Community Resources/Grants Strategy Relaunch 2020-2021/Overview
What steps are involved in the process for the Grants Relaunch Strategy? What work has been done already, and what steps are remaining?
Please review this page to understand the plans for engagement and decision making, as well as prior work that has informed this process.
Objectives, values, and timeline
Our process for the Grants Strategy Relaunch has been a collaborative from the beginning and includes the following phrases:
|Discover- Information Review||August-September 2020||The Community Resources team reviewed foundational pieces of information, needs, and had exploratory conversations with different departments in the Foundation. We also reviewed extensive amounts of information already provided by Wikimedia communities, such as affiliate surveys and ad hoc feedback.|
|Define- Identification of Needs and Gaps||October 2020||The Community Resources team produced a summary of the insights for the exploratory conversations which identified constraints and priorities of the needs. Many of these insights were validated in the brainstorming sessions with community representatives.|
|Develop - Brainstorm Ideas||November - February 2021||
The Community Resources team worked with members from a broad spectrum of Wikimedia communities to validate the needs identified and brainstorm possible solutions for grants to support the movement and achieve the strategic direction. It is through the insights of those collaborative efforts that a proposal was developed.
|Deliver Solutions||March - April 2021||Present the proposed solutions to the global Wikimedia communities for feedback.
Incorporate feedback into the grants proposal.
Present the final proposal to Foundation leadership for sign off and begin implementation
|Implementation Plan||April - June 2021||The Community Resources team will create an implementation plan for the approved grant redesign proposal. Office hours for specific topics will be created for community feedback, i.e. participatory committees.
A specific process to support grantees to transition and implement the changes will be created understanding the specific needs of welcoming newcomers to the programs.
The goal is to launch the strategy for the new Foundation fiscal year, 21-22 beginning on July 1, 2021.
Initial insights with community representatives
Develop - Brainstorm Idea Sessions
Speaking with representatives from across Wikimedia communities was a core part of validating the needs in the grant space and also brainstorming solutions together. We want to thank all of the people from affiliates, partner organizations and individual volunteers that spent their time sharing their knowledge and insights.
Below is a summary of those conversations:
The Community Resources team discussed with members from the affiliates, volunteers and allied organizations to understand the changes that need to be incorporated in the relaunch of grants strategy. Grants strategy relaunch is in response to the movement strategy recommendations and initiatives identified through the recommendations.
Round 1 of the brainstorming had volunteers, grants committee members, executive directors of affiliates, chairpersons of affiliates, user group representatives, people who have applied but not received grants and representatives from other grant making organisations contribute to the discussions.
Round 2 of the brainstorming conversations was focused on regional representation. We had dedicated conversations with volunteers from African communities, the MENA region, ESEAP region and Indian community members.
These discussions provided an early assessment of the wishes and demands of community members regarding the changes that they would like to see in the grants structure. We have identified the following areas that require support in addition to two specific areas for the Wikimedia Foundation to improve its operations:
- Support to identify the skills required to apply for grants
- Support in identifying the right context for implementing programs and investing in the local needs
- Support to grow technical capacity of communities
- Support time-consuming work not directly related to content, e.g. participation in global consultations, meetings with local partners, trainings, supporting fellow Wikimedians in writing reports and applications
- Support that goes beyond money, such as providing networking opportunities, introducing to donors and local partners, sharing of learning modules
- Support to simplify reporting and application process
- Support for organizational development/long term investment
- Support for strategies that aim at radical inclusion
Wikimedia Foundation-specific feedback:
- WMF staff members working with grantees should develop capacities to understand inclusive practices and diverse contexts in order to better support volunteers from emerging communities.
- The Wikimedia Foundation has a responsibility to identify new individuals and groups to support.
It was also discussed that recommendations made by the Resource Allocation Working Group during the Movement Strategy process contain insights that can help in framing the discussion around what support can be offered by the Wikimedia Foundation to communities and how equitable allocation of resources can be taken up in the next steps.
For extended summary along with the names of the participants please refer to the report here.
Broad community feedback and engagement
Community input is essential to making sure that our new grants strategy best meets your needs. The Community Resources team has therefore created a process that reviews existing community input around grants, validates those conclusions with representatives from the community with an eye toward this redesign effort, and offers community members opportunities to share feedback on the ultimate proposal. If you would like to share your views, please review our feedback page for more information. Feedback can be provided via talk page, feedback form, office hours, or e-mail.
The overall process for community feedback is detailed below:
- January 2021 - Process-related questions
- Questions related specifically to the Relaunch Process were addressed during office hours and on the talk page by the Community Resources Team in January.
Date Time Region 19 January 2021 UTC 15:00 Africa 20 January 2021 UTC 7:00 ESEAP 21 January 2021 UTC 14:00 Asia and MENA 27 January 2021 UTC 17:00 EU+CEE 4 February 2021 UTC 21:00 LATAM and North America
- February 2021 - Current Grantee Office Hours
- Over the month of February, the Community Resources team hosted 8 office hours open to current grantees to discuss the concepts behind the community grants proposal and a preview. It was also a space for them to provide direct feedback.
- March 2021 - Feedback on the new Grants Strategy proposal
- Over the month of March, the Community Resources team hosted a series of office hours open to current grantees to answer questions and receive feedback related to the proposed grants programs. Feedback was also received through the talk page, and in a survey with specific feedback questions.
|11 March 2021||15:00 UTC||Africa|
|15 March 2021||7:00 UTC||ESEAP|
|16 March 2021||14:00 UTC||Asia and MENA|
|18 March 2021||17:00 UTC||EU+CEE|
|22 March 2021||21:00 UTC||LATAM and North America|
- April 2021 - Implementation Plan
- Once the proposal has been finalized the Community Resources team will continue to host office hours specifically in regards to understanding the new proposals and the changes it represents and also answer questions on a dedicated talk page. Current grantees will receive specific communications from their program officers.
Decision making process
After the round of community input in March 2021, the Community Resources team will review and incorporate suggested changes and send a final proposal for endorsement and approval by the leadership of the Wikimedia Foundation.