Grants:Programs/Wikimedia Community Fund/Recommendations/Editing Events, Writing Contents and Content Campaigns

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Editing activities, writing contests, content campaigns to engage new or existing audiences are a recurrent and key element to provide our projects healthy communities. Those communities thereafter allow to fill vital gaps on Wikimedia platforms and act toward our missions. Funding for these kinds of projects is designed to help the movement advance outreach to potential participants in the movement and fill key knowledge gaps or work on Topics for Impact. The Wikimedia movement and its WMF Campaigns team has runs, discussed and supported a wide variety of such events and gathered the gist below.

Types of activities recently funded[edit]

Here are some kinds of events that have received funding:

  • Small events
    • Local editing events designed to work with partners or new audiences who need hands-on training
    • Local instances of global campaigns or activities (e.g. local Wiki Loves Monuments, #WikiForHumanRights, WikiGap events etc)
  • Medium size activities
  • International campaigns
    • International teams for coordinating activities across multiple instances of an activity (e.g. Wiki Loves Monuments, Asian Month, #WPWP, etc) or ensuring international participation in an event (e.g. Wiki Loves Love/Folklore, #InvisibleWikiWomen).
    • Holistic programs that train regional or international organizers and participants around a topic for impact or activist area over an extended period of time (e.g. Wiki Meets Sustainable Fashion, Black Lunch Table)

Suggested Elements[edit]

A well designed project  for one of these activities will have:

  • Audiences — who will participate ?
    • Their motivation for working on open knowledge
    • Why you think they will be good contributors to Wikimedia projects
    • How you will recruit that audience. This may include:
      • Do you have a partner organization who can help you access that audience?
      • Have you worked with this kind of audience before?
  • Contribution method — clearly articulated contribution method supportive of participation.
    • Editing actions that are appropriate for the skills and interests of the target audience.
      • If you are training newcomers, experience has shown that events have greater success when they are not focused on creating complete Wikipedia articles. Instead focus on tactics like: expanding existing articles, translating, adding images, editing Wikidata, transcribing WikiSource, etc.
      • For more experienced editors, the tasks might be more open ended (e.g. creating articles, quality article contests, etc).
    • A description of how you will create a topic list or topical scope/prompt that will have compelling and actionable content.
    • How you will register, engage and train participants. If you have previous experience engaging this type of audience, it would be appropriate to mention that experience.
  • Evaluation method — what tracking method and metrics to assess participation of members. Tracking might include tools such as (check out this documentation for help making the decision):
    • Onwiki Tracking (including custom tracking by tools like Bots)
    • The Programs and Events Dashboard
    • Hashtags Tool
    • Fountain
    • Event Metrics
    • Wiki Loves Tools
    • Others

Commonly supported costs- but not limited to these items[edit]

  • Event hosting costs may include:
    • Local rental fees — e.g. access to space, projectors, etc. Many event organizers get in-kind donations from partners.
    • Food — light refreshments are common
    • Swag or rewards — small items (pencils, t-shirts, certificates, etc.) that reward participation. Though prizes (including gift cards or other non-monetary resources) might be appropriate, make sure that they are not excessively large and are appropriate incentives for your event.
    • Internet access — such as internet scholarships or local service fees, etc..
    • Communications costs — e.g.  event communication design, flyers, certificate design, paid social media promotion, etc.
    • Childcare or other accessibility costs that allow more participants to attend
    • Digital organizing costs — such as Zoom subscriptions
  • For events that are medium or international scale it may be appropriate to fund:
    • Organizing costs
      • Events longer than a few days likely require a dedicated coordinator role, especially when working with newcomers, or when running events with multiple locations. This role can be paid, but coordinators should also be supported by a volunteer organizer team. The goal of having a paid organizer role is to allow volunteer organizers to focus on skills or activities in which they excel and find most enjoyable. Historically, proposals for paid organizers that lack the support of a volunteer organizing team have not been funded.
      • Note: Purely online events that focus on small-cohorts of experienced Wikipedia editors (e.g. destubathons, content weeks/months, good article contests) tend not to need high levels of coordination and support for participants. Historically, grant committees have usually not funded organizing costs for these kinds of events.
    • Training costs
      • When the goal of the activity is supporting a high-potential audience — e.g. knowledge professionals with strong mission alignment (like librarians, educators, subject matter experts etc.) — it may be appropriate to spend time developing or adapting training materials and providing dedicated facilitation for the training. Especially for multi-unit courses (e.g. Wiki Education’s Professional Development Program or AFLIA’s Librarian Training), paid trainers are appropriate.
      • Multi-unit training should have professional support on curriculum development. Audience needs vary widely between types of audience (e.g. youth activists vs librarians) and geographies. Curriculum design consultants may be appropriate.  
    • Additional professional services
      • Professional support on other parts of organizing events, such as evaluation, communications, graphic design, digital production,  expert speakers, translation, etc, may be appropriate depending on the scale or scope of the program. Note: historically grant committees scrutinize these expenses carefully
    • Technical innovation
      • Large scale or international campaigns frequently have workflow, tracking or organizing needs that are best met by new or improved technologies or tools. Maintaining, improving or expanding support for a tool leveraging Wikimedia platforms may be appropriate (e.g. Montage developed by Wiki Loves Monuments). Applications that include these tools should have tightly scoped technical projects that are incremental in nature — holistic new tools or technologies are funded through in the Wikimedia Research and Technology Fund. If working on technology, we recommend getting feedback from the Wikimedia Foundation Campaigns team.