Plan your project
Most Project Grants fall into four categories: (1) Software; (2) Research; (3) Online organizing; and (4) Offline outreach & events. Below we've listed guidelines and questions to consider when applying for each of these types of grants. Answering relevant questions in your grant proposal will strengthen your application. Some projects may include more than one type of activity. For example, an online photo contest may include offline training and editing events. The questions below should be used as a guide. Not everything will be relevant to your project and there are many types of projects we have not covered. We welcome all your ideas!
In addition to the guidance provided below, also see the Wikimedia Resource Center for additional support, tools and information.
Funding to create, improve and promote tools that support Wikimedia Projects.
- If relevant, have you included a link to your project on Phabricator?
- If you are building or improving an extension, do you have the support of the related project maintainers? If so, please have them comment on your talk page and endorse your proposal, with their role clearly identified.
- Have you included time and resources in your plan to socialize your project when you've finished building?
- Are there skills that would benefit your project that you don't have? If so, have you solicited team members, volunteers or advisors to fill in the gaps?
You can also find additional resources for developers in the Wikimedia Resource Center.
For projects that focus on understanding Wikimedia projects and communities.
- Have you clearly articulated your research question? Is the scope narrow enough to be completed within the time and funding constraints of this funding program?
- Have you familiarized yourself with previous research that has been conducted in your area of inquiry and explained how your research will add to existing knowledge about your topic?
- Have you provided specific information about the methods you intend to use to collect and analyze your data?
- Have you described how your background and training prepares you for this research?
- Have you solicited an advisor for your project with expertise in your subject area?
- See the open access policy for information on how to publish your research.
- See the Research FAQ for information about research resources and best practices.
- Join the Wiki-research-l mailing list to get feedback and advice from other researchers.
For projects that focus on online community organizing (community process improvements, writing or photo contests, etc).
In addition to the guidance below, there are general resources for Program Coordinators in the Wikimedia Resource Center.
- What content will the contest focus on and why is it important to your community?
- How will you let people know about the contest?
- Who are you targeting to participate in the contest and why?
- If you plan to use CentralNotice, have you requested a campaign?
- How will you judge the contest and award prizes?
- For photo contests, what is the strategy to get images used on projects?
- See contest planning guidelines for what we'll fund, typical outcomes, and things you'll need.
- See the Writing Contest Toolkit for ideas on how to plan, run, and evaluate a writing contest.
- See the Photo Contest Toolkit for ideas how to plan, run, and evaluate a photo contest or event.
Offline outreach & events
For events that involve bringing people together to recruit new editors, engage existing editors, conduct outreach, or socialize.
In addition to the guidance below, there are general resources for Program Coordinators in the Wikimedia Resource Center.
- Are you doing one editathon or a series of edit-a-thons? If a series, will you follow-up with participants between sessions and provide support?
- How will you let your community know about the event?
- Do you have experienced Wikimedia editors to help lead the event?
- Do participants have the equipment or skills needed to participate and contribute high quality content? If not, how will you support them?
- What is your plan for accessing relevant resources/references?
- How will you engage participants after the event(s)?
- See edit-a-thon planning guidelines for what we'll fund, typical outcomes, and things you'll need.
- See more edit-a-thon resources, including tools, how-to guides, learning patterns, and example grant requests/reports.
- Are you doing one workshop or a series of workshops?
- If a series, how will you follow-up with participants online between sessions and provide support?
- What kind of participants are you targeting?
- What skills will you be teaching?
- Do you have experienced Wikimedia editors to help lead the workshop?
- Do participants have the equipment needed to participate?
- How will you engage participants after the workshop(s)?
- Does your team have the capacity to support follow-up locally?
- What goals have you set for your program and what does success look like? See setting goals for your education program for ideas.
- How many classrooms/teachers are you working with? We recommend starting with a small pilot before growing!
- What type and how many workshops will you be doing?
- How have you decided what type of Wikimedia work is most appropriate for the age group and skill levels of the students? (See ideas for different assignment types)
- Will students be given school credit for their work? If not, what will you do to motivate them?
- How will you let the community know about this project and potential ways they can support the program? (See ways to collaborate with the community)
- How will you continue to engage the school, teachers, and students after the program is over?
- See the Education Toolkit for ideas on how to plan, run, and evaluate an education program.
- Visit the Wikipedia Education Program Portal for lots more information!
Institutional and GLAM partnerships
Community projects frequently include a partnership with knowledge holding institutions (such as a Gallery, Library, Archive or Museum (GLAM) or a partnership with a similar organization, such as a government agency, non-profit, research center, etc). When writing the grant application make sure to answer the following questions:
- Why is this institution well-suited to the needs and interests of your community? Why does this partnership have unique value for your community or context?
- Funded GLAM projects typically include:
- Clear evidence of institutional preparedness for the partnership
- Clear focus on content or capacity building that is in demand by a Wikimedia community
- A focus on heritage or knowledge underrepresented in Wikimedia projects
- What types of tactics will you be using to advance the partnership?
- Are you modeling your project off other GLAM-Wiki projects? How is your project different or the same as those projects?
- Do you plan on using editathons and other trainings or workshops?
- If so see section above on editathons.
- Does your project include digitization or post-digitization processing (i.e. adding metadata, editing of files)?
- Is so see section below on digitization.
- Do you plan on batch uploads of content to Commons or Wikidata?
- If so see section below on batch uploads
- Does your project involve Wiki(p/m)edian’s in Residence?
- If so see section below on Wiki(p/m)edian’s in Residence.
- Does your project involve other tactics?
- See precedents in the GLAM Wiki Model Projects portal
- When the partnership or project is complete, how will Wikimedia continue to be a part of the GLAM's work? Does your project build a greater culture of openness at the organization?
- GLAM-Wiki projects work best, when they build sustainable capacity at the organization for work in GLAM-Wiki or OpenGLAM. Wikimedia grants typically provide a foundation or demonstration of the potential long-term impact of collaboration. Helping committed partners transition into long-term sustainability is an important part of funded projects.
See more GLAM resources, for tools, how-to guides, learning patterns, and example grant requests/reports.
Visit the GLAMWiki Outreach portal for best practices and model projects.
Digitization and digital collection preparation
Very few digitization projects are funded by the Wikimedia Foundation and Wikimedia communities. Digitization projects are projects where Wikimedia volunteers - sometimes in partnership with cultural institutions - digitize books, audio, video and other analog heritage materials and then upload the digitized materials to Wikimedia Commons. Often the materials are transcribed on Wikisource or used to illustrate other Wikimedia projects. Digitization requires post-digitization processing so that the materials are useful for Wikimedia users.
When considering these projects, consider asking:
- Can you demonstrate that your country or region does not have sufficient resources to make it possible for local cultural institutions to perform and fund digitization projects properly? Are you filling a gap in the existing resourcing environment with your project?
- Preferably, digitization projects are executed by cultural institutions themselves and funded through national, regional or private culture grant programs. However, in many regions of the world there are no resources available for this. Previous digitization grants funded by the foundation fill a vital gap in knowledge on the internet identified by a local community.
- It’s important that projects that include digitization include indication of the institution’s plan for maintaining the digital copies of an object. Wikimedia Commons is not a stable enough environment for the “item of record” digital copies that preserve heritage -- they can be deleted or removed at any time. Institutional repositories hosted by the institution or by an allied organization (such as Internet Archive or a university library), provide a more durable record of the new digital materials.
- What type of materials will you digitize? How large is the collection you are planning to digitize? Do you have sufficient knowledge and expertise for implementing the digitization strategy for that kind of collection?
- Each type of material and media being digitized will have very different requirements both in developing a workflow and equipment requirements, and in the post-processing of the digitized files. Please identify documentation or expertise that you will be relying on to do this work.
- Are the materials that you will digitize easily integrated into Wikimedia projects?
- Digitization for Wikimedia projects should focus on: a) content with clear copyright and other restrictions appropriate to the needs of Wikimedia Commons (CC-BY-SA or freer, and unencumbered by other restrictions); and b) content that has a clear use in Wikimedia platforms (i.e. illustrating or referencing Wikipedia content, or providing content of interest for WikiSource and transcription).
- Do you have a plan for integrating the content into Wikimedia projects?
For more information or support for digitization, consider reaching out to the Wikimedia Digitization User Group
Wiki(p/m)edians in Residence
Wikipedian in Residence positions are not frequently funded by the Project Grants program. Typically residency programs are invested in by local Wikimedia affiliates or sponsored by the institution that hosts the residency. However, the Project Grants program may be appropriate for Residencies that demonstrate a strategic need for a particular area in the movement and support a community without an affiliate-funded residency program in place.
When proposing a Wikipedian in Residence role for WMF grant programs, make sure to answer the following:
- Why does an embedded role within the partner organization make more sense than developing other kinds of advocates within the partner’s existing staff?
- What kind of additional opportunity or access becomes available because of the network of collaborators that the role could develop?
- How can the capacity or projects developed by the role effective Wikimedia communities in the long term? What kind of impact do you expect to carry on beyond the initial timeframe of the residency?
For a full framework for creating Wikimedian-in-Residence roles see the guide for Creating WiR positions on Outreach
Bulk or batch content uploads
Content partnerships and uploads are systematic batch uploads of educational materials from partners, usually GLAMs but also other kinds of organizations, into Wikimedia projects, where the educational material gets enhanced and re-used by Wikimedia communities.
- Volume: What type and how much content will be uploaded to Wikimedia projects?
- Utility: How is this content useful for Wikimedia projects? How will people engage with it after it has been uploaded? Will you be organizing events, campaigns or other activities around using the content?
- Strategy:Why is the content relevant to our educational mission? Does it have added value to communities beyond your local context?
- Knowledge: Does your team have the skills and understand the tools needed to organize batch uploads? Do you have sufficient understanding of Wikimedia Commons, Wikidata, Wikisource, or other Wikimedia projects to meaningfully engage volunteers with the content?
- Engagement: Is the collection of material provided by the institution a manageable amount of content to engage volunteers with? What online support from Wikipedians have you organized to help with the upload? Can you organize international engagement with the content once it’s uploaded?
the typical workflow of a project doing bulk or batch uploads to Commons or Wikidata
Read the documentation of the workflow for data and media partnerships on Outreach to check if you have covered all the steps involved in such a project.
If you plan to do a batch upload to Wikimedia Commons, familiarize yourself with the following resources:
If you plan to do a data partnership on Wikidata, familiarize yourself with the Partnerships and Donations guide.