Grants:Simple/Applications/Wikimedia Poland/2020

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Application or grant stage: grant in progress
Applicant or grantee: Stowarzyszenie Wikimedia Polska (Wikimedia Poland Association)
Amount requested: US$93,000.00
Amount granted: US$93,000
Funding period: 1 JULY 2020 - 31 DEC 2021
Midpoint report due: 15 April 2021
Final report due: 30 January 2022

Background[edit]

Annual Plan[edit]

Notes to Annual Plan document:

  • The above plan contains activities and programs financed through other means and not part of this sAPG application. We present the plan here in its entirety for context, if needed. Please refer to the Programs section below for plans relating to sAPG-funded activities and Programs.
  • The plan is constructed on the basis of Balanced Scorecard and constitutes a one-year slice of our 3-year strategy (linked below)

Budget Plan[edit]

Notes to budget plan:

  • Certain sAPG budget line items have been or will be included in WMPL's grant applications to the Polish government. Since these are critical expenses, and we cannot rely on receiving money from these government grants, we included them in this application as a backup. The budget document contains conditional expenses (marked in blue) we would like to fund in the event of receiving the funding described above. This conditional redirection of funds would not change the amount requested.
  • We expect to have a final decision on our government grant requests by end of June, and commit to updating WMF Grantmaking staff as soon as we receive word from grantors.

Staffing Plan[edit]

Strategic plan[edit]

Introduction[edit]

We are one of the first established chapters (registered in 2005). Since then, we have developed strong identification with the Movement's values and bonds with our editing community, a fair financial stability (compared to an NGO of our size), and a considerable institutional memory. However, from the governance point of view, we used to be an early wiki-bazaar which awaited for the spectrum of delegation to be expanded.

It was exactly two years ago when we entered our path towards a deeper understanding of Wikimedia Poland, its components and key stakeholders. With the support granted by the Foundation, we have conducted an organizational audit that revealed existing assets as well as potential areas for improvement. (It is worth mentioning that the TOWS analysis indicated that we wished for our organization to take advantage of manifold opportunities we then considered as underused).

Furthermore, we have experienced a bold change in our leadership, elected new members of the Board and promoted a long-term Funds Dissemination Committee member to the role of the President of our Association. Subsequently, our board has prepared a 3-year strategic plan using the Balanced Scorecards and SMART methods, and hired our first paid manager with a strong background in a similar organization (who happens to be a retired Wikipedian as well) as the Chief Operating Officer.

Currently, we are executing the strategic plan. We are building our capacity, improving our internal processes, and reinforcing visionary thinking through low-level decisions. Among our activities which are meant to be investments, there are: hiring a fundraiser, introducing junior volunteer support and administrative staff in order to better allocate the existing human capital, and moving the office which would allow us to meet the needs of our key stakeholders.

Programs[edit]

Income Diversification Push

WMPL Income structure 2019.svg

SMART objectives:

  • 1% of the Yearly Income Tax income not more than 80% of WMPL yearly income
  • a communications audit and marketing strategy conducted by end of Q3 2020
  • collect funds from at least 4 earmarked Polish grants, including:
    • at least 1 grant by a local government
    • at least 1 grant by the central agency
    • at least 1 grant by a Polish NGO
  • collect funds from at least 3 fundraising campaigns, including:
    • at least 1 campaign in collaboration with partnering institutions
    • at least 1 campaign on online platforms
  • generate at least 2.000,00 PLN as financial income

Activities:

  • invest existing funds in multi-year low-risk financial instruments and rotate operational funds with low-risk financial instruments
  • apply for public as well as private grants
  • apply the Total Fundraising Organization methods
  • introduce the chargeable public benefit activities (under Polish law, Public Benefit Organizations may perform both chargeable and non-chargeable activities which are not considered as commercial activity)
  • create a paid role dedicated for managing fundraising campaigns

Over the years, Wikimedia Poland has collected a significant amount of financial resources which make our organization less exposed to temporary turmoils. However, these resources were never a significant source of financial income, and only very recently we improved our investment practice allowing government bonds. We have never decided to benefit from existing local programs and funds for NGOs neither. Our fundraising activities have been strictly focused on encouraging the readers to dedicate us 1% of their Yearly Income Tax, and our contracts with the Foundation enabling the use of CentralNotice banners for annual fundraising campaigns played here the central role.

Fundraising based on a big number of individual donors was comparatively low-cost and not distracting; it allows Wikimedia Poland, in a similar way to the Wikimedia Foundation, to exercise its independence and focus on Wikimedia priorities and mission.

Unfortunately, the competition for 1% funds and popular interest grows every year. This challenge combined with natural limits of total 1% returns and their vulnerability to the economic downturn imposes major difficulties to the significant revenue growth in 1%. Evolving Wikimedia Poland into a more stable, capable organization, bigger projects with greater impact, operational margins and releasing volunteers from a part of their burden requires new revenue sources.

In 2019, Wikimedia Poland Board has decided to diversify the organization's income, and this very application is submitted in execution of this goal.

Content Quality Research

SMART objectives:

  • implement at least 3 major findings affecting contents or presentation of pages viewed by at least 5% of readers by end of 2020
  • publish at least one thought piece based on analysis of the editing community by the end of 2020 (in Polish and in English)
  • publish at least one thought piece based on analysis of the readership by the end of 2020 (in Polish and in English)

Activities:

  • gather research proposals from the community through surveys and/or a dedicated volunteer working group
  • recruit volunteer analysts both from inside and outside the community (1 person already onboarded in this role)
  • perform focus group-based UX and content quality research
  • perform interviews or surveys with editors

Wikimedia Poland has not performed focused research before, we consider this a pilot program.

The research focus for 2020 is going to be: bridging the gap between readers and editors. We aim to provide the editing community with new actionable insights about the needs of our readers. The working assumption here is that the “encyclopedic ideal” that Wikipedians work towards often does not match the average reader’s expectations. We hope to figure out what that mismatch is and work with our editors to improve the situation.

Note that this program is by its nature part research and part community engagement, since the ultimate aim is to improve the quality of our content – not just to assess what improvements are needed.

As this is a first attempt in this area and there seem to be many areas regarding Polish Wikipedia not covered by already available research, we want to start with a qualitative research using deep interviews and focus groups with our readers.

Supercharging GLAM

SMART objectives:

  • 25000 new media files uploaded by the end of 2020
  • 500 new GLAM files used in Polish Wikimedia projects by the end of 2020

Activities:

  • mass upload from the Library of the University of Warsaw
  • mass upload from the Jagiellonian University Library (Cracow)
  • mass upload from the Mazovian Digital Library (Warsaw)
  • event for residents (offline or online)
  • volunteer-led GLAM media resource utilization push through:
    • contest OR
    • dedicated volunteer group

The Supercharging GLAM program is a set of scaling efforts in the GLAM area, aimed at fully utilizing previously developed relationships and partnerships.

We have gained access to a number of online media archives (see Activities section above), but we currently lack the capacity and tools needed to ingest them into Wikimedia Commons.

Hiring a GLAM technician and a Junior Community Manager will enable us to bring a significant number of new media files available to the Wikimedia community on Commons, and encourage their active usage.

We are Wikipedia

SMART objectives:

  • 7 podcast episodes published by the end of 2020
  • 2 other mentions in national-level media outlets by the end of 2020
  • 5 new permanent non-editor volunteers onboarded by the end of 2020
  • at least one new partner providing professional services pro bono (legal, marketing, etc.) acquired by the end of 2020

Activities:

  • produce and publish a podcast on the internal workings of Wikipedia
  • showcase members of the community in social media
  • arranging media interviews with volunteers
  • preparing non-editing volunteer needs list and onboarding process
  • promote various non-editing ways to volunteer on social media and recruit new volunteers

A recurring issue we see with the image of Wikipedia among the public, is a very limited understanding on how our projects function. Often people assume there is a “editor in chief” or editorial staff. We suspect this misconception limits volunteer participation in our movement.

To change this, we plan to show the general public how Wikimedia projects’ content is created (processes) and who creates it (volunteer profiles).

We will also use these communication activities as a vehicle to promote various ways to participate in our Movement (helping out with promotion, research, technical & IT tasks, etc.).

Community Support 2.0

Note: this program represents a staffing expansion (financed with sAPG funds) to enable expanded Community Support activities by senior staff (financed directly by WMPL), following shifting responsibilities and duties. For clarity, SMART goals are given separately for both categories – since in a way, the sAPG grant enables both.

SMART objectives:

  • expanded objectives section:
    • develop a community health process for self-correction in collaboration with a group of trusted volunteers,
    • establish 5 active volunteer groups of at least 3 volunteers each by the end of 2020
  • basic objectives section:
    • organize at least one major live on-line event in 2020, to facilitate community integration in the absence of in-person meetings
    • increase the number of active users by 5% by the end of 2020
    • produce 5000 new or improved pages of content by mobilizing volunteers through contests
    • at least 125 people participate in trainings for new editors
    • at least 100 editors participate in trainings for experienced editors

Activities:

  • develop a way to measure and monitor user retention
  • organize and co-host trainings for new and advanced users
  • organize conferences and meetups
  • give out appreciation rewards to motivate users and showcase exemplars of our Movement
  • create and facilitate volunteer groups for community-led initiatives and volunteer-supported staff activities and recruit skilled volunteers, including but not limited to:
    • New User Guides’ Group
    • Community Health Group
    • Social Media Helpers Group
  • provide psychological supervision to employees to help handle sensitive situations and conflicts

To use a sports analogy, this program represents a shift in approach to Community Support’s role on Polish Wikimedia projects: from cheerleading (via events, contests, edithons, etc.) to coaching (via proactive facilitation of community processes, providing advice, and monitoring results in terms of community health).

Infrastructure and Basic Capacity

SMART objectives:

  • at least 4 internal trainings conducted by end of 2020, including:
    • Kanban training and Asana onboarding,
    • task management training.
  • office relocation complete by end of Q3 2020

Activities:

  • skills development:
    • mapping existing competence base and competence gaps
    • organizing trainings for staff, board members, and other involved individuals
  • automation of team collaboration with productivity software
  • mapping needs and achievable functionalities of a new WMPL office
  • all-hands meeting for the Board and staff (online unless the public health circumstances change)

We strive to the optimal use of the human capital by, one hand, introducing tools for contacts, knowledge management, and team collaboration, and on the other, skills development.

A major part of cost is related to the office relocation, taken into account by the board in 2019 and planned for 2020. However, we are forced to intensify this process due to new plans of the demolition of the building.

Repetitive Task Automation

SMART objectives:

  • save at least 20 person hours of volunteer time per month
  • at least one solution is adopted by a non-Polish language wiki

Activities:

  • identify time-consuming wiki maintenance processes and create their inventory
  • develop solutions to automate key processes (depending on the situation this can be a bot, script, gadget or a new stand-alone service)
  • Further/future steps: create new automated processes (thank the editors, identify high quality / low quality work etc.)

Our volunteer editors carry out a ton of work every day on their wikis. This work is done quietly and often behind the scenes, with little to no thanks. Updating sections of main pages, gathering edit stats for contests, and more. All this can take a lot of time.

We wish to save the time currently used up by these repetitive tasks by automating them or developing tools that make them easier.

We trust our volunteer editors will invest time saved in this way into more productive edits.

Grant Metrics Reporting[edit]

Metrics, targets and results: grants metrics worksheet here.

Midterm report[edit]

Note: this report focuses on WMPL activities related to our 2020–2021 grant sAPG request. As such, it does not detail the entirety of our activities, most notably in the area of Education – which was funded exclusively from our funds gathered via 1% tax deduction contributions.

Program story[edit]

2020 was a year of many changes for Wikimedia Poland.

It was the first full year of implementing our 3-year strategy, including a new approach to planning, budgeting and management. We have created our first unified annual budget, which replaced the earlier practice of approving individual projects by the board. We have expanded our team, going from 5 to 8 full-time (or close to full-time) employees. We transformed task and project management, beginning the rollout of agile methods for our task and project management.

The intent here was to simultaneously improve make strategic management by the board easier and less time-intensive, and make execution easier and much faster for staff, by limiting bureaucracy to a minimum.

In short: the year was supposed to be "more of the same, but better". And then the pandemic hit…

We opted to not change our goals, instead relying on a flexible approach to how we try to achieve them. A good chunk of the plan went out the window, but the goals stayed. This was a test of organizational resilience and focus, which I would say we passed.

As we grew our staff, we also endeavored to attach and develop volunteer experts or groups of volunteers to each sub-team (Communications, Community Support, Education, GLAM). We wanted to simultaneously scale our efforts through the use of volunteers and keep our staff connected to our volunteer communities and their needs & concerns. This was partially successful – while some groups were easier to form, others are still struggling, and we need to rethink how to integrate volunteer experts into our strategic planning and project management processes.

We ended the year with a stronger & more efficient team, many learnings on how to run effective on-line events, and a hopeful outlook for the future. More on how that went in the final report.

Lucas Garczewski aka TOR

Chief Operating Officer

Wikimedia Poland

Program Progress[edit]

Income Diversification Push[edit]

1% tax contribution income growth over time
  • Yes check.svg Done 1% of the Yearly Income Tax income not more than 80% of WMPL yearly income
  • X mark.svg Not done a communications audit and marketing strategy conducted by end of Q3 2020
  • X mark.svg Not done collect funds from at least 4 earmarked Polish grants, including:
    • at least 1 grant by a local government
    • at least 1 grant by the central agency
    • at least 1 grant by a Polish NGO
  • Symbol wait.svg Doing... collect funds from at least 3 fundraising campaigns, including:
    • at least 1 campaign in collaboration with partnering institutions
    • at least 1 campaign on online platforms
  • Yes check.svg Done generate at least 2.000,00 PLN as financial income

In early 2020, we created a robust and participatory process for crafting a unified annual budget, with both staff, volunteers and members providing input. This made our quarterly expenses more predictable and enabled our Treasurer to invest more funds into Polish treasury bonds and deposits. Thanks to this, we have achieved well over 2000 PLN in income from financial instruments in 2020 and are on track to achieve 15 000 PLN in 2021.

In May 2020 we hired a new Spokesperson & Communication Specialist, Nina Gabryś. In December 2020, using funds from the grant, we have hired our first ever Fundraiser, and began transforming the way we gather funds.

We conducted an audit of our communication channels and needs. Unfortunately, our work on both the audit and a communication strategy based on its findings was delayed (hence the "not done" above).

We replaced our wiki-based website with a modern web page modeled after the Wikimedia Foundation’s design. We added an option to donate via credit cards and other methods, as well as a more welcoming and optimized landing page for 1% tax deduction campaign.

These changes increased our ability to gather funds from both 1% income tax deductions and on-line donations.

While the campaign to promote Wikimedia Poland as a recipient of 1% tax deduction happened in Q1 of 2021, and so will be described in detail in our final report below, we can share the results: we raised 878 000 PLN (~227 000 USD), an increase of 8.97% compared to 2019.

Additionally, in 2020 the Board prepared, and the General Assembly approved changes to Wikimedia Poland's bylaws, enabling us to engage in "paid public benefit activities" – a type of Polish business-like legal construct, which allows non-profits to sell services and goods, as long as all proceeds are used towards their non-profit mission. We intended to use this new income type to improve the way we handle conference and event ticket sales (previously treated as donations), but due to the pandemic this will have to wait.

Our preliminary calculations show we have, at the time of publishing this report, at about 20.5% of 2021 income coming from sources other than 1% tax deductions. We expected this to grow further by end of year. Main contributing factors are grants from Wikimedia Foundation, increased income from financial instruments (as detailed above), and increased number of on-line donations.

Unfortunately, our work on acquiring a government grant were not successful, despite 3 large grant requests filed. We intend to continue to submit grant requests in the future, while not relying on government funding for mission-critical functions.

Note: while we are in a stable financial situation, WMPL’s board is convinced we need to diversify funding sources to limit the impact of potential changes to tax law, as described in the grant proposal above.

Supercharging GLAM[edit]

  • Yes check.svg Done 25000 new media files uploaded by the end of 2020 (actual result: 31 704 new files)
  • Yes check.svg Done 500 new GLAM files used in Polish Wikimedia projects by the end of 2020 (actual result: 2 868 new used files)

Our GLAM efforts in 2020 were a continuation of tactics from previous years: building partnerships with cultural institutions and embedding Wikipedians in residence – both in order to acquire digital copies of cultural assets for Wikimedia Commons.

Of particular note is a partnership with Wawel Castle Museum, one of the premier cultural institutions in Poland.

We have also endeavored to educate the public (esp. young artists) on free and open content and promote the use of CC-licensed materials in remixes and collages – by organizing a collage contest. Unfortunately, we've found that – unlike with Wiki Loves Monuments – getting high quality entries in a contest requiring a very niche set of art skills requires a lot of hands-on promotion work and encouragement. While the entries did in the end meet our quality expectations, and were later used in GLAM-related promotional materials, staff engagement needed was too high. We do not plan to run similar contests in the future.

A challenge encountered in 2020 (though also present in previous years) was the high variance in the technical abilities, time investment and approach among our Wikipedians in residence. This makes supporting and managing the group difficult and time-intensive. To address this problem, in the future (2022) we plan to standardize the Wikipedian-in-residence program (with a clear process for applying, goals and requirements for partner institutions) and develop stronger relationships with GLAM institutions to have more control over the shape and impact of each collaboration.

We are Wikipedia[edit]

  • Yes check.svg Done 7 podcast episodes published by the end of 2020 (actual: 10 episodes published)
  • Yes check.svg Done 2 other mentions in national-level media outlets by the end of 2020
  • Symbol wait.svg Doing... 5 new permanent non-editor volunteers onboarded by the end of 2020
  • Yes check.svg Done at least one new partner providing professional services pro bono (legal, marketing, etc.) acquired by the end of 2020

Thanks to great networking by our new spokesperson, Nina, we have established a relationship with Semahead, a SEO and marketing agency based in Kraków. Their pro bono services enabled us to elevate the design of our social media posts and increase their effectiveness.

We have published 10 podcast episodes in season 1 of our “How Wikipedia is changing the world” series, and are now preparing to launch season 2.

Between August 2020 and February 2021 podcasts episodes were downloaded 1164 times and streamed 130 times, which for an online media initiative in Poland is a rather small audience.

We have found, however, that while the audience is small, it seems to be the right audience. We were contacted by two new partners (in the education and GLAM space) who mentioned they were inspired to reach out by listening to our podcast. This seems to suggest that our content is appealing to culture workers and educators, and may serve as an effective outreach mechanism in the future.

For season 2 in 2021 we are planning a bigger marketing push, including promoting the podcast on Wikipedia for a much broader reach.

In 2020, we established working relationships with a number of traditional media outlets, resulting in articles such as (content in Polish):

Community Support 2.0[edit]

Free Knowledge Forum 2020 (previously Wikimedia Poland Conference) on-line attendee packet, the hotel-style notice for door reads "Do not disturb, I'm editing Wikipedia"
  • expanded objectives section:
    • Symbol wait.svg Doing... develop a community health process for self-correction in collaboration with a group of trusted volunteers,
    • Yes check.svg Done establish 5 active volunteer groups of at least 3 volunteers each by the end of 2020
  • basic objectives section:
    • Yes check.svg Done organize at least one major live on-line event in 2020, to facilitate community integration in the absence of in-person meetings
    • Yes check.svg Done increase the number of active users by 5% by the end of 2020
    • Yes check.svg Done produce 5000 new or improved pages of content by mobilizing volunteers through contests
    • Yes check.svg Done at least 125 people participate in trainings for new editors (actual result: 264)
    • Yes check.svg Done at least 100 editors participate in trainings for experienced editors (actual result: 316)

Using funds from the grant, we have expanded our Community Support team by hiring a Junior Community Support Specialist. This allowed us to meet all of the goals outlined above and expand gradually support services by:

  • creating a process to request paid subscriptions to magazine and other sources,
  • introducing a peer-to-peer volunteer-driven gifts scheme,
  • expanding our microgrants program.

The community support aspect of our work was also one of the most affected by COVID-19 and related lockdowns and meeting limitations. Whereas we have traditionally relied on in-person trainings and workshops for user onboarding and skill development, as well as in-person events for community integration – we needed to rapidly adjust to continue to support our communities during the pandemic.

We are happy to report that we've managed to switch to on-line events and deploy two parallel series of weekly meetings in just a few weeks, providing:

  • a series of open trainings and introductory talks on Wikipedia to the general audience, attracting some new Wikipedians,
  • a series of advanced trainings and "fireside chats" to experienced Wikipedians, helping keep the community connected and active during lockdown,
  • our first major fully on-line conference.

In fact, moving to online trainings and meetings greatly improved attendance and helped us engage members of our community who we've never met at live events.

See also: Fourteen things we’ve learned by moving Polish Wikimedia conference online

Wikimedia Poland also facilitated community consensus building around the introduction of Growth features on the Polish Wikipedia. A key element of these efforts was inviting Marshall Miller, Lead Product Manager for Growth to give a presentation about the features at our Free Knowledge Forum annual conference (organized as an on-line event this year). The presentation and conversation greatly sped up the process of consensus building and resulted in enabling the new features on the Polish Wikipedia.

Infrastructure and basic capacity[edit]

Castle Culture Center in Poznan, WMPL office building since 2020
  • at least 4 internal trainings conducted by end of 2020, including:
    • Yes check.svg Done Kanban training and Asana onboarding,
    • Yes check.svg Done task management training.
  • Yes check.svg Done office relocation complete by end of Q3 2020

We have moved our office to the Imperial Castle in Poznan (currently a culture center and NGO-friendly office space), and are now working on opening up a central office in Warsaw.

Staff has been trained in agile project management practices, recruitment techniques, and peer-to-peer feedback.

Spending update[edit]

Total amount of Simple APG funds spent in 2020:

  • 41 840.35 PLN (~10,830 USD)

Grant Metrics Reporting[edit]

Metrics, targets and results: grants metrics worksheet here.

Final report[edit]

Program story[edit]

Please tell or link to one program story that showcases your organization's achievements during the reporting period. This can be another meta page, a blog post or any other source that tells your program story.

Learning story[edit]

Please link to one learning story that shows how your organization documents lessons learned and adapts its programs accordingly.

Programs Impact[edit]

2021 was the second year of the global COVID-19 pandemic. While still cautious, our organization managed to accomplish plenty of activities related to the mission of expanding open knowledge.

Learning from lessons from previous years, we focused on our strengths and optimizing our actions. Once again, we started the year with the unified annual budget which gave the employees more freedom in their actions and unburdened our fully volunteer Board. As a result, the Board could focus on managing the organization, while the staff (8 full-time employees + Executive Director) worked on day-to-day operations. New agile methods and project management tools were implemented, and new ways to train volunteers and staffers were executed.

By improving our processes and focusing on our strengths, the organization’s goal was to thrive, despite the still harsh public health situation. Prolonging COVID-19, materializing risks and opportunities put their toll and prompted several adjustments to the plan from early 2020, yet we managed to vastly expand our community support, infrastructural support and fundraising activities, and kickstart several initiatives in research, collaborations and education (not included in this grant).

2020 was also the year of Wikipedia’s 20th birthday. As one of the first projects created, Polish Wikipedia turned 20 in September. While our ambitious projects related to the celebrations could not be safely accomplished, we supported the community and helped them enjoy the last two decades of their success.

While remaining active in Poland, 2021 was the year of increased international activities. WMPL’s investment in the CEE Hub grew, and together with fellow affiliates in the region, we started conducting surveys to learn the community needs. We were also dedicated to improving volunteer support in the global movement by engaging in the Volunteer Supporters Network and its activities - from training on organizing safe and inclusive meetings to an international Wikipedia20 birthday Jaunt! In addition, we supported the Wikimedia Foundation and European affiliates in the Board of Trustees election by co-organizing the biggest candidate debate during the election!

By the end of 2021, our organization was solid and efficient. Our hope was to march into 2022 with the same energy and willingness to learn more lessons from the upcoming future.


Michał Buczyński

President of the Board

Wikimedia Poland

Program Progress[edit]

Income Diversification Push[edit]

  • Yes check.svg Done 1% of the Yearly Income Tax income not more than 80% of WMPL yearly income
  • Symbol wait.svg Doing... a communications audit and marketing strategy conducted by end of Q3 2020
  • X mark.svg Not done collect funds from at least 4 earmarked Polish grants, including:
    • at least 1 grant by a local government
    • at least 1 grant by the central agency
    • at least 1 grant by a Polish NGO
  • Yes check.svg Done collect funds from at least 3 fundraising campaigns, including:
    • at least 1 campaign in collaboration with partnering institutions
    • at least 1 campaign on online platforms
  • Yes check.svg Done Done generate at least 2.000,00 PLN as financial income

Activities:

  • Yes check.svg Done invest existing funds in multi-year low-risk financial instruments and rotate operational funds with low-risk financial instruments
  • Yes check.svg Done apply for public as well as private grants
  • Symbol wait.svg Doing... apply the Total Fundraising Organization methods
  • Yes check.svg Done introduce the chargeable public benefit activities (under Polish law, Public Benefit Organizations may perform both chargeable and non-chargeable activities which are not considered as commercial activity)
  • Yes check.svg Done create a paid role dedicated for managing fundraising campaigns

Throughout the grant, we had established WMPL's team dedicated to outreach and fundraising. In May 2020, we hired a new Spokesperson & Communication Specialist, Nina Gabryś. In addition, WMPL's first fundraiser, Jacek Broda, joined our organisation at the end of the year.

Since 2020, a substantial part of financial assets has been invested in both long and short-term Polish treasury bonds. This strategy allows to manage the liquidity, reduce risk, and partially mitigate the negative impact of growing inflation and negative real interest rates (global danger, particularly visible in Polish context with a local budgetary and monetary policy and the pressure on local currency).

In 2021 we had made a hard decision to postpone the audit of communication channels. Unfortunately, our cooperation with the auditor was interrupted by the several waves of the covid pandemic and the restrictions that followed. Nevertheless, we remain committed to finishing it in the future.

We have also finished the work on our new website. Wikimedia.pl is our public-facing landing page, where people can learn more about the organisation. At the same time, pl.wikimedia.org remains a members-oriented page with transparency, reports and helpful information to the members of the Movement.

In 2021 we achieved our highest ever amount from the 1% tax deduction campaign. We have raised over 878 000 PLN (~227 000 USD), an increase of 18.5 pp to the year 2019 (the tax year 2018), before hiring communication and fundraising staff.

Additionally, in 2020 the Board prepared, and the General Assembly approved changes to Wikimedia Poland's bylaws, enabling us to engage in "paid public benefit activities" – a type of Polish business-like legal construct, which allows non-profits to sell services and goods, as long as all proceeds are used towards their non-profit mission. This option was used for the first time in 2021 when selling tickets to the WMPL winter conference (scheduled for January 2022 but later rescheduled for April 2022).

In 2021 the government of Poland had announced the most sweeping change in tax law since the introduction of the 1% tax deduction mechanism. This action, condemned by many economists, reassures our organisation in our mission to diversify the source of income. While currently, around 79.5% of WMPL's income comes from this mechanism (compared to 89% in 2019), we remain committed to further work on this matter.

Unfortunately, our work on acquiring government grants was unsuccessful in 2020 and 2021, despite many large grant requests. We intend to continue to submit grant requests in the future while not relying on government funding for mission-critical functions.

Supercharging GLAM[edit]

  • Yes check.svg Done 25000 new media files uploaded by the end of 2020 (actual result: 33 782 new files)
  • Yes check.svg Done 500 new GLAM files used in Polish Wikimedia projects by the end of 2020 (actual result: 3087 new used files)

At the beginning of 2021 WMPL parted ways with the GLAM coordinator. The new coordinator (Specialist of Open Culture), Kamila Neuman, was hired in Q4 of 2021.

We are Wikipedia[edit]

  • Yes check.svg Done 7 podcast episodes published by the end of 2020 (actual: 10 episodes published)
  • Yes check.svg Done 2 other mentions in national-level media outlets by the end of 2020
  • Symbol wait.svg Doing... 5 new permanent non-editor volunteers onboarded by the end of 2020
  • Yes check.svg Done at least one new partner providing professional services pro bono (legal, marketing, etc.) acquired by the end of 2020

Thanks to the great networking by our new spokesperson, Nina, we have established a relationship with Semahead, a SEO and marketing agency based in Kraków. Their pro bono services enabled us to elevate the design of our social media posts and increase their effectiveness. We actively continued to cooperate with businesses and agencies in the sphere of social media engagement.

We have published 10 podcast episodes in season 1 of our “How Wikipedia is changing the world” series, and are now preparing to launch season 2. (See the Diff post for more details.)

Between August 2020 and February 2021, the podcast episodes were downloaded 1164 times and streamed 130 times, which for an online media initiative in Poland is a rather small audience.

We have found, however, that while the audience is small, it seems to be the right audience. We were contacted by two new partners (in the education and GLAM space) who mentioned they were inspired to reach out by listening to our podcast. This seems to suggest that our content is appealing to culture workers and educators, and may serve as an effective outreach mechanism in the future.

For season 2, initially planned for 2021, but postponed to 2022, we are planning a bigger marketing push, including promoting the podcast on Wikipedia for a much broader reach.

In 2020, we established working relationships with a number of traditional media outlets, resulting in articles such as (content in Polish):

Community Support 2.0[edit]

  • expanded objectives section:
    • Yes check.svg Done develop a community health process for self-correction in collaboration with a group of trusted volunteers,
    • Yes check.svg Done establish 5 active volunteer groups of at least 3 volunteers each by the end of 2020
  • basic objectives section:
    • Yes check.svg Done organize at least one major live on-line event in 2020, to facilitate community integration in the absence of in-person meetings
    • Yes check.svg Done increase the number of active users by 5% by the end of 2020
    • Yes check.svg Done produce 5000 new or improved pages of content by mobilizing volunteers through contests (actual result: 5735)
    • Yes check.svg Done at least 125 people participate in trainings for new editors (actual result: 264)
    • Yes check.svg Done at least 100 editors participate in trainings for experienced editors (actual result: 316)

Activities:

  • Yes check.svg Done develop a way to measure and monitor user retention
  • Yes check.svg Done organize and co-host trainings for new and advanced users
  • Yes check.svg Done organize conferences and meetups
  • Yes check.svg Done give out appreciation rewards to motivate users and showcase exemplars of our Movement
  • Partially Yes check.svg Done create and facilitate volunteer groups for community-led initiatives and volunteer-supported staff activities and recruit skilled volunteers, including but not limited to:
    • Yes check.svg Done New User Guides’ Group
    • Yes check.svg Done Community Health Group
    • X mark.svg Not done Social Media Helpers Group
  • Yes check.svg Done provide psychological supervision to employees to help handle sensitive situations and conflicts

Using funds from the grant, in 2020 we have expanded our Community Support team by hiring a Junior Community Support Specialist. This allowed us to meet all of the goals outlined above and expand gradually support services by:

  • creating a process to request paid subscriptions to magazine and other sources,
  • introducing a peer-to-peer volunteer-driven gifts scheme,
  • expanding our microgrants program.
Polish Wikipedia 20th birthday

In 2020 community support aspect of our work was also one of the most affected by COVID-19 and related lockdowns and meeting limitations. Whereas we have traditionally relied on in-person trainings and workshops for user onboarding and skill development, as well as in-person events for community integration – we needed to rapidly adjust to continue to support our communities during the pandemic.

We are happy to report that we've managed to switch to on-line events and deploy two parallel series of weekly meetings in just a few weeks, providing:

  • a series of open trainings and introductory talks on Wikipedia to the general audience, attracting some new Wikipedians,
  • a series of advanced trainings and "fireside chats" to experienced Wikipedians, helping keep the community connected and active during lockdown,
  • our first major fully on-line conference.

In 2021, with some of the restrictions being phased out and the COVID-19 vaccination programme ongoing, we organised several small and local meet-ups for the communities.

  • Wikispotkanie 2021 – In June, we organized meetings in 6 cities across Poland, as well as online meet-ups for interested volunteers. In total 68 Wikimedians attended!
  • Wikimania 2021 – WMPL offered scholarships to Wikimedians in Poland. Co-working spaces were rented, lunch and coffee offered, equipment bought, as well as an allowance for dependent care issued.
  • Źródłosłów 2021 – In September, around 30 contributors to pl.wikisource and pl.wiktionary met in Warsaw for a conference and series of workshops relating to their work in those wiki-projects.
Wikipedia przy kawie, Poznań

WMPL has also been involved in planning and organising the Wikimedia CEE online meeting, and Volunteer Support Programme meetings throughout the year.

In fact, moving to online trainings and meetings greatly improved attendance and helped us engage members of our community who we've never met at live events.

See also: Fourteen things we’ve learned by moving Polish Wikimedia conference online

Wikimedia Poland also made it easier for the Product Managers working at the Product department of the Wikimedia Foundation to reach out to the Polish wikis communities. In 2021, we invited Olga Vasileva, Lead Product Manager for Web to give a presentation about the Desktop Improvements at our annual conference organized again as an online event.

We have also collaborated with researchers on creating a tool that would allow us to track the growth, stability and balance of our editing community in order to better plan our future activities around community support. The Community Vital Signs can now show us what groups of editors (newbies or advanced, tech wizards or community organizers etc.) need our support the most, which allows us create Community Support tailored to the exact needs of our community.

See: Community Vital Signs - Polish Community Report An important aspect of our work was also supporting our community in becoming more inclusive, safe and supportive, and aiming towards a Wikimedia 2030 goal of providing for safety and inclusion. We organized professional mediations training to support a good and constructive conflict resolution in the community (and we are happy to report that at least one conflict has been resolved and an Arbitration Committee case has been withdrawn thanks to a successful mediation!). We aimed towards reducing volunteer burnout by supporting a culture of rest (by tracking volunteer engagement and reacting to cases of work overload) and providing mindfulness training for Wikimedians. See:

Microgrants[edit]

The ​WikiGrants volunteer microgrant programme is the easiest and the most direct way of supporting editors in their editing plans and intentions. Volunteers can apply for reimbursement of sources or tools they need for writing articles, entrance tickets or photo expeditions. Applications are reviewed by a committee of experienced volunteers.

In 2020-2021, 64 applications were submitted. 50 grants were awarded, for the total sum of 17700 PLN (~ 5000 USD). The programme resulted in ​more than 2,500 new or extended pages in Wikimedia projects, including 1,777 new photos​. Impressive as these results may seem, WikiGrants have noted a certain decline compared to previous years, both when it comes to the number of applications and the allocated funds. It prompted us to take a closer look at this mechanism and strengthen it in the years to come.

Infrastructure and basic capacity[edit]

Aleja Szucha 16 in Warsaw, WMPL office building since 2021
  • at least 4 internal trainings conducted by end of 2020, including:
    • Yes check.svg Done Kanban training and Asana onboarding,
    • Yes check.svg Done task management training.
  • Yes check.svg Done office relocation complete by end of Q3 2020

In 2020 we moved our office to the Imperial Castle in Poznan (currently a culture centre and NGO-friendly office space). Due to the size of the country as well as the population and community distribution, this venue is kept for local staffers and community members.

As specified in the grant request, the Board of WMPL recognised the need for a more central location, closer to the community and the majority of WMPL’s employees – Warsaw, the capital of Poland. Therefore, in cooperation with another NGO and the city of Warsaw, we had secured a location for our office in Warsaw at the beginning of 2021. Thanks to this cooperation, we are part of the NGO support programme, which offers office space to NGOs on a preferential basis (Lokale dla organizacji pozarządowych). After securing this office space, WMPL’s General Assembly approved moving the registered headquarters to Warsaw.

In March 2021, we hired an office manager, Grzegorz Kopaczewski. He is responsible for managing our Warsaw office, administrative tasks in the organization, and helping volunteers and other employees with travel, logistics and financial matters. This vital role took day-to-day administrative tasks away from the Board and the Executive Director, who could focus on more broad management actions in the organization.

As of the end of 2021, our staff is still being trained in agile project management practices, recruitment techniques, and peer-to-peer feedback. While the work is not yet done, we are working on increasing our activities in this region.

Spending update[edit]

Grant Metrics Reporting[edit]

Metrics, targets and results: grants metrics worksheet here.