The vision of Wikimedia invites us to imagine a world that is vastly different than today. And for almost two decades, tens of thousands of people have contributed to realizing that new world, to realizing the social change necessary to get there.
These volunteers are the backbone of Wikimedia’s collective and prospective social impact. It is their motivation, mobilization, and connection to each other that have brought us to today; it is their growth and development that will ensure our long-term sustainability and ultimate success. But it is the communities - the collectives that are somehow greater and longer lasting than any of its parts - that will get us to that new world.
“Community” means more than just “a group of people working together, contributing to the same goal”. The notion of “community” evokes ideas such as trust, connection, belonging, and identity. It can make a person feel “apart from the group” or “a part of the group”. Community is simultaneously tangible and intangible, and as such, building community has no recipe and no single definition. “Building community” does not just mean “growth”; it means deepening the trust, connection, collaboration, and integration of all of the parts, in order to strengthen the whole.
Our communities - and their community organizers - are on a constant journey to build community, as new tools, projects, and possibilities become available. They are on a journey of development, with or without Wikimedia Foundation grants. But while that journey happens regardless of the grants we give, our grants have provided a mechanism through which individuals and organizations have been able to realize their ideas and aspirations, and build community in meaningful ways.