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Grants:APG/Proposals/2012-2013 round1/Wikimedia Foundation/Impact report form

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Purpose of the report


FDC funds are allocated to improve the alignment between the Wikimedia movement's strategy and spending; support greater impact and progress towards achieving shared goals; and enable all parts of the movement to learn how to achieve shared goals better and faster.

Funding should lead to increased access to and quality of content on Wikimedia project sites – the two ultimate goals of the Wikimedia movement strategic priorities, individually and as a whole. Funded activities must be consistent with the WMF mission, must be for charitable purposes as defined in the grant agreement, must be reported to WMF, and must otherwise comply with the grant agreement. The WMF mission is "to empower and engage people around the world to collect and develop educational content under a free license or in the public domain, and to disseminate it effectively and globally."

Each entity that receives FDC funding will need to complete this report, which seeks to determine how the funding received by the entity is leading towards these goals. The information you provide will help us to:

  • Identify lessons learned, in terms of both what the entity learned that could benefit the broader movement, and how the entity used movement-wide best practices to accomplish its stated objectives.
  • Assess the performance of the entity over the course of the funded period against the stated objectives in the entity's annual plan.
  • Ensure accountability over how the money was spent. The FDC distributes "general funds", for both ongoing and programmatic expenses; these funds can be spent as the entity best sees fit to accomplish its stated goals. Therefore, although line-item expenses are not expected to be exactly as outlined in the entity's proposal, the FDC wants to ensure that money was spent in a way that led to movement goals.

For more information, please review FDC portal/Reporting requirements or reference your entity's grant agreement.

Basic entity information


Table 1

Entity information Legal name of entity Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.
Entity's fiscal year (mm/dd–mm/dd) 07/01-06/30
12 month timeframe of funds awarded (mm/dd/yy-mm/dd/yy) 07/01/12-06/30/13
Contact information (primary) Primary contact name Sue Gardner
Primary contact position in entity Executive Director
Primary contact username User: Sue Gardner
Primary contact email sgardner@wikimedia.org
Contact information (secondary) Secondary contact name Sara Lasner
Secondary contact position in entity Development Director
Secondary contact username User: Slasner
Secondary contact email slasner@wikimedia.org

Overview of the past year


The purpose of this section is to provide a brief overview of this report. Please use no more than 2–3 paragraphs to address the questions outlined below. You will have an opportunity to address these questions in detail elsewhere in this report.

  • HIGHLIGHTS: What were 2–3 important highlights of the past year? (These may include successes, challenges, lessons learned.)

The 2012–2013 fiscal year of the Wikimedia Foundation was a year of tremendous readership growth, infrastructure growth, and organizational growth. For the first time, the foundation’s web sites drew more than 500 million monthly users – a milestone that puts Wikipedia and our sisters sites in an elite category of online properties. It was also the year we introduced our VisualEditor to Wikipedia, debuting an editing system that formats articles with simple visual tabs instead of intricate coding. And it was the year that Wikipedia Zero, our mobile initiative for developing countries, built a steady momentum and gave millions of mobile users access to Wikipedia that is free of data charges. The Wikimedia Foundation’s funding application to the FDC emphasized four “non-core” areas of our ongoing work: Editor engagement experiments; the Global Education Program; the catalyst projects; and WMF fellowships and grantmaking. Two important highlights in these initiatives: 1) The Education Program oversaw a sizable expansion of student contributions around the world. Students in the program added more content to Wikipedia articles this year than ever before. Improved topic areas included: history, literature, psychology, sociology, biology, communications, and more. Students contributed mostly text to Wikipedia articles, but also photos and videos uploaded to Wikimedia Commons. Overall, students in the US, Canada, Egypt, Algeria and Jordan added an equivalent of more than 16,000 printed pages over the course of 12 months. That’s the equivalent of 2.5 volumes of the last print edition of Encyclopedia Britannica. 2) Editor engagement experiments showed that giving new contributors encouragement and guidance have a marked impact on the contributors’ activity. The team ran a series of 12 tests involving more than 50,000 registered Wikipedia users. The biggest experiment, in February and March, showed that those who got a “Getting Started” page plus a Guided Tour were 3.9% more likely to make an edit than those new editors who didn’t get the page.

  • SWOT: Reflecting on the context outlined for your entity in the FDC proposal, what were some of the contextual elements that either enabled or inhibited the plan?
  • Strengths: Organizational strengths that enabled the plan

Led by our Executive Director and a team of C-level executives, the Wikimedia Foundation is committed to increasing the number of active contributors to Wikipedia and our sisters sites, to improving the breadth and quality of Wikipedia articles and our web sites’ other offerings, and to providing readers and contributors a more engaging way to interact with our web sites. This commitment, along with the strong vision to put it in place, is a key strength of the Wikimedia Foundation, giving us the ability to put resources into different areas, from software development to mobile partnerships to grantmaking, that have a collective worldwide impact on our knowledge sites.

  • Weaknesses: Organizational weaknesses that inhibited the plan

We have yet to improve on how to collaborate with our community of volunteers. We’ve made progress in this area in 2012–13, but we still have to find a balance that doesn’t leave both sides unsatisfied.

  • Opportunities: External opportunities that enabled the plan

Millions more people around the world are coming online for the first time, especially in developing countries, where “mobile-only users” – benefitted by price decreases in mobile phones and mobile plans – are accessing the Internet in record numbers. This increase offers the Wikimedia Foundation a much greater pool of potential readers and contributors.

  • Threats: Risks or threats that inhibited the plan

Fortunately, there were no serious risks or threats that inhibited the plan. The nature of working in Global South countries means that often times, we are working in countries with political unrest. Strikes in Brazil and violent unrest in Egypt made work in those regions challenging.

  • WIKI-FOCUS: What Wikimedia projects was your entity focused on (e.g., Wiki Commons, French Wiktionary) this year?

Our core work is to serve as a global steward for Wikipedia and its sister sites. Our primary focus is on Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons, though 2012–2013 has also seen increased efforts around Wikivoyage. The continued growth of Wikipedia and our sister projects depends on the stable pool of Wikimedians. And all initiatives funded by the Funds Dissemination Committee are ultimately designed to boost the number of volunteer contributors to the Wikimedia movement, or the number of articles, or the amount and diversity of content.

  • GROWTH: How did your entity grow over the past quarter vs. the previous quarter (e.g., Number of active editors reached/involved/added, number of articles created, number of events held, number of participants reached through workshops)?

Because of our central role in the Wikimedia movement, the Wikimedia Foundation is uniquely positioned to grow the number of active editors and articles, and to reach users through workshops, events, and other means. This impact report covers the 2012–2013 fiscal year, not just the past quarter, so we are providing numbers that reflect this broader time span: In the 2012–2013 fiscal year, we averaged 80,600 active editors per month (compared to 79,620 monthly active editors on average in 2011–2012). During the 2012–2013 fiscal year, the number of Wikipedia articles jumped from 22.63 million to 27.49 million – an increase of 4.8 million, compared to the previous fiscal year, when the number of articles grew by 3.05 million. During the 2012–2013 fiscal year, Wikimedia staff, consultants, and partner organizations held more than 75 workshops, talks or other events that reached more than 2,000 people. This included 30 IRC chats where anyone around the world could ask questions of foundation staff.

Financial summary


The FDC requires information about how your entity received and spent money over the past year. The FDC distributes general funds, so your entity is not required to use funds exactly as outlined in the proposal. While line-item expenses will not be examined, the FDC and movement wants to understand why the entity spent money in the way it did. If variance in budgeted vs. actual is greater than 20%, please provide explanation in more detail. This helps the FDC understand the rationale behind any significant changes. Note that any changes from the Grant proposal, among other things, must be consistent with the WMF mission, must be for charitable purposes as defined in the grant agreement, must be reported to WMF, and must otherwise comply with the grant agreement. The WMF mission is "to empower and engage people around the world to collect and develop educational content under a free license or in the public domain, and to disseminate it effectively and globally."



Provide exchange rate used:

Table 2 Please report all spending in the currency of your grant unless US$ is requested.

  • Please also include any in-kind contributions or resources that you have received in this revenues table. This might include donated office space, services, prizes, food, etc. If you are to provide a monetary equivalent (e.g. $500 for food from Organization X for service Y), please include it in this table. Otherwise, please highlight the contribution, as well as the name of the partner, in the notes section.
Revenue source Currency Anticipated Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Cumulative Anticipated ($US)* Cumulative ($US)* Explanation of variances from plan
Donation revenue USD $10,237,500 (Q4 fiscal year) $3,879,608 $26,592,263 $10,522,537 $9,563,496 $50,557,904 $10,237,500 (Q4); $45,500,000 (Q1-Q4) $50,557,904 Lower than plan primarily due to timing of donations received (refer to Q2 & Q3, which were higher than Plan).
Other income USD $91,937 (Q4 fiscal year) $233,916 $210,878 $134,470 ($96,373) $482,891 $91,937 (Q4); $569,750 (Q1-Q4) $482,891 Lower than Plan due to unbudgeted unrealized loss on investments, which does not have any cash impact, and also lower activity on the Merchandise Store.

* Provide estimates in US Dollars



Table 3 Please report all spending in the currency of your grant unless US$ is requested.

(The "budgeted" amount is the total planned for the year as submitted in your proposal form or your revised plan, and the "cumulative" column refers to the total spent to date this year. The "percentage spent to date" is the ratio of the cumulative amount spent over the budgeted amount.)
Expense Currency Budgeted Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Cumulative Budgeted ($US)* Cumulative ($US)* Percentage spent to date Explanation of variances from plan
All Wikimedia Foundation expenses USD $12,096,621 (Q4) $7,395,987 $8,065,583 $9,595,830 $12,159,007 $37,216,407 $12,096,621 (Q4); $42,069,750 (Q1-Q4) $37,216,407 Higher than plan due to higher CapEx spending, higher outside contract services, higher travel expenses, and unanticipated property tax on data center equipment, offset by lower salary and benefits from unfilled positions that resulted from a competitive market for engineering staff and staff turnover, lower internet hosting resulting from better negotiated pricing than expected, and lower FDC grant expenses.

* Provide estimates in US Dollars

Progress against past year's goals/objectives


The FDC needs to understand the impact of the initiatives your entity has implemented over the past year. Because the FDC distributes general funds, entities are not required to implement the exact initiatives proposed in the FDC proposal; the FDC expects each entity to spend money in the way it best sees fit to achieve its goals and those of the movement. However, please point out any significant changes from the original proposal, and the reasons for the changes. Note that any changes from the Grant proposal, among other things, must be consistent with the WMF mission, must be for charitable purposes as defined in the grant agreement, must be reported to WMF, and must otherwise comply with the grant agreement. The WMF mission is "to empower and engage people around the world to collect and develop educational content under a free license or in the public domain, and to disseminate it effectively and globally."

Program 1


Editor Engagement Experiments

What were the stated objectives of this program? Please use SMART criteria to explain these goals.
  • As noted in our original FDC proposal, the Editor Engagement Experiments team (also known as “E3”) planned to conduct a minimum of 15 product and community experiments. We designed the tests to directly increase new editor engagement and retention. And we noted in our proposal that we would Immediately productize the most successful experiments.
What is your progress against these objectives? (Include metrics and number of volunteers/staff involved.)
  • During the 2012–2013 fiscal year, E3 conducted five major tests, plus a series of seven smaller tests, that reached more than 125,000 participants. Altogether, the team completed 12 A/B tests and four cohort analyses across a total of six projects (Getting Started, Guided Tours, Account Creation User Experience, Donor Engagement, Community Portal Redesign, and Post-Edit Feedback). And we did productize the most successful experiments, as with the foundation’s new account creation and log-in forms, which were launched as the default for all Wikimedia projects. The forms provide a much more concise and dynamic way for new editors to register accounts, streamlining forms that had become cluttered with information and instructions. We introduced the new forms in conjunction with other interface changes that are also designed to better inspire new editors. These interfaces, especially account creation, are an essential entry point for new editors on the projects. Among the new offerings is Guided Tours, launched in February, which point readers to the different steps and tools that are required to complete an editing task. This combination of additions gives new editors a much more structured introduction. On English Wikipedia alone – which accounts for 50 percent of Wikipedia’s pageviews – more than 3,000 people sign up for an account on an average day. The E3 team comprised six WMF staff members.
Which Wikimedia movement strategic priority (or priorities) did this program address and how?
  • This program addresses the foundation’s top goal of boosting the number of volunteer editors. By conducting tests involving newly active contributors, the E3 team has an ideal lab to see what works to spur new editors.
What key activities were conducted and/or milestones achieved with this program?
  • The E3 team successfully implemented experiments that have changed the way new editors register with Wikipedia, and the way these editors interact with our online encyclopedia. One example: We introduced a “Getting Started” page in mid­-December that – for the first time in Wikipedia’s history – gives new editors direct encouragement to edit immediately after signing up. Before the introduction of this page, new editors were given a landing page that invited them to update their preferences or return to what they were reading prior to signing up. Over the course of the fiscal year, the E3 team tweaked the Getting Started page to see what combination of changes would elicit the most edits. In a February­-March experiment that involved more than 31,000 newly­ registered English Wikipedia users, we showed that those who got the “Getting Started” page plus a Guided Tour were 3.9% more likely to make an edit than those new editors who didn’t get the page, which is a statistically significant difference. In May on the English Wikipedia, the E3 team launched and tested a major revamp of the Getting Started interface, with 12,000 users participating. This test, which tripled the 10–12% click-through rate of previous tests, included a redesigned landing page; a refactor of the backend to increase speed and stability; a new navigation toolbar on articles that new users were given as their first editing task; and a guided tour to help them complete their first edit. The experiment gave readers three suggested ways to better Wikipedia, and prompted 32 percent of those readers (4,047 people) to click on one of the three choices.
If your entity did not achieve the desired objectives, why not? If it did, what enabled this? If the initiative was not in your plan, why did you pursue it?
  • It was through rigorous testing, and then rigorous refining of extensions and interfaces, that the E3 team was able to achieve its objectives.

Any additional details:

Program 2


Wikipedia Education Program

What were the stated objectives of this program? Please use SMART criteria to explain these goals.
  • In the 2012–13 Annual Plan, the Wikipedia Education Program had three main areas of focus: Number of classes, diversity of student editors, and quantity of quality content added. Our goals were to continue expanding participation in the Global Education Program from 79 to 150 classes with at least 50 percent female participation, leading to an increase in quality content added by students from 19 million characters in 2011–12 to at least 25 million characters in 2012–13.
What is your progress against these objectives? (Include metrics and number of volunteers/staff involved.)
  • Number of classes: In the plan, we organized the 150 classes into five regions: the United States, Canada, the Arab World, Brazil, and India. What follows is the goal and what our actual number was for each program.
Country Goal Actual (Spring 2013)
United States 50 64
Canada 15 7
Arab World 40 48
Brazil 30 9
India 25 0
Total 150 128

Diversity: Our diversity goal was that at least 50 percent of our student editors be female. In the two regional programs run by the Wikipedia Education Program team, we far exceeded our goals. In the U.S./Canada program, student survey results show that around 61 percent of student editors in the program are female. In the Arab World program, student surveys show that more than 87 percent of student editors are female. We accomplished this diversity by targeting subject matters like arts and languages where there are typically more female students.

Quantity of content: In the 2011–12 fiscal year, student editors in our program added 19 million bytes to Wikipedia. Our goal for 2012–13 was for student editors to add 25 million bytes. We split that into individual goals for each term, and we significantly exceeded the goal each term (despite not meeting the goal for a number of classes).

Term Goal Actual
Fall 2012 11,000,000 14,039,406
Spring 2013 14,000,000 20,205,932
Total 25,000,000 34,245,388

In 2012–13, we also undertook a second article-quality study to ensure our students were still adding quality content to English Wikipedia. The results showed that 87.9 percent of student editors in the United States and Canada program improved the articles they worked on.

Staff: The Wikipedia Education Program team included three staff and 2.5 contractors for the first eight months of the fiscal year; in February, one of the staff departed the organization and that position was not filled until after the next fiscal year, so for several months, there were two staff and 2.5 contractors. In the United States and Canada program, we worked with around 175 volunteer professors and Ambassadors, and 2,400 students. In the Arab World program, we worked with around 100 volunteer professors and Ambassadors, and 475 students.

Which Wikimedia movement strategic priority (or priorities) did this program address and how?
  • This program is working on the “improve quality” strategic priority. The targets this program are working toward increase the number of articles, ensure the articles are high quality, and improve the geographic and gender diversity of the editing community.
What key activities were conducted and/or milestones achieved with this program?
  • Through the end of the spring 2013 term, Wikimedia Foundation-run education programs have added more than 64 million bytes of content to the English, Arabic, and Portuguese Wikipedias. If printed out, that amount would be about 36,000 pages, or 72 full reams of paper. Students have added more than 12 million words to Wikipedia – a significant accomplishment in adding more quality content to the encyclopedia.

With the U.S. and Canada program, we’ve become more efficient in our work, with one staff person able to successfully manage the entirety of the program without much additional support from other staff. The program consistently brings in about 7–8 million bytes of high quality content to the English Wikipedia. Our efforts to institutionalize at universities across the United States and Canada are paying off; with an up-front investment of staff time, we have trained several staff members at a handful of universities’ teaching and learning centers. These university staff then train and assist professors on their campuses, bringing hundreds of student editors to Wikipedia each term without any additional resource investment from our end.

Damanhour University in Egypt joined the program, as did Saint Khadija High School for Girls in Cairo. Universities in Algeria and Jordan also joined the program – meaning more than 45 classes were editing Arabic Wikipedia as part of their coursework. The program has been incredibly successful adding significant content to the Arabic Wikipedia, but it’s also impacted the editor numbers. Already, student editors make up about 10 percent of the active and very active editor numbers on the Arabic Wikipedia, and preliminary results are showing about a 5-6 percent retention rate for student editors six months after the end of the program. Because this program has such a high percentage of female student editors, the dynamic of the Arabic Wikipedia is changing. In 2012 when we started the program, there were no female admins on the Arabic Wikipedia. Now, there is one: Walaa Abdel Manaem, a student editor from the program who is also a volunteer leader at Cairo University.

If your entity did not achieve the desired objectives, why not? If it did, what enabled this? If the initiative was not in your plan, why did you pursue it?
  • We missed the goal for number of classes in 2012–13, but in thinking more about this, we realized this is the wrong metric to use for our program at the stage it is in. When we first start a Wikipedia Education Program branch in a new country, convincing a certain number of professors to do a pilot with us is a sensible milestone. But once the program has completed a successful pilot, it is more important to measure the impact the program has on Wikipedia, we believe. Even with fewer courses participating, we achieved the impact on Wikipedia goals set out in the annual plan: an increased gender diversity of student editors, and the significant amount of content that these students added.

One item to note: In the 2012–13 annual plan, we set out goals for the Wikipedia Education Program teams in Brazil and India. However, the Catalyst Projects program also set out goals for those teams, and it was through that program that the teams received ultimate direction. The decisions around the Brazil and India programs should be made by the local leaders, not through the Wikipedia Education Program teams, and we should never have set goals from them for our program that may have been counter to the strategy and goals set by the Catalyst Projects team. As such, we are only reporting on specific milestones in this report reached by the programs run by the Wikipedia Education Program staff: the United States and Canada program and the Arab World Program.

In addition to the goals set out in last year’s annual plan, we spent significant time in 2012–13 developing online support for global programs run by individuals and chapters in other countries. To prepare for our 2013–14 strategy of supporting more global efforts, the Education Program MediaWiki extension, online trainings, and brochures were all in progress and prepared for easy translation and localization.

Any additional details:

Program 3


Catalyst Projects

What were the stated objectives of this program? Please use SMART criteria to explain these goals.
  • These projects were slated to grow editorship in three geographic areas – India, Brazil, and the Arabic-speaking Middle East and North Africa; to increase Wikipedia readership in these countries, especially readership on mobile devices; and to create program models that can be utilized effectively across the global Wikimedia movement.
What is your progress against these objectives? (Include metrics and number of volunteers/staff involved.)
  • Through workshops, affiliations with colleges and universities, and other initiatives over the last fiscal year, the catalyst projects introduced Wikipedia to thousands of people in India and Brazil. This outreach coincided with other Wikimedia initiatives (like Wikipedia Zero) that helped produced an uptick in readership in those regions, including readership on mobile phones. During the fiscal year, for example, readership in India increased from 21.9 million to 28.6 million – an increase of 30 percent, according to comScore data, which we use to document our readership numbers. On its own, the Wikimedia Foundation measures readership engagement by other statistics such as pageviews. On Portuguese Wikipedia, pageviews in the fiscal year went from 404 million to 509 million and on Indic-language Wikipedias, pageviews were generally up – as in Hindi, where pageviews went from 6.6 million to 7.3 million, and Malayalam, where pageviews went from 2.7 million to 4.6 million. On Portuguese, active editors averaged 1,598 during the year – a decrease from the 1,606 monthly average from the previous year. Hindi Wikipedia, meanwhile, numbered 49 monthly editors on average, a slight decrease from 54 monthly editors during the previous year, while Malayalam Wikipedia jumped from 80 average editors in the 2011–2012 fiscal year to 104 this past year, and Bengali Wikipedia went from a monthly average of 52 to 59. For both geographic areas, five Wikimedia consultants and two Wikimedia staff members oversaw the project's work. Due to the Narrowing Focus decision, the Foundation did not pursue catalyst activities in the Arabic-speaking Middle East and North Africa region. Catalyst programs run by Wikimedia Foundation consultants in Brazil and India have been transitioned to local organizations funded through our grantmaking activities.
Which Wikimedia movement strategic priority (or priorities) did this program address and how?
  • This project addresses the goal of boosting the number of editors in developing countries, boosting the number of female editors, and boosting readership in developing countries. It does this through partnerships with colleges and universities, through workshops, through lectures, through IRC meetings, and through other initiatives.
What key activities were conducted and/or milestones achieved with this program?
  • The 2012–2013 fiscal year was a year of transition for our Catalyst projects. After the Wikimedia Foundation submitted our Funds Dissemination Committee request in September 2012, we changed the approach of our Catalyst projects, as part of our “Narrowing Focus” realignment. We’ve transitioned to a model where we give grants to organizations already on the ground in India and Brazil, and these organizations manage the work themselves with our active encouragement and funding. In Brazil, we are still formulating our potential partnership. In this transition year, the catalyst projects conducted a series of workshops in Brazil and India.

Brazil: Besides giving support to professors in the Wikipedia Education Program, our team of consultants continued to participate in workshops in the country, most notably on March 2 in Sao Paulo, where our Catalyst Project consultant led a workshop for 15 people that taught them how to edit Wikimedia projects. The event coincided with International Women’s Day, and at the end of the workshop, the group dedicated themselves to improving articles related to women and feminism. Articles on “Women’s Rights” and “Grace Hopper” (“Direitos da mulher” and “Grace Hopper” in Portuguese) were two examples of the participants’ contributions, and the Women’s Rights article has since received 1.5 million views. In May, we released a new Portuguese version of an online hub for research data. The hub centralizes various sources of open-licensed data published by the Wikimedia Foundation or about Wikimedia projects. The information is intended to help community members, developers and researchers learn about available data sources and find the data they need for their work. India: To bolster India’s ranks of Wikimedia editors and the number of Wikipedia articles in Indic languages, the Wikimedia Foundation began a partnership with the Centre for Internet and Society in New Delhi. The Centre held more than 10 Wikipedia-editing workshops in India that reached more than 500 people. The workshops were held at colleges and universities, and at other key public venues – like the Centre for Good Governance in Hyderabad, the National Informatics Centre in New Delhi, and a bloggers meeting in Bangalore.

If your entity did not achieve the desired objectives, why not? If it did, what enabled this? If the initiative was not in your plan, why did you pursue it?
  • We had mixed results with the Catalyst projects, with some clear successes and some results that were less exemplary or more ambiguous. We envisioned our Brazil catalyst, for example, boosting the number of Portuguese articles to 800,000 by June 2013. Instead, the Portuguese article count was 786,000 in June 2013.

In India, meanwhile, the 2012–2013 fiscal year was our first year working as a partner with the Centre for Internet and Society. The centre’s outreach paralleled increases and decreases in Indic-language editorship. The number of articles on Indic-language Wikipedias continues to grow, as with Hindi Wikipedia, which is now over 100,000 articles. In June 2013, the Centre released a report that documented its work to improve the number of articles and editors on Indic-language Wikipedias. The Centre’s work, called Access to Knowledge (or “A2K”), had an impact on Indic-language Wikipedia, but the depth of the impact is still unclear. “It is difficult for the CIS-A2K programme to either take direct credit for the growth or direct blame for the lack of it in the Indian language Wikimedia projects,” the Centre noted on its blog. “However, we believe that we have been one of the factors – and sometimes a key factor – in impacting the growth of the Wikimedia projects and communities in India since the commencement of the project.”

Our mixed results in Brazil and India may speak to the different emphases that were placed on the two geographic areas, but it may also be a reflection of programs that are still taking time to reach fruition. In Brazil, our team of consultants – complemented by staff visits – implemented a series of workshops, consultations and other outreach, exemplified by a foundation staff visit to FGV Law School in São Paulo, which – with our help – restructured its education project. Our Brazil work is still in its early stages, and we believe that having an on-the-ground partner there will kickstart our Catalyst project in the 2013–2014 fiscal year. During the year in Brazil, we hired two new independent contractors to replace our Education Program Consultant, whose departure contributed to the year’s transitional emphasis. Any additional details:

Program 4


Grants and Fellowships

What were the stated objectives of this program? Please use SMART criteria to explain these goals.
  • What were the stated objectives of this program? Please use SMART criteria to explain these goals.

For our Grants program, our objective was to give funds to mission-aligned innovation-focused programs and activities. Grants are open to chapters officially recognized by the Wikimedia Foundation and other nonprofit groups, and to individuals whose work aligns with the Wikimedia mission and strategy. For our Fellowships program, our objective was – for periods ranging from eight weeks to a year – to support members of the Wikimedia movement (community members, researchers, etc.) to pilot, experiment, research, or build something that forwards the movement in mission-critical areas.

In 2012-13, we reconstructed much of our internal focus onto Grantmaking, and expanded our overall objectives from just funding mission aligned programs to be more specifically targeted towards: Funding to the Global South Funding to individuals Funding gender gap work

For FY2013-14, we set specific targets around these numbers.

What is your progress against these objectives? (Include metrics and number of volunteers/staff involved.)
  • When the Wikimedia Foundation applied for funding from the Funds Dissemination Committee in September of 2012, one of our four key non-core initiatives was “Grants & Fellowships” – an initiative that combined our Wikimedia Grants program and our Wikimedia Fellowships program. In January 2013, the foundation ended the fellowship program, and started a new grants program, Individual Engagement Grants, that – similar to fellowships – funds individual community members to work on short-term projects that help editor growth, editor satisfaction and retention, and the growth of Wikipedia’s articles and media. IEG is designed to be able to support innovative, specific ideas by and for the community.

The Wikimedia Grants Program, meanwhile, continues in its previous form, though under the new name of “Project & Event Grants.” Two Wikimedia staff members run the programs, and each program has a committee of volunteers who help review and recommend projects for Funding. For the Project & Event Grants, this is known as the “GAC” and for IEG it is the “IEG Committee.”

Finally, Travel and Participation Support grants also continues to advance, and the partnership with WMDE for this program persisted throughout 2012-13.

In the 2012–2013 fiscal year, the Individual Engagement Grants program reviewed more than 50 ideas and application drafts, and funded eight projects, via a committee of volunteers. The Project & Event Grants program reviewed 38 grant requests and funded 27 projects. During the year, program heads oversaw previously funded grant projects.

Specifically, via all our grantmaking programs (IEG, Project & Event Grants, FDC, and Participation Support), we funded: 97 grants for a total of $5.7M in total, FY2012-13 8% of grants to the Global South

For more details, please see the quarterly report on grantmaking developed in May 2013 (includes all but the last month of data).

Which Wikimedia movement strategic priority (or priorities) did this program address and how?
  • The Grants and Fellowships program addressed the goal of increasing more awareness of Wikipedia in developing countries; boosting the number of editors across Wikipedia; increasing the level of civility among Wikipedians, and the level of editor satisfaction; and encouraging innovation, and improving quality of Wikipedia articles. The program did this by funding projects that – both collectively and individually – are benefiting the Wikimedia movement.
What key activities were conducted and/or milestones achieved with this program?
  • As explained, FY2012-13 saw a huge change in the idea behind the grants programs for us. As a result, we became a lot more clear around what we were attempting to accomplish with each different grants program, and how we could support that in happening.

One milestone was beginning the Individual Engagement Grants program, which entailed a series of steps to ensure its timely operation. For the program, we reconfigured the web portal for grantees, which makes it easier for them to report on their projects; prepared for a July re-launch of the IdeaLab, which is the space designed to cultivate ideas for proposals; and deployed two participant surveys that led to key suggestions on how to submit better applications and give those applications more inclusive feedback. Each project we fund is a small milestone that sparks activity that might not exist otherwise. For example, from January 2013 to June 2013, the Wikimedia Grants program funded a Wikipedia outreach effort in Ghana with $3,306 in seed money. During the project, organizers spoke to 50 students at four high schools, and 100 students at three universities, and offered guided editing sessions. Educators also attended the talks. The outreach prompted 18 people to register as new Wikipedians, and led to 40 new articles and photos being added to Wikipedia. With $4,981 in funding, Wikimedia India organized and supported 24 workshops and other events in India from January 2013 to March 2013, including: a Wikipedia workshop at Vidyalankar Institute of Technology, in Mumbai; a workshop at Somaiya College in Mumbai; a workshop at the Birla Institute of Technology & Science, Pilani - Goa; Wikipedia Day 2013, in Mumbai; a similar day in Kolkata; and Wikipedia Women's Workshops in Bangalore and Chennai. Among the outcomes: The women’s workshop in Bangalore produced nine articles in English, including seven on important women figures in India, one of them Neela Satyanarayanan, the first woman State Election Commissioner of the state of Maharashtra, The workshop in Chennai, meanwhile, produced three articles. Our funding of Wiki Loves Monument projects in South Africa and Serbia and Mexico inspired thousands of new photographs to be uploaded to Wikimedia Commons, where they are being used for Wikipedia articles and are otherwise available for free use by anyone around the world. Almost 2,000 photos were uploaded in South Africa alone. Two examples of Individual Engagement Grants: 1) With $500 in funding, the Wikipedian Jeph Paul is building a MediaWiki gadget that creates a visual playback of the edit history of a Wikipedia article, allowing users to see an article changing over time. The gadget is still a work in progress, but Paul has made substantial progress – and has made a video (and written a blog post) that shows how the gadget would work, how it leads to easy visualization of edits, and how this would prompt contributors to edit, and improve Wikipedia. 2) With $7,500 in funding, the longtime Wikipedian Ocaasi is beginning to create The Wikimedia Library, which is designed to give active, experienced Wikipedia editors free access to the vital reliable sources they need to write the articles that Wikipedia relies on. Many reliable sources are hidden behind expensive paywalls, only accessible through select schools, universities, or employers. The Wikipedia Library is trying to change that. In the first active month of the project (June 2013), organizers did outreach to the American Library Association; renewed an agreement with HighBeam Research that provides Wikipedians with 1,000 accounts (individual replacement value = $199 per account); struck an agreement with The Cochrane Library, which specializes in health-care articles and will provide 100 accounts to Wikipedians (value = $300-$800 per license); and initiated a partnership with OCLC/WorldCat, which offers a global network of library content and services, including the world’s largest library catalogue. Much more progress was made in subsequent months. A complete list of Wikimedia Grants grantees and their projects is online at https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:Table. A complete list of Individual Engagement Grant grantees and their projects is online at https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/IEG#ieg-engaging.

If your entity did not achieve the desired objectives, why not? If it did, what enabled this? If the initiative was not in your plan, why did you pursue it?
  • By encouraging project submissions that meet the Wikimedia Foundation’s standards for strong potential for impact, and by picking projects that we believed would follow through on those standards, this program achieved its objectives for the year.

We also worked significantly to improve our grants administration in order to make our grants as transparent and efficient as possible, without compromising the risk assessment. Improvements include: Public tables and templates, more complete public documentation of WMF Grants Program policies published on Meta, increasing transparency Better agreements and compliance checks put in place, reducing risks Improved and standardized forms, templates, and documentation, helping grantees navigate each process Streamlined and well-documented internal processes, increasing efficiency and improving response times Funds are sent to the grantee in less than 25 days from decision, and reports are reviewed within 9 days.

Finally, we developed a learning and evaluation backbone to our work, in order to track and monitor the overall efficiency and effectiveness of our grantmaking work. Their progress is launching in full for the FY2013-14.

Any additional details:

Lessons learned


Lessons from the past


A key objective of the funding is to enable the movement as a whole to understand how to achieve shared goals better and faster. An important way of doing this is to identify lessons learned and insights from entities who receive funds, and to share these lessons across the movement. Please answer the following questions in 1–2 paragraphs each.

  • What were your major accomplishments in the past year, and how did you help to achieve movement goals?

For projects funded by the FDC, major accomplishments included the continuing success of the Education Program, in which students in Wikimedia Foundation-run programs added 34 million bytes to Wikipedia articles (even more content was added by chapter-run and volunteer-run programs worldwide, which are supported by the Education Program staff through brochures and other help materials). It’s the most content that students have contributed in a single fiscal year to the program. Editor engagement experiments were also successful in the past year, based on tests involving more than 50,000 registered Wikipedia users. The biggest experiment, in February and March, showed that those who got a “Getting Started” page plus a Guided Tour were 3.9% more likely to make an edit than those new editors who didn’t get the page. In onboarding, editor engagement experiments helped prompt more than 17,000 people to edit a Wikipedia article within 24 hours of registering, including 3,168 in a test from January 25 to January 31.

  • What were your major setbacks in the past year (e.g., programs that were not successful)?

We had some results that could be classified as static or unrealized. As noted above in the Program 3 review of our Catalyst Projects, our work in India and Brazil paralleled increases in some editor ranks and decreases in other editor ranks. Some of our Editor Engagement Experiment tests also yielded results that were statistically negligible. That’s to be expected, though, since the tests are designed for flexibility on setting variables and achieving results.

  • What factors (organizational, environmental) enabled your success?

The Wikimedia Foundation’s Executive Director, team of C-level executives, and Board of Trustees provide the foundational vision that’s necessary to achieve both immediate goals and long-term ones. We have an incredibly mission-driven and increasingly global staff who prioritizes making Wikimedia projects better. Of equal importance is the input of Wikimedia’s community of active editors. Wikimedia’s vast readership also provides a constant stream of feedback, ensuring that every project that the Wikimedia Foundation undertakes is vetted for workability and viability in both the short- and long-term.

  • What unanticipated challenges did you encounter and how did this affect what you were able to accomplish?

A top priority for the Wikimedia Foundation is to reverse the decline of Wikipedia editors, which we’ve done with varying success. Our plateaued year-over-year active editor numbers indicate that while we have stopped the decline in editors, we have not started increasing that number yet. We did not anticipate the opposition to technical changes we have faced from our community of editors, which led to significant staff time spent on community relations.

  • What are the 2–3 most important lessons that other entities can learn from your experience?

As applied to the four projects funded by the FDC, there are two important lessons: 1. In testing the viability of new projects and reconsidering established ones, data is crucial. In the past fiscal year, the Editor Engagement Experiments team has made some important small breakthroughs because of rigorous data-driven experimentation. The team launched multiple features, including a revised Account Creation page, the first onboarding features for new account creators, and various tools to measure performance of these features. They completed a total of 12 A/B tests and 4 cohort analyses across a total of six projects (Getting Started, Guided Tours, Account Creation User Experience, Donor Engagement, Community Portal Redesign, Post-Edit Feedback). But we shifted from disconnected experiments to working within a user lifecycle framework. We measure the ongoing success of the team based on impact on key metrics such as percentage of attempted account creations that lead to accounts registered and percentage of account creators who make at least one edit. In the 2013–14 fiscal year, the Wikimedia Foundation is launching a Program Evaluation and Design team that will support evaluation of the impact of programmatic work across the Wikimedia movement. The team will facilitate conversations among program leaders, which is intended to identify and document best practices and expertise where it already exists. The team is designed to equip program leaders with information they need to direct energies towards activities that are proving to be effective, and to equip grantmakers with information to make good decisions about where to direct funding. 2. Make programs more scalable. Even as the Education Program has experienced new successes, we’ve worked to make the program self-sufficient. We’re refining the MediaWiki extension for the Education Program, which allows participating professors, ambassadors, and community members to better see how students are doing with edits – and to better help these students. Most of our Ambassador trainings – where Wikipedians and non-Wikipedians learn how to advise students in the Education Program classes – now take place online, rather than through costly and difficult-to-scale in-person trainings. Also, students and instructors now have the opportunity to take Wikipedia trainings online.

Lessons for the future


The Wikimedia movement grows as each entity in the movement reflects and adapts its approaches to changing needs and contexts. The questions below encourage you to apply your thinking in the sections above of "how well have we done" and "what have we learned" to the development and execution of future organizational and program strategies. The questions below can be informed both by your own entities' learnings, as well as the learnings of other movement entities (e.g., adding a new program that appears to have caused significant impact in several other countries or communities).

  • What organisational or program strategies would you continue?

    Each year, the Wikimedia Foundation produces an Annual Plan that reviews the previous year’s programs and that looks ahead to the next fiscal year. The plan, which includes budgets, charts, and checklist of past goals and future targets, is a project-by-project road map of the foundation’s projects. In our 2013-2014 Annual Plan, we detail both challenges and opportunities, and we reiterate our commitment to three of the four projects funded by the FDC in the 2012–2013 fiscal year: Education Program, Editor Engagement Experiments, and our Grant programs. For the Education Program, a top priority will be to increase the overall impact of educational programs worldwide. In order to achieve this, the team will partner with a number of chapter-driven and non-chapter-driven, high-potential education programs in different countries. The team will also work closely with volunteers and educators in Egypt, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia on driving impact in this high-potential region. In order to improve the sharing of learnings among program leaders from different parts of the world, the Education Program team will lay the foundation for a global education “cooperative” model that allows educational program leaders worldwide to share best practices, harness local programs' efforts to grow educational opportunities, and drive student contributions on local Wikipedias worldwide. The Editor Engagement Experiments team will continue to work in a highly iterative fashion, enabling it to flexibly shift gears among four areas as the data warrant it: 1. Acquisition. How do we draw new users into the signup process in a targeted way? 2. Activation. How do we get new users to contribute to the site after joining? 3. Retention. How do we get users who have started to contribute to continue to do so? 4. Reactivation. How do we get users who were once contributing productively to return to the site. For our Grants programs, we are committed in the 2013–2014 fiscal year to having the Project & Event Grants fund $1.37 million in projects (including partnership grants), and to having Individual Engagement Grants fund $200,000 in projects. We see these projects as viable incubators of work that can have a big impact on the Wikimedia movement. In fact, as a percentage of total grant money, our goal is to have individual grant-making increases in the 2013–2014 fiscal year to 7 percent – an indication of how committed we are to these projects.

  • What might you change in organisational and program strategies in order to improve the effectiveness of your entity?

    In terms of the four projects funded by the FDC in the 2012–2013 fiscal year, we’ve already changed the strategy around our catalyst programs. As part of our “Narrowing Focus” realignment, we’ve moved to a model where we give grants to organizations already on the ground in countries where we want to grow editorship, and these organizations manage the work themselves with the active encouragement and funding of the Wikimedia Foundation. Also, volunteer academics and Wikipedians have created a new nonprofit organization, the Wiki Education Foundation which will take over program management of the Wikipedia Education Program in the United States and Canada. On a broader scale in 2013–14, the Wikimedia Foundation is launching a Program Evaluation and Design team that will support evaluation of the impact of programmatic work in the Wikimedia movement. Finally, the Wikimedia Foundation is hiring a new Executive Director in the coming months, and this new Executive Director may implement new organizational and program strategies that impact our projects.

Stories of success and challenge


Of all the accomplishments highlighted through this report, please share two detailed case studies: one "story of success" and one story of challenge that your entity experienced over the past year (2–3 paragraphs). Provide any details that might be helpful to others in the movement on the context, strategy, and impact of this initiative.

Case study: success


Response: The Wikipedia Education Program Arab World started in spring 2012 with a small pilot in Cairo, Egypt. During the 2012–13 fiscal year, the program expanded dramatically, moving from one country to three by the end of spring 2013, from 7 classes to 48, from 54 students to 324, and from 1.8 million bytes added to the Arabic Wikipedia to 12.8 million. The impact the program has had on the Arabic Wikipedia is truly incredible: A small language Wikipedia (fewer than 100 very active editors) is growing significantly. Students have created 1,360 new articles on the Arabic Wikipedia and expanded many others (WikiMetrics does not allow us to count how many articles students have edited yet). During the term, students represent about 10% of the active and very active editors on the Arabic Wikipedia. Even better, we are retaining students at levels previously unheard-of levels: 5.4% of our first term students were still editing one year later, and 6.2% of our students from the second term were still editing six months later. Coupled with the gender diversity number of 87% female student editors, we believe this program has the potential to change the gender dynamic on the Arabic Wikipedia’s editing community and content. A detailed program evaluation report explains the history of the program in Egypt and its successes from the first two terms, including providing some guidance on what happened in classes and how the program was set up. This evaluation report may be instructive for others in the movement looking to start a small Wikipedia Education Program pilot to stimulate the growth of another language Wikipedia.

Case study: challenge


Response: For years, Wikipedia users have debated how inviting Wikipedia is to newcomers. Some users said the web pages that new contributors first encountered were perfectly fine. Others said the web pages were off-putting and too clinical. The debate (see here and here and here for examples) continued into the 2012–2013 fiscal year -- and may continue into the 2013–2014 fiscal year, even after the Wikimedia Foundation’s Editor Engagement Experiments team revamped the account-creation pages, where new contributors go to register an account. When people around the world first think of Wikipedia, they don’t think of the account-registration page – they might think of Wikipedia’s millions of articles that explain the world at large, and they might think of Wikimedia Commons’ millions of media files that are used in Wikipedia articles. But beyond reading Wikipedia, the account-creation pages are often the first tangible way that new editors engage with Wikipedia and the Wikimedia Foundation. On just Wikipedia’s English-language version, more than 3,000 people sign up for an account on an average day. And for most of Wikipedia’s 12-year history, the pages were cluttered with information and directives that were uninspiring. In fact, until the 2012–2013 fiscal year, the Wikimedia Foundation had done very little to proactively introduce new participants to tasks that are interesting and easy. That lack of direction is a big part of why only about a quarter of all newly-registered accounts complete an edit. All that has changed. On English Wikipedia, for example, when people now go to register, it gives them a streamlined way to register, asking only for such basic information as a username and password. The message is more concise and clear, with the paged titled "Create an account" rather than the more clunky "Log in / create account.” The page reminds the registrants that, “Wikipedia is made by people like you.” It tells them that English Wikipedia has 4.3 million articles, has been edited 658 million times, and that 127,000 people have made recent contributions. And it tells them this with fonts and icons that are inviting. After registering, new editors are taken to a new GettingStarted page that invites them to do one of three basic edits: Fix an article’s spelling and grammar; improve an article’s clarity, add links to an article. The foundation implemented the GettingStarted page in December 2012. Before this feature was added, users were presented with a page where they could change their preferences, and it was up to them to search for tutorials or other orientation. Among the E3 team’s other additions: GuidedTours, which give readers interactive tutorials on editing. During the year’s account-creation testing, one participant who’d never registered before talked about Wikipedia’s lack of obvious guidance to new editors. (See “Test A” under “Testing Scenario One.”) It took him many minutes to find the registration tab on Wikipedia’s main articles page. “At this point,” he said at the 11th minute, “I think I’m lost.” Getting lost, we believe, is over for new editors. But the challenge of getting new editors to continue contributing – not just once a month, but five times a month, which would put them in the category of “active editors” – is our continuing challenge. And that’s a challenge that the Editor Engagement Experiments team, and the foundation as a whole, continues to face in the next fiscal year.

Additional information

  • What are some of the activities that are happening in your community that are not chapter-led? What are the most successful among these, and why?

    Vorarlberg University of Applied Sciences in Dornbirn, Austria. Hanyang University in Seoul, South Korea. The Polytechnic of Namibia in Windhoek, Namibia. Schools, universities, and Wikimedia chapters around the world are running Wikipedia Education Program courses, supported through mentorship, support resources, and guidance from Wikimedia Foundation staff. It’s a “win-win” that benefits the students and benefits Wikipedia. Each class is individualized to fit the interests of the instructors and students, and the cultural environment of the institutions. In a rural, isolated part of Namibia in February, for example, an instructor at the Polytechnic of Namibia, Peter Gallert, conducted a Wikipedia training for teachers from six pilot schools. The training was done on computers that accessed the Internet through dial-up connections. In the language of OtjiHerero, the instructor and students created Wikipedia articles about the students’ home villages in Namibia. These volunteer-driven education initiatives are successful because of dedicated instructors like Peter Gallert. Just like Wikipedia, whose articles and content are contributed by volunteers, these ongoing courses owe their origins to people who see Wikipedia’s educational value. With our Education Program, the Wikimedia Foundation created a role model for how a class can incorporate lesson plans. We are happy to have a foundation web page that links to these independent initiatives. One reason they’re successful is because they’re independent. Their classes and lesson plans operate in a way that works for them.

  • Provide any other relevant information that may be helpful or relevant for the FDC (e.g., links to any media coverage, blog posts, more detailed reports, more detailed financial information).

The Wikimedia Foundation is dedicated to being one of the world’s most transparent nonprofit organizations. Below are links to media coverage, blog posts, more detailed reports, and more detailed financial information:


Here is the link to the independent audit of our 2012-2013 fiscal year: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/foundation/6/6e/FINAL_12_13From_KPMG.pdf



Is your organization compliant with the terms defined in the grant agreement?

  1. As required in the grant agreement, please report any deviations from your grant proposal here. Note that, among other things, any changes must be consistent with our WMF mission, must be for charitable purposes as defined in the grant agreement, and must otherwise comply with the grant agreement.
    There are no deviations to report.
  2. Are you in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations as outlined in the grant agreement? Please answer "Yes" or "No".
  3. Are you in compliance with provisions of the United States Internal Revenue Code (“Code”), and with relevant tax laws and regulations restricting the use of the Grant funds as outlined in the grant agreement? Please answer "Yes" or "No".

Financial information

  1. Report any Grant funds that are unexpended fifteen (15) months after the Effective Date of the Grant Agreement. These funds must be returned to WMF or otherwise transferred or deployed as directed by WMF.

    Response: There are no grant funds unexpended.

  2. Any interest earned on the Grant funds by Grantee will be used by Grantee to support the Mission and Purposes as set out in this Grant Agreement. Please report any interest earned during the reporting period and cumulatively over the duration of the Grant and Grant Agreement.

    Response: There is no interest to report.



Once complete, please sign below with the usual four tildes. JonathanCinSF (talk) 07:12, 31 October 2013 (UTC)