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Grants:PEG/WM US-DC/Projects 2015

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WM US-DC/Projects 2015
Wikimedia DC seeks to carry out a program of local outreach in 2015.
targetEnglish Wikipedia, Wikidata
strategic priorityImproving Quality, Increasing Participation
start dateJanuary 15
start year2015
end dateSeptember 30
end year2015
budget (local currency)US$4,765
budget (USD)US$4,765
grant typeOrganization
contact(s)• james.hare(_AT_)wikimediadc.org• peter.meyer(_AT_)wikimediadc.org
organization• Wikimedia District of Columbia


To expand and maintain our institutional contacts, our goal is to organize edit-a-thons with 15 institutions (including two scientific institutions and three government institutions), plus two events with the civic technology community in DC. We are also planning two workshop series in the DC area and continuing our small grants program to support activities throughout the United States. Our goal is to get more people and institutions involved with editing Wikipedia, with specific goals highlighted in our proposal below.



Wikipedia workshops[edit]

Wikipedia Workshops build on the edit-a-thon concept that has been successfully implemented at Wikimedia DC events. While edit-a-thons as currently carried out are successful promotional events that give participating individuals and organizations a taste of editing Wikipedia, additional efforts are required to sustain the interest of new Wikipedians. The workshop concept developed by Wikimedia DC works to improve the editing skills of participants through small instructional groups and pre-scheduled recurring events.

We are currently planning two workshop series in Washington, DC, one focused on art history and another on public health. Our goal is to recruit ten participating editors and one facilitator for each set of workshops. Each series will consist of multiple regular workshop sessions over the course of several weeks, focusing on creating content on Wikipedia. Our goal is to see one new article created, or one existing article substantially expanded, per person per session, for a total of 80 new or substantially improved articles across the two series. We'll consider an article substantially improved if at least 1,000 bytes of content is added or replaced.


This past fiscal year, Wikimedia DC supported 20 edit-a-thons. At these edit-a-thons, over 130 participants contributed over 250,000 bytes of content. More importantly, these edit-a-thons allowed us to become better acquainted with cultural, scientific, historical, or government institutions that share our mission, including the National Archives and Records Administration, the American Chemical Society, the Smithsonian Institution, the DC Historical Society, and the University of Maryland Libraries. There is growing interest in hosting edit-a-thons with our organization, with many organizations willing to contribute all the event hosting costs in-kind. There is also interest from existing partners to carry out longer-term Wikimedia-related programs, as reflected in our annual plan and in the National Archives' decision to hire a full-time Wikipedian in Residence.

As edit-a-thons are the primary recruitment vehicle for Wikimedia DC, we would like to continue hosting them this fiscal year. Our goal this fiscal year is to host edit-a-thons with at least 15 institutions, expanding on the prior year's nine. Of these 15, we would like to organize at least two with scientific institutions and three with government institutions. Between our edit-a-thons, our goal is to engage at least 175 participants.

Civic technology outreach[edit]

Technology is the mechanism by which Wikimedia creates and shares knowledge. Wikimedia DC piloted a new technology program this past fiscal year with two "WikiHack" events, working to develop technological solutions to connect open government data to the Wikimedia projects. This data, with the right approach, can automatically enrich Wikipedia with new information, creating a self-updating encyclopedia. What we found through our WikiHacks is that we are just getting started with this conversation: open data at the federal level is still in its infancy, as is the Wikidata project that offers us a bridge between data and Wikipedia. Our relationship with the open government and technology communities in DC are still developing, and our community's understanding of Wikidata is still growing. Therefore, our approach to technology programs this year will focus on outreach to the existing civic technology and open government communities.

Our goal for this fiscal year is to participate as an organization in at least two sessions with Code for DC and to participate in the Transparency Camp unconference. At these events, our goal is to engage a total of ten participants in our Wikidata-related projects, developing at least three project prototypes for connecting data repositories to Wikimedia projects. Our mission more broadly is to sell the value of the Wikimedia projects as a use case for open data, in fulfillment of a shared mission of disseminating information. Taking these initial steps to expand our community will eventually allow us to develop more specific programs, seeking the incorporation of specific datasets and collaborations with specific organizations, including data-disseminating government agencies. In the long term, developing a base of tech-savvy volunteers will also allow us to participate more broadly in the Wikimedia technical community, working with volunteers around the world to improve the platforms that allow for content development and dissemination. Our long-term goals begin with engaging existing communities that share our mission.

Small grants[edit]

Wikimedia DC, though a regional organization, supports the efforts of Wikimedia organizers throughout the United States. We provide support through our small grants program, which has supported events in cities across the country. For this coming year, our goal is to support five events throughout the United States through our grants program. We plan on promoting our grants program at WikiConference USA 2015 and during our training events throughout the year, as a small-scale supplement to the Wikimedia Foundation's grants. We will also offer support to grantees, sharing our best practices for recruiting participants, event organizing, and impact assessment.


Target readership[edit]

Our programs target the English Wikipedia primarily, though we also expect some impact on Wikidata.

Fit with strategy[edit]

What crucial thing will the project try to change or benefit in the Wikimedia movement? Please select the Wikimedia strategic priority(ies) that your project most directly aims to impact and explain how your project fits. Most projects fit all strategic priorites. However, we would like project managers to focus their efforts on impacting 1–2 strategic priorities. Examples of strategic priorities can be found here.

Our programs focus on increasing participation and quality. Edit-a-thons are useful in introducing people and institutions to the concept of editing Wikipedia, while our workshops get subject matter experts to improve the content of Wikipedia by guiding them through the article writing process.

Measures of success[edit]

Please provide a list of both quantitative and qualitative criteria that will be used to determine how successful the project is. You will need to report on the success of the project according to these measures after the project is completed. See the PEG program resources for suggested measures of success.

  • Number of institutional partners: 15 (within that, 3 government and 2 scientific)
  • Number of participants (active editors, all editors, all people): 175 edit-a-thon participants, 20 workshop participants, 2 facilitators
  • Number of events: 15 edit-a-thons, 2 workshop series (4 workshops per series), 2 Wikidata events, 5 events supported through small grants
  • Number of edits: 1,300 (extrapolated based on stats from past fiscal year)
  • Number of bytes added and removed: 350,000 from edit-a-thons (extrapolated based on stats from past fiscal year); 80,000 bytes from workshop series
  • Number of new/substantially improved articles: 80 from workshop series
  • Number of total articles edited: 80 from workshop series; 275 from edit-a-thons (extrapolated based on stats from the past fiscal year)
  • Number of Wikidata project prototypes developed: 3 prototype projects
  • Number of Wikidata items improved: 300 items

Note: In addition to your project-specific measures of success, you will also be asked to report on some global metrics at the end of your final report. Please keep this in mind as you plan, and we'll support you as you begin your project.

Resources and risks[edit]


Wikimedia DC has years of experience carrying out local outreach and organizing events. For more information, review our 2013–14 annual report. To carry out our plans, we have assigned different tasks to different directors and personnel:
  • James Hare will directly oversee civic technology outreach programs and supervise event logistics.
  • Emily Temple-Wood will provide remote assistance to the workshop series organizers.
  • Kirill Lokshin is responsible for overseeing the small grants program.
  • Peter Meyer is responsible for overseeing government-related edit-a-thons.
  • John Sadowski is responsible for overseeing science-related edit-a-thons.
  • Dominic McDevitt-Parks, as our Cultural Partnerships Advisor, provides remote assistance to edit-a-thon organizers with galleries, libraries, archives, and museums.
Individual events will be run with the help of volunteers, including edit-a-thon hosts and edit-a-thon volunteers. Hosts are responsible for organizing events in the facilities where they will be held (likely in their professional capacity), while volunteers help attendees with editing Wikipedia. We have workshop facilitators lined up for each series, though plans are not finalized yet.


Risk: Not enough events planned.
It is possible we will not reach our goal of organizing events with 15 institutions. Not enough events would result in a budget surplus. We would work with the Wikimedia Foundation to re-invest excess resources to support costs in other programs.
Risk: Too many events.
As Wikimedia DC has increased the number of events it has held, it has not yet run into this situation. However, we could potentially mitigate a surge in demand by asking partnering institutions to host events at a later date. Spacing out our events helps ease the burden on our volunteers.
Risk: Not enough grant applicants.
Low demand for our small grants program could result in less impact. We are working to encourage applications for the program through WikiConference USA and our planned volunteer training events.
Risk: Not enough interest in Wikidata.
In the event not enough DC-area groups are interested in exploring Wikidata as a data platform, we will focus on working with organizations we know to be interested in Wikidata, such as the National Archives and Records Administration.
Risk: Immaturity of Wikidata as a project.
Wikidata is a fairly new Wikimedia project with few volunteers understanding it on a deep level (compared to, for example, our comprehension of the English Wikipedia), and with its underlying software continually evolving. Since we launched our technology programs initiative we have developed connections with active Wikidata volunteers and staff who have helped us, and we look forward to their continued support. We could also elect to defer Wikidata-related programming to later in our grant period.


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
Wikipedia Workshops
Art History Workshop Series Event $170 4 $680 Based on the cost estimate of an edit-a-thon: $170/event, four events per series, two series. Covers food and incidental costs.
Public Health Workshop Series Event $170 4 $680
Total $1,360
Food and Beverage Event $170 10 $1,700 Cost estimate based on past events. We are budgeting for ten, since we are expecting some edit-a-thons to be covered totally by in-kind gifts.
Regional Travel Average Trip $27 5 $135 Wikimedia DC reimburses for personal vehicle use at the government rate of 52 cents per mile. In the past year we've had event volunteers drive substantial lengths to support events throughout our chapter region. We would like to reimburse them for their vehicle use, as they are providing necessary organizational support. Based on an average roundtrip length of 52 miles and an estimated five trips.
Internet Passes One-Day Pass $10 3 $30 CLEAR wireless Internet service. We find that paying for a one-day pass for each event is more cost effective than maintaining a continuous subscription.
Total $1,865
Small Grants Grant $100 10 $1,000 Based on average grant award from Wikimedia DC.
Civic Technology Outreach Sponsored Event $170 2 $340 For sponsoring events with other organizations. Covers food and incidental costs.
Qualtrics License One-Year License $200 1 $200 Aids in our evaluation efforts.
Total Expenses $4,765
Total cost of project
Total amount requested from the Project and Event Grants program
Additional sources of revenue that may fund part of this project, and amounts funded
Wikimedia DC collects membership dues and other donations from its members. Though primarily to support our overhead costs as an organization, the funds may also be used to support program costs.

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 a one-year Qualtrics license through the Wikimedia Foundation's group account.


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?

  • The activities described in this grant proposal come from our annual plan, which was announced to our mailing list and presented at our annual meeting on October 18, 2014.
  • Wikidata has been notified of the Wikidata-related aspects of our proposal here.
  • GLAM-US and WikimediaUS-l mailing lists notified of the proposal.


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.

  • Support Support. The amount requested is modest and will support a number of valuable programs. Wikimedia DC has a good track record with similar initiatives. - PKM (talk) 04:23, 27 October 2014 (UTC)
For grantees

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