there is a risk for a small chapter venturing into this, and maybe that the FDC is correct, if so then let us not take the risk and drop thinking of employing people to recruit more voluntary contributors. Regarding the argument of other sources. I agree, very good idea, but unfortunately it is the same volunteers that must do it, have done it and with almost no success so far. Anyway, I am not on the board so I am not the one to decide this, but as a volunteer I know where I will put my spare time on from here, and that is where I am sure that it pay off and is fun, in writing for Wikipedia. Ulflarsen (talk) 21:01, 2 May 2013 (UTC)
FDC has never intended to show lack of trust for WM:NO ambition to runt GLAM activites with employeed staff~. The FDC appreciates the support that WMNO provides to specific language communities, as well as some of its programmatic work (e.g. GLAM), and that WMNO has an active community. It is of the growth rate shown in the plan we express concern. And it could even be that your original thoghts on how to engege yourself in this process is still viable (do a through caluculation over time when cost will occurr). A halffilled glass could be seen to be half empty or it could be seen to be half filled, which I in this case see the proposed allocation to be. Anders Wennersten (talk) 03:22, 3 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Hi Ulflarsen, thank you for your comments. I think that the FDC has been concerned with (a) diversification of sources (it would seem that you perhaps you would be able to attract funding from elsewhere, if tried), (b) pace of growth (jumping to 2 full staff is indeed rapid - typically, you'd go with 1 full-time or 2-3 part-time). Also, you need to mind the general growth guardrails - while for budgets below 100,000 it is clear that hiring the first full-time employee may distort the picture, it is not so obvious with larger budgets. In any case, one good way to go would be hiring part-time through other funding schemes (including GAC) for specific projects, and moving to full-time gradually. All these are just general impressions, but the reality is that WMNO has received quite a substantial grant, to support and foster the good work it does, I hope that this message is clear and definitely positive. Even if you applied for a budget considered to be slightly too large to match your current growth capacity, it does not change the fact that you are doing great things. Pundit (talk) 10:00, 3 May 2013 (UTC)
We are definitely happy to see the allocation of funds from fundraising and other trusted donors, to the benefit of WMNO's work on GLAM and language-related projects. We are currently working on other funding schemes as well, and look forward to utilize WMF funds in a way that ensures a more professional, effective and targeted mobilization of volunteer work in Norway. BR, Bjoertvedt (talk) 20:38, 3 June 2013 (UTC)