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Project reports

  • Is there any particular framework for the monthly, midpoint, and final reports which are produced by active, funded projects? Does anybody read the reports and make decisions/actions based on them? If no, then the reports are just process for the sake of process; if yes, the contents of the reports would have to reflect the reader's requirements and I'm not quite sure about the who/what/where/when - would it be possible to clear that up?
  • On a related point, if somebody is reading project reports, is there any mechanism for detecting an ongoing project which might no longer provide reasonable results (bearing in mind the cost), in order to give it appropriate resources or stop it? I'm assuming that candidates are likely to be focussed on the hands-on stuff rather than being expert project managers. bobrayner (talk) 13:17, 17 January 2013 (UTC)
    • Thanks for these good questions! There will absolutely be a framework for the midpoint and final reports - they're just not complete and ready to show here yet (when they are, you'll find them in the Housekeeping section of the main IEG page). They will be attached to the project page for each grant funded, so that anyone can learn from them. Reports that don't get used are a waste of valuable time, and we don't want to see this happen. The grantmaking team at WMF will read them, and WMF's Learning and Evaluation team plan to use them to roll up into evaluation of what strategies work and don't work for projects like these, so that we can share these learnings back to the movement as a whole, and use them to help make decisions for future grants. I would like eventually to also organize the reports into some sort of learning library so they can be made easily available to be read by the committee and the wider community interested in particular topics. Meanwhile, as reports come in, we'll be pulling highlights into newsletters etc to share with the community.
    • The purpose of the monthly updates is a bit different, however, and that is why they will not have a set framework - those are intended to provide transparency to the community as projects move forward, demonstrate progress, and help us all learn along with the grantees as they're going forward. They should also hopefully provide grantees with a useful record to refer back to as they're putting together their final reports. I'll be reading the monthly progress updates and having check-ins with the grantees on a regular basis to help with troubleshooting and needs-assessment as things come up along the course of the project, as well - because we agree that a grantmaker's support offerings should include more than just funding. Hope this answer helps! Siko (WMF) (talk) 17:18, 17 January 2013 (UTC)

IEG funding for Wikipedians in Residence?

Hello! Does the IEG hold any restrictions to funding a Wikipedian in Residence position? If not, and should a WiR be funded in this manner, what would be the proper language around defining the relationship between the WiR and the collaborating GLAM? Thank you! Eekiv (talk) 08:28, 20 January 2013 (UTC)

Hi! If a Wikipedian in Residency was setup as a project that met the eligibility criteria defined here, then I suppose that IEG could potentially be used to fund something like a WiR. However, I'd encourage you to look at the selection criteria we'll be using to select proposals - for a proposal to fund a single WiR position, some questions I will have would be around the potential impact, innovation, and sustainability of beginning a WiR via this means. WiRs are funded all sorts of ways right now, or operate solely through volunteer actions, so I think you would need to make a very good case for why a position in one institution should be funded as an IEG. That being said, the best way to get feedback on your idea and help with proper language is to just start drafting a proposal! I'd encourage you to start an application, and that will allow others to jump in with feedback as you go. If it doesn't end up being a great fit for IEG in the end, we'll all have learned something from the process and you might be able to reuse what you come up with elsewhere if you're committed to working on a WiR project regardless. Siko (WMF) (talk) 20:29, 21 January 2013 (UTC)

Example types

Could someone in the know please include examples of what these grants could cover... for instance I would like to know whether you cover

  • library or museum visits with travel + stay
  • resources
    • book purchases / obtaining access to them - (if so then I might really like to see WMF work along with the Internet Archive)
    • tools - computers, scanners, cameras etc.

Some attempt at an overall structure would help a great deal here. Thanks Shyamal (talk) 07:04, 23 January 2013 (UTC)

Offhand, I don't think any of the things you've suggested would be out-of-bounds per-se. If you can make the case that they're necessary to complete a project, and we can reasonably track the expenses with good reporting, we would consider specific equipment purchases, resources, and travel as eligible expenses within a grant budget. Once we've gotten through one grant cycle, we'll have a better set of real examples to point people to and I know that will help. For now, I'm hesitant to make a list of examples because everyone's project idea will be different, and we'll be making decisions as much based on the expected impact, innovative strategy, and feasibility than on any one individual line-item in a budget. It may be more useful to start drafting your idea with a list of what you think you'd need, and then ask for specific feedback. You'll see some examples in the grant proposal process once you start drafting. I'd encourage you to get started in the IdeaLab and we can work together on turning your idea into a complete proposal. Looking forward to seeing anything you'd care to draft! Siko (WMF) (talk) 03:53, 29 January 2013 (UTC)

Disbursement questions

  • The disbursement section says, "Grantees are solely responsible for paying all taxes on the grant amount." Under an expansive interpretation of "all taxes on the grant amount," I think this statement could be read to imply that no taxes would be reimbursed. Wouldn't WMF be willing to reimburse grantees for costs such as sales taxes on equipment purchases, taxes on hotel stays, and taxes on fuel? I think what's intended here is a statement more like, "Grantees are solely responsible for paying all income-related taxes on the grant amount including Social Security, Medicare, and other taxes that may be applicable. However, within their budget requests, grantees may request reimbursement for taxes such as sales taxes on equipment purchases, hotel taxes, and fuel taxes."
It's a good point that sales tax for purchases should be budgeted for (and would in that case not be reimbursed as a separate item, but as part of the total cost), but I think that may make more sense to surface to grantees working on budgets elsewhere, rather than in the program rules. Because grants are made in a variety of countries, we've deliberately kept out references to specific types of taxes here - it's not good practice to be seen giving anything close to legal tax advice, and gets really confusing if trying to cover everything in detail. Let's keep this in mind when working with the budgets in the first round of grants and see where further instructions re: tax might be needed.
  • The disbursement section also says, "To prevent losses incurred from wire transfer fees, currency exchange, or other bank fees, it is recommended that you document and include your expected loss in the budget of your original grant proposal." I suggest rephrasing this as "We suggest that you research and document any wire transfer fees, currency exchange fees, license fees, bank fees, taxes, fuel surcharges, account setup costs, and any other costs that my apply to your situation as a grantee. Within your requested total budget, you may request reimbursement for costs other than income-related taxes. If you don't document these costs in advance and include them in your budget then WMF has no obligation to reimburse you for these costs and you may be personally liable for paying them." I think this would provide additional clarity and a stronger warning. I also strongly suggest asking WMF Legal to look at this paragraph and the entire disbursements section to give their input.
WMF Legal and Finance have been consulted and signed off on all the rules as posted, but thanks for double checking :-) We're hesitant to overly-specify at this stage as you propose. In the past with WMF grants, what's come up often is the wire transfer and banking fees, because people tend to remember to request budget for account setup or licensing but not for funds lost in transferring the grant to themselves. For that reason we've decided to include an item about this point in particular. In general, to avoid overly complicating the amount of info potential applicants need to absorb before they can participate, I'd prefer to add more language and rules only when we see something is becoming an issue...so let's keep an eye out for this in upcoming proposals, I'm glad you've flagged it!
  • The disbursement section also says, "Grants are generally disbursed in 2 lump sums: half at the start of the grant, approximately 3-4 weeks after all disbursement details have been recieved by WMF, and half upon the grantee's completion of a midpoint project report." I can imagine a difficult situation where a dishonest grantee stops work after receiving the first or second grant disbursement. This would be especially problematic if the grantee lives in a country where recovering the funds from the grantee through a legal process would be difficult or practically impossible, or if the grantee is someone who committed identity theft and escapes with the funds. I suggest that there be an initial disbursement only for startup costs, a midpoint disbursement for half of the remaining amount, and a final disbursement after the completion of the work and after all reports have been finalized in accordance with the terms of the grant.
Another good point - and one I'd originally argued for too. However, having a final payment installment made only after upon project completion makes this structure look more like a fee for service contract and less like a grant. That's something we don't want, for financial, and legal reasons, and probably also for WMF-community trust relations, so we're going to try hard to avoid it. I think we can put controls up front (good due diligence on grantees and their proposals...let's try to not fund dishonest people!), and along the way (monthly updates and check-ins, and a midpoint report before the second installment is disbursed...let's try to support people along the way so they don't disappear at the midpoint!), and will need to assume good faith for the completion. If the project truly needs funding to succeed, then payment at the end isn't going to help a grantee get things done all that well anyhow. It's scary to not be able to control the outcome entirely, but I think worth the risk for what we're trying to do here.

Thanks (:

--Pine 08:02, 23 January 2013 (UTC)

Thanks for the good food for thought! (my answers are threaded in between your bullets above) Siko (WMF) (talk) 05:18, 29 January 2013 (UTC)
Hi Siko, I can accept your first two positions but the third one gives me pause. This IEG process is already a lot like an RFP process, so what are the financial and legal reasons against turning this more explicitly into a fee for service arrangement? I understand that taking risk is part of the Wikimedia culture but in this case I see this risk as unnecessary. I would not want to read in the Signpost that thousands of dollars of donated funds have disappeared due to an incident that was entirely preventable with a little more effort to implement stronger controls. --Pine 19:03, 31 January 2013 (UTC)
I hear your concerns, Pine. Legally could we turn this into a fee for service arrangement instead of a grant? Sure. WMF hires lots of contractors to do things that it thinks need to get done. But that's not really what we're trying to do with this program. This is a grantmaking program, in a grantmaking department of an organization that is increasingly focusing on developing good grantmaking practices. We chose to not make this a fee-for-service arrangement for several reasons, one of which as you rightly mentioned is that grantmaking allows the community more decision power over how funds are spent and what projects get done. Another is that we think grantmaking is more scalable than hiring contractors. And for a grant to work on a 6 month project, providing funding at the beginning and at mid point helps ensure the work gets done. As our CFO said when we discussed this again recently, and I think it is well said so worth posting here: "I do not know of many people who can carry the expense of a project on their own for several months and still get a successful outcome. This is also not an uncommon practice in the grant community." We think this structure provides for the greatest possibility of successful outcomes and will ensure that funding is not a barrier for a broader group of trusted members of the community from participating in the IEG program. This does mean we need to select grantees carefully, and implement available controls. Grantmaking involves an element of partnership and trust with grantees that is greater than a fee-for-service relationship, and that can feel somewhat like a leap of faith, I get it. But in this case we think the possible benefits outweighs the potential for things to go wrong, and so I think it's worth piloting a grantmaking program. Siko (WMF) (talk) 03:57, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for the response. I guess instead of looking at a single "failed" grant as implying that the whole system needs to be tightened, WMF could say that it's willing to absorb a limited amount of loss if the program as a whole produces benefits that are worthwhile for the total of all of the disbursed grants. But I still worry about people gaming the system. Could you move from a two stage disbursement to having more stages for larger grant amounts? That would address some of Garfield's point, but WMF would still have proportionately smaller risk as disbursements are divided into smaller payments. For a $100 grant this much effort might not be worth WMF's time but for larger grants I think this would be good for decreasing the financial risk while maintaining a lot of the benefits of the grants philosophy. --Pine 04:34, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
Agree with you that looking at the overall grant portfolio rather than any 1 grant is helpful for calculating risks. It will be important to foster a grantmaking culture where failure is acceptable, as long as it is a learning experience. If we fear failure too much, we make only very safe grants, and that pretty much ensures there will be no innovation - we'll just end up funding the same things that we know are safe and are guaranteed to work ok, but we won't find the crazy new things that may be the next big idea in the movement. I don't know about you, but I really really want to find that next big idea, and the one after that too. I don't want us to just keep doing the same things and expecting different outcomes. ...and now I'm going to stop typing before I start further down my favorite "fearless grantmaking is where our future lies, we must Be Bold" speech. Anyway, as for more disbursements, we think 2 is as many as WMF staff can handle at this point (there are time, processing costs and other fees associated with each payment), and for grants under $30K, this seems to be in line with best grantmaking practices. I'm still hearing the concern though, Pine, and appreciate that you'll be a good steward of the money. I'm just not sure that these solutions will solve more problems than they create. Siko (WMF) (talk) 04:49, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for the explanation. I now have a better understanding of your calculations here. You are interested in relatively cheap (compared to WMF's total budget and the cost of regular contractor- and FTE-staffed projects) big changes and are willing to accept some risks and failures in order to facilitate those big changes. Thanks a lot for clarifying. This conversation has been very useful. I'm not sure that I agree with every detail of your approach but I now think I understand your thinking, and I feel a lot better than I did when I started asking these questions. (: --Pine 18:09, 5 February 2013 (UTC)

Why is content creation not eligible for funding?

Why is content creation not eligible for funding? Content is king! Content is the main reasons I volunteer as an editor. Wikipedia, even as the premier wiki, is in dire need of content to fill the gaps that the volunteers are leaving. Even after 11 years there are many articles that Wikipedia should have but does not. Content that is in the too hard basket, or not created because of systemic bias needs to be to be written. Funding will help that goal. Admittedly, content creation would soak up all available funding but if prioritised we can at least get the more important content written. Alan Liefting (talk) 01:18, 24 January 2013 (UTC)

Paid editing and conflicts of interest that can arise as a result of paying for content-creation are controversial community issues. Though you're not the first person to suggest that paid editors could help compensate for a decline in volunteers, we don't think that's a sustainable solution, nor do we believe the editing community would sanction this use of funds. WMF does not supervise content creation, which is owned by the community, and we know that Wikipedia works thanks to the content created by volunteers. Besides, as you note, it would be neither economically feasible nor scalable to use grants to fund content-creation. By improving processes or systems for existing and future content-creators, this funding is more likely to have wider and lasting impact. Siko (WMF) (talk) 06:05, 29 January 2013 (UTC)
The way Alan identifies the problem space suggests ways to use grants to address it. Systemic bias can be addressed by lowering the barriers to contribution that lead to that bias. It requires a bit of care to do this in a way that doesn't directly pay for content creation, but that care is essential. For instance, if a certain highly important language is difficult to contribute in, or hard to contribute in without better tools to anonymize contribution, those tools could be built. For each type of knowledge that is missing but needs to be written, someone should write a script that lists the "top missing articles" to help the community prioritize. And others can help reach out to communities with the relevant knowledge, inviting them to contribute and explaining (via that priority list) just how needed they are. Support and mentorship networks can be set up. More efficient processes and tools that make a key aspect of contribution 50% faster can lead to more than 2x as many people choosing to contribute. If some topics are in the "too hard" basket, low-key but prestigious awards have a history of success in mathematical and scientific communities.
These are only hazy ideas, but could be done without removing the key aspects of voluntary contribution. SJ talk  08:37, 11 February 2013 (UTC)

Proposal status

How do proposals get moved from Draft to Proposed status? --Ash 06:55, 29 January 2013 (UTC)

If yours is ready, all you need to do is change the status= in the markup on your proposal page from DRAFT to PROPOSED. This will make it appear in the proposal list (once the cache updates...which can take some time, so don't worry if you don't see it there immediately). We'll be going through them all soon to help nudge ready pages into the final proposal stage, but please feel free to make the change yourself right now :-) Siko (WMF) (talk) 22:22, 29 January 2013 (UTC)
Thanks Siko! I've changed my proposal's status but it still doesnt show on the main page in the proposed column. It does show when selecting that category link in the footer. Just wanted to let you know so it doesn't get overlooked... Thanks! Ash 19:44, 30 January 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for the heads up, Ash! I've made an edit to the IEG page to force the cache, so you should see yours there now. We'll need to deal with this issue for real at some point...that lack of instant (or even 24 hour cycle) feedback is annoying, you won't be the only one with this question :-) Siko (WMF) (talk) 19:54, 30 January 2013 (UTC)

Bugzilla development an eligible expense?

Would be Bugzilla software development an eligible expense since Wikimedia is heavily dependent on this software?--Kozuch (talk) 16:40, 29 January 2013 (UTC)

This is a great question for the IdeaLab, since it's probably easier to answer this within the context of a specific project idea. At first glance, I'd worry that Bugzilla development is a bit ambitious, though there may be nothing categorically ineligible about it as an expense in the abstract sense. I suggest you draft what your thinking about as a new project idea in the IdeaLab, and include some open questions like this. That way we can get more people to take a look and see what's actually feasible. Siko (WMF) (talk) 22:28, 29 January 2013 (UTC)



About l10n:

  1. Is there a process to help non English-speaking people submit ideas? (I proposed myself on the French Wikipedia to help those who may need it, but I don't know if I am doing it well)
  2. If not, is there a plan to introduce it in the future? I don't think that "if you don't speak English, you can't be granted" should be something desirable. Turb (talk) 00:36, 31 January 2013 (UTC)

Hi! Unfortunately, for this first pilot round we've decided we can't formally handle localization...it's a large issue because to handle it right, we not only have to translate all the pages and proposal process (which will probably be iterated on after this round, much to the chagrin of translators), but we also have to translate proposals back into English for the committee to review, translate all of the ensuing community discussions back and forth, translate grant agreements and then make sure we've got good methods in place for communicating with grantees over the course of the grant too, and then translate reports into English and other languages for the community to consume...etc. I'd really like us to get there, because having not-speaking-English be a barrier to receiving grants is not only not desirable, it's not sustainable and is just plain bad news for the movement. But if we'd tackled l10n for this round, it would have taken many more months to pilot this program. We'll look into the issue for future rounds, and see if we can try some solutions to get better at handling more languages over time. And while we've said in the program rules that we can't officially support non-English proposals with a formal process at this point, if French-speakers did submit a proposal with help from someone like yourself, I don't think we would automatically disqualify it. We'd just need to think a bit more about the feasibility at this early stage of the program. Siko (WMF) (talk) 01:00, 31 January 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for your answer. In fact, I did not see the "program rules" section - I think a link somewhere in "step 1" should help people read it. Turb (talk) 08:07, 31 January 2013 (UTC)
Good idea, Turb! I've added a link to the rules from step 1 as you've suggested, thanks :-) Siko (WMF) (talk) 17:33, 31 January 2013 (UTC)
What a pity. For the Fundraiser, i18n works but it doesn't for grants? That's not only paradox but unfair: It adds extra-work for non-native speakers and non-native speakers are usually unable forming a great sounding proposal. I will refrain from any further donation to the Foundation and will reconsider my community engagement at Wikimedia Commons.
Either you need trusted volunteers for translation (but I guess it will be hard to find more people with spare time) or the committee would have to be multilingual. Or you simply consult the local communities/chapters about their opinion. And well, I believe you are able using Google Translator to at least get a clue on what the project in question is about.
Involvement of the communities who would possibly benefit of a grant/the stuff done with the grant is generally a good idea. But a general there are some grant proposals, please sort out what for your project could be useful is almost useless. -- Rillke (talk) 12:40, 2 February 2013 (UTC)
It took the fundraiser several years to get good at i18n. :-) This program is a brand new pilot. Most problems can be solved with time, staffing and money. Attempting something new with what we've got available, and improving it over time into something permanent and even better is often a good way to get there. As stated above, if someone came with a proposal but w/o facility with English, at this stage we'll try and see how we can work with it. I worked for 3 years in the i18n/l10n world, working on volunteer translation systems, I'm pretty good at Google translate and begging volunteers to help out. It's a great goal. It's also time consuming, and if not put together well can scale badly. Truly localizing this program as the fundraiser is localized will take time too. As such, it seems prudent to state explicitly that we don't have good systems in place to handle anything but English well in this pilot. If we weren't honest about it, I think that would be even more unfair to non-native speakers, even if it costs the movement your donations in the meantime. Siko (WMF) (talk) 04:31, 5 February 2013 (UTC)

Equipment and software

I understand that WMF would not directly sponsor content creation but what about equipment that would assist in content creation like a camera, scanner, or image editing software? If grant requests for those would be allowed for contributors then I would like to let the Commons community know. There are Commons contributors who could contribute higher quality images if they had better equipment. I don't know that these would be "project proposals" with defined reporting periods, they might be more like one time grants that would increase the quality of contributions by a Commoner. The grants wouldn't be tied to a specific project. Would these be eligible for IEG, and if so what kind of reports or outcomes would WMF want to see? Would WMF require that there be a specific outcome in mind like "Take at least 500 photos in the next 6 months but you choose the subjects so we don't interfere with editorial decisions or directly give a grant for content creation"? It seems to me like there should be some program that would provide grants for camera equipment and IEG is the closest thing that I see. It might be that the only way for WMF to say that it can give these grants but not be directly tying them to content creation is to just look at the contributor's history and make no attempt to influence their content creation. What do you think? --Pine 07:13, 1 February 2013 (UTC)

One-time equipment purchases don't fit the model we've scoped for Individual Engagement Grants, which are firmly project-based grants, not grants primarily for reimbursements or capital expenses (beyond what expenses are required to fulfill a meaty, well-scoped project). The closest program to fill that need would be the WMF Grants program, which does reimbursements for 1-time expenses. However, grants that are made solely to purchase equipment bring their own issues with them, including how to define what the equipment is to be used for and implement controls to ensure that it has impact for a duration that makes it worth the up-front investment (if I upload 10 photos to Commons and then give the camera to my sister and she uses it for family photographs for the next 5 years, was that a good use of $200? What if it gets stolen before I can take 10 photos? Silly examples but you see where this is going). I'm not sure how much they're willing to tackle that in WMF Grants. We'll tackle it in IEG only if equipment is needed to help accomplish something important and necessary for a 6 month project. Siko (WMF) (talk) 04:13, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
I see, thanks. --Pine 04:15, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
Commons has an Equipment Exchange forum where contributors can request/borrow/exchange equipments. Abbasjnr (talk) 04:19, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
I wonder if anyone has contacted a company like Canon and asked them to consider donating equipment to Wikimedia volunteers. I've had surprising success in just asking for some assistance, often finding companies willing to provide hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of support, merely to get basic attribution in return. Might be worth asking. I could concieve of a program where images taken with such a donor camera were given some mutually desirable components such as a) equipment identification (e.g. That it was taken with a Canon camera); b) program mention (e.g. that this picture was part of the WikiMedia/Canon equipment partnership), c) a category identifying images in this category. Just an idea... different folks have different tolerances for corporate parternships. I tend to think they give editors useful tools and don't harm our core mission or independence if done right. I suppose that organizing such a partnership might be within 'project' scope rather than one-off scope. It also would scale nicely because the cost would be borne by the companies and only maintenance would be on our end. Ocaasi (talk) 00:25, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
I imagine that the work needed to organize and get a partnership like this off the ground, and test it for successes and failings, might be designed as an IEG project grant, yeah - also suits a general criteria/goal of building systems that make contributing easier for many volunteers, rather than just 1 or 2. I can also imagine a project grant could be designed around improving the existing Commons Equipment Exchange, depending how well those systems and processes work for volunteers right now Siko (WMF) (talk) 00:39, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
I'd been thinking about this too, but how would anyone decide what to pay for this pilot? It seems to me that labor would be the biggest cost. Does someone get paid $3 an hour or $90 an hour for this? How do we decide? And how many hours do we expect the project to take? --Pine 00:51, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
Willingness to offset costs associated with someone's time (project management, community organizing, however it's defined) to work on a project feels like one of the defining features of IEGrants (I like that new nickname better, how about you?). In some ways, it is why we added a new grantmaking program, distinct from WMF Grants, which reimburse people for expenses, but won't pay for someone's time. My personal theory is that setup means WMF Grants tend to fund more offline activities (people throwing events, for example, which have more reimbursable expenses), than online activities (where often the primary expense is time...I'm thinking about Steven Zhang's fellowship project on DR, for example, or Peter Coombe's on Help pages). The reason I think a grant should be allowed to cover time as well as expenses is that having enough time to complete a meaty project in 6 months is not a luxury everyone has, so offsetting some of the costs there may make sense. Agree with you wholeheartedly that defining what someone's time is worth is not easy, and we'll need to discuss this for individual proposals as it comes up. I'm not sure there is a one-size-fits all answer, though am interested in hearing suggestions. I'd propose that we think of it less as an hourly calculation though (getting into fee-for-service again), and more like funding what the grantee believes they need to offset their time-associated costs for project completion. Maybe it is closer to an honorarium than hourly wage? Siko (WMF) (talk) 01:07, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
I can see this discussion about labor costs getting into thorny issues. I agree that it may make sense to approach this on a case-by-case basis and that grantees may propose varying approaches that are each within reason. One thing I'd note here is that if there are only two disbursements per grant then the grantee will be in tough shape if they underestimate what they need for the second half of their project, but let's discuss that elsewhere. I hope that someone will propose a project like the camera donations project. I'm thinking about how I'd set it up if I proposed it myself. --Pine 02:24, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
Pine, would you want to start an idea page in the Grants:IdeaLab for a camera donations project? We're working on better sorting for ideas in there, with a thought to separate out a list of ideas looking for someone else to propose/own/do them...sort of a participants-wanted section. Even if you didn't want to do a project like that yourself, someone else could use the page as an anchor to build on later. And you can test out the system that way too :-) Siko (WMF) (talk) 06:50, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
Possibly. I'm thinking about it. --Pine 05:47, 7 February 2013 (UTC)
@Siko, I think that having fixed amounts (and two stages of disbursements) may make things work better than how we did things with fellowships (hourly). Key to having this sort of thing work is the potential grantee providing a reasonably clear outline of the work they plan on doing, how they plan on doing it, and how long it will take. We need to ensure that the grants we are providing give us a decent return on investment. While we do have a reasonable amount of proposals and a decent budget, if we don't have enough really decent proposals this round, I don't think we should be compelled to hand it all out just because "it's there to be given". I do think it will be difficult though - maximum budget for a 6 month project is $30,000 (around $1250 a week), and we would pay this in two stages, half at the start and then the rest mid-project. I think we should leave the ball in the court of the grantee - let them tell us how much they need, and then we can assess the project from there based on it's merits, to at least ensure such a cost is warranted. Steven Zhang (talk) 13:41, 12 February 2013 (UTC)

Deadlines in UTC?

What time are deadlines (for instance project submissions - Feb 15th) considered? Does Feb 15 mean Feb 15 24:00 UTC? --Kozuch (talk) 09:52, 12 February 2013 (UTC)

If it's not written anything about timezone, it should definitely be UTC. By default we consider UTC timing! Please correct me if I am wrong! -- ɑηsuмaη ʈ ᶏ ɭ Ϟ 11:21, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
Yep, all WMF projects always quote everything in UTC time. I've always found this world time converter handy over the last year :) Steven Zhang (talk) 13:45, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
Confirmed, Feb 15 means Feb 15 24:00 UTC. Siko (WMF) (talk) 16:32, 12 February 2013 (UTC)

"Projects should not be engineering-focused"

Hi. I don't understand this criterion at all. Is there more information about it available somewhere? --MZMcBride (talk) 17:40, 15 February 2013 (UTC)

Not yet, but we should probably find somewhere to put more info about it - maybe this question is a good start for an FAQ on it, at least, so thanks for asking :-)
Essentially, any grant which requires coordination with WMF staff outside of the WMF grantmaking team are just not going to be feasible this year - grantee projects need to be completed independently. To help people understand what that really means for what appears to be the most common use-case in proposals requesting staff resources, we've added this additional criteria. Because WMF Engineering and Product have their own core priorities to meet, they are not able to make additional time in their schedules to consult on new projects, review code for integration, etc. As such, anything that a grantee wants to build which requires integration with the core software is going to have a dependency on WMF staff that those staffers can't fulfill. Projects that focus on software engineering (as opposed to, say, improving community processes, outreach, or pilots using tech that doesn't involve big-tech builds and can be deployed by volunteers), are going to run up against this dependency. Based on that, and based on the number of proposals we're seeing that are focused on building things that would have this dependency, we've added this eligibility criteria. What we're trying to avoid is funding things that we know will end up sitting undeployed so that the outcome of a grant is unused code - you've seen the code review backlog, I'm sure :-(. Gadgets, scripts, etc that don't need to go through WMF code review, and anything that can be built entirely independently of MediaWiki are still fair game in IEGrants. If you've got ideas for what would make the language clearer in that criteria, please let me know, I'm sure there is room for improvement! Siko (WMF) (talk) 18:35, 15 February 2013 (UTC)
What would happen of the proposals which were eligible before we changed the criteria? I think it will be seriously frustrating for those individuals whose proposals were excellent otherwise, but have to be rejected solely because they are engineering-focused. It would be best if we can assure them that their proposals will be considered for Round 2. Meanwhile, we could sort out the issue with the Engineering team. --Netha Hussain (talk) 19:07, 15 February 2013 (UTC)
I agree that we should give the proposers a chance to modify their proposal to be eligible for Round 2. — ΛΧΣ21 19:17, 15 February 2013 (UTC)
Everyone is always welcome to modify their proposals and resubmit in future rounds, when I'm marking proposals ineligible I usually let the proposer know this, and you should feel free to encourage them as well. :-) To Netha's point though: Eligibility is not determined to be finalized until after the deadline to submit proposals. Just because someone marked their project as proposed does not mean that it has passed an official WMF eligibility check (eligibility checks basically mark the transition from the open call period to the official review period, and although I've marked some proposals ineligible as they've come in when it is really really obvious, that doesn't mean those that aren't marked ineligible so far have passed an eligibility check). When WMF staff finalizes eligibility of all proposals for committee review, which begins on the 22nd, we will post confirmation of eligibility on the proposal's talk page. So, I don't think you should consider this update as revoking promises made so far, although I agree that it is still frustrating to learn that your proposal is ineligible due to additional criteria having been spelled out after you have finished drafting a proposal. That's just something we have to live with unfortunately, as a result of this being a pilot program where we're learning new things as we go, including what needs to be clarified around eligibility. I had forgotten that everyone doesn't know as much about WMF staff availability as I do, for example, so it is my fault for not making that explicit in the criteria until now. We also cannot promise that these proposals will be eligible in round 2 - that would be dependent on some larger change in WMF's staffing and priorities, and we cannot anticipate if/when that may happen. In the 2 years I've worked at WMF, there has been no change in WMF engineering's ability to support more new projects beyond those they're already committed to (Visual Editor, etc), and that team still has a lot of work to do to meet their core priorities. Although we can and should revisit the issue in future rounds, and can and should look at all proposals again in future rounds, let's not make promises we can't ensure we'll be able to keep. Siko (WMF) (talk) 19:32, 15 February 2013 (UTC)
Let me get this clear by examples and hopefully they can be used to spell it out better - there are a couple of different types of engineering-related projects I can imagine, some of which I have seen in the proposals.
  1. "My project will need a WMF developer to create or help creating this new feature" - this would be ineligible, and it has been very clearly spelled out from the beginning.
  2. "I will develop this new feature and provide it to the public, envisioning getting it deployed on Wikimedia sites as an optional goal" - this might be ineligible in the light of the recent clarification, or perhaps on the border line. I'm not really sure.
  3. "I will develop a preliminary version of this new feature and conduct experiments with it, which will give us insights on related features or a fully-developed and deployed version of the same feature in future" - I consider this still be eligible provided that it will take a form of either a MediaWiki gadget, an externally-hosted tool, or a combination of the two.
  4. "I will develop a set of JavaScript tools hosted on-wiki or an externally-hosted tool that will provide editors with better ways to create contents or readers with better ways to navigate/visualize contents" - I think this would be safely eligible.
Does these interpretations make sense? I hope this "no engineering" criterion will not discourage engineering-related projects that will not need support from WMF Engineering and Product in order to accomplish the stated project goal. (of course, how much impactful each of those projects will be is another story.) --whym (talk)
Hi whym. Your examples make sense and I have the same interpretations as you do. For #2, agree that sometimes these cases feel borderline (that's where I've been consulting with staff like Erik Moeller to confirm/deny eligibility for this round - we should be done with that by mid next week at the latest). The distinction I'm seeing of what would be ineligible in the case of 2 but eligible in the case of 3: if the feature can be built as a gadget or totally externally to MediaWiki, meaning it requires no WMF code review, and no consult from staff to design or implement, then technically it would be eligible. But I think you make a good point that this will still leave the committee with the question of whether it is an impactful use of funding to develop experimental features along these lines - if gadgets are opt-in or the feature requires discovery on some other website, the grantee will need a plan to get users and show impactful results at the end of 6 months. If we assume such features may never be deployed to Wikimedia sites, then I imagine you would probably give the potential impact of such a feature some careful thought. If a grantee has a plan for how users will discover their new tool (for example, if the grant were not entirely engineering-focused and some community organizing were involved, perhaps the gadget is integrated into some group of volunteers' existing process), this might make impact seem more likely. I guess in some ways maybe what we're trying to avoid funding here is a "built it and they will come" approach to development - does that make sense? Siko (WMF) (talk) 21:48, 16 February 2013 (UTC)

I think this "new" condition on projects being not engineering-focused kind of contradicts large part of eligible areas that are in line with the Wikimedia strategy plan. As you can see from the WMF narrowing its focus mostly on engineering (possibly being more in-line with strategy plan itself?), just excluding engineering from IEG is not a solution. Engineering is what pushes WMF forward the most so I think there simply should be some effort to support external engineering talent, because to be honest I think that is much more sustainable solution than growing engineering staff itself without it being very innovative. I think innovation has mostly come to WMF from outside (community ideas) and that is why I think the engineering department of WMF should have a role of a supervisor (and possibly a reviewer), and it is code review what we are now talking about. Now you say you want innovative projects but you will not do code review. That completely contradicts itself. Kozuch (talk) 12:31, 17 February 2013 (UTC)

Missing proposal

I submitted an IEG proposal 2 days ago. It shows up on Category:IEG/Proposals/Proposed, but for some reason is not displaying at Grants:IEG. Did I do something wrong? Thanks! Libcub (talk) 16:24, 8 February 2013 (UTC)

It shows up for me, Libcub. Sometimes it takes longer than expected to refresh the cache (or whatever). :) heather walls (talk) 17:05, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
I can see it now, too. Yay! Thanks for letting me know. Libcub (talk) 19:52, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
Heather, in the proposal creation workflow, you might consider adding links back to the places where they get listed with a 'purge' parameter. Otherwise, the caching can stick around for quite a while. When I purged caches to make my own proposal appear, there were 3-4 other new ones that appeared as well.--Ragesoss (talk) 14:10, 17 February 2013 (UTC)

section for proposed grants needs to be larger

The current page design really hides the actual grants. In its current form, all the proposed grants are in a little box and you have to use an in-page scroll bar to view all of them. (And it always takes me some time to even find the link to the part of the page that has that in the first place.) In other places, the actual grant content pages are similarly boxed in and small. IMO, it should be very easy to get to the lists of proposals and drafts and view them all at once.--Ragesoss (talk) 14:05, 17 February 2013 (UTC)

Totally agree. We'll plot something new for this soon - scrolling should go away tomorrow when we update that list, but I think we have a way to go to make the display of lists of projects more useful in general. If anyone has a fix for project names displaying with the IEG prefix (without changing the page name), btw, we'd love to hear about it too! :-) Siko (WMF) (talk) 07:19, 18 February 2013 (UTC)
Well, the magic word {{SUBPAGENAME}} is able to pull title of a proposed grant without the 'Grants:IEG' prefix, but I don't think there's an easy way to make it display the subpagename only in the title with metawiki's current settings. I believe that changing $wgRestrictDisplayTitle to false in localsettings.php would allow you to use something like {{DISPLAYTITLE:{{SUBPAGENAME}}}} to make the page title display only the name of the project without including the 'Grants:IEG' part, but that setting isn't currently enabled on metawiki. (I don't know if there is an important security reason for keeping it off; there may be.) There also should be a less problematic way to do it through editing MediaWiki:Common.css, though I don't remember how to do so offhand. I believe it is doable through common.css in a way that would only let displayed titles be changed within the grants namespace though, which would probably be desirable. Kevin (talk) 09:42, 18 February 2013 (UTC)

Suggestion for next round: time for revision between committee comments and decisions

For next time, I think it would be helpful to have some time in between the initial scoring & comments from the committee and the final deliberation for which grants to fund, so that proposers can adjust their proposals based on the comments from the committee. The committee comments, in many cases, point to clear things that could be improved with the proposals, so it seems a waste not give a period to revise problematic aspects and flesh out aspects that (based on the comments) weren't clear enough or lacked detail. Especially since the committee is more focused (through the lens of the scoring rubric) on the Wikimedia strategic priorities, there are lots of things that the committee comments highlight that won't have been brought up during the general community discussion period. And for some good proposals, there simply isn't much community discussion all, so getting feedback from the committee and having a chance to revise based on it doubly important.--Ragesoss (talk) 13:42, 9 March 2013 (UTC)

PS: Something like two weeks between posting the scores & comments and beginning the final deliberations would be about right, I'd say.--Ragesoss (talk) 13:44, 9 March 2013 (UTC)

Totally agree that it would be good to encourage more engagement between the grantees and the committee before the final recommendations are made, we're hearing this and will take it into account as we look at changes for future rounds! Not sure the particular solution you propose would be feasible though. This would in effect require the committee to do 3 passes of proposals reading/review instead of 2 (1 being participation in the early talk-page discussions, 2 being scoring, and then instead of recommending along with scores, you'd be adding a third pass because the committee would need to look into the changes based on discussion and make their final recommendations with another associated round of comments that explained the decision to the proposer....and then people would want to iterate based on those comments and....just kidding! But you see where this could go, right?). Researching and scoring 22 proposals was already found to be a heavy lift, and as we expect the number of proposals to grow I think we'll need to find better ways to give feedback and make room for iteration while still keeping the process moving at a reasonable pace and keep people engaged. What would you think if we strongly encouraged the committee to engage more often individually on talk pages with comments before scoring, so that feedback was front-loaded during the most iterative phase of proposal preparations, and keep scoring tied to recommendations in the final review so that those that aren't selected have a clear sense of what to improve for future rounds? We might also consider more frequent funding rounds so that people don't need to wait as long to come back with improved proposals. Thoughts? Siko (WMF) (talk) 23:18, 18 March 2013 (UTC)

Grants:IEG and TOC

I find it extremely hard to navigate this very long page. I tried adding a TOC to the bottom but it doesn't even use headers, so I'm completely lost. --Nemo 14:17, 31 March 2013 (UTC)

We'll be incorporating feedback into a larger redesign in coming months, based on what we've been learning from this round - good to hear your input, please keep it coming, thanks! Siko (WMF) (talk) 22:04, 2 April 2013 (UTC)

Grant agreements

Hi. Sorry if I've missed this somewhere, but Grants:IEG makes several references to grant agreements. Will these be published (or have these been published) somewhere on Meta-Wiki? --MZMcBride (talk) 04:01, 1 April 2013 (UTC)

Last time I checked there was a version on WMAT wiki. Typically, this sort of documents doesn't exist in a master/reliable version anywhere. --Nemo 12:55, 1 April 2013 (UTC)

IdeaLab proposal not showing up on IdeaLab page

Hi! Through IdeaLab I created Grants:IEG/Accessibility - reading, reusing, and contributing. I think it should be listed at Grants:IdeaLab but it's not -- see https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Special:WhatLinksHere/Grants:IEG/Accessibility_-_reading,_reusing,_and_contributing to see that it's not linked to from the IdeaLab page. What's up? Am I misunderstanding how new proposals get listed at Grants:IdeaLab? Sharihareswara (WMF) (talk) 22:27, 10 June 2013 (UTC)

Hi Sharihareswara! I fixed it. (I think.) There is a parameter to say "yes" to IdeaLab which was not on your idea yet. It may be that the process is a little messed up. We are working on it now. Additionally you often need to refresh the page to get new things to show up, we will be adding a link for that, too. Thanks for sharing your idea! heather walls (talk) 22:35, 10 June 2013 (UTC)
Aha, great! Yeah, now I see in the boilerplate template that there's that IdeaLab parameter that needs a "yes", but the 8-point step-by-step instructions above the edit window ("You're about to share a new project idea in the IdeaLab!") didn't instruct me to add the Yes, so I missed it. I know you're probably going to fix that by adding a Yes by default to that parameter when someone creates a new IEG idea *from the IdeaLab* so I won't mess with the instructions! Thanks for the fix. Sharihareswara (WMF) (talk) 15:54, 11 June 2013 (UTC) (P.S. I hope the VisualEditor will help with this stuff!)

Interested, but...


I am interested by this initiative, and I think I fulfill the criteria, but I worry that I don't have enough time. Could you detail further the workflow please? Is 3h every week is compulsory, or 2 weeks could be bundled in together? Thanks, Yann (talk) 09:15, 3 September 2013 (UTC)

Hi Yann - I think this question is about joining IEG Committee specifically, right? I'm so glad you're interested! In general, 3 hours isn't compulsory, it is just an estimate of the time that committee members have found that they spent during review periods in the past. Some more information about the schedule and timing to give you a sense of the workflow is posted here. During some weeks there is a tight deadline (for example, in this upcoming round, committee members need to be available for several hours to score and recommend proposals between 23 October and 4 November), but beyond that we're fairly flexible. The committee will announce new members this week, though, so I don't believe they will consider any more new candidates until 2014 - maybe you will have more time then? Meanwhile, we'd love to have your comments on proposals and ideas, regardless, when you have time! :) Siko (WMF) (talk) 18:00, 3 September 2013 (UTC)

Could we have 5 participants in an IEG team? ... also, payments to non-core members?

The call for proposals says the grant is for an "individual or team of up to 4 individuals." In one of the projects I'm working on, the ideal composition of the team would include 5 core participants. This is partly due to the fact that we're not working exclusively in English, and not everyone in the team is multi-lingual. Would it be acceptable to include 5 people in the team?

In a related question: this group of 4 or 5 people are actually some of the core contributors to a considerably larger project. Would it be possible to make small one-time payments or reimbursements to other contributors? The ideal for the project I'm working with would be to turn half of the overall budget into an "internal pot" and allow project contributors to bid for small sums (e.g. $200 to host an event). Would this be acceptable? (And if so, perhaps our 5th member could receive a payment out of this "internal pot".) Your advice is appreciated! Arided (talk) 18:04, 25 September 2013 (UTC)

Hi Arided, thanks for starting your draft and asking this question. Grantees are the people responsible for the project as a whole, and they'll need to sign grant agreements, be responsible for the funds, participate in regular grantee check-ins, complete project reports, and so forth. It is best if this is just a small team of individuals, and at most 4 people. One reason for this is that it gets really complicated when we need to collect banking details, run due diligence checks, and wire funds to several people's bank accounts and so forth. It would be perfectly acceptable to have a set of folks acting as contractors in some smaller parts of the project (ie translation, etc). What I'd recommend is perhaps just having a couple of those who are working as the main project managers/coordinators take on the role of grantees (ideally at least one of these has some demonstrated involvement in the Wikimedia community, in line with our eligibility requirements), and then you would consider the rest of your participants to be contractors who the grantees would pay for services according to the needs of your plan. In that case, you would list only the grantees names in your infobox, and list the other paid folks who will be acting as translation contractors etc in the participants section of your proposal (just add a subsection there for "Contract roles" or something). Anyone who is volunteering or advising can stay as you have them listed. Hope this helps, please let me know if you need further help! Cheers, Siko (WMF) (talk) 23:05, 25 September 2013 (UTC)
Hi Siko, thanks that's very helpful. We will revise as indicated. Could you comment further on the question of an "internal pot of funds"? It doesn't necessarily need to be half of the budget (as currently). Further micro-grants would be one way to help build involvement from other Wikimedians (an issue you brought up on the talk page). The current language on the draft grant is:

We think it will be useful to be made available small pots of money for "internal bidding" to other members and contributors who need funds to organize meetings, cover writing, equipment or transcription costs, etc.; if these funds are not used by the end of the project, they would be returned to WMF. Documenting the use of this internal budget will be one of the deliverables in the project. We would like to work with WMF at the outset to develop a suitable budgetary oversight mechanism for dealing with the range of incidental expenses that cannot be predicted at the outset of the project.

... and I just wanted to check whether this is something we can do! In brief: do the funds for contractors need to be fully itemized in advance? Thanks kindly, Arided (talk) 14:25, 27 September 2013 (UTC)
Hi! I think this will be something we'd want to discuss a bit further with the IEGrants committee members as well while reviewing the proposal (and you can make some further adjustments during the review period itself in response to wider feedback and discussion of course). I think it would be quite acceptable to set aside a small pot of funds for smaller payments to participants via some bidding process we agree upon together at the start of your grant, provided as you say that you maintain good records of documentation and come up with clear criteria for what kinds of costs are biddable. I don't feel that you need to fully itemize each small contractor cost, however it would be good to have a clear list in advance of the types of expenses you expect would come out of any "pot" line item in your budget. And yes, any funds that aren't used would ultimately be paid back to WMF at the end of the grant period - we have a standard process for that. On the other hand, there is also a mechanism for requesting reallocation of funds from one budget line-item to another during the grant period itself, so if you did want to specify a line item for funds just for, say, transcription costs, and later found that you didn't need the funds for that but instead had unforseen meeting organizing costs, it would be possible to request approval to move money over from one bucket to another. We like to see living plans that update as new information comes to light, after all. Hope this makes sense! Siko (WMF) (talk) 16:49, 27 September 2013 (UTC)

My apologies

My apologies to the committee members who have spent their time on that grant. I look forward to developing the proposed project further in the Idea Lab. I'm not sure how to technically withdraw it from consideration. Thank you for your time, and again I apologize. Biosthmors (talk) 18:29, 7 November 2013 (UTC)

Older Successful Proposals

I'm looking for past grants that were successful but I can only find pages for grant projects that are currently under way. What about projects from previous grant cycles? Or is IEG project brand new? Thanks for any help you can provide. Liz (talk) 19:35, 13 November 2013 (UTC)

Hi Liz, 2013 was the first year of IEG, and the first round of projects finished up around the new year. You can read more about them here and in the full impact report. Cheers! Siko (WMF) (talk) 18:06, 17 February 2014 (UTC)

Schedule templates

I fixed the typography, in some cases with significant simplification. But could the formatting of the boxes be improved too? The text could be normal black instead of grey; the tables could have a wider minimum. Thx. Tony (talk) 11:00, 25 December 2013 (UTC) PS There's no 31 March, so I changed to 30 March. Tony (talk) 11:01, 25 December 2013 (UTC)

Thanks for the fixes, Tony1 (and sorry for the slow reply here!). Heather designed the color and width to fit with the overall design of some pages. But I agree that the width needs revisiting at some point. We'll keep this in mind for future redesigns. Siko (WMF) (talk) 18:10, 17 February 2014 (UTC)

membership criteria at Grants:IEG/Committee

demands not being involved in allegations of unethical behavior. I suggest dropping or clarifying that because the definition largely depends on everyone's local laws. For example, in Uganda, the president just signed an anti-gay law, and in some Muslim countries, fowling Jewish traditions may be considered unethical behavior, just to pick a few examples. Are the people affected not allowed applying for the committee? Looking forward for your reply -- Rillke (talk) 20:21, 28 February 2014 (UTC)

Hmm this is an interesting point, thank you for bringing it up, Rillke. We're definitely not trying to keep people out based on the examples you mention - the language was more intended to give us some criteria to decline, say, a person involved in bank fraud (probably not the best representative for a committee overseeing distribution of funds). What would you think about changing this to something like "allegations of unethical financial behavior, etc" ? Other suggestions also welcome :) Siko (WMF) (talk) 23:37, 6 March 2014 (UTC)
Note: I went ahead and added the word "financial" to this phrase so we can try it out until someone has a better suggestion. Siko (WMF) (talk) 23:41, 6 March 2014 (UTC)
I'm stumped. I am not a native speaker and these terms sound very professional. I think your addition of "financial" sufficiently clarified what this criterion is about. Thank you! -- Rillke (talk) 00:34, 7 March 2014 (UTC)

Some technical questions

I have some technical questions about the actual granting process:

  • Are there any limits on the payment of contractors? I've seen funded projects with hourly rates that seemed to me quite high (even considering the country) and some that seemed very low (but could perhaps be explained by location). I was looking for some guidelines like what the WMF has on the lodging and incidentals in other grant programs (75% of the department of state limits)
    • There are no technical limits per-se, we consider reasonable requests on a case-by-case basis. Many of the past requests are based on what people state they need in order to complete their project, keeping in mind our non-profit context, rather than a standard market rate for labor. Happy to discuss your specific case more if you'd like! Siko (WMF) (talk) 20:01, 7 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Would it be OK to sign the contract on behalf of an individual enterprise? (not sure how they're called in the US, but they are a special type of "company" that cannot hire other people and has simplified accounting; basically it's a 1 person business) I'm asking as it would simplify the reporting and taxing in some countries.
    • Our grant agreement is with an individual, not a business. However, if a grantee wanted to pay a business some portion of their grant to contact out work, that would be acceptable. Siko (WMF) (talk) 20:01, 7 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Alternatively, can part of the grant be transferred to subcontractors directly?
    • WMF transfers funds to grantees directly, we don't generally transfer funds to your subcontractors, we expect grantees to do this (unless your contractor is an individual who would also like to become part of your grantee team, sign a grant agreement, and contribute to your reporting requirements etc - we're happy to transfer funds directly to multiple grantees). Siko (WMF) (talk) 20:01, 7 March 2014 (UTC)
  • I've seen a question above on the talk page about the WMF not covering banking fees, which was unclear to me; AFAIK, international transfers can be paid for by either the sender, the receiver or both. What is the option used by the WMF?
    • When WMF wires funds, your bank may charge you for receiving the wire transfer, and you're responsible for that cost. However, we're happy to reimburse grantees for their wire transfer fees if you include this in your budget request. Siko (WMF) (talk) 20:01, 7 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Are the grants disbursed in USD? It seems obvious, but I though I'd ask :)
    • You may request disbursement in your local currency. There are a few currencies we're unable to disburse in, but we are generally able to meet most requests. Siko (WMF) (talk) 20:01, 7 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Is there a grant model available?
    • A model? There is a kit for proposals, and you can always look at past IEGrant projects for other examples. If I'm not understanding the question correctly though, please let me know! Siko (WMF) (talk) 20:01, 7 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Can outreach events be coupled with a technical proposal (i.e. travel to events to promote the new tool)?
    • Absolutely - outreach and community organizing is strongly encouraged for technical proposals (we think tools + people = good results!). Even though a proposal will be assigned one category for type, good proposals should incorporate multiple strategies. Siko (WMF) (talk) 20:01, 7 March 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for your answers.--Strainu (talk) 18:54, 7 March 2014 (UTC)

Hi Strainu! I've threaded some answers above to your questions. Hope this helps! Please let me know if I can be of further assistance. Cheers, Siko (WMF) (talk) 20:01, 7 March 2014 (UTC)

Also, a small piece of advice for 2015: it seems to me that the "spring edition" of the grants begins a too late to take advantage of the student workforce in look for a summer practical project. In order to take advantage of this resource, it would help if the project would begin 2 months earlier (e.g. from January)--Strainu (talk) 19:10, 7 March 2014 (UTC)

There are a few reasons that we've got the schedule setup this way currently, but we'll keep this feedback in mind for the future. Thanks! Siko (WMF) (talk) 20:01, 7 March 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for your answers Siko! When I asked about a model, I was referring to a contract model (or whatever is signed between the WMF and the grantee).--Strainu (talk) 20:08, 7 March 2014 (UTC)

Ah, I see! We don't have a published version of the grant agreement currently, sorry, but as a grantee you'd of course have time to review the agreement before signing. Cheers! Siko (WMF) (talk) 21:04, 7 March 2014 (UTC)