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Grants:Project/Rapid/SuperHamster/Wiki Loves Monuments 2019 in the United States/Report

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Report accepted
This report for a Rapid Grant approved in FY 2019-20 has been reviewed and accepted by the Wikimedia Foundation.



Did you meet your goals? Are you happy with how the project went?

As a whole, we were satisfied with the outcomes of the event. As always, hundreds of uploaders uploaded thousands of images of historic sites, 10% of which have been used on Wikimedia projects, including Wikipedia. It's great to see this level of engagement and continued interest from the public in photographing and preserving our historical sites. We did not, however, meet our desired numbers of the event, which we dive into in the Outcome section below.

While we were satisfied with the jury process and winners, we still see an opportunity to refine our judging criteria to improve the pools of photos that make it to the later rounds.


Important Links

Target outcome Achieved outcome Explanation
At least 1,200 participants 531 participants These numbers we significantly lower than previous years. For example, in 2018 we had 1,967 uploaders compared to 2019's 531. In terms of our typical outreach and upload process, not much changed from prior years. Some things that did change, however:
  • Our landing page (2019 vs. 2018)
  • Reduced prizes (only top-3 got prize money vs. top-10 in previous years)
  • The CentralNotice banner (slightly modified design)

Another factor to consider is that participation was not just down for the United States, but for the contest as a whole internationally. For example, in 2018, four countries (including the United States) had over 1,000 participants, while 2019 had zero. 2018 had 56 countries with 13,951 uploaders, 257,556 images, and 22% usage across Wikimedia, while 2019 had 48 countries with 7,256 uploaders, 212,767 images, and 13% usage across Wikimedia. We're currently unsure as to why; perhaps there was a change in the delivery of the CentralNotices.

8,000 photo uploads 5,202 photo uploads Fewer participants, naturally, led to fewer photo uploaders. This result is actually better than expected given the number of participants, as 55% reduction in participants only resulted in a 35% reduction in uploaders. This is thanks in-part to the portion of dedicated first-time and return contributors uploading hundreds of photos.
At least 1,000 photos used on Wikimedia projects 509 photos used on Wikimedia projects Like above, fewer participants means fewer images means fewer uses on Wikimedia projects. This result is still 10% of all US uploads, which, while lower with previous years, is in-line with the typical nation's result.
At least 5 external organizations that promote our event At least 5 external organizations that promote our event Through monitoring social media, we found at least 5 organizations (including museums and historical associations) who promoted our event.



Projects do not always go according to plan. Sharing what you learned can help you and others plan similar projects in the future. Help the movement learn from your experience by answering the following questions:

  • What worked well?
    • Hundreds of participants uploading thousands of photos
    • ~10% of uploads used on Wikimedia pages, including Wikipedia articles
    • > 70% of participants joined after the start of the content
    • New landing page was a nice upgrade from prior years
  • What did not work so well?
    • As covered in the Outcome section, we did not meet our numerical goals.
    • While the final winners were great, we did see an opportunity for photos that more closely align with Commons' Featured/Quality image status to make it into the final rounds.
  • What would you do differently next time?
    • Promote more often and in new avenues to increase the number of participants.
    • While we promoted the event to external organizations (historical societies and the like), we can put more effort here.
    • A significant bulk of images come in during the last couple days of the event; a way to encourage users to upload more consistently throughout the month may be good, so last-minute uploaders don't run out of time.
    • Adjust jury criteria and selection (more Commons users?).
    • At the end of the event, engage Wikipedia communities more to encourage use of WLM photos on projects. Wikipedia Pages Wanting Photos is actually a very cool new initiative that helps achieve this goal.
    • Make progress in moving state-level site data onto Wikidata, to enable easier discovery (we have set up a states project page to track this).



Grant funds spent

Item Budgeted Actual spend Vendor Notes
1st Prize $400 $400 Amazon In the form of a gift card of the winner's choosing.
2nd Prize $250 $250 GiftCards.com In the form of a gift card of the winner's choosing.
3rd Prize $150 $150 Amazon In the form of a gift card of the winner's choosing.
Certificate printing $15 $13.42 FedEx 10 certificates on high-quality paper sent to top-ten placers.
Custom shirts for jury members $150 $144.55 Teespring 15 custom shirts (~$10/each) from Blue Cotton, which will go to our volunteer jury members. T-shirts provide a nice incentive and thank-you for our jury.
Postage $30 $44.22 USPS + Teespring
Total Budget: $995 Total Spend: $1,002.19

Remaining funds


Do you have any remaining grant funds?


Anything else


Anything else you want to share about your project?

As always, it's a pleasure to host this fruitful event that connects both Commons regulars and new users to the goal of historic preservation, and for the Foundation to support this project.