Grants:APG/Proposals/2012-2013 round1/Wikimedia UK/Staff proposal assessment

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Wikimedia UK received a funds allocation in the amount of 536,336 in 2012-2013 Round 1. This funds allocation was recommended by the Funds Dissemination Committee on 15 November 2012 and approved by the WMF Board of Trustees on 1 December 2012.

This staff proposal assessment for Wikimedia UK's proposal to the FDC for 2012-2013 Round 1 may be viewed in tab view or standard view. To discuss this aspect of the proposal to the FDC, please visit the discussion page.

Applicants should read this document to familiarise themselves with the assessment criteria; however, it should be edited only by FDC-related staff. The staff will use the document to set out their objective assessment of each funding request from eligible entities – specifically, to determine the extent to which plans align with the mission goals of the Wikimedia movement, and the extent to which the entity is well-placed to execute those plans effectively. The staff will base this report on proposals from entities and input from the community and other stakeholders (including, where required, deeper due-diligence on the entity's previous track record within the Wikimedia movement). The staff will provide completed reports to the FDC, which will then make a recommendation to the Board of Trustees on funding allocations.

Proposal overview

Wikimedia UK [Responses]
Date of submission [mm/dd/yy] 10/01/12
Adherence to proposal process [yes/no] yes
Adherence to legal, regulatory, and policy regulations [yes/no] yes
Adherence to US anti-terrorism laws [yes/no] yes
Currency requested (e.g., EUR, GBP, INR) GBP
Exchange rate used (currency requested to $US) and date accessed (mm/dd/yy) 1 GBP = 1.6166 USD (09/26/12)
Total amount proposed to the FDC for the upcoming year annual plan [in $US] 919,868
Total amount proposed to the FDC for the upcoming year annual plan [in currency requested] 569,014
Summary staff assessment [substantial concerns: none/some/many] some

Annual plan

Table I: Financial summary

FDC funds allocated last year ($US) FDC funds proposed this year ($US) Change from what was allocated last year (as a +/− %) Proposed change in staff costs (USD and % increase or decrease)
N/A N/A N/A N/A

Strategic alignment

To what extent does the plan address the strategic goals and priorities of the movement (one to two paragraphs)?

WMUK’s plan is strongly aligned with the strategic priority areas Improve quality, Increase participation.

WMUK’s plan focuses on GLAM activities, education initiatives, and community and volunteer support through training, grants and partnerships. WMUK collaborates with other movement entities and seeks to build movement infrastructure through initiatives like the Mass upload project and support of of the toolerver, and also works directly with volunteers in the UK to increase participation.

Context of the entity and community

  • To what extent does the context of the entity (e.g., community participation, fundraising context, sociopolitical environment) enable or inhibit the entity's potential for impact?
  • To what extent does the entity's experience or maturity enable or inhibit the entity's potential for impact?
WMUK has reached a point of relative maturity and expertise. It has achieved PQASSO “Level 1” (the standard governance tool by the British Third Sector Organisations), and seeks to continue moving towards greater levels of maturity and excellence in governance. WMUK membership has an unusually high level of interest in chapter activity and discussion, which is an opportunity.

Feasibility and risks for the annual plan

How feasible is the annual plan (one to four paragraphs)? Specifically:

  • To what extent are the budget, staffing, availability of volunteers, and other resources realistic for achieving the anticipated outcomes?
  • Are the timelines realistic for the proposed initiatives and associated activities?
  • Are there acknowledged and/or unacknowledged risks in the proposal?
Proposed staffing expenses are about 38% of total expenses at USD 517,034. WMUK is requesting an increase in staffing of about USD 172,000,000 under the proposed plan: hiring new staff is critical since WMUK has had challenges identifying and engaging volunteers in activities in the past. Increases in staff seem to match the quantity and complexity of initiatives proposed in the plan, but there are questions about WMUK’s ability to effectively hire staff members to execute on the proposed plan based on past difficulties.
WMUK recognizes that there have been organizational and governance challenges over the last year, including issues related to the Conflict of Interest issue that surfaced within the WMUK board. WMUK is working to prevent similar situations from occurring in the future, and some key initiatives included in the proposal will further the organizational maturity and improve the governance of the chapter.
Board members have budget ownership and executive responsibility over several WMUK initiatives, which is a responsibility that would normally be delegated to staff or to non-board volunteers for an organization of this size and at this stage of organizational maturity.
WMUK’s budget is increasing from about USD 1,000,000 to about USD 1,360,000, but the current budget was reduced to about USD 877,000 since the chapter was not able to execute its proposed activities during the time projected.
WMUK expects to have reserves of about USD 380,000 by the start of 2013. Their monthly burn rate is about USD 60,000, and so their reserves represent about 6 months of expenses, which WMUK asserts is within the amounts recommended by the UK Charity Commission. While the 2013 annual plan outlines several sources of income, they are not fully identified and it is unclear if the chapter will be able to raise the amounts suggested from regular gifts and direct debits. WMUK’s budget also relies more heavily on movement funds than last year’s.
In conclusion, there are questions about WMUK’s ability to execute this ambitious plan in its entirety.

Summary of expert opinions and/or community commentary

  • Summary of the opinions of subject-matter experts on the plan
  • Summary of community commentary on the plan
See WMUK's proposal talk page.

Table II: Scores, comments and feedback

Scores provide only a preliminary assessment for consideration by the FDC. The rubric for scoring is in table III.

Dimensions Criteria Score (1–5) Comments and feedback
Potential for impact against strategic priorities (A) The plan addresses the Wikimedia movement global targets 4 The plan does clearly address some global targets.
(B) The initiatives in the plan have the potential to lead to the global targets, if executed well 4 Some initiatives proposed have potential to lead to global targets, and the chapter has intent to continue to measure and understand this potential.
(C) The initiatives in the plan have the potential to lead to significant impact, given context and amount of funds proposed 3 The potential initiatives, while they address global targets, may not lead to significant impact within the English Wikipedia community. Local impact will be stronger.
Ability to execute (D) The entity has the resources, skills, and capacity (staff, volunteer, non-staff) for the plan to succeed 3 The plan is very ambitious: while there is staff to execute the plan, they are not necessarily allocated to the activities that require the most support. For example GLAM does not appear to have dedicated staff.
(E) The entity has a record of success in similar initiatives 3 There have been some challenges in successfully executing some projects in the past.
(F) The entity's leadership is effective, committed, and relatively stable 3 There were some recent governance challenges, but the executive leadership is strong and the board is working on resolving key governance challenges.
Efficient use of funds (G) The funding requested is reasonable given the proposed initiatives 3 The request is generally reasonable, but there are significant number of program activities that require funding that may be beyond the ability of the WMUK staff to execute, based on size and capacity of staff.
(H) The entity has a record of using funds efficiently and staying on budget 3 They have a mixed track record, but are in the process of improving accounting practices.
Quality of proposed measures of success (I) Clear indicators of success are outlined in the plan 4 Good indicators and milestones are in place.
(J) A plan is in place to track the proposed metrics 3 The plan does not articulate a method or system of tracking funds well.
(K) The entity has a feasible plan in place to track the proposed metrics 3 Staff capacity to track metrics may be a challenge, given how current and potential future staff are allocated.
Potential to add knowledge and/or other benefits to the movement (L) The initiatives in the plan, if successful, could be helpful and/or productively replicated elsewhere in the movement 3 Some initiatives such as the Train the Trainers program, may be relevant to the broader movement if executed well.
(M) The entity is ready to share with the movement the lessons learned from the initiatives 4 The entity works in strong collaboration with other movement entities.

Table III: Scoring rubric

Dimensions Evaluation criteria 1 = Weak or no alignment with criterion 3 = Moderate alignment with criterion 5 = Strong alignment with criterion
Potential for impact against strategic priorities (A) The plan addresses the Wikimedia movement global targets The plan will not directly address any global targets The plan will partially address global targets or other goals that are closely related to the global targets The plan will directly address several global targets
(B) The initiatives have the potential to lead to the targets, if executed well The initiatives have no clear connection to global targets Some or all of the initiatives have an unclear relationship to global targets The initiatives have been shown (by the entity or the movement) to lead to global targets
(C) The initiatives have the potential to lead to significant impact, given context and amount of funds proposed The initiatives will have marginal impact in the local community and the broader Wikimedia community, given context and amount of funds proposed The initiatives proposed may have a significant impact in the local community, given context and amount of funds proposed The initiatives could have significant impact at scale, both in the entity's local community and in the broader movement, given context and amount of funds proposed
Ability to execute (D) The entity has the resources, skills, and capacity (staff, volunteer, non-staff) for the plan to succeed The entity has neither the number nor the amount of resources, skills, and capacity needed for success. The entity has some relevant staff and volunteer capacity, but may be under-resourced for some initiatives The entity is well-resourced with the relevant skills and capacity for success
(E) The entity has a record of success in similar initiatives The entity has had trouble succeeding in similar initiatives The entity has not engaged in similar initiatives in the past The entity has conducted similar initiatives in the past and has been successful in achieving desired results
(F) The entity's leadership is effective, committed, and relatively stable Leadership has been unstable (e.g., changing on an annual basis) Current leadership is committed to the entity; some concerns exist around stability or effectiveness of leadership Current and past leaders have demonstrated the ability to develop and execute on strategic plans; leadership team has been stable and transitions have been smooth
Efficient use of funds (G) The funding requested is reasonable given the proposed initiatives Based on FDC experience and relative to other proposals, the plan contains significant over- or under-budgeting, and/or has not thoroughly accounted for costs Based on FDC experience and relative to other proposals, the budget is generally consistent with the initiatives; some initiatives are likely to be over- or under-budgeted Based on FDC experience and relative to other proposals, the budget is reasonable, and rigorous cost projections have been presented
(H) The entity has a record of using funds efficiently and staying on budget The entity has a poor record of budgetary management: e.g., consistently and significantly below budget (such as 50% underspending), and drawing on organizational reserves due to overspending The entity has a middling record of budgetary management; e.g., generally on-budget for its biggest initiatives and cost items, properly recording any over- and under-spending, and with plans in place for improvements The entity has consistently strong record of financial management; e.g., consistently staying on or below budget (within ~5% of budget), and putting surplus funds towards the entity's and/or movement's goals
Quality of proposed measures of success (I) Clear indicators of success are outlined in the plan Initiatives have no associated indicators of success, or the proposed indicators are unrealistic and/or unmeasurable Each initiative has indicators of success, but at least some indicators are unrealistic or are not clearly connected to the initiative Each initiative has a realistic and carefully framed set of indicators of success associated with them, which are rigorous and time-bound
(J) A system is in place to track the proposed metrics The plan does not include methodology or timing for tracking and collecting metrics to measure progress against proposed indicators of success A proposal to track progress against indicators exists, but has flawed methodology or unrealistic timelines and initiatives The plan includes timing and tracking of proposed metrics, and additional initiatives (e.g., surveys, research) to track indicators
(K) The entity has a feasible system to track the proposed metrics No systems are in place to track metrics, or staff or volunteer capacity to manage metrics tracking There is some overall capacity (e.g., staff, volunteers) to track and monitor metrics, but the entity does not clearly have the relevant skills to do this High-quality systems, and the necessary skills and capacity to manage these systems, are in place
Potential to add knowledge and/or other benefits to the movement (L) The initiatives, if successful, could be helpful and/or productively replicated elsewhere in the movement The initiatives would not be relevant to other movement groups Some initiatives may be relevant to other movement groups Many initiatives proposed are new or have seldom been tried elsewhere in the movement; if successful, other movement entities would benefit from doing similar initiatives
(M) The entity is ready to share with the movement the lessons learned from the initiatives The entity is isolated from other movement groups and rarely shares information; the entity's leaders and members seldom participate in movement-wide functions The entity is somewhat active within the movement, and is developing more relationships with other movement entities with which it could share lessons learned The entity has regular communication with other movement entities, is a regular participant in Wikimedia events, and has a track record of sharing with others

This form was created by: Meerachary TBG (talk) 04:44, 26 October 2012 (UTC)