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Grants:IdeaLab/How it works

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IdeaLab is an incubator for people to share ideas to improve Wikimedia projects and to collaboratively develop them into plans and grant proposals. This page is for people to understand how IdeaLab works.

IdeaLab has its own processes and policies[edit]

Many people come to IdeaLab from all different parts of the Wikimedia community. It's important to understand that IdeaLab, and Meta-wiki overall, are separate from other wikis, and operate differently.

This page will help you understand how IdeaLab works.

IdeaLab is a friendly space[edit]

Contributors to IdeaLab are expected to help maintain a friendly space environment where all participants can feel comfortable sharing ideas and get constructive feedback. Disagreement should be expressed respectfully and constructive suggestions are welcome - please keep in mind that initiating something new isn't easy, and some good ideas take time and nurturing to mature.

How to participate in IdeaLab[edit]

Here are some steps you can take to get involved in IdeaLab:

  • Create an idea: Anyone can create an idea. Even if you want someone else to make the project happen or don't have the skills needed to turn your idea into action, capturing and sharing your ideas is a useful first step to forward our collective knowledge.
  • Grow your idea: You can add extra sections to your idea at any point, to start to turn it into a more usable project plan. If you need help figuring out what kinds of sections to add, feel free to ask on the discussion page of your idea.
  • Give feedback on ideas: If you like an idea, use the "endorse" button. Improvement suggestions, concerns, or other feedback should be posted on the discussion page.
  • Share your skills: Create a profile to tell others what sort of skills or experience you can offer as a collaborator on potential projects. Our friendly GrantsBot will make some suggestions for projects looking for collaborators on your profile, and you can also browse all ideas and use the "join" button to offer to collaborate on a project of interest to you.
  • Find people to help with your idea: If your idea needs participants, you can browse people's profiles in IdeaLab and invite someone with relevant skills to join your project.
  • Ask for funding to support your idea: If funding from the Wikimedia Foundation would help turn your idea into action, use the "propose for a grant" button provided on your idea page to expand your idea into a grant proposal. WMF staff and funding committee members will review your proposal, ask any necessary questions on the discussion page, and let you know when a decision has been made.

Things to know about Idea pages[edit]

Here are some answers to common questions or things that people want to know about Idea pages.

Ideas are collaborative[edit]

Ideas are developed collaboratively by the community. Although one person is identified as the originator of an idea, they don't "own" it. Please feel free to constructively edit ideas to make them more specific or usable, add supporting information, clarify, or otherwise improve them.

Endorsements and opposition[edit]

Each idea page has an "endorsement" section, where people can express their support for this idea.

The endorsement section is not for votes/opposition; if you don't like an idea, and want to express concerns or suggest improvements, you can do so on the Discussion page.

Inviting people to review and comment[edit]

IdeaLab participants are welcome to invite interested parties to comment on, or endorse, their ideas. Please note that English Wikipedia's canvassing guidelines don't apply on Meta wiki.

The IEG grants page says:

The Wikimedia community is invited to endorse proposals or discuss any concerns or questions they have on proposal talk pages. Applicants are responsible for making relevant communities aware of their proposal as early as possible. As soon as you draft your proposal, you should notify areas of the community (via village pump, mailing list, talk page, or other project-appropriate venues) that are most likely to be impacted or involved in your project.


Some ideas need funding in order to succeed, and some don't. Not every idea that is created in IdeaLab is asking for a grant from the Wikimedia Foundation. Ideas that are only looking for feedback or participants are very welcome in IdeaLab!

If you do want to expand your idea into a grant proposal, there is a button at the bottom of each Idea page to help you do so. You will need to submit a budget and other information, and the proposal will be reviewed by a funding committee. See Grants:Start for more details.


Campaigns are themed collections of ideas, focused on a particular goal.

  • Inspire Campaign - These campaigns aim to generate ideas focused specifically on addressing a variety of challenges or general initiatives affecting one or more Wikimedia projects.