Grants:Changes to your grant

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Purpose and background[edit]

We understand that even the best-laid plans sometimes need to change. When plans change it is important for grantees to either (1) notify WMF of changes, as required in your grant agreement or (2) request permission from WMF to make a change, as required in your grant agreement or by program policy. Changes also need to be documented publicly on Meta when this is possible, so others interested in your grant, including committees making grantmaking decisions, can understand the changes.

Your grant agreement will outline in detail when you need to notify WMF of changes or request permission for changes, so be sure to read your grant agreement to understand the requirements specific to your grant.


As a rule of thumb, it is better to over-report changes rather than under-report changes. In addition to approving changes, WMF may be able to work with you to overcome obstacles to a successful grant or to help you reporting on your grant or requesting changes.

To request most changes, you will need to post a request on the discussion page of your approved grant proposal including:

  1. A description of the proposed change.
  2. A clear description of the special circumstances that require this change.
  3. A clear description of how this change will affect other aspects of your project, including your project budget and your project's goals and activities.

Types of changes[edit]

Possible changes to a grant include:

  • Changes to the approved start date or completion date of your grant, including extensions of the project completion date.
  • Changes to any one line-item in your budget beyond the threshold defined by your program and grant amount.
  • An overall reduction or increase in the amount of your grant due to exceptional circumstances.
  • Changes to your grant's reporting schedule due to exceptional circumstances.
  • Changes to your, your group's or your organization's status or ability to do your grant.

Changes to the start or completion dates of your grant[edit]

Changes to the start or completion dates of your grant must be requested publicly on the discussion page of your grant proposal. To request a change to the start or completion dates of your grant, please post a request on the discussion page of the proposal and include the following:

  1. The new proposed start date or new proposed completion date for your grant. Your dates must include a day, a month and a year.
  2. A clear description of the special circumstances that require this change.
  3. A clear description of how this change will affect other aspects of your project, including your project budget and your project's goals and activities.

If you need to change your project's completion date, you must request this change at least 21 days before your scheduled completion date except under very special circumstances. If a change is approved, grants program or administrative staff will post an adjusted reporting schedule with the approval.

Grantees receiving Annual Plan Grants through the FDC process are not able to receive extensions if they apply for a grant in the following year, since they cannot receive two grants at once through this program. For grantees not applying for a new grant, extensions may be considered in exceptional circumstances.

Changes to line items within your budget[edit]

Grantees often need to request or report changes to the budget that has been approved with their grant. Changes may be needed due to over-budgeting or under-budgeting certain line items, savings due to unexpected in-kind donations or very successful negotiations to lower the prices of some grant expenses, or other unexpected costs. You may need to add or remove some line items, or decrease or increase other line items.

Different types of grants may have different guidelines for when you need to report or request changes:

  • Grantees receiving grants through the Project and Event Grants or Individual Engagement Grants programs that are equal to or over US$15,000 or its equivalent in another currency need to request permission in advance for changes to line items greater than +/- 10% of that line item.
  • Grantees receiving grants through the Project and Event Grants or Individual Engagement Grants programs that are under US$15,000 or its equivalent in another currency need to request permission in advance for changes to line items greater than +/- 20% of that line item.
  • Grantee receiving grants through the Travel and Participation Grants program must request permission in advance for exceeding any line item in their budget, or they may not be eligible for full reimbursement.
  • Grantees receiving Annual Plan Grants through the FDC process must report significant variances to any line item in the approved budget of +/- 15% of any line item, or any changes that significantly impact their plans. This may be included in the spending report for each progress report or impact report, and significant changes (such as adding or removing a staff person or program) should be reported to FDC staff immediately.

To request a change to your budget, please post a request on the discussion page of your grant proposal including the following:

  1. An updated proposed budget table highlighting any proposed changes.
  2. A clear description of the special circumstances that require this change.
  3. A clear description of how this change will affect other aspects of your project, including your project budget and your project's goals and activities.

Changes to your grant amount[edit]

In rare cases, big changes in your budget may require you to adjust the total amount of your grant. If your budget is significantly reduced, then you will need to follow the instructions for returning remaining funds. If, on the other hand, you need additional funding, please post a request on the discussion page of your grant proposal including the following:

  1. An updated proposed budget table highlighting any proposed changes to individual line items and the total grant amount.
  2. A clear description of the special circumstances that require this change.
  3. A clear description of how this change will affect other aspects of your project, including your project budget and your project's goals and activities.

Grantees receiving Annual Plan Grants through the FDC process are not able to make changes affecting the overall grant amount.

Changes to your grant's reporting schedule[edit]

At the time your grant is approved, you will be notified of a reporting schedule for your grant. Please ask your program officer for details about your grant's reporting schedule, or consult your grant's discussion page if your reporting schedule is posted there. In rare cases, special circumstances might require a change in the reporting schedule. For example, a key team member or partner may be unable to complete their portion of the report as planned or provide you with the information needed to complete the report or an unexpected event might make reporting impossible or difficult on your current schedule.

  1. The new proposed reporting schedule for your grant.
  2. A clear description of the special circumstances that require this change. This may be supplemented with private communication to grants program staff if some information cannot be made public.

A change to the reporting schedule may also be approved with additional reporting requirements.

Changes affecting your status or the status of your grant[edit]

It is important that you read your grant agreement to understand when it is required that you notify WMF of changes to you, your group, your organization or your grant. If you are not sure whether or not you are required to report a change, it may be a good idea to contact your program officer or grants administrator to discuss your situation and to best report any changes.