This page is kept for historical interest. Any grant programs, policies, or related details mentioned may be obsolete. You can find Wikimedia Foundation's new funding programs at Grants:Start.
The following framework has been prepared for the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees by Sue Gardner with input from interviews (including with chapter leaders at the Berlin conference, the WMF Board of Trustees, and external experts), WMF staff, the FDC Advisory Group, and others in the Wikimedia community who have engaged in the extensive discussion. It is not intended to represent a full consensus of all perspectives, but as a reasoned recommendation in meeting the requirements set out by the Board of Trustees. Please provide comments and feedback on the talk page.
Framework for the Creation and Initial Operation of the FDC
This is a user-friendly summary of the FDC framework.
The goal of the Funds Dissemination Committee (FDC) is to help make decisions about how to effectively allocate movement funds to achieve Wikimedia’s mission, vision, and strategy. During the Wikimedia Conference 2012 in Berlin, the Board of Trustees resolved to create the FDC as a body that would advise the Board on how to divide and disseminate movement funds between the different movement groups, including the Foundation itself, on a no entitlement basis.
The framework includes the following elements:
Roles and Responsibilities
The FDC will be an advisory committee of the Board of Trustees and will provide recommendations on requests for funding by eligible entities within the movement to achieve the mission goals of the movement. The Board of Trustees role will be to review the FDC's recommendations and approve/deny the recommended allocations. WMF staff, including staff dedicated to the FDC, will support the FDC and the funds dissemination process. The broader Wikimedia community will be involved in a number of ways, including providing input on the selection of FDC members and on applicants' funds requests.
Entities eligible for funding from the FDC
The FDC will address funds requests from formally acknowledged Wikimedia entities who are in full compliance with agreements with the Wikimedia Foundation and who have a successful track record of two or more grants or years of payment processing. The FDC will make recommendations on allocations of general funding to support an organization’s overall annual plan to achieve mission objectives. This will include requests for funding from the Wikimedia Foundation that are "non-core" to operating Wikimedia's websites and global organization.
The Funding Process
The FDC will accept applications for funds two times per year through a transparent application and decision-making process. Requirements and the timeline for the grant application process are clearly delineated, with the goal of making the process as user-friendly and straightforward as possible. At specific points during this process, the community will be invited to provide feedback on funds requests. Additionally, a formal complaints process has been established to allow entities to dispute FDC recommendations.
The FDC will strive to be a center of excellence in the movement by holding entities to high standards in the plans they develop and in the implementation of their plans. To this end, the FDC will evaluate grant applications based on their likely impact in helping the Wikimedia movement achieve its global priorities as outlined in the 5-year strategic plan. They will also oversee a rigorous follow-up process, in which grants are evaluated with regard to success in achieving their intended outcomes. One of the functions of the FDC will be to highlight successes and share learning across entities in the movement, to increase overall effectiveness in achieving the movement’s goals.
Funds Process Timeline
Step 1: Applicant submits letter of intent indicating that they want to request funding: 8 June (Round 1) and 8 November (Round 2)
Step 2: WMF staff determine whether entities are eligible based on established criteria: 15 July (Round 1) and 15 December (Round 2)
Step 3: Eligible entities submit an application to the FDC by 1 October (Round 1) and 1 March (Round 2)
Step 4: FDC staff develop an objective evaluation of application's potential for impact: October (Round 1) and March (Round 2)
Step 5: FDC sends final recommendation to the Board: 1 December (Round 1) and 1 May (Round 2)
Step 6: Board makes final decision on funds dissemination: 1 January (Round 1) and 1 June (Round 2)
Step 7: Funds recipients sign grant agreement
Step 8: WMF releases funds: Within 30 days of receiving a signed grant agreement
The FDC will include nine voting members, five of whom will be community-elected, and four will be Board-appointed. In addition, two members of the Wikimedia Board of Trustees will participate as non-voting observers and liaisons to the Board. FDC members will serve two-year terms; elections to the FDC will be carried out every two years, at the same time as community elections for members of the Board of Trustees. The first FDC will include seven members, who will be appointed by the Board. Two additional members will be added in 2013 as part of the community elections for new members of the WMF Board of Trustees. Nominations have begun for members of the inaugural FDC, as the goal is to have this group appointed by October 2012.
Significantly more detail about this process is outlined in the full recommendation for the board. The corresponding talk page documents the community commentary over the last several months.
This framework will be shared with the WMF Board at the beginning of July 2012. At that point, the board will review the framework and make a decision on it. If the framework is accepted, the funds dissemination process will begin:
July 15: Entities that are eligible for funds through the FDC process will be notified
August 15: Members for the inaugural FDC will be announced
October 1: All applications for first round of funds requests must be submitted