Community Resources/COVID-19 Notice

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This email was sent to all active Project, Rapid, and Annual Plan grantees on March 12, 2020. For further information and updates, see the COVID-19 Portal.


Subject: [COVID-19] Wikimedia Foundation Grants for public events - IMPORTANT NOTICE

A Message from Katherine Maher, Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation

Summary:

  • All offline (in-person) public events funded by Wikimedia Foundation grants must be cancelled or postponed until further notice
  • Cancellation fees and other penalties can be covered through grant funds
  • Not complying with these instructions might affect future grant requests
  • Please contact your program officers for further guidance
  • We will not be approving grants for offline events happening before September 15, 2020 until further notice


Dear Wikimedia Foundation Grantees,

We are writing to provide guidance for grant-funded programs during the COVID-19 pandemic. This situation is rapidly evolving, and we have made some decisions that we would like to communicate to you.

Cancelling events

We have reviewed the current global public health landscape and we ask all grantees to postpone or cancel all public events and activities until the World Health Organization declares the COVID-19 pandemic over.

We know this might be a difficult decision to make, and that this will mean cancelling events of great importance to our community. We understand and appreciate all the efforts you have put in preparing these events, from requesting a grant to public outreach.

However, our first priority is the health and safety of you, your Wikimedia community, and the general public health. Global public health guidance indicates that the more quickly the world responds to a pandemic, the better off the outcomes. In order to safeguard free knowledge, we must also prioritize the well-being of the people who make it possible.

Next steps

It’s important to keep our communities together and connected during this time. We encourage you to consider if there are other ways you can repurpose the grant funds toward other mission-aligned activities, such as holding events or meetings online.

Your program officer is available if you want to discuss ideas for other ways to use your grant funds, so please reach out to us if you would like to talk. If you are unable or decide not to repurpose your event, you and your program officer will work together to repurpose the funds to a later grant or return the funds to the Wikimedia Foundation.

We are asking people to take this seriously. If we learn that you held an event using Wikimedia Foundation funds after receiving this request to cancel, we reserve the right to withhold funding for future grants.

We are here to support you and your communities through these challenging circumstances. Stay safe!

With thanks,
Katherine Maher

P.S. If you have any questions about this notice or your grant, please contact your program officer.