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The eligibility criteria for Rapid Grants will change as of August 1, 2019. We've updated the eligibility criteria and the funding guidelines to provide more details to applicants and clarity around what activities and expenses the program will fund. We communicated the specific changes with the community via mailing lists on July 1, 2019. You can find a copy of this message here. If you have further questions or comments, please email us at

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Rapid Grants

Guidelines and Criteria

Eligibility criteria

  1. Individuals, groups, and organizations may apply.
  2. Any individual, group, or organization is allowed up to three open Project and Rapid grants at any one time. See details here.
  3. Grants must be between 500 USD and 2000 USD (or its equivalent in another currency at the time of the application).
  4. Grants can be up to 12 months in length, and there is no minimum length.
  5. Rapid Grants should fund one discrete project, and not several projects performed throughout the length of the grant. Everything funded by the grant must be directly related to the project. Ongoing operating expenses are not eligible for funding.
  6. Funds are for direct expenses, and may not be used to pay for people’s time. This includes gifts and honoraria, which may not be given as cash.
  7. We will not be making funding decisions retroactively about activities that have already taken place. Expenses associated with these activities will not be eligible for funding.
  8. Applicants must be in good community and legal standing according to the assessments of WMF’s Trust & Safety Team, and the Community Resources Team. See details here.
  9. Applicants (including individuals and groups involved with the application) must be in compliance with all current and past grant agreements with WMF. They must not have any late, past due, or incomplete grant reports, for example.
  10. Applicants that repeatedly do not respond to requests for information about their applications or grants, and applicants otherwise have mismanaged past grants or applications, may be made ineligible for future grants.

Details on grant limit

  • An open grant is defined as a grant that is approved but not yet completed. This also includes approved grants with terms not started, and also grants with terms that have ended, but for which reporting is not yet finished.
  • This limit applies to both Rapid Grants and Project Grants. Conference Grants are not included in this cap. Grantees receiving Annual Plan Grants (APGs) are limited to one grant (their APG), with the exception of Conference Grants, and are not eligible for Rapid Grants or Project Grants with grant terms that overlap with their Annual Plan Grant, according to the requirements of the APG program.
  • Grants to individuals that involve participation from other members of the affiliate or group they belong to will be considered group grants, and therefore will be included in the three open grant count per group. (This is to prevent grants that are actually to groups being granted to individuals who wish to avoid the cap.)
  • Some activities are appropriate for groups and not individuals. If you apply as an individual for a group activity, your program officer may suggest that you apply as a group instead of as an individual. (This is to prevent grants that are actually to groups being granted to individuals who wish to avoid the cap.)

Behavioral requirements

  • This applies to all members of a group’s or organization’s leadership team, and to any key people involved with organizing the funded activities. A list of these people must be provided to the grants administration team at the time of application.
  • Applicants should not be blocked, banned, or otherwise flagged by WMF or another affiliate for violations of friendly space expectations or friendly space policies.
  • Applicants should not be blocked, banned, or otherwise flagged by WMF or another affiliate for other types of violations or conduct issues, including those taking place on the Wikimedia Projects.
  • Past instances as well as current investigations or incidents will be considered by WMF when determining the eligibility of each applicant.
  • Due to issues around privacy and the sensitivity of information, it may not always be possible to share complete information about eligibility decisions with each applicant for every decision.

Application timeline

  1. You may submit your grant request or report in any language.
  2. You must submit your application between the 1st and 15th of each month. Please plan to make your applications accordingly, so you will have a decision about your grant within the timeframe you need to plan your event. Decisions will be made by the 15th of the following month.
  3. In the months specified below, we will prioritize support to contests and campaigns. These months will be solely dedicated to different contests throughout the year:
    • August: only receiving proposals for Wiki Loves Monuments
    • September: only receiving proposals for Awareness Grants (campaign)
    • December: only receiving proposals for Wiki Loves Africa
    • January: only receiving proposals for Art + Feminism (campaign)
    • March: only receiving proposals for Wiki Loves Earth
    Outside the months specified above, proposals are welcomed in all other categories: edit-a-thons, contests, photowalks, general promotion campaigns, and video campaigns. We will also consider proposals outside of these categories, such as software development.
  4. We will evaluate each batch of grants once a month and accept the best proposals in alignment with the Wikimedia Foundation’s Medium-term goals.
  5. Grants for activities that have already taken place will not be funded retroactively. You must apply for your grant in time for a decision to be made before any funded activities have taken place. Applications for past activities will be rejected.
  6. You must respond to requests for information within one week during the review period (the time between submitting the application and receiving a decision). Applicants that do not comply will have their applications rejected, and will need to reapply.
  7. You must agree to the reporting requirements, sign a grant agreement, and provide the Wikimedia Foundation with the information needed to process your funding in a timely manner. Prospective grantees must provide the requested information within two weeks of approval. Applicants that do not comply will have their grant approvals rescinded, and will need to reapply.

While communities have valued these flexible funding opportunities, on our part, it hasn’t been easy to measure and track their impact. We therefore will be implementing a number of changes in FY19/20, starting August 1 2019, to sharpen the focus and impact of Rapid Grants, whilst at the same time maintaining the quick and flexible funding options for community:

Selection criteria

When selecting applications we consider the following criteria…

  1. Strategic priority: Do your activities improve one or more of Wikimedia’s existing websites?
  2. Potential outcomes and impact: What are the concrete outcomes that are anticipated as a result of the activities? What difference do you expect your project to make?
  3. Contribution record: Do you have a history of engaging with Wikimedia projects and communities?
  4. Support and endorsement: Do you have sufficient volunteers to complete the project and endorsements from community members?

Funding guidelines[edit]

Please check with your local Wikimedia affiliate to see if they offer a local grant program!

General guidelines[edit]

Eligible for funding Not eligible for funding
Projects aimed at improving one or more of Wikimedia's existing websites Projects aimed at improving third-party applications

(Click here if you're interested in creating a new wiki instead.)

Projects that foster conditions to encourage editing by volunteers (e.g. editor recruitment campaigns) Projects that replace volunteer action by directly funding someone to create content (e.g. editing articles, uploading photos)
Production of code, research, materials that are published and released as free and open-source. Licensing should be compatible with current Wikimedia and MediaWiki practices Production of code, research, materials that are created on a closed source platform or published in such a way that access is not freely available
Projects up to 12 months long Projects more than 12 months long
Requests from individuals, groups and organizations Requests from groups and organizations that already have a current Annual Plan Grant or Simple Annual Plan Grant
Requests from affiliates (including User Groups) that have announced grant requests on their official user group page on Meta and a local language forum that is recognized by each group, to allow adequate space for objections and support to be voiced. Requests from affiliates (including User Groups) that have not announced their grant requests to the user group and received feedback and support from the group.
One project per proposal, up to a year in duration. Multiple projects per proposal. If you would like to submit a multi-project proposal, please apply through our Annual Plan Grants program.
Funds for direct expenses Compensation for people’s time (for example: project management or coordination)

Paid editing

Requests between USD $500 and up to USD $2000 for Rapid Grants

Requests from $2001 up to $100,000 for Project Grants

Requests of more than $2,000 for Rapid Grants, and more than $100,000 for Project Grants
Applicants/grantees that adhere to Friendly Space expectations Applicants with a history of violating Friendly Space expectations
Applicants who (i) agree to the reporting requirements, and (ii) are willing to sign a grant agreement, and (iii) provide the Wikimedia Foundation with information needed to process their funding. Applicants who can't comply with the requirements and contractual terms of the program
Fiscal sponsor administrative fees of no more than 20% of the requested grant amount. Must be included as an explicit budget line item in the finance section of the grant proposal. Contingency fees.

Administrative fees above 20% of the requested grant amount.

Applicants in good community standing. Applicants who are blocked or banned on any Wikimedia spaces, or who have a demonstrated history of not complying with Friendly Space expectations. If applicants have been in good community standing for three years, but have previous history of censure, proposals will be reviewed on a case by case basis.

Facilities, equipment and materials[edit]

Eligible for funding Not eligible for funding
Temporary working space for short-term project organization Ongoing office space rent
Rental equipment to be used for specific projects, such as cameras, wifi hotspot/dongle, etc. Any equipment for purchase such as laptops, book scanners, cameras, and projectors.
Offline (hard-copy) publishing for targeted networking or training (ie: Wiki Love Monuments photo brochure to give your local GLAM partner) Offline publishing of general outreach materials
Merchandise (swag) to recognize exceptional volunteer contributions (i.e: for help organizing an event, as a contest prize, for the best contributions during an editathon, etc.) Merchandise giveaways for all participants in an event or for general outreach, including t-shirts. (exception: low-cost stickers and pins). Please see this article ("It's time to stop spending billions on cheap conference swag" for more info on the environmental and human impact of swag.)
Certificates, gift cards, books, photo equipment, etc. to recognize achievements or contest winners for their contributions Cash prizes for contest or other competition winners
Up to 10% of total budget for unforeseen expenses, such as when items cost more than initially estimated. However, total project budget cannot exceed $2,000 USD. Expenses already accounted for or estimated in other parts of budget.
Budgeting for miscellaneous or unforeseen expenses greater than 10% of total budget.


Eligible for funding Not eligible for funding
Wikipedian-in-Residence to collect resources, train/engage GLAM and Wikimedian community, and organize events around integrating content Wikipedian-in-Residence whose sole focus is to digitize resources and/or personally create content

Software Projects[edit]

Eligible for funding Not eligible for funding
Software projects (including templates, gadgets, bots, and standalone applications) that can be fully completed by the Project Team Software projects that would depend on WMF staff for code review and integration or other technical support (unless those staff are part of the Project Team)
Software projects requiring code review and integration, if there is demonstrated commitment from the related maintainers Software projects requiring code review and integration that do not have the support of related maintainers

Digitization Projects[edit]

Eligible for funding Not eligible for funding
Digitization of materials as part of a program, at the request of the community, with a plan for how digitized content will be integrated into Wikimedia projects. Paying individuals to digitize materials as the primary focus of the project


Eligible for funding Not eligible for funding
In-person events with a Friendly space policy In-person events without a Friendly space policy
Series of events all focused on a specific theme

Single-instance events with a budget less than $2,000 (via Rapid Grants)

Large, single-instance events over $2,000 are funded through the Conference & Event Grants program

Writing contests or Photo contests


Local travel for participants in relation to an edit-a-thon, photowalk, contest, or other approved event or program. Long-distance travel for participants for an approved event or program

Travel to events funded through Conference & Event Grants, where travel scholarships are already available

Travel to non-Wikimedia events

General promotion campaigns for awareness[edit]

Eligible for funding Not eligible for funding
Volunteers promoting Wikimedia projects/campaigns online or offline. Hiring an ad agency to promote Wikimedia projects
Renting equipment that will only be used for the promotion campaign (e.g. laptop, tablets, video cameras, microphones, etc.) Buying equipment that will only be for used the promotion campaign
Budget for paid ads for social media promotion

Printing promotional materials for offline promotion

Video campaigns[edit]

Eligible for funding Not eligible for funding
Volunteers producing videos for promotion of Wikimedia projects/campaigns

Longer distance travel for activities that cannot be done online or by local volunteers

Producing videos with no promotion plan in place
Renting equipment that will only be used for the promotion campaign (e.g. laptop, tablets, video cameras, microphones, etc.) Buying equipment that will only be used for the promotion campaign