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Grants:PEG/WM US-DC/Projects 2015/Report

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Report accepted
This report for a Project and Event grant approved in FY Pending has been reviewed and accepted by the Wikimedia Foundation.
  • You may still comment on this report on its discussion page, or visit the discussion page to read the discussion about this report.
  • You are welcome to Email grants at wikimedia dot org at any time if you have questions or concerns about this report.

Project status[edit]

Did you comply with the requirements specified by WMF in the grant agreement?
Is your project completed?

Activities and lessons learned[edit]



Edit-a-Thons by Month

In Fiscal Year 2014–15 (corresponding to the period from October 2014 through September 2015), Wikimedia DC supported a total of 21 edit-a-thons (of which 6 were directly supported with funds from this grant) in partnership with 12 separate cultural, academic, and government institutions and non-governmental organizations, including the Smithsonian Institution, DC Public Library, the Waitt Institute, American University, Howard University, the University of Maryland, Catholic University, the National Institutes of Health, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, National Public Radio, Women in Film and Video International, and Tech LadyMafia:

Edit-a-Thons by Partner Institution
  •   Smithsonian Institution
  •   DC Public Library
  •   Waitt Institute
  •   American University
  •   Howard University
  •   University of Maryland
  •   Catholic University
  •   National Institutes of Health
  •   White House Office of Science and Technology Policy
  •   National Public Radio
  •   Women in Film and Video International
  •   Tech LadyMafia

The edit-a-thons were attended by a total of 177 people with Wikipedia accounts. Among these, 95 people were newcomers to Wikimedia DC events, four of whom attended two or more events during the year, and 82 participants were previous event attendees, 28 of whom attended two or more events; this corresponds to a total intra-year retention rate of 18%. The participants collectively made 1,272 edits to 391 Wikipedia articles, corresponding to 623,453 bytes changed on Wikipedia across all namespaces, and uploaded 66 files to Wikimedia Commons.

Since Wikimedia DC began tracking in October 2013, 293 people with Wikipedia accounts have participated in our editing events, with 70 attending two or more, an all-time retention rate of 24%. In total, Wikimedia DC editing events have resulted in 2,226 edits to 625 articles, with 101 files contributed to Wikimedia Commons and 1,284,030 bytes of content added or removed across all namespaces.

Detailed information concerning the outcomes of individual edit-a-thons may be found in Wikimedia DC's quarterly activity report for the corresponding period, as well as on the event page of each edit-a-thon.


During the 2014–15 fiscal year, Wikimedia DC issued 4 small grants with a total value of $1,197.56 (of which one grant, with a total value of $662.56, was directly supported with funds from this grant) to individuals and organizations across the United States. The grants provided by Wikimedia DC were used to support activities and events in Ocean City, Maryland; Portland, Oregon; and Seattle, Washington.

Lessons learned[edit]

What worked well?
Wikimedia DC's traditional approach of building relationships with institutional partners through jointly-hosted edit-a-thon events remained effective at both attracting new partners as well as retaining existing partners. Several of our key partner institutions are now comfortable planning and executing Wikimedia-related events with limited direct involvement from Wikimedia DC, demonstrating an independent commitment to participating in the Wikimedia movement that we believe can be sustained without significant further expenditure of movement funds or resources.
What didn't work?
The initial project plan incorporated several structured workshop programs, which would have involved holding regular, repeated editing events focused on a specific set of topics with particular partner institutions. However, as we attempted to put this plan into effect, we discovered that the partners with whom we had intended to hold these workshops were either uninterested in holding events on the topics we had selected, or were unable to commit to the proposed program of multiple events. While we ultimately were able to work with these partners in a different capacity (by holding individual edit-a-thons tailored to the partners' topics of choice), we were unable to execute the planned workshops.
A similar problem occurred with respect to our plans to hold non-Wikipedia-oriented events focused on Wikidata. While several partners have expressed great interest in working with Wikidata in some capacity (and, indeed, NIOSH has subsequently dedicated substantial resources to that effect, including the hiring of two Wikipedians-in-Residence), there has not been any significant interest in hosting events that focus on Wikidata in particular.
What would you do differently if you planned a similar project?
It is clear that programs whose successful execution requires any significant degree of institutional partnership and involvement must be structured with sufficient flexibility to allow tailoring to the specific objectives of those institutional partners, as well as to the capacity that those partners may have for collaboration at any given point in time. The success of Wikimedia DC's institutional partnership edit-a-thon program is due in large part to our ability to tailor the events to of each individual partner; the failure of the more highly structured—and arguably better-planned—workshop program, on the other hand, is in many ways a result of our having designed a program that failed to accurately reflect what our target set of partners wanted or was willing to support at the time.
Consequently, when planning similar projects in the future, programs which rely on institutional partner participation should be allow greater flexibility in execution (for example, with regard to the number and timing of events, the topical focus, and so forth) in order to permit more significant adjustment as the plans and objectives of the partner institution evolve. This is particularly important in cases where the initial program plan may need to be constructed prior to having a definite commitment of resources from the institution. Note that we have already taken an approach along these lines in our annual plan for the current fiscal year.

Learning patterns[edit]

Outcomes and impact[edit]


Provide the original project goal here.
"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."
Did you achieve your project goal? How do you know your goal was achieved? Please answer in 1 - 2 short paragraphs.
While the project did not meet all of the specific targets set out in the initial plan, it was, as a whole, successful in expanding and maintaining Wikimedia DC's network of institutional partners. Over the course of the year, a total of 12 institutions partnered with Wikimedia DC to host Wikimedia-related events and programs; of these, 5 institutions (the Waitt Institute, Catholic University, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, Women in Film and Video International, and Tech LadyMafia) had not previously worked with Wikimedia DC (or, to the best of our knowledge, with any movement organization or group). The 5 new partners represent a significant growth of our overall institutional partner network, as well as a significant expansion into the government and NGO sectors that we had not previously been able to undertake. Further, the number of repeat institutional partners—and particularly the willingness of key partners, such as the Smithsonian Institution, to repeatedly host Wikimedia-related programs—demonstrates the viability of our overall institutional partnership model, and validates our decision to focus a significant portion of our volunteer resources in this area.

Progress towards targets and goals[edit]

Project metrics

Project metrics Target outcome Achieved outcome Explanation
15 institutional partners 12 institutional partners Target not met. While the number of edit-a-thons held in conjunction with our institutional partners exceeded the corresponding target, a significant number of these were repeat events held with the same partners (including, in particular, a total of 7 events held with the Smithsonian Institution).
3 government institutional partners 3 government institutional partners Target met.
2 scientific institutional partners 3 scientific institutional partners Target met.
175 edit-a-thon participants 177 edit-a-thon participants Target met.
20 workshop participants 0 workshop participants Target not met. Neither of the two planned workshop series was held; this was due to (a) a lack of interest and capacity from the target partner institutions and (b) a decision to focus Wikimedia DC volunteer resources on the edit-a-thon program rather than pursuing alternative partners for the workshop series.
2 workshop facilitator participants 0 workshop facilitator participants Target not met; see explanation regarding workshop program above.
15 edit-a-thons 21 edit-a-thons Target met.
2 workshop series 0 workshop series Target not met; see explanation regarding workshop program above.
2 Wikidata events 0 Wikidata events Target not met. The planned Wikidata events were not held; this was due to (a) a lack of interest and capacity from the target partner institutions and (b) a decision to focus Wikimedia DC volunteer resources on the edit-a-thon program rather than pursuing alternative partners for the events.
5 events supported through small grants 1 event supported through small grants Target not met. Of the small grant applications received, only one requested funding for events; the other grants provided funding for non-event activities, general organizational support, and editor access to research sources.
1,300 edits 1,272 edits Target not met. The initial set of target metrics slightly over-estimated the number of edits likely to be made by each edit-a-thon participant.
350,000 bytes added and removed at edit-a-thons 623,453 bytes added and removed at edit-a-thons Target met.
80,000 bytes added and removed during workshop series 0 bytes added and removed during workshop series Target not met; see explanation regarding workshop program above.
80 new/substantially improved articles during workshop series 0 new/substantially improved articles during workshop series Target not met; see explanation regarding workshop program above.
80 total articles edited during workshop series 0 total articles edited during workshop series Target not met; see explanation regarding workshop program above.
275 total articles edited at edit-a-thons 391 total articles edited at edit-a-thons Target met.
3 prototype Wikidata projects developed 0 prototype Wikidata projects developed Target not met; see explanation regarding Wikidata program above.
300 Wikidata items improved 0 Wikidata items improved Target not met; see explanation regarding Wikidata program above.

Global Metrics[edit]

We are trying to understand the overall outcomes of the work being funded across our grantees. In addition to the measures of success for your specific program (in above section), please use the table below to let us know how your project contributed to the Global Metrics. We know that not all projects will have results for each type of metric, so feel free to put "0" where necessary.

  1. Next to each required metric, list the actual outcome achieved through this project.
  2. Where necessary, explain the context behind your outcome. For example, if you were funded for an edit-a-thon which resulted in 0 new images, your explanation might be "This project focused solely on participation and articles written/improved, the goal was not to collect images."

For more information and a sample, see Global Metrics.

Metric Achieved outcome Explanation
1. # of active editors involved 82
2. # of new editors 95
3. # of individuals involved 177
4a. # of new images/media added to Wikimedia articles/pages 0 Wikimedia DC did not separately track this metric.
4b. # of new images/media uploaded to Wikimedia Commons (Optional) 66
5. # of articles added or improved on Wikimedia projects 391
6. Absolute value of bytes added to or deleted from Wikimedia projects 623,453
Learning question
Did your work increase the motivation of contributors, and how do you know?
While we have not attempted to collect any metrics that specifically address contributor motivation, the intra-year and inter-year participant retention rates (18% and 24%, respectively), which are higher than the typical rate observed from edit-a-thon participants, would seem to indicate that our approach has been successful in motivating contributors to continue their involvement with the Wikimedia movement.


What impact did this project have on WMF's mission and the strategic priorities?

Option A: How did you increase participation in one or more Wikimedia projects?

  • The project resulted in the recruitment of 95 new editors, 18% of whom continued to participate across multiple events held during the year.

Option B: How did you improve quality on one or more Wikimedia projects?

  • The project resulted in 623,453 bytes of content added to 391 Wikipedia articles.

Option C: How did you increase the reach (readership) of one or more Wikimedia projects?

  • N/A

Reporting and documentation of expenditures[edit]

This section describes the grant's use of funds


Did you send documentation of all expenses paid with grant funds to grants at wikimedia dot org, according to the guidelines here? Answer "Yes" or "No".


Please list all project expenses in a table here, with descriptions and dates. Review the instructions here.
Number Category Item description Unit Number of units Actual cost per unit Actual total Budgeted total Currency Notes
1 Wikipedia Workshops Art History Workshop Series 1 Event 0 $0.00 $0.00 $680.00 USD The planned workshop series was not held, so there were no associated expenses.
2 Wikipedia Workshops Public Health Workshop Series 1 Event 0 $0.00 $0.00 $680.00 USD The planned workshop series was not held, so there were no associated expenses.
3 Edit-a-Thons Food and Beverage 1 Event 6* $196.21* $1,177.26 $1,700.00 USD The unit cost indicated is an average value across the 6 events supported with funds from this grant. Note that an additional 15 events were supported through in-kind donations or alternative funding sources.
4 Edit-a-Thons Regional Travel 1 Average Trip 0 $0.00 $0.00 $135.00 USD No regional travel was necessary to support the events.
5 Edit-a-Thons Internet Passes 1 One-Day Pass 0 $0.00 $0.00 $30.00 USD No internet passes were used to support the events.
6 Other Small Grants 1 Grant 1* $662.56 $662.56 $1,000 USD Note that an additional 3 small grants were supported through alternative funding sources.
7 Other Civic Technology Outreach 1 Sponsored Event 0 $0.00 $0.00 $340 USD No events were sponsored.
8 Other Qualtrics License 1 One-Year License 0 $0.00 $0.00 $200 USD Wikimedia DC implemented an alternative metrics infrastructure, so no Qualtrics support was required.
Total project budget (from your approved grant submission)
USD $4,765.00
Total amount requested from WMF (from your approved grant submission, this total will be the same as the total project budget if PEG is your only funding source)
USD $4,765.00
Total amount spent on this project
USD $1,839.82
Wikimedia DC's total expenditures on edit-a-thons and small grants during Fiscal Year 2014-15 were USD $2,937.98; this includes expenditures related to 15 edit-a-thons and 3 small grants which were not directly supported by funds from this grant.
Total amount of Project and Event grant funds spent on this project
USD $1,839.82
Are there additional sources that funded any part of this project? List them here.
Wikimedia DC utilized funding from membership dues and individual donations to support additional edit-a-thons and small grants not supported by funds from this grant.

Remaining funds[edit]

Remaining funds from this grant have been returned to WMF in the amount of US$2,925.18.
Are there any grant funds remaining?
Answer YES or NO.
Please list the total amount (specify currency) remaining here. (This is the amount you did not use, or the amount you still have after completing your grant.)
USD $2,925.18
If funds are remaining they must be returned to WMF, reallocated to mission-aligned activities, or applied to another approved grant.
Please state here if you intend to return unused funds to WMF, submit a request for reallocation, or submit a new grant request, and then follow the instructions on your approved grant submission.
Wikimedia DC intends to return all unused funds to the Wikimedia Foundation.