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Individual Engagement Grants

committee workroom

The Workroom is the organizing hub for the Individual Engagement Grants committee.

« Welcome, committee members! New committee candidates are welcome to apply through March 25. »
« Please share early feedback on new drafts and ideas during open call. » +

round 1 2016 schedule

IdeaLab Campaign: 28 February-29 March

Proposals accepted: 14 March through 12 April

Open feedback period[1]: 12 April through 2 May

Committee review: 3 May –16 May

Grantees announced: 17 June

Grants disbursed: June

Midpoint reports: September

Final reports: December

2016 +

round 2 2015 schedule

Proposals accepted: 31 August–29 September

Committee members finalized: 30 September

Community comment requested: 30 September–19 October

Committee review: 20 October – 2 November

Grantees announced: 4 December


Grants disbursed: December 2015 – January 2016

Midpoint reports: April

Final reports: July

2016 +

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getting started

Welcome, new members! Now that you've joined, here is what you need to get started.

Step 1. Create an IdeaLab profile

Introduce yourself to your fellow members and grantees! Create your IdeaLab profile.

Step 2. Learn about how we work

Read the coordination and review sections of this page to learn more about the proposal review process and your responsibilities as a committee member.

Step 3. Signup for a working group

We divide proposals up by methodology or theme, so you can focus on scoring proposals in your area of expertise. Feel free to join more than one group! Join a working group.

Step 4. Give early feedback to proposers

It's never too early to start reading ideas, drafts and proposals and share your feedback to help improve them. Tips for giving early feedback.

Step 5. Got questions?

You'll get an email when it is time to start scoring proposals or begin other committee tasks. Meanwhile, if you have any questions, feel free to post them on the Workroom talk page.

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committee responsibilities

Primary roles:

  1. Provide feedback on the talk page of grant proposals in all 3 stages: ideas, drafts, and final submissions.
  2. Evaluate finalized proposals: Review finalized proposals and community input, and score proposals according to rubric determined by selection criteria.
  3. Recommend proposals for funding: Recommend a shortlist of proposals for funding based on the available budget and projects.
  4. Organize into working groups to accomplish all of the above.

Secondary roles:

  1. Help recruit new proposals and ideas, and spread the word about IEG and committee openings during open call periods.
  2. Make recommendations to WMF about grantmaking practices and help improve the IEG program and committee process.
  3. Become a project advisor. If you’ve become familiar with a project and we’ve funded it, following its progress to completion is a great way to stay involved between open call periods. Read reports, highlight results, check-in with grantees from time-to-time about what they’re producing, help troubleshoot or connect them to others if needed, etc.

staff responsibilities
  1. Encourage Wikimedians to write up new ideas and proposals.
  2. Define a budget and schedule for each round with community input.
  3. Maintain program pages and information for proposers and grantees.
  4. Provide feedback on the talk page of grant proposals in all 3 stages.
  5. Determine and communicate eligibility of proposals.
  6. Nudge proposals to move from draft to proposed status.
  7. Maintain proposal pages with formatting and categorization to ensure committee has easy access to proposals with all info needed for completing review.
  8. Prepare scoring rubric and other materials to assist with committee review.
  9. Facilitate committee review process, aggregating scores and other info for discussion, bringing in expert opinions and information as needed.
  10. Help communicate committee recommendations outward.
  11. Complete due diligence on recommended grantees.
  12. Approve and disburse grant funds.
  13. Support grantees from onboarding through final reporting stages.
  14. Support specialized committee roles in facilitating the grantmaking process

specialized committee roles

Edit the committee roles section Review Coordinator:

  1. Close committee discussions in proposal review.
  2. Transfer committee feedback and other key findings generated in the proposal review process from private channels (e.g. aggregated scores on iegcom-wiki) to Meta.
  3. Communicate committee feedback to proposers in collaboration with staff, when a point person is needed.
Member: — ΛΧΣ21 05:27, 26 October 2013 (UTC)

Keeper of the Clock:

  1. Keep track of upcoming deadlines in the review process and IEG schedule.
  2. Email the committee with helpful notices and calls to action.
Member: Steven Zhang (talk) 22:04, 19 October 2013 (UTC)


  1. Spread open calls by reaching out to the broader community through Village pump posts, wikimedia-l and announcements mailing lists, Signpost, etc.
  2. Announce new committee members, IEGrantees, etc via similar channels.
Member: Steven Zhang (talk) 04:40, 21 September 2013 (UTC)


  1. Maintain record of ongoing and new committee practices and policies on Meta.
Member: Add your name here!

Coordinator / Crat:

  1. Control permissions on the private wiki and mailing list.
  2. Close committee discussions on committee candidates.
  3. Coordinate open calls for new members.
  4. Oversee the vetting and approval process of new members.
  5. Coordinate welcoming and orientation of new committee members.

Project Advisor:

  1. Follow along with an IEG project of interest.
  2. Read grantee's midpoint and final reports and provide feedback on talk page.
  3. Participate in occasional check-ins with grantee and provide advice or feedback as needed.
  4. Help communicate about grantee's project to others when there are relevant updates to share.
Members: Discuss with the grantees, then add your name as an advisor on the project page of an active IEG project!

communication guidelines

The committee communicates using a variety of channels, including:

  • Proposal talk pages
  • This meta Workroom and the Workroom talk page, for discussion and organizing
  • an internal wiki, for scoring and deliberation purposes only
  • iegcom(_AT_)lists.wikimedia.org (currently private)
  • Skype or Google Hangout may also be considered if voice becomes necessary for reaching consensus

Some guidelines we've agreed to during the review period:

  • Members are strongly encouraged to communicate directly with grant proposers in the IdeaLab and proposal discussion pages, to make suggestions, to ask questions, and give feedback.
  • Members are also encouraged to communicate with grant proposers after grants are announced to discuss how proposals that were not selected could be improved or to share revision suggestions if the proposal may be submitted in future rounds.
  • Active committee members should not communicate with recused members or grant proposers regarding private committee discussions about specific proposals during the scoring and recommendation periods.
  • WMF grantmaking staff, with the assistance of the committee, will post a one-time release of aggregated scores and comments after the scoring phase has concluded.

conflict of interest guidelines

The committee handles conflicts of interest from active members who submit proposals as follows:

  • Members may continue to serve on the committee during a round in which they have submitted a proposal by continuing to participate in public discussions and other on-wiki activities.
  • Members who have submitted a proposal will recuse themselves from all working groups that formally review proposals in the same category during that round.
  • Members who have submitted a proposal may continue to serve in a working group reviewing a category of proposals for which their own proposal is not included.
  • Members who have submitted a proposal will recuse themselves from the final deliberation and recommendation of all proposals when their own proposal has moved from a working group to the all-committee shortlist.
  • Committee members and WMF grantmaking staff who take on a role of advisor to the point of becoming a champion for any given proposal should recuse themselves from the process of reviewing or giving final approval on the proposal.
  • Committee recusal includes abstaining from scoring and formally recommending proposals, and removal from the committee mailing list and any other private channels or documents in use throughout the formal review period.
  • Committee members should follow the WMF Conflict of Interest Guidelines, which is currently in a draft form at Guidelines on potential conflicts of interest. Any potential or perceived COIs must be first and foremost disclosed proactively to the Supervisor of the allocation of funds. The Committee must be informed of any recusals that take place, but not necessarily of the reasons involving them.

process & timeline
What Who Where When
Feedback on ideas and drafts Committee, Staff Idea/Proposal talk page March 14-April 12, 2016

(IdeaLab Campaign launches February 24--committee engagement encouraged)

Working groups formed Committee Workroom 20 April
Eligibility status confirmation Staff Proposal page + talk page 13 Apr-18 Apr
Comments period Community, Committee Proposal page + talk page 13 Apr until 2 May
Scoring Committee (working groups) IEG review tool + IEG wiki 3 May until 16 May
Aggregate scores and publish feedback Committee (working groups) IEG review tool + IEG wiki + proposal talk pages by 23 May
Due diligence Staff Email + Skype interviews with shortlist grantees 17 May until 3 Jun
Finalize recommendations and approvals Committee, Staff IEG wiki, Skype call, mailing list 4 Jun until 15 June
Grantees announced Staff, Committee Talk pages + blog post + IEG page announcements + mailing list 17 Jun


instructions for review

Step 0: Give early feedback.

When: year round.

  • Check for new ideas and drafts submitted to the IdeaLab, and for complete proposals on the IEG mainpage.
  • Give feedback and ask clarifying questions to help improve proposals and projects for which funding is sought. It would be rare for a submission to be absolutely perfect from the start. Some may need tweaking to become really good usable project plans, and we can help nudge them in the right direction. Point proposers to the Proposal guidelines and other documentation when needed.
  • Encourage good ideas to move to status=PROPOSED before the deadline for each round.
  • Ensure that sufficient information is provided and that goals and estimates are realistic and well-defined. If scope or budgets need to be adjusted up or down, the appropriate time to request this is before a project is recommended for a grant.
  • Check on the community discussion around each proposal. Make sure community notification happened. If not, suggest or help grantees to do so.
  • Encourage proposers to be bold, experimental & aim to have a targeted impact. In IEG, we believe it is ok to fail, as long as we learn something new from each attempt.
  • Remember that submitting a grant proposal can be intimidating for people! Please be kind as well as honest in your feedback :)

Step 1: Prepare for review.

When: from when the working groups form until the end of the comments period.

  • Join a working group based on your area of interest or expertise.
  • Familiarize yourself with the set of proposals your group will be responsible for reviewing. Read the proposal and its associated discussions. Ask clarifying questions or make suggestions on the talk page to improve the proposal.
  • Check that relevant communities have been notified, budgets make sense, and so forth.
  • Do any necessary background research to help you learn more about the project plan. If you feel additional expert input is needed to help evaluate a proposal, let IEG program staff know.

Step 2: Score eligible proposals.

When: scoring period.

  • Read the proposal and its associated discussions one more time to refresh your memory.
  • Continue to ask clarifying questions or suggest changes on the proposal talk page as needed.
  • Reach out to your fellow working group members to discuss proposals as needed (can use any communication channels of the group's choosing)
  • Use the ieg review system to individually submit your scores and comments for each proposal assigned to your group, based on the rubric below. Indicate in your review whether you would recommend funding for it, given the limited budget described.
  • Each working group may want to check in as a group mid-way through the scoring period. Staff can assist with scheduling if needed.

Step 3: Synthesize scores and feedback for proposers.

When: aggregation and public feedback period.

  • Review the aggregate scores (link will be sent via email by Staff) for your working group.
  • Work with your group to prepare a the feedback template for each proposal the group is responsible for.
  • On the template, list the proposal's score for each criteria.
  • Also on the template, synthesize the group's comments into a list of qualitative feedback. Remember that this feedback will be shared with proposers, so it should be clear, concise, thorough, honest and kind.
  • Support the Review Coordinator to ensure each feedback template is posted to the proper proposal's talk page

Step 4: Deliberate to form a committee recommendation.

When: committee deliberation period.

  • Before this step begins, staff will share with the committee a ranked list of proposals based on the committee's scores, and then performs due diligence on all proposals that have a majority of individual recommendations from committee scorers.
  • Staff will post the outcomes of WMF's due diligence on the IEG wiki, sharing what's been learned about each proposal along with staff suggestions.
  • Contribute your thoughts to the discussion either on the IEG wiki, committee mailing list, or by joining the group deliberation Skype call.
  • Once the Review Coordinator closes the discussion and we've reached consensus, celebrate with great joy, because we're ready to announce a new round of grantees!


  • The committee may continue to post feedback, questions, or requests on proposals throughout the review period. Plans can be updated and improved in response to committee requests until a project is selected for funding.
  • The committee may decide to recommend a proposal as-is, or make recommendation contingent on some adjustments (to scope, budget, etc). Comments should be including in the scoring form and/or on the IEG wiki discussion page to reflect any contingent recommendations.

eligible proposals & working groups

We organize into working groups to review sets of proposals with a common methodology. Join a working group!

Proposals eligible for review in the current round:

Online community organizing

No pages meet these criteria.

Offline outreach & partnerships

No pages meet these criteria.


No pages meet these criteria.


No pages meet these criteria.


Scoring rubric[edit]

Proposals are scored according to the following criteria.

Evaluation criteria Considerations 1 = Weak alignment 10 = Strong alignment
Impact potential
  1. Does it fit with Wikimedia's strategic priorities?
  2. Does it have potential for online impact?
  3. Can it be sustained, scaled, or adapted elsewhere after the grant ends?
Projects receiving this score may...
  • have no clear fit to strategic priorities
  • have low potential for online impact
  • lack ability to sustain, scale, or be adapted elsewhere after the grant ends
Projects receiving this score may...
  • directly address one or more strategic priorities.
  • have significant online impact
  • be sustained by volunteers and potentially scaled or adapted elsewhere
Innovation and learning
  1. Does it take an innovative approach to solving a key problem?
  2. Is the potential impact greater than the risks?
  3. Can we measure success?
Projects receiving this score may...
  • replicate past solutions and teach us little that is new/useful
  • involve risks that are larger than its potential for impact
  • have unrealistic or vague measures of success
Projects receiving this score may...
  • be the next Big Idea for solving a key Wikimedia problem
  • risk very little compared to the large potential for impact
  • have realistic measures of success and clear targets for evaluating impact
Ability to execute
  1. Can the scope be accomplished in 6 months?
  2. How realistic/efficient is the budget?
  3. Do the participants have the necessary skills/experience?
Projects receiving this score may...
  • have an unrealistic scope
  • have significantly over- or under-budgeted
  • lack the necessary skills or experience on the team, with no plan to fill these gaps
Projects receiving this score may...
  • be completed in 6 months
  • have a clear and reasonable budget and cost projections
  • have the necessary skills and experience on the team, and a plan to fill any gaps
Community engagement
  1. Does it have a specific target community and plan to engage it often?
  2. Does it have community support?
  3. Does it support diversity?
Projects receiving this score may...
  • lack a plan to engage with a specific target community.
  • not have any community discussion or endorsements
  • not support diversity in the movement in terms of projects, languages, or demographics
Projects receiving this score may...
  • have identified a specific target community and proactively plans to engage it
  • have notified members of the relevant target community and have significant interest/endorsements
  • support or grow diversity in the movement in terms of projects, languages, or demographics


feedback template

Aggregated scores from the committee for (project name)[edit]

Scoring criteria (see the rubric for background) Score
1=weak alignment 10=strong alignment
(A) Impact potential
  • Does it fit with Wikimedia's strategic priorities?
  • Does it have potential for online impact?
  • Can it be sustained, scaled, or adapted elsewhere after the grant ends?
(B) Innovation and learning
  • Does it take an Innovative approach to solving a key problem?
  • Is the potential impact greater than the risks?
  • Can we measure success?
(C) Ability to execute
  • Can the scope be accomplished in 6 months?
  • How realistic/efficient is the budget?
  • Do the participants have the necessary skills/experience?
(D) Community engagement
  • Does it have a specific target community and plan to engage it often?
  • Does it have community support?
  • Does it support diversity?
Comments from the committee:

This area will be comments from the committee.


Committee quick links[edit]


for a grant


open proposals

current grants

IEG Committee
Questions about IEG

rules contact us top
  1. Submitted proposals may be improved during this period based on feedback.