Below are some common questions and answers we have received so far about the Grants Relaunch Strategy. If you have other questions, please review these options for providing feedback. Questions and responses may be added here based on additional feedback we receive.
About Regional Committees
How are General Support Fund proposals reviewed for Wikimedia Community Fund?
- Please see: Committee review process and framework
What will happen to members of current or recent grant committees?
- We appreciate the participatory efforts that our volunteer committees have supported through Project Grants, Simple Annual Plan Grants, Conference & Event Grants, and Annual Plan Grants. Members from these groups are welcome to apply for Regional Committees.
What will the general process be to support funding decisions? What is the role of the Regional Committee in this process?
- In general, we expect the workflow for funding decisions to go through the following steps:
- Step 1: Application
- Step 2: Eligibility review
- Step 3: Review by Program Officer(s)
- Step 4: Deliberations by the Regional Committee
- Step 5: Decisions published by the Regional Committee
- Step 6: Disbursement of grants
- The Regional Committee will retain decision making power for funding decisions and resource allocation in the region.
Is the call for Regional Committee members aligned with the drafting of the Movement Charter and setting up of Interim Global Council?
- As mentioned in our objective the setting up of the regional committee members is to support the ongoing conversations around Interim Global Council and drafting of Movement Charter. CR team would be closely following the developments regarding the Hubs and will make changes to the committees as necessary.
I am interested in the work done in a region other than my current location (eg: currently living in the USA but interested in initiatives and ideas in India), can I apply to be in the committee of that region?
- We expect that committees will be represented by people primarily working in that region. However, the regional committees should have a healthy mixture of local and global Wikimedians. Expertise of Wikimedians and emerging opportunities will determine representation.
How will the interaction work between various regional committees?
- Our immediate goal is to ensure that the regional committees are set up. We expect that committees will share what they have learned in review and decision making.
About the timeline
When will the proposed grant programs be implemented?
- We plan to launch the new grant programs on July 1, 2021 inline with the Foundation’s Fiscal Year 21/22
When will the current grant programs no longer be available?
- Once the new programs launch on July 1, 2021, we will stop accepting new applications under the current grant programs.
When will I need to apply to a new grant program?
- When you initiate a new application after July 1, 2021, you will do so through a new grant program.
- If you have an open grant now, you will not need to transition to a new grant program in the middle of your grant period. Your transition would not take place until you initiate a new application. For example, a Simple APG grantee whose grant end date is 31 December 2021 would not transition to a new grant program until after that date.
- Importantly, the Community Resources team will proactively share resources and guidance with all grantees to support transitions from current to new grant programs. There will also be opportunities to meet with program officers to discuss questions and needs around your transition.
About current grant programs
Will all of the current grant programs be replaced?
- Yes, as of July 1, 2021, we will close APG, SAPG, Project Grants for new applications.Rapid Grants will remain open temporarily during July/August 2021 while the application for the Rapid Fund program's application process and systems are finalized.
I am a current grantee. What will happen to my current grant when new grant programs are created?
- All open grants made on or before June 30, 2021 will have their grant agreement terms honored. If you are in the middle of your grant agreement when our new programs launch, your grant and its terms will continue without interruption until the agreement ends.
How does this proposal affect Conference & Event Grants? Will this grant program be changing?
- This proposal only affects grants programs managed by the Community Resources Team. Conference & Event Grants are currently undergoing a separate relaunch process to align to the strategic direction. Consequently, that program will also be changing. The Events and Community Resources teams remain in alignment on the overall direction of the programs.
How will you support grantees to transition to these new funding programs?
- The Community Resources team has been providing transitional and flexible support to affiliates and other grantees, and will continue to do so. This support has been provided through direct interactions through office hours offered by region and scheduling one-on-one sessions with grantees to review these changes and to discuss both needs and concerns.
About the proposed grant programs
I am familiar with one or more of the current grant applications (for example, Rapid Grants). What will the new application form look like, and how will it differ?
- We do expect that the application process will change, and will be reviewing all of the application forms to adapt to the new programs and ensure equitable processes. We also want to ensure the questions you answer support committee decision making and grantee learning.
- We are exploring new ways to submit applications in order to make the process more broadly accessible, to take better advantage of structured data and automation. Our goal is to minimize unnecessary manual processes and facilitate sharing of aggregated information. We will ensure transparency by continuing to show applications and reports on Meta with talk pages. We will also provide support for applicants with the new process through office hours and short training videos.
What about reporting processes? How will those change?
- We do expect that the reporting process will change, and are working to review all past reporting forms, in a similar manner as with applications. As with applications, we will provide support for grantees with the new process.
- One major change is that while grantees will need to report on spending and maintain receipts, they will not be required to scan and send all receipts to the Wikimedia Foundation.
The role of the program officer will change to focus on supporting all grants in a given region. What will this mean for thematic groups, whose work is not regionally bound?
- The strategic direction moves us towards a regional focus. Regional and thematic committees will be created that aim to account for the full complexities of the world and the movement. And that recognizes the diversity in programming, cultures and languages within regions and globally. Committee composition will be a key conversation during the implementation phase.
Will the budget for grants increase?
- Yes, we propose an increase to the overall grant budget to support the new grants strategy. We have a strong commitment to equitable funding distribution and to increase investment in emerging communities. With a mature grants process and with strategic direction moving us forward we will adopt a less conservative risk policy. Our funding approach must align with the actions needed to achieve the strategic direction.
How will resources submitted through grant reports be used to build a bank of learning resources for grantees?
- Resources submitted will be used as part of Let's Connect peer learning program. We are hoping to organise the resources by topic and type of resource so that others can access them based on their needs. For now, this will be on Meta, until other more user-friendly and Movement-wide resource and knowledge management systems are developed. We are also currently looking at developing templates to registering learning (such as case study templates or templates used in the Learning Patterns), as these could also be stored in this resource space along with training material, presentations, videos, guidelines, as well as any other material useful for sharing knowledge with peers.
Will translations for the Grants Relaunch Strategy be available?
- Yes. We are preparing full translations of these pages and materials in Spanish and French, which will be available later in March 2021. We will also be requesting community translations using the translators-l mailing list.