Grants:Project/Rapid/SuperHamster/Wiki Loves Monuments 2021 in the United States/Report

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Report accepted
This report for a Rapid Grant approved in FY 2017-18 has been reviewed and accepted by the Wikimedia Foundation.


Our 2021 US winner, a photo of the Bethany Lutheran Church in Oilmont, Montana. Photo by Valenna Becker.


Wiki Loves Monuments 2021 U.S. organizers included:


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

Our project had three main goals:

  • Add or improve content: The United States received over 5,600 uploads from 595 people, over 550 of which (~10%) are being used on Wikipedia and sister projects. By number of uploads, the United States was 9th out of 37 countries.
  • Recruit new editors: The majority of participants in Wiki Loves Monuments in the United States are first-time contributors. This year, of the 595 participants, 481 (81%) registered on Wikimedia after the start of the event. Wiki Loves Monuments continues to be gateway to contributing for hundreds of people each year.
  • Engage existing editors: Our site notice hits the bulk of editors and anonymous readers in the United States. The majority of our top uploaders are existing (and in many cases, longtime) Commons contributors who are dedicated to photographing U.S. historical sites, which we are incredibly gracious for.

Overall, we met our goal for this project, and as always are thrilled to see people engaged by uploading their photos of historic sites all throughout the country. In the section below, we go over our metrics and targets -- while we did not meet our targets, we still consider participation to be healthy and lent to a successful event.


Target outcome Achieved outcome Explanation
800+ participants 595 While we still had healthy participation, we did not meet our target of 800+ participants. Most of our participants come from site notices on Wikipedia, which can fluctuate year to year based on site notice settings and competing site notice campaigns. 2021 also appeared to see less participation across the board globally. In the future, we may look at expanding other ways to bring in contributors.
6,000+ uploaded photos ~5,600 photos We came close to the goal, short by just under 400 images. We still consider this to be healthy number of contributions, many of which were quality and of encyclopedic value -- including 78 quality images and 3 featured pictures.
10% of uploaded photos used on Wikimedia projects 10% (557) of photos used We hit our goal exactly. The United States has an incredible number of historical sites registered on the national, state, and local levels, many of which need additional documentation and illustration on Wikipedia. As a result, many uploads are used each year to illustrate articles across various languages of Wikipedia and sister projects.


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?
We managed to meet our goals and while we did not meet our target metrics, they were still healthy and contributed to a successful event.
To help participants better categorize their images this year, we created a new upload form that worked well and we hope to continue to improve for next year. Based on feedback from last year, we added support to the upload form to specify Native American tribes when uploading monuments from Native American land.
We also onboarded a new organizer to our team, Stephanie Beene, who did a great job of coordinating our judging process this year. She led a large refresh of our jury, who did a great job participating and selecting excellent photos.
  • What did not work so well?
Our participation is slightly lower than last year's. The majority of participation comes from site notices, which can vary year by year based on settings and competing site notices.
While we have relatively great documentation for historic sites on the National Register of Historic Places (data for which is available on Wikidata and the Wiki Loves Monuments map tool), our tools for discovering state-level and local-level sites are still limited.
  • What would you do differently next time?
To improve participation for next year and reduce our reliance on site notices, we should continue to explore more avenues for bringing participation, such as more social media outreach; collaborations with historical societies and similar organizations; and promoting and supporting local events with affiliates.


Grant funds spent[edit]

Please describe how much grant money you spent for approved expenses, and tell us what you spent it on.

Item Budgeted Spent Notes
1st Prize $500 $500 Sent in the form of an Amazon gift card
2nd Prize $350 $350 Sent in the form of an Amazon gift card
3rd Prize $200 $200 Sent in the form of an Amazon gift card
4th-10th Prizes $350 $250 $50 each, sent in the form of Amazon and Target gift cards. Two people could not be successfully contacted to claim their prizes.
Facebook advertising $40 $39.01
Twitter advertising $25 $25
Certificate printing $15 $0 Printed at home using existing supplies
Custom shirts for judges and winners $300 $360.62 Shipping was included in these totals, which was budgeted as a separate line item below
Poly mailers for shirts $25 $0 Utilized shirt producer's shipping service, poly mailers not needed
Postage $100 $0 Utilized shirt producer's shipping service and leftover stamps from prior years, postage not needed
Other $0 $15 Wire transfer fee
Total budgeted: $1,905 Total spent: $1,739.63

Remaining funds[edit]

Do you have any remaining grant funds?

Remaining funds from this grant have been returned to WMF in the amount of US$140.37 which reflects remaining funds of US$165.37 minus bank fees.

We have $165.37 in remaining funds, which we will return to the Wikimedia Foundation.

Anything else[edit]

Anything else you want to share about your project?

As always, we appreciate the Wikimedia Foundation's support of Wiki Loves Monuments!