Grants:APG/Funds Dissemination Committee/Handbook
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The following acronyms are used in this document (and more widely through the process):
- FDC: Funds Dissemination Committee
- APG: Annual Plan Grants
- WMF: Wikimedia Foundation
History of the FDC
- Why it was created
- How it's evolved
- Much of the information in this section is derived from the FDC Framework developed in 2012. Please see that page for attribution.
There are nine members of the FDC. Five members are elected in odd-numbered years, and four members are appointed by the WMF Board in even-numbered years. Its members are "a diverse body of people reflecting different aspects of the movement, including its geographic, linguistic, and cultural diversity."
FDC members must complete and comply with the FDC Pledge of Personal Commitment and Conflict of Interest Questionnaire.
The FDC has three office-bearers: the Chair, the Vice-Chair, and the Secretary. The members of the Committee elect the office-bearers, usually at the first meeting of the Committee following the appointment of new members. The term of office is one year.
Responsibilities of the FDC Chair
- To give guidance to FDC staff to enable them to schedule and prepare the agenda for FDC meetings;
- To preside over FDC meetings;
- To liaise between the FDC, FDC staff, and the WMF Board, as necessary;
- To ensure the overall effectiveness of the FDC, including resolving issues related to member inactivity or dysfunction;
- To coordinate FDC feedback on the performance of FDC staff, and FDC participation in self-assessments;
- To perform all duties as from time to time may be assigned by the WMF Board of Trustees.
Responsibilities of the FDC Co-Chair
- To act in the place of the chair when the chair is not available, or if the chair is unable to participate due to conflict of interest.
Responsibilities of the FDC Secretary
- To oversee the preparation of written recommendations to the WMF Board, and to post those recommendations.
- To ensure that the FDC meetings are recorded appropriately
Several WMF staff members work on the FDC grants. In particular, the FDC has a program officer.
- To receive and publicly document complaints about the FDC process;
- To support complaints investigations (only when formally requested to do so by the Board representatives on the FDC);
- To publish an annual report to the Board that documents and summarizes complaints, and identifies any systemic problems in the FDC process that warrant Board review of FDC policies, procedures or structures, and to be responsive to Board member questions about the content of the report.
WMF Board Liaisons
In addition to nine voting members, two additional non-voting seats are reserved for WMF Board of Trustee members, who serve as liaisons to the Board regarding FDC decisions and the overall evaluation and continual improvement of FDC processes.
- Relevant history for each type
Early Assessment Survey & Call
- What happens at them?
- Staff Assessments
- Financial Review
- What they are (fake slide)
Gradients of agreement
- Add the scale
Setting up a doodle poll for difficult funding decisions
One of the aspects of the FDC deliberations is deciding on the dollar amount to recommend for the organisation's annual plan (which is later converted into local currency). Normally this is fairly straightforward and uncontroversial, and we use the gradients of agreement to decide on what the amount with most consensus is. In some cases, however, this does not work out, and we've seen a few cases where different FDC members have very different views that can't result in consensus through the gradients.
In this case, using a doodle poll has proven useful to explore the full range of FDC members' preferences and comfort zones. The steps to setting up and running such a doodle poll are as follows:
- Identify someone to run the poll. This should ideally be done by a non-FDC member at the meeting to avoid bias - or if it is an FDC member, then they should fill in the poll first.
- Start a new doodle poll. Doing so through 'Make a choice' works best.
- You have to give the poll a title. All other inputs on the first page are not needed, so you can then just click 'next'.
- Then fill in the options. These should span the full range of values under consideration (e.g., use the min/max of the last set of bubbles), and should have a good number of intermediate options to give a good indication of everyone's views, but not too many that it takes ages to fill out (e.g., have 10-20 different values). Once filled out, then click 'Next'.
- On the third page, you'll want to define some extra settings. In particular, you will want to have a "Yes-No-Ifneedbe poll" so that FDC members can set out their preferred options ('yes'), options they could live with ('ifneedbe'/'maybe'), and options they are against ('no'). You will also want to have a 'Hidden poll', so only the person who started the poll can see it.
- Then start the poll. You can either send around links to it in doodle, or just copy-paste the URL and send it around to the FDC. If you've both created the poll and you're an FDC member, then fill it in yourself now, before you see anyone else's answers.
- Once everyone has filled it in, reveal the results! Ideally you'll find consensus on one of the options, or at least the closest you can get!
- If anyone then wants to change their options, then you can do so in Doodle - if the person was logged in to Doodle when they filled out the form, then they might need to change the options themselves, otherwise the person running the poll might need to do it for them.
- After a decision has been made, then make sure to grab a screenshot of the poll results, and save it somewhere (e.g., on wiki). Doodle deletes polls after they've been inactive for a while, so this is the only way to keep the results in the long term.
We have also tried doing this using a spreadsheet, where each member emails their range to someone, who collates the results and then shows it to the group. This also works well, but is more cumbersome to operate than a doodle poll.
WMF ED certification
Appeals and complaints
WMF board decision
Checkpoints with grantees
- Regular Checkpoints
- Progress reports
- Impact reports
- What are site visits and how do they work?
- Wikimania, Wikimedia Conference
- Per diems, expense guidance
Conflicts of Interest
- Who to let know about COIs (chair/program officer?)
Intermediate calls / updates
Funds for lobbying
Because of legal restrictions, applicants cannot use APG funds for lobbying, and are required to certify that in the proposal ("I verify that no funds from the Wikimedia Foundation will be used for political or legislative activities except as permitted by a grant agreement"). It is still possible for the organization to undertake political or legislative activities, but no money from WMF grants can be used for that. Mentioning that kind of work in the proposal is welcome, in order to make possible for the global Wikimedia community to know about them, but they are not part of the evaluation made by the FDC or the staff assessment, and cannot influence the funding recommendation.
An explanation of what "lobbying" mean in this context can be found at Wikilegal/Tax Definition of "Lobbying" for grantees.
Underspending & reserves policies
- Office bearer roles, FDC Wiki
- Office bearer roles, FDC Wiki
- Office bearer roles, FDC Wiki