Grants talk:APG/Proposals/2013-2014 round1/Wikimedia Österreich/Proposal form

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Resources spent on administration[edit]

I like the proposal you have submitted, with clear goals in alignment with the strategy of the movement. Also your executed program and proposed programs seems good. I understand that you need more staff but am concerned over the proposed growth way above guardrails. Could you elaborate on resources needed for adminstration. You mention this frequently and it would be of help if you could express this need in terms of FTE and break it down into type of adm, also what you think of the need 2013/2104, was there time needed 2013 that can be seen as startup learnings? Anders Wennersten (talk) 08:26, 5 October 2013 (UTC)

Thanks Anders - good to hear that you like our programs :-) I'm not sure whether I got you question completely right but I'll give it a try: Yes, there are startup learnings in 2013, but we plan to alter a couple of things and processes in the next year, as they are far from being perfect yet - this will take time and more learning. As outlined in our proposal, we plan to outsource the book keeping to a "professional" company. So we need to find a suitable service provider, redefine our processes together with them and move our accounting from Civi CRM to a new accounting system. We also need to revise the strucutre of our accounts to somehow fit the demands of all our auditors (FDC, external auditor, Fundraising Certificate) as best as possible and to create synergies and make the whole process more efficient. I guess by FTE you mean "full time equivalent" - it's hard to give a concrete number concerning the service provider in this regard but we think with a sound process and thoughtful implementation it can save us up to 10% of our worktime and additionally further disburden our board. We also decided, that we change our fiscal year to fit the calendar year and the FDC grant period which costs a considerable amount of time in 2014 but will most certainly pay out in the long run. Together with the reporting requirements for the FDC and our other grant from external donors, we think the amount of administration for the long-term staff will stay the same (see https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/FDC_portal/Proposals/2013-2014_round1/Wikimedia_%C3%96sterreich/Proposal_form#Summary_of_staff_and_long-term_contractor_expenses), but the type of work changes from operational (filing etc.) to managing the administration in many regards. The time we can save by an external book keeping, will be absorbed by the raised expectations concerning evaluation which will also take a fair amount of time in the long run when you take it seriously (e.g. setting up adequate tools, collect and analyse data, helping volunteers to evaluate projects etc.). But please note, that administration is only one aspect to justify our growth rate and also take into account the other arguments in our proposal.--CDG (talk) 15:04, 7 October 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for your answer it makes it much clearer to me. I think to get the acounting outsourced and limit the admeffort from Board mebers is a good way to go. But still I am missing how much resources you spent on adm in 2013, and how much you plan for 2014. For the second person you have already you state Community/Adminstration but not have this is split, and also if the ED spend time on adm.Anders Wennersten (talk) 15:30, 7 October 2013 (UTC)
Our proposal says that we spent 65 % of the staff time on projects, that leaves 35 % to administration. This ratio is almost the same for the ED and the community manager / administration staff. As outlined above, we expect that by and large this will also be the case in 2014. --CDG (talk) 15:40, 7 October 2013 (UTC)

WikiCon 2012[edit]

With all due respect, but the WikiCon 2012 was organized by a group of known individuals, not WMAT. Even, when Manuel Schneider was member of WMAT. --Hubertl (talk) 12:01, 20 October 2013 (UTC)

Hi Hubertl, yes indeed, this is true, Manuel always made it very clear that he is doing the project management as an individual volunteer (not as a WMAT board member - which is also volunteering though). But the administrational end of things was handled by WMAT and WMAT infrastructure to some extend. Similar to the Wikimania in London, which is organized by volunteers, but the book keeping and administration is facilitated by WMUK. The reason the project is mentioned in the proposal is also the money, not so much the manpower, that WMAT invested into this event. --CDG (talk) 05:53, 21 October 2013 (UTC)
WMAT supports volunteers in organizing meetings, projects and much more. In September 2012 WMAT provided more then one third of the expenses of WikiCon 2012 which took place in Austria for the first time. The board of WMAT is responsible for the money, where it comes from and where it goes. Not everything was foreseen and covered by the FDC's grant. Supporting the organizers of WikiCon, WMAT was processing the additional funds from WMF and WMDE via its accounts. A lot of effort had to be made by the board to handle these issues, because in September 2012 there was no paid staff in Austria. Due to the end of the fiscal year of WMAT after August 2013, external and internal auditing of the accounts of WMAT including WikiCon 2012 happens now in Austria with the support of the staff. Though WMF has approved the accounts of WikiCon last year, there was a lot to do in preparing, reporting, and evaluating everything. The outcome of the auditing will be discussed at the assembly of the members of WMAT in November 2013. I am not telling this to reduce the effort of the organizing volunteers but to emphasize, that a strong partnership has to be established, consisting of a temporary team, organizing an event, and a permanent entity providing the organizational background. --Beppo.S (WMAT) (talk) 16:54, 21 October 2013 (UTC)

Questions for all entities from FDC staff[edit]

Please answer a few questions about your entity that we are asking of all entities. The purpose of these questions is to gain clarity about the information provided in your proposal, and also to request information that we can easily understand across all entities. We ask that you respond to these questions within 14 days, so that the FDC will have time to consider your responses during the deliberations. We apologize if any of these questions seem redundant. Thank you for your attention to these questions, and please let us know if you need any clarifications or have any questions for us. Thank you! KLove (WMF) (talk) 00:20, 29 October 2013 (UTC)

Please confirm your rates of growth[edit]

The FDC reviews rates of growth, which are calculated using the amounts provided in the currency requested in the proposal, to understand each entity’s proposed growth in total budget, and proposed growth in movement resources (what the entity is requesting from the FDC this year compared with what the entity received from the FDC last year) requested. We are asking you to confirm these numbers here so we may be sure we are understanding your request.

  1. Please confirm the amount you received from the FDC for the current FDC funding period in the currency you received it. You list 164,942.27 EUR in Table 2, and yet you were granted 170,537 EUR.
    170,537 EUR is correct - the other amount must have been a mistake or misunderstanding, we apologize for that.--CDG (talk) 09:33, 29 October 2013 (UTC)
  2. Your total budget in 2013 listed in Table 3 is 213,990 EUR and that your total proposed budget for 2014 listed in Table 2 is 302,560 EUR. Therefore, we calculate a proposed growth rate in your total budget of 41%. Please confirm that this matches your records.
    The number is correct for the budget that is supposed to be spent, not including the amount that is meant to be added to our reserves. --CDG (talk) 10:10, 5 November 2013 (UTC)
  3. Your movement resources in 2013 are 170,537 EUR, and your request for 2014 listed in Table 2 is 230,000 EUR. Therefore, we calculate a proposed growth rate in movement resources of 35%. Please confirm that this matches your records.
    It's 34.87%, so rounded up 35% is correct. --CDG (talk) 09:59, 29 October 2013 (UTC)

Clarity around exchange rates used in this proposal[edit]

Please state how you calculated the exchange rate used in your proposal to provide the estimates provided in this proposal. Note that FDC allocations will be made in your requested currency (your local currency, in most cases), and amounts in US dollars are provided only so that entities and the FDC may understand allocations across entities. The FDC will use the exchange rate on the date of the proposal submission (1 October 2013) as calculated by Oanda, to ensure consistency across proposals.

We used an average exchange rate of 1 EUR = 1.35 $US. --CDG (talk) 09:36, 29 October 2013 (UTC)

Questions about your entity’s staffing plan and strategy[edit]

Many entities plan to grow their staff in the coming year, and we would like some more information about each entity’s staffing strategy.

  1. If your entity is increasing its staff by one or more people, please explain how your board and, if applicable, the staff person managing your new staff, will handle the increased responsibilities of managing more staff.
    Not applicable, we don't hire staff but look into covering our needs with contractors where necessary and possible. Of course, managing contractors also requires ressoures mainly on the part of our ED, but in the medium run we also expect a relief in the day-to-day operations - especially concerning administration - that will make up for it. --CDG (talk) 08:28, 29 October 2013 (UTC)
  2. Do you think the decision to increase the number of your staff will change the way your organization or your staff interacts with volunteers or change the attitude of volunteers toward your organization? Will the role of volunteers shift as a result of the change in staffing? How were community members a part of the decision to grow your staff?
    Not applicable. Our board and two staff members will remain the main points of contacts for our community - a constellation that worked quite well this year.--CDG (talk) 08:27, 29 October 2013 (UTC)
  3. Who on your staff is responsible for your organization’s fundraising activities in 2014?
    Not applicable, we are not a fundraising chapter. The issue of diversifying funds is mainly handled by our ED.--CDG (talk) 08:27, 29 October 2013 (UTC)
    Hi Claudia--thanks for this clarification. In this case, "fundraising" is referring to diversifying funds beyond the FDC, and that's how we tend to use that term here in the US. Sorry for the confusion! In any case, it sounds like the ED (you) are the one responsible for diversifying funding. Many thanks! KLove (WMF) (talk) 19:03, 7 November 2013 (UTC)
    Hi Katy - yes exactly. Looking for funds beyond FDC is one of my tasks. --CDG (talk) 00:06, 8 November 2013 (UTC)

Organizational context[edit]

We have noticed a few ideas that are included in many of this round’s proposals, and would like more information about each entity’s context.

  1. Growth: We have reviewed your response to the question in the proposal form about your proposed rate of growth in budget and in movement resources. The rates of growth in movement resources for all entities in this round are at or significantly greater than the recommended maximum of 20% in the FDC Framework funding guidelines. It would be helpful to the FDC and FDC staff if you have any further details to justify your proposed rate of growth. Why do you believe your rates of growth are sustainable and that your plans are feasible? This request is also informed by the context of current underspending of movement resources (FDC allocations and WMF grants).
    We basically listed all our arguments in our proposal and feel that further reasoning would be mainly redundant to what we already stated. As the table in your link shows, the problem of underspending doesn't apply to WMAT, on the contrary - as stated in our proposal we had to repeatedly draw on our resources. --CDG (talk) 08:27, 29 October 2013 (UTC)
  2. Partnerships: How does your entity define partnership? Do you have a process in place for bringing on new partners? What commitments do you require from the partner to begin the relationship?
    Partners for us are usually persons or organizations who/which share our goals. So evaluating the existence of common goals and a shared understanding of their definition would be first step. For the next step - working together on projects and the like - further discourse is necessary on how this goals should be achieved, i.e. the means to accomplish the common ends, which then will influence the joint activities. WMAT entertains a wide range of partnerships from loose alliances to close working relationships, which can also change over time (become more intense / cool down etc.). --CDG (talk) 11:14, 29 October 2013 (UTC)
  3. Grants: If your entity has a microgrants, minigrants, travel grants, or other grants program, how much funding in your budget is committed to grants? What is your process for selecting who is able to receive grants and which grants to fund? How do you know if your microgrants are leading to good outcomes?
    We spend approx. 35,000 EUR on grants. The decisions for grants are made by deliberations in the board and between board and staff (see details to our leadership strucutre outlined in the proposal). The disbursement is usually tied to some requirements (e.g. report or prove of other results, travel expense reporting). With the larger community there are discussions of the results during the year (e.g. discussion pages of the respective project or report) and during the annual general assembly. In addition, we plan to evaluate our projects more systematically (please compare plans and ideas metioned in our proposal).--CDG (talk) 11:28, 29 October 2013 (UTC)
    Thanks for your responses, Claudia! KLove (WMF) (talk) 19:04, 7 November 2013 (UTC)

Questions for all entities about operating reserves[edit]

We need more clarity on the state of the operating reserves of all entities. Operating reserves are defined as liquid, unrestricted assets available for an organization to use as a cushion, and to cover the costs of operations in case of unanticipated expenses or loss of revenue.

  1. Please summarize your strategy or policy around holding operating reserves, and your procedure for determining the amount of operating reserves needed by your organization.
    We roughly calculate the money we would need in order to pay our regular monthly bills (wages, rent, insurances, etc.) as well as other possible outstanding payments in projects etc. for another three month in case of loss or delayed revenues. --CDG (talk) 11:54, 29 October 2013 (UTC)
  2. What amount of funds are in your entity's operating reserves right now?
    Our current (August 31, 2013) reserves account for 35,508.23 EUR in total. --CDG (talk) 11:54, 29 October 2013 (UTC)
  3. Is your entity planning to use money from your 2013 FDC funds allocation (your current funds allocation) to add to your organization’s reserves, and if so approximately how much money are you planning to add to your reserves?
    No, we rather expect to have to draw on our reserves. --CDG (talk) 11:54, 29 October 2013 (UTC)
  4. Have you budgeted any funds for your operating reserves in this proposal (your proposal for 2014) and if so, how much?
    Yes, we would like to add 15,000 EUR to our reserves in order to have approx. 50,000 EUR in total. --CDG (talk) 11:54, 29 October 2013 (UTC)
    Thanks here, too, for responding. KLove (WMF) (talk) 19:12, 7 November 2013 (UTC)

Questions about WMAT’s proposal from FDC staff[edit]

These are some questions and points of clarification that arose while reading your proposal. These questions are an opportunity to clarify information in your proposal for the FDC and for FDC staff. Thank you in advance for your attention to these questions. We ask that you respond to these questions within 14 days, so that the FDC will have time to consider your responses during the deliberations. In a few cases, we may need to follow up with you after you respond to gain further clarity around your answers. Thanks again on behalf of FDC staff! KLove (WMF) (talk) 00:20, 29 October 2013 (UTC)

Thanks for all your responses, Claudia. They were much appreciated. KLove (WMF) (talk) 19:18, 7 November 2013 (UTC)

Questions about the financial information in this proposal[edit]

Please clarify some of the financial information you provided in your proposal, so we may be sure we are understanding it correctly.

  1. Please provide an estimated total amount of your staff costs per year in the current year and your projected staff costs in the next year here instead of listing your staff costs by month as you did in Table 7.
    The notes to table 7 show the total staff costs planned for 2014: "The total planned staff expenses for 2014 is 126,900 EUR / 171,315 USD including 2000 EUR / 2,700 USD for perks and benefits (e.g. trainings, annual public transport pass)." This years total will be approx. 65,000 EUR, please also bear in mind that our second staff member was only hired in May 2013. --CDG (talk) 13:43, 30 October 2013 (UTC)
  2. In Table 3, you seem to have listed the difference between “Current fiscal year planned budget” and “Year-to-date actuals” rather than provide your projected total spending and projected total revenues for the entire year. Please provide these projected numbers for the entire year.
    At the moment we still expect to fulfill the planned budget. Hence, the projected numbers are equivalent to the numbers in the planned budget. --CDG (talk) 15:31, 4 November 2013 (UTC)
  3. Please provide more details about the following items in your budget:
    • Community budget:
      This budget aims to support project ideas and other initiatives (e.g. tavel costs for giving presentations) by community members by the means of mini-grants. --CDG (talk) 08:52, 29 October 2013 (UTC)
    • International relationships:
      This budget is used to support initiatives / events of other chapters or volunteers (e.g. with travel grants) of other chapters (usually chapters without FDC grants or other major funding).--CDG (talk) 10:52, 29 October 2013 (UTC)
    • Fund diversifying projects:
      This comprises costs for exploring opportunities for alternative funds and setting up respective initiatives to get them. --CDG (talk) 08:49, 29 October 2013 (UTC)
    • 13,000 Euro budgeted for Wikimania:
      Like this year, this comprises travel costs for ten scholarship holders, two board and two staff members. --CDG (talk) 08:46, 29 October 2013 (UTC)
  4. Would you let us know when you expect your 2012-2013 audited financial statement to be available?
    The auditing process by our external auditors has been completed. We expect their report before November, 17 when our general assembly takes place. The internal auditing is still ongoing and will be finished beginning of November as well.--CDG (talk) 08:32, 29 October 2013 (UTC)
    The audited statement is now available (but not translated into English yet). There are no major complaints or concerns apart from a few recommendations for improvements concerning filing and documentation, owed to the increased complexity that we ourselves already adressed in our plans for reorganizing the accounting next year. We had the best and most constructive general assembly in our history last Sunday, with a lot of positive feedback on the work of our board and staff regarding projects and governance. The Good Governance Kodex was formally accepted and the representatives of the Good Governance Commitee elected. There was also a lot of positive energy, enthusiasm and input concerning our planned activities for next year, including the communities commitment concerning a more systematic evaluation of the projects. --CDG (talk) 07:53, 19 November 2013 (UTC)

Questions about strategic priorities[edit]

Thank you for clearly listing strategic priorities that align with each of your programs. We would also like to understand better how some of these strategic priorities are linked to your programs and activities. We are asking this because your rationale for choosing these strategies is important to understanding the impact and feasibility of your plan. It also helps the FDC track progress against movement-wide goals.

  1. Please explain how new volunteers will “automatically result in content generation”.
    New volunteers to us are mainly new editors and / or photographers, meaning they are volunteering in contributing content in the form of media files and / or articles. There are other important roles for volunteers (e.g. organizing or programming) but even those activites are usually carried out in the framework of projects (e.g. a photo contest) which will ultimately result in new content. --CDG (talk) 08:59, 29 October 2013 (UTC)
  2. Please explain how the activity “Foster (international) exchange and integration of the Austrian Community into the broader movement” supports the strategic priorities listed for Program 1 / Community Support.
    Being and feeling to be part of the international Wikimedia family contributes to the motivation of volunteers and increases identification with our shared goals - both effects having a positive impact on participation. Bringing volunteers from different countries and chapters together also fosters the exchange of ideas and expiriences and hence contributes to innovative and more effective projects, activities or technical solutions. --CDG (talk) 14:51, 4 November 2013 (UTC)
  3. Clarification: the strategic priority related to Improving quality specifically addresses quality on Wikimedia Projects (meaning these websites), and does not relate to quality of organizations or their activities. We invite you to list another strategic priority that you think would be most aligned with Program 4 / Organisational development, and explain why you selected that priority.
    Most of our activities aim at supporting Wikimedia projects. We hope you agree, that the sustainable quality of the results/products of our activities is highly dependend on the way these activities are planned, conducted and evaluated. A sound organization and the development of certain (hard and soft) skills and know-how on the part of volunteers and staff is key in order to produce good and effective results for Wikimedia projects. We believe that quality strategy has to be integrated into the management tools of an organization in order to uncover optimization potential and to use it as a basis for developing recommendations. --CDG (talk) 09:26, 29 October 2013 (UTC)

Question about programs[edit]

As part of Program 2 / Free content generation, you mention the Open Data Project (funded by Internet Foundation Austria), and you note that work in this proposal as an important aspect of your activities. Would you please link to more details about this project, or provide them here, so we may better understand what this project involves and what the Open Data Project contractor will do to support it?

We are at the very start of this project and the little information we have at this stage is mainly in German. You find it on the project site on our members wiki - where we currently elaborating on a detailed work breakdown structure - or on our elementary website. --CDG (talk) 10:52, 5 November 2013 (UTC)