On March 30, 2012, the WMF Board of Trustees resolved that the Foundation would create a Funds Dissemination Committee (FDC). The sole purpose of the FDC would be to make recommendations to the WMF Board of Trustees for funding activities and initiatives in support of the mission goals of the Wikimedia movement.
The FDC framework and the hard work of the members who served on it across the years have been instrumental in shaping our movement's organizational development as well as our collective mission. Over the past three years, the FDC deliberations were put on pause so that key movement actors, individuals and groups could concentrate on developing our Movement Strategy.
Terms of the current members expired in 2019. The members came to come together to discuss their views on some of the successes of the framework and what were some of their challenges in addressing a growing, diversified and decentralized movement.
To ensure the institutional memory and learnings of the FDC framework are preserved a retrospective was completed with members of the most recent committee.
A lightweight retrospective was designed and completed with FDC members. The goal was to maintain the institutional memory and lessons learned from the FDC process.
The lightweight overview of lessons learned was developed based on conversations with Funds Dissemination Committee (FDC) members who agreed on the questions to reflect on and participated in the conversations. Thank you to all the Committee members who took the time to be interviewed or contribute to review this document:
Liam Wyatt, Garfield Byrd, Delphine Menard, Anne Risker, Michał Buczyński, Dumisani Ndubane
The FDC was formed to operate the Annual Plan Grants (APG) participatory grantmaking process that had community legitimacy, was transparent, and equitable. The Board mandated that FDC give recommendations on funding decisions directly for board approval and the FDC was an elected body. The goal of the FDC was that the funds should be distributed transparently to established affiliates that had structured plans and the committee did achieve this goal. There was a participatory process for decision making that had legitimacy and a transparent process for all the community to view. As being a chapter was a criteria for eligibility to apply for an APG, and there was a moratorium on new chapters – the APG program did not support the equitable disbursement of funding in the movement as there was no other path for newer affiliates to receive the same level of access to funding.
The additional goal of review of the Wikimedia Foundation annual planning process was never truly realized. The principle of having the Foundation plans be reviewed by the movement remains important. A viable review process given the Foundation size and scope of operations still needs to be established as having it go through the same application process as chapters never adequately met the needs for review.