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During the 2019–2020 fiscal year, the Wikimedia Foundation awarded 246 grants to mission-aligned organizations and people around the world, totaling $8,285,124. Grant programs are led by the Community Resources team and Events team and support the Foundation's medium-term efforts towards a Thriving Movement. Grants aim to support communities and:

  • Build healthy communities and effective organizations that deliver on impactful programs
  • Innovate new ideas for programs and technology in the service of Wikimedia’s content and communities
  • Grow, sustain, and scale the most successful ideas.

This report is not an analysis of impact. Most work funded by a grant in 2019–2020 is still underway. This report focuses on where grant funds have gone, whom they have gone to, and what kind of work they are intended for.

Grant programs[edit]

Confidence: High confidence High
The source data is reliable and the analysis straightforward.

During the 2019–2020 fiscal year, the Wikimedia Foundation offered five types of grants:

  • Rapid Grants (since 2015) provide quick support for projects with a budget between $500 and $2000.
  • Project Grants (since 2016) support projects that benefit the Wikimedia movement and have a minimum budget of $2,000.
  • Conference & Event Grants (since 2015) provide funding and planning support for conferences that bring Wikimedians together.
  • Simple Annual Plan Grants (SAPG, since 2015) fund a group or organization's programs and operating expenses for around 6–12 months for up to $120,000.
  • FDC Annual Plan Grants (APG, since 2012) fund formal organizations through general operating support. APG grants have no funding limit.

In the 2019–2020 fiscal year, most of the funds went to supporting programs and operating expenses of groups and organizations through the Annual Plan Grants (APG, 45% of funds) and Simple Annual Plan Grants (SAPG, 42% of funds). However, APG and SAPG combined represent less than a quarter of all grants submitted; low-cost Rapid grants, which add up to 3% of all funds, account for two thirds of all grants funded in the fiscal year.

Looking back between 2010 and 2020, the Wikimedia Foundation has redistributed $57,670,064 to the Wikimedia movement through 2,542 grants. Other types of grants since 2010 have included:

  • Wikimania scholarships (WMS) cover travel, registration and accommodation expenses for individuals to attend Wikimania. No Wikimania scholarships were awarded in 2019–2020 due to the postponement of Wikimania 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Project and Event Grants (PEG, 2009–2017) supported organizations, groups, and individuals to undertake high-impact, mission-aligned projects that benefit the Wikimedia movement
  • Individual Engagement Grants (IEG, 2012–2016), aimed at engaging individuals or small teams for the benefit of the online Wikimedia movement.
  • Travel and Participation Support (2011–2018) supported the participation of Wikimedians to non-Wikimedia events.
  • Partnership Grants (2012–2014) funded strategic partnerships with significant allied organizations, notably during the transition from catalyst programs in India and Brazil.

A look at the makeup of grant programs over the past decade shows how some (like IEG and PEG) were discontinued or replaced by different programs. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic can also be seen in the decrease in Conference grants in the 2019–2020 fiscal year compared to previous years.

Geography and income level[edit]

Confidence: High confidence High
The source data is reliable and was matched with a reference list.

Using categories from the World Bank:

Looking at grants over the past ten years:

The World Bank also classifies countries according to income level:

A look at trends over the past ten years:

Foundation priorities[edit]

Confidence: Medium confidence Medium
The data is a mix of manual coding and matching with a reference list.

In 2017, the Wikimedia movement came together to define their strategic direction for 2030. In 2019, the Wikimedia Foundation published a Medium-term plan laying out major institutional and technical goals under its responsibility while the implementation of strategy recommendations was being determined.

The medium-term plan (MTP) outlined two main goals with five priority areas. Most of grant-funded work in the 2019–2020 fiscal year was aligned with the priority towards a Thriving Movement (89% of funds), defined as "Co-creating, growing, and cultivating a safe and welcoming, diverse, sustainable, and thriving movement of leaders, contributors, advocates, and partners for free knowledge." However, grantees also directly contributed to priorities of Brand Awareness, Platform Evolution, and Global Advocacy.

In 2014, in an effort to move away from the vocabulary of "Global South" and use terminology better suited for our movement, the Wikimedia Foundation (WMF) defined emerging communities as "the set of projects, languages, and countries where: there is great potential for increase in quantity and quality of Wikimedia work, and 2. there is, locally, insufficient capacity to realize that potential, and 3. there is an existing active core of self-motivated volunteers, which therefore WMF could effectively devote some proactive resources to support and nurture."

Since then, the Foundation has sought to increase grantmaking efforts towards Emerging communities, and less on the most-developed communities and countries ("developed communities") on the one hand, and the least active and lowest-potential countries and languages ("least developed communities"), to whom the WMF would not be allocating resources to proactively support, until such time as they meet the 'emerging' criteria.

Another focus of the Wikimedia movement over the past decade has been addressing the Gender gap, both in terms of content (content gender gap) and communities (participation gender gap).

Global metrics[edit]

Confidence: Low confidence Low
The source data is incomplete and aggregates metrics calculated differently under the same umbrella.

Global metrics have been designed to provide a standardized way of tracking a few key measures of progress towards the Foundation's strategic goals for content and participation.

Due to the nature of grants, there is often a delay before their impact can be measured and reported. Many initiatives funded during the 2019–2020 fiscal year are still underway. This report provides an overview of the information available as of October 2020: most of the grant funds and grants don't yet have metrics reported. In addition, Conference grants do not report Global metrics.

Currently, Total Content Pages is not broken down by individual Wikimedia project nor by units within a project, but sums content added or improved across all projects. For example, an article created or improved on a Wikipedia project is included here as is a Wikidata item added or improved. Similarly, pages from a book from Wikibooks are counted in the same vein as are full books added.

In the future, instead of tracking “Number of Content Pages added or improved across all Wikimedia projects”, grants will track content by project, e.g., Wikipedia Articles created or improved, Wikimedia Commons Files uploaded, Wikidata Items created or improved, etc.


Confidence: High confidence High
The source data is reliable and the analysis straightforward.


Wikimedia Commons