Grants:APG/Simple/Committee/Orientation

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Welcome!

Welcome, to the Simple Annual Plan Grants Committee!

You’ve either joined the Simple Annual Plan Grants Committee, or you’re interested in learning more about committee service.

We’re glad you’re here.

Background[edit]

The Simple Annual Plan Grants Committee is one of the Wikimedia movement’s four volunteer grants committees, and makes decisions about Annual Plan Grants for organizations requesting restricted grants of less than 100,000 US dollars. Simple Annual Plan Grants have an easier application process than traditional Annual Plan Grants, and are accepted throughout the year. The Simple Annual Plan Grants program has a strong emphasis on applicant support and committee involvement at every stage of the grant, and welcomes user groups as well as formal organizations.

Why participate?[edit]

Committee members have many different backgrounds, areas of expertise, and motivations for serving on the committee. Some of years of experience serving on other grants committees, while some are joining a grants committee for the first time. Some have experience working with movement organizations, others are experienced with user groups, and some are individual volunteers that are interested in supporting groups and organizations. Some have many years experience working with organizations outside of the Wikimedia movement.

Committee work offers volunteers an opportunity to be part of a consensus-driven process for making group decisions, and to interact with volunteers from all over the world. Committee members can make a big difference for their fellow volunteers and for the Wikimedia movement by supporting applicants and grantees that are doing projects to improve content and increase participation all over the Wikimedia world. Many committee members are eager to learn and share with groups, organizations, and communities they work with in other volunteer roles.

Commitment[edit]

Applications for Simple Annual Plan Grants are accepted throughout the year, which can mean that it is more difficult to predict exactly when committee members will be most needed for application review tasks and that workload depends on application volume. A high volume of applications is expected every year for grants with start dates of 1 January, and so grantees with this start date are asked to submit applications for 1 November if their grants start on 1 January. This allows us to review the larger group of applications at one time and better manage the committee’s work, and means that November and December are generally busy months for committee members.

Inaugural committee members committed to a 10-month term. Future terms will be for a period of one year, and committee members who elect to continue on after the 10-month term will begin a staggered term cycle for better continuity.

Core responsibilities[edit]

All Simple Annual Plan Grants Committee members participate in application review. Committee members may recuse themselves from any application if (1) they have a conflict of interest; or (2) they are temporarily unavailable at the time the application needs to be reviewed (for example, because of other commitments).

Application review involves

  1. offering suggestions to improve applications during the application phase;
  2. assessing applications;
  3. offering applicants written feedback.

Optional activities[edit]

Depending on availability and expertise, some committee members may elect to (1) engage with grantees over the course of their grants; (2) help develop the Simple Annual Plan Grants process.

Simple Annual Plan Grants Committee Resources[edit]

Once you join the committee, you will be added to the google group that the committee uses to communicate by Email. Here are some other resources you can find on Meta:

An overview of how the committee reviews applications[edit]

Application process (generally takes one or two months)[edit]

  1. The applicant submits a request using the button on the Eligibility page.
  2. Staff contacts the applicant to schedule a meeting or review plans by Email, and notifies them of any necessary changes or outstanding eligibility requirements. Committee members may also be involved at this stage.
  3. Staff starts an application for the applicant, and makes a formal eligibility assessment. During this phase, the applicant can request consultation from staff and committee members to improve the different parts of their application.
  4. After the application is finished, the committee is notified that the application is ready for review.

Committee assessment (generally takes 2-3 weeks)[edit]

  1. Once applications come in, committee members ask questions and offers suggestions on the discussion page of the application. Committee members may coordinate over Email, and will have access to financial analysis and background information from staff.
  2. OPTIONAL: For complicated applications, the committee completes an optional early assessment using the survey tool, and committee members attend an optional early assessment call.
  3. The committee completes a final assessment using the survey tool (each member is sent an individual link), and staff compiles the aggregate results. Committee members attend a call to discuss the results and resolve outstanding questions.
  4. In cases where there is disagreement on the result, we can meet again to reach consensus, or work on reaching consensus over Email. In more controversial cases, we may use tools like the gradients of agreement, where committee members indicate their level of agreement or disagreement on a scale of 1 to 8.

Recommendations (generally takes a few days)[edit]

  1. Staff adds information from the aggregate assessments to a google document, to form the basis of the recommendations text.
  2. The committee works on the recommendations in the google document together.
  3. A volunteer from the committee publishes recommendations on the discussion page of the application.
  4. After completing WMF's internal approval process, staff makes a decision about how to implement the recommendation on the discussion page.