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Grants:Documenting project expenses

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This page documents a process common to all or most of WMF's grants programs. Please don't edit this page, but please do leave a comment on the discussion page instead.

Guidelines for keeping records of your expenses[edit]

  • Please keep original receipts documenting expenses paid for with grant funds on file for at least four (4) years, or longer than that if your grant agreement requires it. You do not need to send original or digital copies of the receipts to the Wikimedia Foundation unless they are requested by a a Wikimedia Foundation staff member.
  • If receipts are requested, please submit digital copies of the receipts to the Wikimedia Foundation at the time your final grant report is submitted; grant reports cannot be accepted until you have sent in digital copies of your receipts. Linking to a non-WMF website where the receipts are located will not complete this requirement. Receipts are usually submitted to the Wikimedia Foundation by e-mail as a group of image files or a compressed file.
  • Receipts should document (1) the date of your expense, (2) the amount you paid for this expense, (3) what you paid for and (4) whom you paid (for example, the name of the vendor). If the person or vendor does not usually provide a receipt, you may create a receipt with the above information and ask the person or vendor you are paying to provide a signature.
  • If receipts are not submitted according to these guidelines, WMF may not be able to reimburse you for grant expenses or may need to ask you to return undocumented funds.
  • At some point in the future, Wikimedia Foundation staff may contact you with questions about your receipts, so please be ready to answer them.

What to do when receipts are not available[edit]

We understand that receipts are not always available for every expense. For example,

  • In some areas receipts are not generally available for certain expenses, especially for very small expenses (under US$20). In some situations, it may not be practical or possible to create a receipt yourself.
  • Occasionally an original copy of a receipt is lost or destroyed for an expenses that was paid in cash. (If you paid by check or credit card, you will at least have a backup such as a credit card or account statement showing that you paid a certain amount on a certain date.)

If receipts are not available, you still need to document the details of your grant expenses and send them to the Wikimedia Foundation:

  • For each expenses, list (1) the date of your expense, (2) the amount you paid for this expense, (3) what you paid for and (4) whom you paid (for example, the name of the vendor).
  • Include a description of each expense which briefly explains the purpose of the expense.

Remember to record these details at the time of your purchase, or they may be difficult to remember later.

Reimbursements for mileage (car travel)[edit]

You or your team may be reimbursed for project-related mileage / kilometrage if it is approved as part of your grant's budget. Please review the WMF's travel policy before including car travel in your budget, since we will rely on this policy to understand acceptable project-related mileage expenses. If you document your mileage using the guidelines below, then you are not required to keep receipts showing your fuel expenses.

  • Rates for reimbursement: For US-based car travel, use the General Services Administration rate of mileage reimbursement for business travel, which is currently US$00.580 per mile. This is equivalent to US$00.360 per kilometer. For travel outside the US you may either use a local rate for mileage or kilometerage reimbursement from another documented and reliable source. Otherwise, Wikimedia Foundation is happy to provide you with a rate for your location based on an appropriate percentage of the GSA rate. To be reimbursed for project-related travel in a vehicle other than a personal car, please contact Wikimedia Foundation staff.
  • Purpose of travel: Record the dates and times of each trip, the purpose of each trip (this must be project-related) and the addresses of your point of departure and point of arrival.
  • Distance traveled: Provide a map detailing the actual distance traveled by car. In almost any location, you may use a service such as Google Maps to generate this map. If cannot use the shortest available route, you may provide your rationale for using an alternative route.
  • If you are traveling with others, please include a list of those traveling with you and specify if those individuals are traveling for project-related purposes.
  • Eligible expenses: You may be reimbursed for tolls or cover them from grant expenses if you need to take a toll road for project-related purposes. Reasonable parking expenses may also be eligible, but you will be required to submit a receipt for this type of expense. You may not use grant funds for other expenses related to the use of your personal vehicle unless they are explicitly approved in your budget.


Date Time City Vendor Vendor ID Amount Currency Purchase Purpose of purchase Receipt status
1 March 2011 15:32 IST Bangalore, India Meru Cabs Cab # 56723 200 INR Cab ride from the Canadian Consulate, Shivajinagar to the Ista Bangalore Swami Vivekananda Road, 1/1 Cab ride from meeting with project partner to my hotel Receipts not provided by this vendor
4 March 2011 12:30 CEST Lezhe, Albania Nikola's Pizzeri RRuga Luigji Gurakuqi 400 ALL Lunch: groshe, sallate jeshile Meal while in Lezhe for a Meetup of Albanian Wikipedians Receipts not provided by this vendor
9 May 2011 21:45 PDT Fresno, California Public Transportation (FAX) 1.25 USD Bus ride from 1839 North Echo Avenue to 3662 North Diana Street Bus ride home from event to help high school students learn to edit Wiktionary Receipts not provided by this vendor