Grants:PEG/WM US-DC/Cultural Partnerships 2015

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WM US-DC/Cultural Partnerships 2015
Our goal is to scale up GLAM outreach in the United States by developing organizing capacity.
targetEnglish Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons, Wikisource, Wikidata
strategic priorityImproving Quality, Increasing Participation
start dateSeptember 1
start year2015
end dateAugust 31
end year2016
budget (local currency)$34,154
budget (USD)please add the amount you are requesting (USD)
grant typeOrganization
non-profit statusYes
organization• WIkimedia District of Columbia


Our goal is to see ten new relationships established with cultural institutions in the United States, culminating in the upload of 10,000 media files and the recruitment of 30 new Wikipedia editors. To facilitate this, Wikimedia DC is partnering with GLAM-Wiki volunteers from throughout the country to develop the GLAM-Wiki US Consortium, a working group and professional association of institutional partners and Wikipedians. This development work includes developing and maintaining a centralized contact list, updating documentation about the GLAM-Wiki movement, disseminating toolkits containing best practices, regularly communicating with the public through podcasts and other means, and organizing a training event to broaden our network of volunteers.

For GLAM Boot Camp, our goal is to for ten Wikipedians who are new to the GLAM-Wiki movement to participate in the workshop.



Partnering with cultural institutions to share content with the world is one of our founding principles, and we have been expanding on our past work. In July 2014, Wikimedia DC kicked off Wikipedia Summer of Monuments, a campaign dedicated to improving coverage of historic places, particularly in the Southern United States. Between our work with cultural institutions and the contest, over 10,000 photographs of historic sites were uploaded to Wikimedia Commons between July 1 and September 30, 2014. This campaign allowed us to build connections with numerous historical societies and cultural institutions in our target region.

Thinking beyond Summer of Monuments, Wikimedia DC is interested in scaling institutional outreach efforts throughout the country. With our resources in Washington, DC, our programs training volunteers for the Wikimedia movement, and our experience managing outreach projects, we are in a unique position to provide infrastructural support to the GLAM-Wiki movement in the United States. We will be launching a one-year pilot this July to support the national GLAM-Wiki effort. Our cultural partnership program will focus on giving cultural institutions access to the Wikimedia community and guidance on participation. We would like to target institutions for their potential to contribute primary sources, including media and source texts, their potential to make resources available to the benefit of current Wikipedia editors, and institutions with highly knowledgeable staff who could contribute to Wikipedia articles.

Organizing the Consortium[edit]

In March 2015, Wikimedia DC met with members of the advisory board of the GLAM-Wiki US Consortium. Notes from that meeting are available on Hackpad. The Consortium adopted as its vision statement: "To foster knowledge-sharing among US cultural organizations and Wikimedia projects, cultivating expertise and an ethic of sharing in open collaborations that engage the public with its cultural heritage." To realize this vision, these five-year goals were developed:

  1. Disposition: U.S. knowledge organizations consider Wikimedia a valuable ally
  2. Capacity: Knowledge organizations will have increased capacity to implement strategies using Wikimedia tools and resources
  3. Education: All U.S. GLAMs will have access to well-curated educational and training materials
  4. Community: All U.S. Wikimedians will have an awareness of GLAMs, and have adequate tools and access to knowledge institution resources.
  5. Organization: The consortium is an organization that effectively collaborates within itself in order to complete its stated goals.

These five-year goals provided the framework for 39 one-year goals and tasks. These goals and tasks include developing a communications strategy, documenting and improving upon our current educational resources, consulting on current ongoing projects such as the GLAM-Wiki Toolset, identifying current participants in the U.S. GLAM-Wiki movement, developing training programs for new participants, and clarifying the structure of the Consortium to facilitate maximum participation by institutions and volunteers. All of the tasks and goals are included in the Hackpad link above. Each task is associated with an advisory board member, and we are using a project management suite to track tasks and assign them to volunteers.


Wikimedia DC intends on supporting the Consortium by hiring an Organizational Development Coordinator as a part-time employee to organize the work of our advisory board and to collect and synthesize information about the national GLAM-Wiki movement. Rather than carrying on direct outreach work, the coordinator will serve as a much needed "point person," putting institutions and volunteers in touch with each other and making sure each has access to the latest best practices.

During the first quarter of this program (September 1 to November 30), the coordinator will be focused on accounting for our existing networks in preparation for the second GLAM Boot Camp, to be held at the National Archives in September. GLAM Boot Camp focuses on training Wikipedians in outreach to knowledge institutions and introducing Wikipedians to the broader GLAM-Wiki community. Alumni of GLAM Boot Camp have gone on to carry out other projects, including The Wikipedia Library and Wikimedia DC's Workshop Facilitator Training, plus partnerships with institutions throughout the United States. Prior to attending the workshop, Boot Camp participants will be asked to connect with a local institution as a first step toward a partnership with that institution. During and after the workshop, Boot Camp participants will receive organizing support from Wikimedia DC and the Consortium as they carry on their work. GLAM Boot Camp will be held concurrently with the second meeting of the Consortium's advisory board, giving GLAM Boot Camp participants the opportunity to meet with experienced GLAM-Wiki volunteers.

Q2 and beyond[edit]

During its September meeting, the Consortium advisory board will determine which organizational structure is suitable to fulfill its vision and meet its five-year goals. The Organizational Development Coordinator will advise the advisory board on such questions as:

  • Who are the Consortium's potential members?
  • What are the roles of institutions, individual volunteers, and Wikimedia affiliates as members?
  • How can the work of the Consortium be sustained in the long term?
  • How is the advisory board chosen? What is the relationship between the advisory board and the membership?
  • What are the staffing needs of the Consortium?

Once these details are resolved, the GLAM-Wiki US Consortium will be ready to launch as a membership organization. Wikimedia DC is willing to host the Consortium within its own organization as an alternative to setting up a separate corporation. As a functioning organization, Wikimedia affiliates and volunteers will have ready access to training opportunities, instructional materials, and a network of eager and willing knowledge institutions, while knowledge institutions in the United States will have a central point of contact and an opportunity to formally align with the Wikimedia movement.

This pilot program is structured to last one year. We are looking to pursue funding from additional sources to extend the program beyond one year if the program succeeds in facilitating institutional outreach throughout the country.

Coordinator job description[edit]

Wikimedia DC, working in partnership with the GLAM-Wiki US Consortium, is looking to hire an Organizational Development Coordinator to manage Wikimedia DC's Cultural Partnerships Program, which seeks to cultivate a national network of volunteers and cultural professionals who work to improve Wikipedia.

"GLAM" is an acronym referring to Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums. Since 2010, volunteers have engaged professionals at these institutions of knowledge, with the goal of promoting participation on the projects of the Wikimedia Foundation, including Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This network of volunteers and organizations has resulted in highly productive partnerships between the Wikimedia community and such organizations as the National Archives and Records Administration, the Smithsonian Institution, the New York Public Library, The Children's Museum of Indianapolis, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and many others. These partnerships have resulted in significant improvements to the contents of Wikipedia, and have increased the discoverability of these institutions' holdings.

Wikimedia DC is a Washington, DC-based affiliate of the Wikimedia Foundation. As a volunteer-led organization, we support programs locally and nationally that improve the quality of the Wikimedia projects and have partnered with the GLAM-Wiki US Consortium, a national working group that brings together volunteers and professionals to share ideas and experiences.

We are seeking a coordinator to organize and keep track of the events, technical projects, fellowship and internship programs, and other activities taking place throughout the United States. This coordinator will develop essential infrastructure to our organization and to our movement.

The tasks of the coordinator include:

  • To help facilitate the work of a nationally distributed base of Wikimedia volunteers, including the advisory board of the GLAM-Wiki US Consortium;
  • To assist with Consortium organizational matters, such as fundraising, bylaws, membership, and general governance;
  • To develop and maintain the contact database of institutions, professionals, and volunteers
  • To synthesize experiences, expertise, and lessons learned into toolkits for use by institutions and organizers, and to catalogue existing toolkits;
  • To facilitate communications with the public, including through our blog and our video podcasts;
  • To prepare for, and facilitate, gatherings, including the biannual advisory board meetings.

Candidates must:

  • Proven track record of working professionally with a volunteer-driven community;
  • Have experience in remote work, online collaboration or distributed workspaces;
  • Demonstrate a significant ability to self-organize, keeping track of large amounts of information with little direct oversight;
  • Demonstrate experience building a professional network and developing institutional partnerships and/or relationships;
  • Be able to travel as needed.

Ideal candidates have one or more of the following:

  • Experience working with galleries, libraries, archives, museums (GLAM), or other research/knowledge organizations;
  • Experience with nonprofit management;
  • Experience with internal, organizational communications.

Bonus experiences that are appreciated, but not required:

  • Grant writing experience;
  • Wikipedia editing experience;
  • Experience in open content advocacy;
  • Being multilingual.

Candidates can be based anywhere in the United States. This is a part-time position for one year compensated at $22/hour, approximately 20 hours per week.


Target readership[edit]

This project seeks to improve the English Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons, Wikisource, and Wikidata.

Fit with strategy[edit]

This program is essential to increasing participation by building out the GLAM-Wiki network and making it accessible to more people and organizations. Currently, the easiest way to participate in GLAM-Wiki is by knowing someone else who is already involved; there is no readily available central point of contact, existing documentation is out of date, and there is not sufficient direction for volunteers. We have found through The Wikipedia Library and similar programs that the most scalable programs are based on building an infrastructure for volunteering, and we are looking to do that. Our goal is to work with these knowledgeable organizations who have high-quality information to share with the Wikimedia movement but may not have the in-house expertise to learn how to contribute themselves; facilitating this will help increase quality on the Wikimedia projects.

Measures of success[edit]

  • Number of new relationships established: 10
  • Number of Wikipedians engaged in outreach work (including GLAM Boot Camp participants): 20
  • Number of media files uploaded, number of pages contributed to Wikisource: 10,000 pages/files total
  • Number of Wikipedia accounts created: 30
  • Number of participants in our volunteer training programs: 15
  • Production of an updated institutional outreach guide, mass upload guide, and edit-a-thon guide.

Resources and risks[edit]


Wikimedia DC has an extensive history of developing and implementing programs to reach out to cultural institutions, as documented by our grant proposals and reports and by our quarterly and annual activity reports. Our annual reports document our success in reaching out to likeminded organizations; last fiscal year we partnered with 13 institutions and we continue to grow our number of institutional contacts. We also have success with training programs; participants at our GLAM Boot Camp and Workshop Facilitator Training have gone on to:

  • Found and operate The Wikipedia Library; the four leading coordinators are all GLAM Boot Camp participants
  • Conduct successful workshop training programs, including the Women in Science workshop series at Loyola University Chicago (funded by the Wikimedia Foundation Individual Engagement Grant program)
  • Lead Wikipedia workshops at conferences and edit-a-thons
  • Organize global outreach campaigns, including Wiki Loves Pride
  • Serve as Wikipedians in Residence at various cultural and academic institutions

For this project, we are partnering with the National Archives and Records Administration; they have awarded us a $20,000 contract for carrying out GLAM Boot Camp and two Consortium advisory board meetings (one of which was already carried out). We also appreciate the support of the GLAM-Wiki US Consortium's advisory board; current members as of writing are:

  • Phoebe Ayers, UC Davis, Wikimedia Foundation Board
  • Pete Forsyth, Wiki Strategies
  • James Hare, Wikimedia D.C.
  • Dorothy Howard, NY Metro
  • Dylan Kinnett, Walters Art Museum
  • Bob Kosovsky, New York Public Library
  • Andrew Lih, American University
  • Dominic McDevitt-Parks, National Archives and Records Administration
  • Jake Orlowitz, The Wikipedia Library
  • Lori Phillips, Children's Museum of Indianapolis
  • Merrilee Proffitt, OCLC
  • Adrianne Russell, Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art
  • Alex Stinson, The Wikipedia Library
  • Sara Snyder, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution
  • Pam Wright, National Archives and Records Administration


  • Risk: We cannot find a coordinator with all of the skills we are looking for
    • In recruiting for this position, it is possible we cannot find the right person given the hourly wage offered. Significant effort has been expended to optimize the position toward organizational development, but we can optimize further if deemed necessary.
  • Risk: Volunteer burnout
    • Building an organization is significant work, and volunteers leave as they get tired of the work or become occupied with more urgent matters. We expect the coordinator to relieve some of this organizing burden and to find volunteers as needed for certain tasks, based on our knowledge of our volunteer networks.
  • Risk: Scaling problems
    • As we expand on our GLAM-Wiki work, there may be issues finding enough people to match demand. In fact, we are facing scaling issues at this very moment. Much of this project is focused on developing and codifying best practices, allowing institutions to independently carry out projects as they are so inclined. At the very least, improving our educational resources will make the work of volunteers that much more efficient.
  • Risk: Management of professionals by volunteers
    • The coordinator will have the distinction of being a professional managed by volunteers. We are interested in hiring an organizational development coordinator to help determine—given the exigencies of GLAM-Wiki in the United States—the organizational structure that best serve the needs of the movement. One potential outcome of this process is the establishment of a new foundation with independent fundraising that will hire an executive director. In the meantime, the coordinator is expected to operate independently.


Please provide a detailed breakdown of project expenses according to the instructions here. See Budget Guidelines.

Grantees are subject to line-item scrutiny of expenses. Changes to the approved budget beyond 10% in any category must be approved in advance.

Project budget table
Item Unit Unit cost No. of units Total cost Notes
Organizational Development Coordinator
Wages One hour of work $22 1,040 $22,880 20 hours/week, 52 weeks. Note that this is expected to be a part time position. The coordinator will submit time sheets to verify hours worked.
Meeting participation One meeting $900 5 $4,500 Approximate cost of participating in meetings, including costs for travel, accommodations, and per diem. This includes funding to participate in WikiConference USA, the September meeting of the Consortium, the spring meeting of the Consortium (circa March 2016), and two other meetings where it would be especially beneficial for the coordinator to participate in person, for example to meet with volunteer groups or high-level stakeholders.
Employment taxes $3,124 DC unemployment tax and federal Social Security, Medicare, and unemployment (FUTA) tax.
Entertainment One meal $40 10 $400 For business meetings with institutional partners or volunteers. Entertainment expenses are subject to prior approval by the president of Wikimedia DC, per the travel policy.
Coordinator Total $30,904
GLAM Boot Camp
Flights One flight $600 10 $6,000 Anticipated cost based on past travel expenditures
Hotels One hotel room-night $110 30 $3,300 Three nights, ten rooms. Based on costs from recent Consortium meeting; we were satisfied with the hotel we used and wish to use it for future meetings. (This assumes one person per room, but we will look into sharing rooms.)
Lunches One group lunch $350 2 $700 Based on costs from Workshop Facilitator Training.
Dinners One group dinner $275 2 $550 Based on costs from Workshop Facilitator Training.
Transportation One SmarTrip card $20 10 $200 For transportation to and from hotel
Boot Camp Total $10,750
Total Project Budget $41,654
Funding from NARA ($7,500) The National Archives and Records Administration has awarded Wikimedia DC a contract to carry out GLAM-Wiki-related meetings, including GLAM Boot Camp.
Total Grant Budget $34,154
Total cost of project
(This does not include the cost of the September meeting of the Consortium, which will be funded exclusively with non-WMF funds)
Total amount requested from the Project and Event Grants program
Additional sources of revenue that may fund part of this project, and amounts funded
Funding from NARA: $7,500

Non-financial requirements[edit]

See a description of non-financial assistance available. Please inform the Wikimedia Foundation (WMF) of any requests for non-financial assistance now.

Requests for non-financial assistance, if any

We would like to collaborate with the Wikimedia Foundation on communications strategy for this project.


Community notification[edit]

You are responsible for notifying relevant communities of your proposal, so that they can help you! Depending on your project, notification may be most appropriate on a village pump, talkpage, mailing list. Please paste a link below to where the relevant communities have been notified of this proposal, and to any other relevant community discussions. Need notification tips?


    • Do you think this project should be selected for a Project and Event Grant? Please add your name and rationale for endorsing this project in the list below. Other feedback, questions or concerns from community members are also highly valued, but please post them on the talk page of this proposal.
  • After my illness I'm not even sure I'm technically on the gac.. but hell yes! Well plannd, high potential for success, and relatively low budget*
  • This is a modest investment for a well-developed program. The team has a history of success and should be able to execute the program as described if they are able to hire a qualified coordinator. PKM (talk) 00:26, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Realized I didn't endorse, but as someone involved in the benefits of this grant, and thinking strategically in the long term: this sounds like a brilliant idea! Sadads (talk) 23:13, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Having multiple conflicts of interest as both a GLAM US Consortium Member and WMF staff, I'll simply say that WMDC's track record of successful events, conferences, trainings, and outreach impresses me. I have a lot of faith in the leadership of the chapter which continues to demonstrate professionalism and reasonable attempts at scale. Cheers, Jake Ocaasi (talk) 20:43, 5 August 2015 (UTC)