What problem does this solve?
When one is working on programme, matching up access to content, enthusiastic volunteers, and strategic goals can be a challenge. One often has one or two components, but not all three.
What is the solution?
Find the enthusiasm for projects that align with your strategic goals and facilitate it.
This can be achieved by finding existing, organised initiatives and supporting them.
Art & Feminism is a large project that requires international coordination, and has been successful in terms of creating a strong brand that is recognisable within the field of the arts, and attractive to a large group of people who don't traditionally contribute to Wikimedia.
In the UK there was strong enthusiasm to participate from some very notable organisations, but they needed support and someone to help deliver these events.
As a chapter we were able to take ownership of our region's contribution and turn enthusiasm into 8 events across the country in some of the most prestigious institutions. And one successful and one growing partnership. We have run subsequent events with Tate Britain, and are beginning to work with the Royal Academy of Arts as a result of them attending one of our successful events.
We have achieved similar (if smaller scale) successes by partnering and training members of the Oxford Food Symposium, an international collection of academics in the subject of food history.
Things to consider
- Key points for picking an existing initiative to work with must be that they self-organise, can promote their events, and have an existing network to call on.
- Are their goals aligned with ours? Are they going to contribute good content if enabled?
- Plan ahead in terms of capturing the enthusiasm for one area, and think about other related areas. The participants in Art & Feminism were also interested in LGBT events and events about Black British Artists.
- Use the enthusiasm of partner institutions to open up a wider discussion about their content, advocacy and working with them on projects beyond events.
When to use
- Do you want new editors? New contributions from specific fields or areas of enthusiasm.
- This is a way of reaching audiences that are often "not on your radar".