Grants:Project/Committee/Orientation

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Welcome!

Welcome to the Project Grants Committee!

You’ve either joined the Project Grants Committee, or you’re interested in learning more about committee service.

We’re glad you’re here.

Background[edit]

The Project Grants Committee is one of the Wikimedia movement’s four volunteer grants committees, and supports funding decisions for individuals, teams, groups and organizations requesting up to $100,000 for projects up to 12 months in duration. Grants may be awarded to projects that:

  • promote new experiments (like piloting a new type of GLAM partnership, a new grantee doing Wiki Loves Monuments for the first time, or a programmer building a new tool) or
  • sustain ideas that work (like expanding a GLAM pilot into a program, a return grantee doing Wiki Loves Monuments again, or a programmer adding more features to the successful tool)

In general, experiments will be awarded smaller amounts than projects seeking to continue or scale ideas that work. Projects can include (but aren't limited to) research, offline outreach, online organizing and software development.

Please read more about the new Project Grants program here. The new program will launch 1 July 2016.

Why participate?[edit]

Committee members have many different backgrounds, areas of expertise, and motivations for serving on the committee. Some have years of experience serving on other grants committees, while others are joining a grants committee for the first time. Some have many years experience working with organizations outside of the Wikimedia movement. Some have experience working with movement organizations and user groups, and some are unaffiliated individual volunteers. We welcome anyone interested in engaging with good ideas and supporting movement leadership to implement those ideas.

Committee work offers volunteers an opportunity to learn about participatory grantmaking and to interact with volunteers from all over the world. Committee members can make a big difference by supporting applicants and grantees that are doing projects to improve content and increase participation all over the Wikimedia world. Many committee members are eager to learn and share with groups, organizations, and communities they work with in other volunteer roles.

Commitment[edit]

Inaugural committee members commit to two to four rounds, but may continue longer than that.

Core responsibilities[edit]

Project Grants Committee members actively participate in application review. Committee members may recuse themselves from any application if (1) they have a conflict of interest; or (2) they are temporarily unavailable at the time the application needs to be reviewed (for example, because of other commitments). Applications for new Project Grants are accepted twice a year. During each round, committee members review new applications through a workflow scheduled well in advance. Committee members also review renewal applications for existing grants on a rolling basis.

Application review involves

  1. offering suggestions to improve applications during the application phase;
  2. assessing applications;
  3. offering applicants written feedback.

Once funded, grantees submit one or more reports during the life of their project. Committee members are asked to track projects that interest them by reviewing and commenting on reports.

Committee members are invited, but not required, to offer mentorship and support to applicants and grantees in other ways, such as facilitating proposal development during the open call, volunteering to serve in the role of advisor over the life of the project, reviewing early drafts of reports or otherwise fostering grantee success.

Committee members help with recruitment and vetting of new committee members.

Committee members interested in playing a more active role in the grantmaking process may also choose to help with coordinating the committee workflow, aggregating and posting committee feedback to proposal talk pages or writing the blog post announcing successfully funded projects.

All committee work is done online and does not require travel or in person meetings.

Project Grants Committee Resources[edit]

Once you join the committee, you will be added to several tools the community uses for communication and decisionmaking:

  • google group that the committee uses for email
  • private wiki for the committee
  • scoring tool for providing qualitative and quantitative feedback on proposals

Here are some other resources you can find on Meta related to the Project Grants Committee:

An overview of how the committee reviews applications[edit]

Application, assessment and selection (14 weeks)[edit]

  • 30 days: Applicants submit proposals during Open Call
  • 7 days: Staff post eligibility determinations on proposal talk pages.
  • 14 days: Community comments on eligible proposals
  • 14 days: Committee review and scoring
  • 30 days: Due diligence and finalization of decisions
    • Proposals scored with 50% or more committee recommendation advance to the due diligence phase.
    • Staff conducts a deeper review and reports findings back to the committee.
    • Committee finalizes funding decisions.
    • New grants announced

Interested in joining?[edit]

The Project Grants Committee is large by design in order to prioritize breadth and diversity of perspectives. We welcome many different strengths and skill levels. Please join us!

  1. Please visit the main committee page to review the membership criteria.
  2. Tell us about your interest and experience on the candidate page.