Grants:APG/Staff/Workflows

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FDC process[edit]

New applications[edit]

The first step in the FDC process is the Letter of Intent. Organizations that are considering submitting a Letter of Intent may contact you prior to submitting the letter, for advice on what to include in the letter and whether or not to proceed with this first step. At this stage, provide applicants with advice about how to best continue based on a likely assessment of their eligibility and ability to succeed in the FDC process.

When new letters of intent are received, record them in your internal document, so that you can collect an estimate of amounts to be requested in the upcoming round. This will give you a better sense of whether or not the FDC will be constrained by its current budget for the round in its decisionmaking. Write to each applicant to confirm receipt of their letter of intent, and to review the upcoming deadlines for the next round.

Following this, set up a meeting with all new applicants to discuss their engagement in the FDC process. Prior to the meeting, consult with fellow program officers who have worked with the applicant in the past, to get a sense of their past work and suitability for the FDC process. Advise applicants that are clearly unsuitable that they may withdraw their letter of intent at this stage, but are also welcome to continue to the eligibility phase.

Coordinate the initial eligibility assessment internally, to receive input from the appropriate stakeholders, which may include other WMF staff (legal, program officers, grants administrator, affiliate liaison). Publish the complete assessment on Meta, and following this reach out to each applicant to ensure they are adequately informed of their eligibility status and are supported in fulfilling any pending requirements. Inform applicants that after several months, eligibility will be confirmed and the status of each applicant will then be "locked", meaning that only organizations that are "eligible" at that time will be able to submit applications and organizations that are possibly eligible will be moved to "not eligible". Once the eligibility confirmation date passes, change each applicant's status accordingly before announcing the confirmation of eligibility.

Any organization that fails to maintain its good standing by meeting the eligibility requirements at any time during the FDC process may be prevented from continuing in the process, so continued monitoring of compliance is required throughout the application cycle and the life of the grant.

Following the confirmation of eligibility, remind applicants of the pending application deadline.

Application review[edit]

Several months prior to the application review phase, please review and agree to roles for WMF staff.

The application review phase starts with receiving proposals. After the official deadline has passed, do a cursory review of each of the new proposals to ensure the proposal forms are complete and correctly categorized. Contact applicants immediately to address any issues that may require a change to the proposal form. For complete proposal forms, write to each grantee (or to the group) acknowledging receipt of the forms. Ensure that all new proposals are available on the public page, and that the community review template is added to each of the proposals. At this stage, create an entry for each grant in our internal system. Monitor the discussion pages of applications during the review phase, and respond to the questions and concerns of grantees, and to any requests to alter the application form.

After proposals are received, reach out to staff that are working on proposal review to let them know that the proposals have been received. During the first week, this will like include Learning & Evaluation staff and staff supporting financial analysis, who review the proposals with the APG program officers immediately in order to address questions and inconsistencies in a timely way. Some detailed financial analysis is prepared during this period, and shared with the FDC and staff reviewers. During the next two weeks, expert reviewers working on specific program areas will be conducting their independent review. These may include internal experts in GLAM, the Wikipedia Library, Learning & Evaluation, Communications, Advocacy, Legal, Finance, and Education, as well as other program officers that have worked previously with the applicants or on specific program areas. Ensure that reviewers are aware of deadlines related to their review in advance, set up meetings to discuss or coordinate their review as necessary. During this phase, reach out to donor references provided by applicants and document the results of these interviews.

Send the FDC an early assessment tool (through a qualtrics survey), to compile initial feedback for the purposes of internal discussions on the committee; schedule and facilitate this discussion.

Compile all internal inputs including initial review (program design and finance), expert review, and references, in preparation for the public staff assessments. APG program staff will work collaboratively on the narrative portions of these assessments before publishing them on Meta. Individual scores are compiled and then differences are discussed together. Scores and assessments are also calibrated with previous rounds and across the current portfolio of applicants. Following publication, write to applicants to notify them that the assessments have been published. Monitor the discussion pages to be sure you are able to pass on any responses to the FDC, or respond to requests to correct factual errors. Leading up to the in person meeting, compile initial allocations from FDC members, and prepare a presentation for the FDC including a summary of financial information, the staff proposal assessments, and aggregate data about the initial allocations.

The committee will meet in person to discuss the proposals over several days. Schedule and coordinate logistics for this meeting, and then be present at the meeting to facilitate and record discussions. This will involve a team of several people assisting with logistics, facilitation, and documentation. Move notes from the FDC meeting to the FDC private wiki following the meeting, while being aware of any notes that should not be immediately added due to members who recused themselves.

As needed, support board approval of the FDC recommendations, to ensure a timely result. Coordinate with the grants administrator to create an installment schedule, finalize grants with formal agreements, and disburse first installments.

Current grantees[edit]

Periodic meetings

  • Meetings with APG recipients are generally scheduled a few times a year, after each report is submitted and as needed.
  • Record discussions on your shared notepad with the grantee and follow up on action items between check ins.
  • Serve as main point of contact for the grantee and resolve action items or answer questions on behalf of the Wikimedia Foundation.
  • Note each check in in our internal tracking system.
  • Conduct a site visit for any first time grantee, and following this at a 2-3 year interval. These include a financial review.

Grant management

  • Follow up with the grants administrator and the applicant to ensure that funds are received for the first and subsequent installments.
  • Monitor installment schedule and associated requirements, and notify the grants administrator as needed.
  • Monitor the grant period and work together with the grantee to support timely future applications (LOI deadlines).
  • Monitor if audited financials are submitted by the required date, and reviewed by the finance team.
  • Coordinate with the affiliate liaison to help grantees stay in compliance with non-grant reporting requirements.
  • Upon receipt of final reports, determine the total amount of grant funds spent and work with the grantee on a plan for returning remaining funds.

Reporting

  • Send grantees reminders about reporting and be available to answer questions about reporting procedures as each deadline approaches.
  • Respond to requests for extensions prior to the reporting deadlines in a timely way.
  • Acknowledge receipt of reports on the discussion page of each report.
  • Review reports and provide grantees with detailed feedback as part of their regular check ins.
  • Record metrics in any internal tracking sheets as applicable.
  • Record reports in our internal tracking system.

Evaluation[edit]

An annual report should be produced in September each year by the ombudsperson. Surveys conducted each year include,

  • Surveys sent to all participants in each round, twice each year.

Simple APG[edit]

New applications[edit]

New applications are the most time-consuming phase for staff, as they involve close work with each applicant to develop and improve plans.

When a request is received through the Simple APG application request google form, respond to the applicant to notify them of the status of their request. Then set up a shared notepad for you and the applicant where you can record the results of conversations and track action items.

NOT ELIGIBLE: If you can easily assess whether the applicant will not be eligible, write to the applicant to advise them of next steps.
ELIGIBLE: If you believe the applicant could be eligible, conduct a thorough eligibility review to prepare for a call with the applicant. Then meet with the applicant to discuss their application and their eligibility, including a review of next steps (including the applicant's timeline for needing funding) if the applicant is to move forward. If the applicant wishes to move forward, prepare a detailed written eligibility assessment. This process will also include written confirmation from the grants administrator and the program officer for project grants that the applicant is eligible.

In cases where a bridge grant is needed to sustain some basic expenses during the application period, work with the grantee to determine the amount needed. Create a card in Fluxx for the bridge grant request. Share the card with the grants administrator and program officer for project grants to confirm eligibility for the bridge grant before creating a Meta page to record the grant request.

Set up an application for the applicant on Meta using the application form, and include information from the application request form or eligibility calls. Publish the detailed eligibility assessment on the discussion page. Set up the format for the discussion page. Send the applicant a link to the application form, along with other resources needed for the application process. If needed, set up a time to follow up and discuss application development.

Reach out to committee members to see if particular committee members are interested in working with the applicant. Work with the applicant in partnership with these committee members to develop the application throughout this period. This may include coaching on SMART program objectives, budget review, or work on program design and structure. This may include calls, or collaboration on wiki or using google documents.

Application review[edit]

During this phase, staff works closely with the committee to facilitate application review and make sure it is done within the needed timeframe.

Once the applicant is comfortable with the state of the application, change the status of the application on Meta from draft to open. Send a note to the committee announcing the application and providing some brief background, and work with the committee on a schedule for review that accommodates the applicants requirements if possible. Set up a doodle poll to schedule application review calls and send the eligibility assessment to the committee.

For more complicated rounds, conduct an early assessment. Complete financial analysis and reach out to the applicant to get any missing information. Send the analysis to the committee for review and correct mistakes or missing information. Set up and distribute the assessment tool to participating committee members and confirm times for application review calls. Add meeting times to the Committee Workroom on Meta.

Compile results of the assessment tool prior to the review calls. Facilitate and document the review calls, and publish summaries on Meta. Summarize the results of both calls and bring open issues back to the committee to reach consensus by Email. Simultaneously go to the applicant with requests for more information from the committee or to get feedback on proposed solutions that may require further discussions with the applicant, as needed.

Once a decision is reached, set up a draft structure for the committee to work on and facilitate collaboration on the recommendations text. Ensure that committee members know who is responsible for publishing the recommendations and by when. Notify the applicant that the recommendations are ready and let them know what to expect. Once the recommendations are published, initiate processes for internal review in order to secure any internal review before a public decision is delivered. In the mean time, begin drafting decision text that may include specific advice about how to implement the committee's recommendations. Publish decision text once approvals are secured, and notify the applicant once the decision is available. Offer an optional call to discuss the decision.

Work with the grants administrator and grantee to finalize the grant agreement, approvals, and disbursement of funds.

Current grantees[edit]

Regular meetings

  • Work with new grantees to establish a regular meeting schedule that is comfortable for staff and the applicant and meet regularly (once a month for most grantees).
  • During the first call, start the process for defining organizational focus areas and milestones to follow up with on future calls.
  • Record discussions on your shared notepad with the grantee and follow up on action items between check ins.
  • Serve as main point of contact for the grantee and resolve action items or answer questions on behalf of the Wikimedia Foundation.
  • Note each check in in our internal tracking system.

Grant management

  • Follow up with the grants administrator and the applicant to ensure that funds are received for the first and subsequent installments.
  • Monitor installment schedule and associated requirements, and notify the grants administrator as needed.
  • Monitor the grant period and work together with the grantee to support timely future applications.
  • Coordinate with the affiliate liaison to help grantees stay in compliance with non-grant reporting requirements.
  • Upon receipt of final reports, do a detailed financial review of each grantee's spending and clarify any details as necessary.
  • Upon receipt of final reports, determine the total amount of grant funds spent and work with the grantee on a plan for reallocating or returning remaining funds.

Reporting

  • Set up reporting spaces on each grant application as deadlines approach.
  • Send grantees reminders about reporting and set up calls to walk grantees through reporting procedures.
  • Acknowledge receipt of reports on the discussion page of each grant.
  • Review reports and provide grantees with detailed feedback as part of their regular check ins.
  • Record metrics in any internal tracking sheets as applicable.
  • Provide regular updates to the committee about the grantee's work.
  • Create or support blog entries for compelling stories that emerge, to highlight the outstanding work of grantees.
  • Record reports in our internal tracking system.

Process changes during the grant period

  • Review requests for budget changes in a timely way, and provide the grantee with rationale for each decision.
  • Review requests for budget increases in a timely way, provide the grantee with rationale for each decision, and steward the change through internal approvals.
  • Review and support requests for reallocation of remaining funds.
  • Record changes in our internal tracking system.

Evaluation[edit]

An annual program report should be produced in September each year. Surveys conducted each year include,

  • Annual committee survey, sent to all committee members in January
  • Applicant surveys, sent to all applicants once each year, in January or June
  • Grant completion survey, sent to all grantees upon completion of their final report
  • Committee exit survey, sent to all committee members when they leave the committee