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Grants:PEG/Grant Advisory Committee/Workroom

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Grant Advisory Committee

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getting started

Welcome, new members! Now that you've joined, here is what you need to get started.

Step 1. Create an IdeaLab profile

Introduce yourself to your fellow members and grantees! Create your IdeaLab profile.

Step 2. Learn about how we work

Read the coordination and review sections of this page to learn more about the proposal review process and your responsibilities as a GAC member.

Step 3. Review PEG resources

Read current and past proposals and reports. Learn about the different programs and how we measure success. Review guidelines for proposal and report review (coming soon).

Step 4. Give early feedback to proposers

It's never too early to start reading ideas, drafts and grant requests and share your feedback to help improve them. Tips for giving early feedback.

Step 5. Got questions?

You'll get an email when it is time to start reviewing proposals or begin other committee tasks. Meanwhile, if you have any questions, feel free to post them on the Workroom talk page or email grants (at) wikimedia.org directly.

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committee responsibilities

Primary roles:

  1. Provide feedback on the talk page of grant proposals and respond to follow-up from the potential grantee promptly.
  2. Evaluate finalized proposals: Review finalized proposals and score proposals according to the evaluation rubric determined by selection criteria.
  3. Recommend proposals for funding: Provide any additional feedback on the discussion page of the proposal.

Secondary roles:

  1. Help recruit new proposals and ideas, and spread the word about PEG and committee openings during open call periods.
  2. Make recommendations to WMF about grantmaking practices and help improve the PEG program and committee process.
  3. Become a project advisor. If you’ve become familiar with a project and we’ve funded it, following its progress to completion is a great way to stay involved . Read reports, highlight results, check-in with grantees from time-to-time about what they’re producing, help troubleshoot or connect them to others if needed, etc.

staff responsibilities
  1. Encourage Wikimedians to write up new ideas and proposals.
  2. Maintain program pages and information for proposers and grantees.
  3. Provide feedback on the talk page of grant proposals.
  4. Determine and communicate eligibility of proposals.
  5. Maintain proposal pages with formatting and categorization to ensure the GAC has easy access to proposals with all info needed for completing review.
  6. Prepare scoring rubric and other materials to assist with GAC review.
  7. Facilitate GAC review process, aggregating scores and other info for discussion, bringing in expert opinions and information as needed.
  8. Help communicate GAC recommendations outward.
  9. Approve and disburse grant funds.
  10. Support grantees from onboarding through final reporting stages.

communication guidelines

The committee communicates using a variety of channels, including:

  • Proposal talk pages
  • This meta Workroom and the Workroom talk page, for discussion and organizing
  • gac(_AT_)lists.wikimedia.org (currently private), for scoring and deliberation purposes
  • Conference calls for discussing complex proposals

Some guidelines:

  • Members are strongly encouraged to communicate directly with grant proposers on the proposal discussion pages and in IdeaLab, to make suggestions, to ask questions, and give feedback.
  • GAC members should not communicate with recused members or grant proposers regarding private committee discussions about specific proposals during the scoring and recommendation periods.

A note on attitude:
In evaluating requests, please bear the following in mind:

  • Grant applicants are offering the Foundation a way to achieve impact through funding their activities. They are offering a benefit and a service to the movement! We appreciate and respect the people who take the time to articulate plans and offer us the chance to make progress on our mission. Even when we decline to fund it.
  • For many applicants, this is the first grant proposal they've ever been involved in. They may not present information clearly enough. Be patient and remember no one is born a grant-writer. :) Don't compromise on what's important, but remain civil and respectful.
  • Remember there is anxiety involved in the application process. If your comments are seen as disrespectful, that anxiety is needlessly increased. Try to present your questions and concerns sympathetically; put yourself in the applicants' shoes.

conflict of interest guidelines

The GAC handles conflicts of interest from active members who submit proposals as follows:

  • Members may continue to serve on the GAC during period in which they have submitted a proposal by continuing to participate in public discussions and other on-wiki activities.
  • Members who have submitted a proposal will recuse themselves from the scoring and recommendation of their own proposal .
  • GAC members and WMF grantmaking staff who take on a role of advisor to the point of becoming a champion for any given proposal should recuse themselves from the process of reviewing or giving final approval on the proposal.
  • Committee recusal includes abstaining from scoring and recommending proposals, and removal from the GAC mailing list and any other private channels or documents in use throughout the review of their proposal.
  • GAC members should follow the WMF Conflict of Interest Guidelines. Any potential or perceived COIs must be first and foremost disclosed proactively to the Supervisor of the allocation of funds. The Committee must be informed of any recusals that take place, but not necessarily of the reasons involving them.

process & timeline
What Who Where When
Feedback on ideas GAC, Community, Staff IdeaLab Ongoing
New grants submitted Grantees Proposal page 1st of the month
Review/Scoring period GAC, Community Proposal page + talk page, Google form 1-20th of the month (additional public comments can be made at any time)
GAC discussion GAC Conference call 20th of the month
Publish feedback Staff Proposal talk pages By the 25th of the month
Finalize recommendations and approvals Staff GAC mailing list + proposal talk pages By the 30th of the month (may be longer for more complex proposals)


instructions for review

Step 1: Review period.

When: 1-20th of each month. (Note that comments can be made on any proposal at any time)

  • Check for open submissions and new ideas and drafts submitted to the IdeaLab. Staff will notify GAC members of new proposals via email.
  • Give feedback and ask clarifying questions to help improve proposals and projects. Point proposers to the Proposal guidelines, Program Resources pages, and other documentation when needed.
  • Ensure that sufficient information is provided and that goals and estimates are realistic and well-defined.
  • Check on the community discussion around each proposal. Make sure community notification happened. If not, suggest or help grantees to do so.
  • Remember that submitting a grant proposal can be intimidating for people! Please be kind as well as honest in your feedback :)
  • Use the Google form (link will be sent via email) to individually score each proposal, based on the evaluation rubric below. Indicate on the form whether you would recommend funding for it.
  • Please submit a new form for each proposal you review. You can go back and revise scores you submit after saving them, but you will need to save the link at the end of your submission in order to do so.

Step 2: Discuss proposals.
When: 20th of each month.
Staff will:

  • Organize a monthly call to provide updates on open proposals and discuss any complex issues.

Step 3: Synthesize feedback for proposers.

When: By the 25th of each month.
Staff will:

  • Synthesize the group's comments from the Google form into a list of qualitative feedback. Remember that this feedback will be shared with proposers, so it should be clear, concise, thorough, honest and kind.
  • Post feedback on the proposal's talk page.

Step 4: Finalize recommendations and approvals.
When: By the 30th of each month.

  • Contribute your thoughts to the discussion on the proposal talk page, posting additional comments, support or opposition.
  • Staff will consider GAC and community feedback and make a funding decision.


  • The GAC may continue to post feedback, questions, or requests on proposals throughout the review period. Plans can be updated and improved in response to GAC requests until a project is selected for funding.

evaluation rubric


  • 1 = very weak or no alignment
  • 3 = weak alignment
  • 5 = passable alignment; room for significant improvement
  • 7 = reasonably good alignment
  • 10 = excellent alignment
Scoring rubric Score Comments
(A) Impact potential
  • Does it focus on one (not all) of Wikimedia's strategic priorities?
  • Does it have potential for impact on Wikimedia projects through new or improved content?
  • Can it be sustained, scaled, or adapted elsewhere after the grant ends?
(B) Measures of success
  • Are there both quantitative and qualitative measures of success?
  • Are they realistic?
  • Can they be measured?
(C) Ability to execute
  • Can the scope be accomplished in the proposed timeframe?
  • Do the participants have the necessary skills/experience?
  • Are there any external factors that may promote success?
(D) Budget quality
  • Does the budget match the program scope?
  • Is there strategic justification for material costs (printing, merchandise, etc.)?
  • Does the budget reflect responsible growth for repeat grantees or a reasonable first investment for new grantees?
(E) Community engagement
  • Does it have a specific target community and plan to engage it often?
  • Does it have community support?
  • Does it support diversity?
Additional comments from the GAC: