Grants:APG/Proposals/2018-2019 round 1/Wikimedia UK/Proposal form

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1. In order to support community review, please provide a brief description of your organization's work in the upcoming funding period.

Wikimedia UK would like to apply for an Annual Plan Grant of £335,000 from the Wikimedia Foundation for the period 1st February 2019 to 31st January 2020. This proposal briefly outlines our organisational and programme priorities for next year within the context of our emerging strategy for the next three years and the global movement strategy process.

Wikimedia UK’s delivery model is underpinned by a strong emphasis on community, technology and partnerships, with our three main programme strands in 2019/20 focused on 1) Creating knowledge equity, 2) Developing data literacy, and 3) Changing policy and practice. These are a refinement of our current programmes and we anticipate a high level of activity next year, as we build on the success and momentum of our current projects and partnerships and explore new models of engagement.

The chapter is now more geographically diverse, with staff in Scotland and Wales as well as a small programmes team based in our London office who mainly work in England. We are also starting to deliver work, albeit on a very small scale and in collaboration with Wikimedia Ireland, in Northern Ireland (which is part of the UK).

2. Name, fiscal year, and funding period.
  • Legal name of organization: Wikimedia UK
  • Organization's fiscal year: 01/02 - 31/01
  • 12-month funding period requested: 01/02/2019 - 31/01/2020
  • Currency requested: GBP
  • Name of primary contact: Lucy Crompton-Reid

3. Amount requested.

Table 1

Currency requested US$
Total expenses for the upcoming year 686,610 891,707
APG funding requested for the upcoming year 335,000 435,067
Amount of funding received from WMF for the current year 335,000 435,067

4. How does your organization know what community members and contributors to online projects need or want? Does your organization conduct needs assessments or consult the contributors and volunteers most involved with its work?

The UK Wikimedia community is involved with the chapter at a strategic and delivery level, with volunteers playing many vital roles in Wikimedia UK’s work. We currently monitor this involvement through the metrics of volunteer hours and number of lead volunteers, and through our annual online survey. We also assess our relationship with and our support of volunteers through informal feedback at events such as meetups, consultation meetings and the AGM.

We are committed to retaining more established volunteers as well as recruiting and training newer members of our community. To this end, we have recently introduced a monthly skillshare programme where existing volunteers can share their skills with less experienced contributors; and we continue to deliver our highly regarded Train the Trainer programme for both national and international delegates.

In terms of needs assessment in our context in the UK, our programme strands are informed by general trends in our society:

  • The drive towards knowledge equity in the global strategic direction resonates with an increasing awareness amongst UK content holders of the need to represent diverse stories and histories. Minority and indigenous languages are a significant part of this agenda, with Wikimedia UK seen as one of the experts in this area through our critical role in the Celtic Knot conferences.
  • Digital literacy is highly relevant in the UK at the moment, with opportunities to support the growing demand for charity digital skills (, as well as data literacy skills for the general public. As interest in the potential of understanding, using and sharing data grows within UK institutions, there is a real opportunity for Wikimedia UK to facilitate this work, through Wikidata and other initiatives.
  • There is an active debate in the UK about the future of civil society and the role of the third sector within this. Some very wide and pressing themes fit into these discussions such as Brexit and society's fragmentation, participatory democracy, media literacy and the data revolution. Wikimedia UK can offer novel models to address many of these issues, in the context of advocating for more open policies and practice as an important step to achieving our vision of a more tolerant, informed and democratic society.

5. Please provide a link to your organization's strategic plan, and a link to your separate annual plans for the current and upcoming funding periods if you have them.

Our current strategy is on our wiki here however please note that Wikimedia UK is in the process of developing our new three year strategy to January 2022, as our current plan covers the period until 31st January 2019. The truncated version of the strategic framework included in this proposal is therefore a draft, developed as a result of discussions at the AGM in July and board away day in September 2018 and incorporating input from the staff team; but without wider stakeholder consultation and feedback at this point, as this will be taking place over the next few months. Our annual plan for 2018 - 19 is here, while our more detailed delivery planning for 2019 - 2020 is running alongside the development of our new strategy and will be uploaded as soon as possible.

Annual plan summary[edit]

1. Strategic Context

Wikimedia UK is applying for standstill funding of £335,000 from the Wikimedia Foundation for our work in 2019 - 2020, which represents just under half of our total planned budget for the year. Wikimedia UK is in the process of developing our new three year strategy to January 2022, as our current plan covers the period until 31st January 2019. The truncated version of the strategic framework included below is therefore a draft, developed as a result of discussions at the board away day in September 2018 and incorporating input from the staff team, but without wider stakeholder consultation and feedback at this point.

Draft Strategic Framework for 2019 - 2022

Wikimedia UK believes that open access to knowledge is a fundamental right, and a driver for social, educational and economic development. We work with the Wikimedia Projects such as Wikipedia to enable people and organisations to contribute to a shared understanding of the world through the democratic creation, distribution and consumption of knowledge. We are committed to the ideal of a world in which every single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge, and believe that here in the UK, we can play a unique and important role in realising that vision.

Wikimedia UK’s strategy is informed by and supports the strategic direction of the global Wikimedia movement. Our work will focus on the knowledge and communities that have been left out by structures of power and privilege; breaking down the barriers that prevent people and organisations from accessing and contributing to free knowledge, and supporting the development of technical solutions to help eradicate inequality and bias on the Wikimedia projects.

Our vision is of a more tolerant, informed and democratic society

Our mission is to support and advocate for the development of open knowledge, working in partnership with volunteers, the cultural and education sectors and other organisations to make knowledge freely available, usable and reusable online.

Wikimedia UK is working towards the following long-term outcomes:

Our work has significantly increased free, online access to knowledge

The Wikimedia projects reflect our diverse society and are free from systemic bias

Learners in the UK are able to understand and engage with open knowledge

Wikimedia UK is recognised as a leading organisation for open knowledge

Our strategic aims for 2019 - 2022 are to:

1. Increase the representation of marginalised people and subjects on Wikimedia

2. Work with the Wikimedia projects to develop digital, data and information literacy

3. Create changes in policy and practice that enable open knowledge to flourish

4. Develop our capacity and profile as a leading organisation for open knowledge

Our delivery model is based on the cross-cutting strategic priorities of partnerships, community and technology, which are an essential element of all our activities.

2. Programme Overview


The UK is one of the most culturally diverse countries in Europe, with over 300 languages spoken including many immigrant languages and indigenous living languages including Welsh and Scottish Gaelic. With the country’s imperial and colonial history and world class cultural holdings we believe that we have a responsibility to facilitate digital cultural repatriation, and reanimate cultural heritage for new and diverse audiences. Our work with minority languages is gaining an increasingly high priority and profile both nationally and internationally, with this work coalescing around the annual Celtic Knot conference, held in Scotland and Wales respectively in 2017 and 2018.

Wikimedia UK also remains committed to addressing the gender gap. We have engaged with Art+Feminism at an increasingly strategic level over the past few years; and on a year round basis our staff and volunteers work proactively with partner institutions to encourage them to consider how their own activities and collections could help improve the online representation of women and their works. We have a very good gender balance within our staff team and board, and are proud of the fact that over half our lead volunteers are now women.

Wikimedia UK believes that engaging with Wikipedia and the other Wikimedia projects - particularly through becoming a contributor - can enable learners to understand, navigate and critically evaluate knowledge and information. Over the past few years we have been growing our education programme, focused on the development of Wikimedia as a teaching and learning tool in the UK, with content production as an output but not the key outcome of this work. We are collaborating with a range of prestigious higher education institutions in this programme, with a particularly impactful partnership at the University of Edinburgh. We have been slower to launch any large-scale initiatives within the schools sector for various reasons, despite some excellent localised work in schools taking place in Wales and Scotland. In 2018 however, alongside our partners in Wales, we achieved a major breakthrough with the inclusion of Wikimedia within the Welsh Baccalaureate. In the next iteration of our strategy, our education work will focus even more strongly on digital, data and information literacy, with a renewed commitment to engaging effectively with schools across the UK.

Wikimedia UK is a significant voice for open knowledge within the UK, advocating for more open policies and practice at an institutional, sectoral and public policy level. We recognise the importance of one-to-one relationships in creating sustainable change, however we are increasingly seeking opportunities to amplify these messages by contributing to events, conferences and publications, and developing large-scale partnership projects; such as those with Amnesty International and the London Mayor’s office in 2018. In addition to our financial support for the EU Free Knowledge Advocacy Group, in the past few years we have been actively involved in the campaign to make changes to the proposed EU Copyright Directive - developing new relationships with British MPs and MEPs as a result. Going forward into 2019/20, we will continue to support advocacy efforts at an international level, whilst putting an increasing emphasis on influencing the UK legislative and policy environment as we exit from the EU.

Priorities for 2019/20

Our planned programme strands are outlined below, and broadly correspond to our first three strategic aims. These represent a refinement rather than an overhaul of our current programmes, with many of our existing projects and partnerships expected to continue into 2019/20. However, given the context of the current movement strategy process, over the next few years it will also be imperative for Wikimedia UK to prepare for the new global picture and priorities. In 2019, we therefore aim to:

  • Develop projects and programmes that deliver on the movement strategy and build on the UK chapter’s knowledge and expertise, as well as our profile and credibility within the global Wikimedia movement
  • Pilot and evaluate new ways of working to deliver on both global and local priorities; testing out innovative models of delivery that can be shared with and potentially replicated by other groups within the movement
  • Develop our business model to ensure the long term sustainability of the chapter, exploring new funding and partnership opportunities that enable us to deliver our vision and mission within the UK

Programme One: Creating Knowledge Equity

This programme strand builds on our 2016 - 19 programme Diverse Content and Contributors, and relates to our long term outcome of ensuring that the Wikimedia projects reflect our diverse society and are free from systemic bias, as well as our strategic aim from 2019 to increase the representation of marginalised people and subjects on Wikimedia. This also feeds directly into the movement priority of knowledge equity.

Our work in this area in 2019/20 will continue to coalesce around a number of key themes, as follows:

  • Underrepresented cultural heritage
  • Minority languages (with a focus on the “Celtic Knot”)
  • Gender Gap
  • Diverse contributors

We are pleased to have very strong partnerships that support our delivery of this programme, with ongoing Wikimedians in Residence at the University of Edinburgh, the University of Oxford, the National Library of Wales, the Scottish Libraries and Information Council and Wellcome Library. We are currently discussing new potential residencies at The Horniman Museum and The National Gallery, and exploring the possibility of setting up a Kurdish Wikimedian in Residence role based in Iraq.

Programme Two: Developing Digital Literacy

In the period 2016 - 2019 our education and learning programme was a relatively new priority for the chapter, and we have been gaining in confidence, expertise and credibility in this area over the past few years. The main purpose of this programme has always been to work with Wikimedia as a means to developing other skills, rather than to develop content; however this focus on digital literacy is becoming more explicit in the next iteration of our strategy.  

To deliver this programme we will facilitate digital, data and information literacy projects in collaboration with formal education sector partners such as schools and universities, and will advocate to government and relevant bodies for the inclusion of Wikimedia in curriculum and syllabus development. We will also look to develop new partnerships that help combat the effects of misinformation by developing more informed, information-literate citizens.

Our partnership with the University of Edinburgh, where the Wikimedian in Residence is based within the Learning, Teaching and Web Services directorate, has proved to be a highly valuable testing ground for how to successfully use the Wikimedia projects as a tool for teaching digital literacy skills; and we are currently in the final stages of confirming a new residency in partnership with Coventry University, with a focus on digital media literacy. We also continue to deliver the Wikipedia in the Classroom programme with a wide range of higher education institutions based around the UK.

Programme Three: Changing Policy and Practice

This programme strand pulls together our advocacy and public policy activities with our work to create more open policy and practice within content holding institutions. Within our new strategy, we have separated out our advocacy work with policy makers (in whatever setting, be that a museum or a government department) with our broader communications designed to inform and engage the general public. This is a wide ranging programme in terms of the types of partnerships it encompasses, and has an international element as well as an increasingly strong UK focus as we exit from the European Union during the lifetime of this strategy. Our objectives for this programme are to:

  • Support and enable individual organisations to adopt more open policies and practice
  • Promote and facilitate sector-level change towards open knowledge
  • Advocate for open knowledge within the UK’s public policy and legislative arena
  • Contribute to discussions and activities at an international level in order to create changes in policy and practice that support the vision of the Wikimedia Movement

In our partnership work with content holders we are increasingly working with Wikidata, as well as exploring other technological solutions to the issues of storing, sharing and interrogating collection data and other information. We are therefore developing our communications and our community around Wikidata, following our successful Wikidata hackathon earlier this year.

Developing Wikimedia UK’s capacity and profile

Our fourth strategic aim is to develop our capacity and profile as a leading organisation for open knowledge. This does not have a single accompanying programme strand but will be delivered through a range of important internal and external activities - many of which have a clear overlap with, and feed into, our programme delivery - including:

  • Volunteer development
  • International working
  • Communications and external affairs
  • Fundraising and income diversification
  • Organisational development

We are considering how we can serve the international Wikimedia movement in the most helpful way. We have several areas of expertise which we can share on the global stage - such as our partnerships with the cultural sector (especially our extensive Wikimedians in Residence programme), evaluation, equality and diversity (particularly in terms of minority languages) and data literacy.

3. Budget

Our planned income and expenditure for the year is as follows, however please bear in mind that our internal planning cycle means that our more detailed budget for 2019/20 will be agreed by the board in December (and will be shared with the Wikimedia Foundation and uploaded on wiki at that point).

Annual Plan Grant £335,000
Small donations £185,000
Gift Aid £17,000
Gifts in Kind £100,000
Major gifts/grants (core funding) £25,000
Major gifts/grants (project funding) £25,000
Volunteer and Community Support £15,000
Partnership programmes £145,000
External Relations and Advocacy £13,500
International £2000
Fundraising costs (processing fees) £15,100
Premises £51,760
IT & Telephony £19,250
Other Office Costs £10,000
Governance £10,500
Membership £1000
Audit & Accountancy £9700
General Contingency £10,000
Staff salary and on costs £382,600
Surplus £390

4. Monitoring and Evaluation

As evidenced in our Progress Report for the current year’s activity, Wikimedia UK is on track to achieve or exceed all of our targets for 2018/19. This includes the three universally applied grant metrics, our two grantee-defined metrics, plus a range of other indicators that the Wikimedia UK team and board have agreed provide a more comprehensive insight into the extent to which we have successfully delivered against our strategic priorities.

In this proposal we include our targets for 2019/20 in all five grant metrics, all of which are higher than the current year’s targets and reflect our increasing momentum in terms of quantitative results. We are not including in this proposal any targets for the other indicators that we are currently measuring. As part of the process of renewing our strategy for the next three years, we are reflecting on and reviewing our success measures. We will therefore revise these as appropriate in the light of both the new strategy and also our learning in terms of the ways in which we use performance indicators to evaluate, inform and improve our programme.

We feel that the grant metric targets included in this proposal are achievable given the anticipated continuation of a number of our current projects and activities. However, we are also planning that 2019/20 will be a year of experimentation and innovation for the chapter - for the benefit both of our own stakeholders and for the wider Wikimedia movement - the outputs and outcomes of which are obviously harder to predict at this stage. It is therefore possible that we may underachieve against some targets whilst exceeding our targets for other metrics. Please also note that as our programme strands do not represent siloed activities but are interconnected, we are providing a combined target for each metric across all of our delivery, rather than creating targets per individual programme.

Grant metrics
Participants Newly registered Content pages Volunteer hours Total direct engagement
TOTAL FOR ALL PROGRAMMES 6000 1000 250,000 20,000 70,000

Verification and signature[edit]

Please enter "yes" or "no" for the verification below.

The term “political or legislative activities” includes any activities relating to political campaigns or candidates (including the contribution of funds and the publication of position statements relating to political campaigns or candidates); voter registration activities; meetings with or submissions and petitions to government executives, ministers, officers or agencies on political or policy issues; and any other activities seeking government intervention or policy implementation (like “lobbying”), whether directed toward the government or the community or public at large. General operating support through the FDC may not be used to cover political and legislative activities, although you may make a separate grant agreement with the WMF for these purposes.
I verify that no funds from the Wikimedia Foundation will be used
for political or legislative activities except as permitted by a grant agreement

Please sign below to complete this proposal form.

IMPORTANT. Please do not make any changes to this proposal form after the proposal submission deadline for this round. If a change that is essential to an understanding of your organization's proposal is needed, please request the change on the discussion page of this form so it may be reviewed by FDC staff. Once submitted, complete and valid proposal forms submitted on time by eligible organizations will be considered unless an organization withdraws its application in writing or fails to remain eligible for the duration of the FDC process.
Please sign here once this proposal form is complete, using four tildes. LucyCrompton-Reid (WMUK) (talk) 14:54, 16 November 2018 (UTC)