Amount granted: 11,762 USD for 6 months (11,762 USD for 6 months)
Funding period: 1 July 2018 to 31 December 2018
Midpoint report due:
Final report due: 30 January 2019
Wikimedia Polska Association (WMPL) has been formed during the 2005 Wikimedia Summer Meetup in Kraków; officially registered since 15 November that same year and recognized as the fourth Wikimedia chapter. As a true membership-based association, WMPL keeps the volunteers at heart and a purpose in mind: we have organized to fill the gaps begging for an institutional arm in Poland, and we are aiming to deliver good Wikimedia experience to everyone.
According to the Charter, the purpose of the Association is to equate everyone's chances to access knowledge, both general and specific in the fields of science, culture, education and art as well as to promote and organize volunteering and charity - which means we took and carved in stone the new strategic direction already 13 years ago! We work on these lofty goals with: empowering and leveraging our volunteers, explaining and promoting Wikimedia and our principles, and cooperating with our partners to bring new people, ideas and content.
During these 13 years we have tested many ideas. We started as a community and we keep on cultivating our strongest asset. We invented our forms to support editors to fill the content gaps - like Wikiexpeditions and microgrants. We found a great source of unique opportunities in Polish GLAM institutions. And when mistrust and bad press became The Real Thing, we found our ways to reach out and educate more.
We were able to achieve it thanks to Polish taxpayers and a special charity status in Poland. Nevertheless, not only a stable entity should have more than one source of revenue but also the sAPG is a great opportunity to rethink ourselves, reassess, and improve.
The aim of this program is to bring new content into Wikimedia projects and support the filling of content gaps in different areas. We want to achieve this goal by:
inviting and encouraging editors and readers to create and improve content in specific areas
organizing events related to specific content gaps
supporting Wikiexpeditions or projects of a similar format
acquiring cultural, historical, and scientific images and media from museums, libraries, and other Polish cultural institutions
engaging cultural institutions into contributing to Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons,
We organize editing contests aimed at filling specific gaps both in terms of quantity and quality of pages. Some of them are related to specific topics (for example the Polish branch of the CEE Spring contest or our Thematic Weeks) and some to specific problems (for example the Wikichallenge contest which supports the creation of articles which have a lot of interwikis but do not exist on Polish Wikipedia).
We have also learned that contests may lead to increased participation - many participants actually boost their Wikimedia activity during the contests (in comparision to their regular activity. See: Wikichallenge report). And the prizes that we give are dedicated either to build a stronger connection with the movement (mugs, t-shirts etc. with the winner's username, a personalized and specially designed book with editing history, etc.) or to fuel more contributions (sources to articles). In 2018 we want to continue with the contests that we have organized in the previous years and which proved to be successful and introduce a new one related to the 100th anniversary of Polish independence.
organize at least 4 writing contests in 2018 (including CEE Spring, Wikichallenge)
reach at least 3000 new Wikipedia articles created from writing contests during the year
show at least 5 new Good or Featured Articles from writing contests
introduce at least one new editing contest in 2018
have at least 40 editors participating in writing contests held in 2018
Photo contests are a good way of bringing quality images to Wikimedia Commons. Since 2016, Wikimedia Poland has been organizing the WikiVacation contest. It combines the goals of two worldwide Wikimedia contests - Wiki Loves Monuments and Wiki Loves Earth - with the addition of a special category, addresing a certain gap and benefiting from the freedom of panorama in Poland - pictures of public art and small architecture. In 2016 WikiVacation brought to Wikimedia Commons more than 4000 pictures of Polish monuments, nature, and public art, and in 2015 - more than 5000.
have at least 5000 photos submitted to the WikiVacation contest
reach at least 200 participants in WikiVacation contest
reach at least 30 new registered users in the contest
Our GLAM projects are aimed at increasing the quality of Polish Wikipedia by means of illustrating Wikipedia with cultural, historical, and scientific images and media from museums, libraries, and other Polish cultural institutions; engaging GLAMs into contributing to Wikipedia, involving experts in the process of supporting editors (e.g. by locating/supplying subject literature and sources or pointing to gaps in existing content/articles), and encouraging new groups and communities to edit and contribute to Wikimedia Commons.
Wikimedia Polska is in partnerships with close to 20 national and regional GLAM institutions including some of the most important national museums, archives, and galleries. Files contributed by GLAM institutions are widely used not only on Polish Wikipedia but in other Wikimedia projects. GLAM workshops bring people from diverse academic and scientific communities, as well as students, into the Wikimedia editing community. They also help to involve experienced editors into new subject areas and out of their thematic "comfort zone". We also aim to help Polish GLAM institutions gain technical skills and basic copyright knowledge to be able to contribute their digitized collections and holdings to Wikimedia Commons, and as a result make them accessible to, and reusable by, the general public (we try to run projects and present tools which encourage the circulation of files submitted by GLAMs into Commons). Approximately 10 most significant GLAM partnerships will be continued in 2018. Our partners include:
National Digital Archives. The Archives have selected several thousand early-20th century and interwar historical photographs for upload to Wikimedia Commons.
The National Library of Poland collaboration began in late 2017 and is developing (see project page). A team of 15 employees of the National Library and affiliated Adam Mickiewicz Institute will participate in editing trainings and meetups in order to add content, references, and links to Polish Wikipedia and illustrations and PDF files from the library to Wikimedia Commons. The National Library is aiming to permanently incorporate editing Wikipedia and its sister projects into its daily activities. We are also working with the library to plan a mass import of literary works data into Wikidata.
National Museum in Warsaw: We will run an editathon around the artworks in the museum's collection on May 26th; 100 artworks will be uploaded prior to the event. The NMW and volunteer Wikipedians will continue using glam-mnw to upload further files (min. 500 files by the end of 2018). To follow the Faras project which in 2017 received an honorable mention from the Ministry of Culture and the National Institute of Museology, the team members are working on a new thematic project to begin in autumn of 2018.
Other collaboration projects to be run throughout 2018 include partnerships with the Modern Art Museum in Warsaw, the Regional Institute of Culture in Katowice, the National Maritime Museum, the Warsaw University Library, the WRO Art Centre and others (see the relevant Commons category).
minimum 10 000 files from across all GLAM partnerships to be uploaded to Wikimedia Commons by the end of 2018
at least 10 GLAM workshops in 2018
at least 40 new registered users
at least 100 new Wikipedia articles written
Audio recordings for Wikimedia Commons
Since 2013, Wikimedia Polska has been funding projects which bring valuable audio content to Wikimedia Commons. This kind of material is very important for presenting knowledge related to music (see: Polish Chritmas Carols recordings). However, it can be also very useful for literature-related content. Wikimedia Polska funded studio recordings of professional Polish actors reading important literary works (for example: Ovid's Ars Amatoria or the love and war poems by Krzysztof Kamil Baczyński). Such recordings are an attractive addition to Wikipedia articles (both about the authors, their literary works, and the performing actors) and Wikisource publications but they are also a good tool in education and promotion of readership. They also benefit from the growing interest in audiobooks in Poland.
In 2018 we plan to continue with the project of recording the poetry of Cyprian Kamil Norwid, one of the most important poets of the Polish Romanticism.
record 17 poems by Cyprian Kamil Norwid and upload them to Wikimedia Commons
all files from the project to be used in Wikipedia articles or/and in Wikisource
Lighthouses in Poland
There are 17 lighthouses in Poland. They are unique monuments with fascinating history and interesting architecture. Many of them, however, lack good or up-to-date pictures. Also, the knowledge about how they function on a daily basis, what their story is and how they are operated is not available in Wikimedia projects. To fill this gap we are organizing a 3-week Wikiexpedition to the Polish coast. Our volunteers will travel to all the Polish lightouses to gather photographic documentation of their architecture but also to create podcasts with interviews with the keepers and curators.
The project will not only bring quality and ilustrations to the Wikipedia articles. It will also introduce podcasts and audio interviews as an interesting addition to Wikipedia articles and Wikivoyage entries. And, as every other Wikiexpedition, the project will gain the interest of the local media which will create an outrech possibility.
at least 80 pictures of lighthouses uploaded to Wikmedia Commons
at least 17 videos from the lighthouses uploaded to Wikimedia Commons
17 podcasts about lighthouses uploaded to Wikimedia Commons
This program is aimed to support a healthy, highly motivated and active Wikimedia community, willing to engage in Wikimedia projects and the chapter's work, empowered and skillful. This will (in result) lead to more content being brought into the projects and more people involved in what we do. We want to achieve this by:
building appreciation of our volunteers and showing them how we value their work
building good relationship between our organization and the community, based on mutual understanding of needs and goals
helping our community know the wider Wikimedia community and understand the movement better
supporting our volunteers in expanding their knowledge about Wikimedia and improving their skills
providing them with resources needed in their Wikimedia work
creating space for discussion, networking and connecting
supporting friendly and positive atmosphere in our community together with good and supportive working enviroment
preventing burning out of longtime community members
Conferences and meet-ups
We support our community by organizing meet-ups and conferences. This gives them the opportunity to meet and discuss and this in turn leads to better mutual understanding and lowering of the tensions within the community. Building a strong and kind community prevents burnouts (people have colleagues who can provide support in difficult situations) and creates a welcoming atmosphere. At the same time meet-ups support knowledge transfer between the volunteers, create space to seek solutions to challenges, and facilitate cooperation. Also, smaller meetings can support building and maintaining strong communities built around a certain Wikimedia project or a certain region. And in organizing those events we try to make sure that our staff members work hand in hand with the volunteers giving the latter the chance to engage in the chapter's activities and help in shaping the meetups.
In 2018 we want to organize 3 major meetups: a Winter Retreat (a conference focused on gaining new skills through training and working together on certain problems with a strong socializing program helping the participants to get to know each other better), Wikimedia Polska Conference (the obligatory meeting for our annual General Assembly and board election) and Źródłosłów (a combined conference of editors of two growing Polish sister projects - Wiktionary and Wikisource). Each of these meetings will be held in a different location so that we can engage different local communities in the organization process and make sure that people from different regions have easy access to at least one event.
We would also want to have some small and informal local communities focused on creating friendly relationships between local community members.
organize 3 major meetups in 2018 - Winter Retreat 2018, Wikimedia Polska Conference 2018, and Źródłosłów 2018
at least 3 local community meetups throught the year
at least 150 participants of our meetings and conferences
at least 20 volunteers engaged in organizing and shaping the meetings
in the post-conference surveys for the participants of our major meetings:
at least 60% will state that those meetings helped them feel stronger connection with the community
at least 60% will state that those meetngs helped them gain more knowledge about Wikimedia projects
at least 50% will state that they will use the knowledge gained in their work in the projects
at least 50% will state that the meeting made them feel more motivated to contribute
Acts of appreciation
Creating a culture of appreciation makes our volunteers feel valued and stay motivated. In 2018 we will start to send personalized thank-you letters and small souvenirs to all voluneteers actively involved in organizing our projects. This will help keep our core community active and motivated but at the same time create an inviting atmosphere for those who occasionaly work with us. By making an effort to personalize every thank-you we will show exactly what was special and valuable in each performance. This way of showing appreciation worked very well towards our volunteer team engaged in CEE Meeting 2017 (see: Learnings in the grant report) so we want to apply it to more of our volunteers.
We also want to try if appreciation showed during the onset of a Wikimedian's burning out can help volunteers stay in the project. We will be using a bot to trace whether any of the most active users have been showing decreasing performance so that we can have a chance to reach out, appreaciate the work already done by them in the project, and ask if there is any assistance we can provide (for example, through the microgrant program or an invitation to a meeting). This will help us reach those community members who feel unapppreciated or need additional motivation and act to keep them in the projects.
at least 25 volunteers engaged in organizing WMPL projects
at least 25 volunteers receiving personalized thank-you letters
creating a bot to track the decrease of user performance
at least 5 users with signs of decreasing activity contacted by WMPL to avoid burnouts
This project supports our community by providing them with tools and materials which can help them in fulfilling their editing goals and helping them bring content which they are passionate about or fill the knowledge gaps in areas they find important. Wikimedia Polska microgrant program has been successful in providing that kind of support since 2010. The program lets editors apply for reimbursement of sources, tickets to events and institutions or travel costs. The program is designed to be as easy, trust-based, and quick as possible. When requesting a small grant, the grantee needs to fill in simplified docummentation and (both in the case of a small and a large grant) the applicants receive the answer within 72 hours. This way we not only support our volunteers in their work and ideas but also work on establishing good relations between the chapter and the community by showing our volunteers that getting our help is simple and quick. In 2018 we want to continue with the program and maintain the performance on the same high level as in the last 3 years.
at least 40 microgrants funded in 2018
at least 1000 new pages in Wikimedia projects created with the help of the grants
at least 20 participants involved
A fun Wikimedia experience!
As strange as it might sound, having fun is one of the sources of motivation to edit. We will support that by introducing Wikipedia-themed board games for our meetings or organizing fun, prize-less challenges in the projects. The board games will help in socializing during events and challenges will bring new content but their main purpouse is to help in mantaining the pure joy of contributing and finding fun and new goals – and in result, fueling motivation and helping contributors feel good in the projects (something that may be lost in the long run, due to conflicts and effort required to do some Wikimedia work).
at least 200 new pages created in online games and challenges
at least 20 participants' of online games and challenges
at least 60% participants of our meetings rate games and fun activities organized during the events as good or very good
Good internal communication
In order to provide a good understanding between the community and the organization we want to make sure that our members and volunteers are well-informed about what we are working on and what our goals are. This is why we edit a newsletter for our community. In 2018 we also want to improve the pages on our wiki, making it easier for our volunteers to find information about how we can help them and to find ways in which they can engage in our activities.
sending out at least 24 issues of our community newsletter in 2018
creating new, easy-to-navigate pages for volunteers on our wiki
We want to continue to provide scholarships for our volunteers to international Wikimedia conferences. It helps to connect our community with the worldwide movement and lets our voluneteers take part in international exchange of ideas and thoughts. We believe that learning from each other is one of the most valuable experiences in the Wikimedia movement and that bringing Wikimedians from different communities together provides a good opportunity for that. Moreover, it gives us an opportunity to support and present great ideas helping us to meet our goals, like Pattypan. This is why wy support the attendence of our volunteers in different conferences and meetups outside Poland, including both general (e.g. Wikimania and CEE Meeting) and specialized (e.g. Hackathon) events. And because all scholarship receipients need to document and report their experience (as per a bylaw adopted by the Board) we know that the wider community will also have an opportunity to benefit from their learnings and findings.
open a scholarship program for Wikimania 2018
give at least 2 volunteer scholarships for Wikimania 2018
attract and send at least 1 volunteer contributing to a specialized event (e.g. Hackathon, GLAM conference)
The aim of this program is to build knowledge about the Wikimedia projects and their mission among the society members. Through that we hope to strenghten the understanding of and trust in our community as well asbring new editors into the projects.
provide trainings and information to various and diverse groups
liaise with the media to spread the information about our projects, succesess, and rules
create favorable conditions for disseminating Wikimedia-related knowledge among the public
Workshops and edit-a-thons
Workshops are a good way to invite new people to Wikipedia, teach them about the Wikimedia mission, rules, and community. They give us a chance to gain new editors or at least people who understand how Wikipedia works. Wikimedia Polska has been conducting about 15-20 workshops a year. Most of the initiative comes from instituions or groups interested in either getting to know Wikipedia or working on certain projects. We work with various organizations, including cultural and educational institutions.
Most of the trainings are conducted by our staff but a significant part is also done by our volunteers. The fact that Wikimedia Polska staff and community are very diverse geographically means that we can cover different areas of Poland and bring knowledge about Wikipedia to different regions.
at least 200 newly registered users
at least 15 workshops conducted
at least 50 new Wikipedia pages created
at least 10 volunteers involved
Librarians are good at working with sources and finidng information and they are passionate about knowledge. This is why they are natural allies for Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects. We want to encourage them to contribute by organizing #1Lib1Ref events in partnership with the Polish Librarians' Association. Our partner will help us in reaching librarians and will provide venues. We will host 3 events which will consist of Wikipedia training and adding sources to articles. The events will bring new people to Wikipedia and add to the quality of our articles.
organize 3 #1Lib1Ref events
at least 30 new registered users
sources added in at least 20 Wikipedia articles
Telling the Wikimedia story
Wikimedia projects, earlier a flagship of Web 2.0, have finally become a deeply-rooted part of our reality. However, this works mostly on the passive level, where the public merely knows WIkimedia projects exist. We are working on increasing Wikimedia awareness among society members. We are using a variety of tools and platforms to communicate the message of the Wikimedia movement which results in increased awareness of the society as well as potentially new Wikimedia editors joining in.
Our press officer serves to react to enquiries of the journalists as well as to actively send out press releases. Together with the other staff members, under the supervision of the assigned Board member, the press officer, following the Critical Situation Practices document, reacts to media crises. The latter is very important, since media crises, including politically-motivated ones, have touched on the Wikimedia world in Poland in the past.
Apart from social media - we hold a number of active Facebook profiles - we also write about our successes and goings-on on the WIkimedia Polska blog.
reporting at least 10 success stories - major partnerships, conference participations, awards - on our blog in 2018
appearing (press officer personally or delegated Wikimedians) in 10 national-scale press articles, TV shows or radio programs
at least 3 Wikimedia project descriptions in national-scale media
Wikimedia Polska is anticipating some changes to its organizational structure. As three Board members have declared, they will leave their posts during the nearest General Assembly, June 9. The onboarding of new Board members is an excellent opportunity to understand the workings of our organization better and to open a new page with clear-cut responsibilities, reporting and communication lines, and a well-defined organizational layout to serve in the future.
In order to achieve this, we would like to commission an organizational audit. It will be performed through analysis of the structure, procedures, and processes of Wikimedia Polska. A SWOT / TOWS analysis will follow, together with the identification of communication methods. The outcome will be a report that will contain the recommended actions. Apart from document analysis, the auditor will perform a series of interviews, including some with the leaving Board members to build up on their knowledge and expertise.
2018 has brought a lot of changes to Wikimedia Polska. We have encountered a big change in our Board composition - three experienced and skillful members (including our long-time serving Chair, Tomasz Ganicz) resigned and were replaced by three new people, serving their first rounds on the Board. This was the moment that we needed to see how we can instill the new energy, skills, ideas, and vision brought by the new members while at the same time keep what we have learned and what has been built by the ones who terminated their involvement in WMPL Board.
Moreover, we have encountered some changes in our staffing - we have lost a valuable and almost irreplaceable colleague, Krzysztof Machocki, and welcomed two new staff members into our midst.
2018 was also a year of learning for us. Entering the Simple APG program for the first time was an important moment of sharing our work with the international Wikimedia community and getting valuable outside feedback. Our new Board members introduced new tools and project management techniques (Scrum and Kanban) reshaping the way we plan our daily work, collaborate, and report.
And finally - thanks to the sAPG program - we started an organizational audit to see what works and what can be improved.
The organizational audit and what we have learned from it so far
The first step to have a good quality process which will help us move forward and understand our organization better is finding the right expert. And we have put a lot of time and sweat into this step. We sent out a detailed brief, containing a lot of information regarding our background, history, current situation and the specifics of the Wikimedia world. It also included a lot about our needs and expectations regarding the audit. We wanted to find a consultant who would look closely at our structure, scope of responsibilities, processes, governance communication patterns, documents; someone who would examine how we work on achieving our goals or plan our projects. And most of all - a person who would be able to see all that in the context of a Wikimedia organization. An organization which strongly values transparency and wants to involve (but not to burn out!) volunteers from the Wikimedia world. And (after reviewing carefully a lot of offers from different sources) we believe that we found someone just right for the job. A trainer and consultant, Renata Muszyńska, who is familiar with the functioning of NGOs and has a lot of experience in consulting and training different organizations and companies, including ones that are undergoing a change that they need to manage. And who has tailored an offer closely related to what we had in mind and showing that she has a good understanding of our work.
The auditor has already started her work and examined our financial documents, reports, annual plans, and budget. We have shown her the tools we use in our daily work (Trello, Discord, Google Drive, IRC) and minutes from some Board meetings (both the ones held by the current and the previous Board).
October will be the month of introducing the organization to our expert through the eyes and words of people engaged in it - Board members (current and former), the Review Board and Peer Tribunal, staff members, and representatives of the volunteer community. All the conversations will be private and we strongly encourage all people who participate in them to use this opportunity to be very honest and open and to be bold in sharing what (in their opinion) could be improved, what does not work well. We make an effort to ensure that as many of those conversations are held face-to-face but if it is not possible (some volunteers have privacy concerns, some do not want to engage in a live meeting) we schedule calls. As for now, we have the full schedule ready. And it was not an easy task - we needed to organize meetings for 28 people, who are from different parts of Poland and (apart from the WMPL staff) have their professional obligations outside the Wikimedia world which makes the amounts of time they can donate to the process limited, as most of them are dedicated volunteers. The meetings will be held in 3 different cities: Warsaw, Cracow (where the auditor is located), and Łódź (where our office is). The auditor will also join us during our Wiktionary and Wikisource conference which will be an opportunity to see directly how we organize events (and to hold some interviews with people for whom it would be difficult to schedule a live meeting without this occasion).
We have seen that the community is showing very positive reactions to the audit - our volunteers are happy to donate their time for the interviews and to share their view of the chapter with the expert. We treat this as a sign that the engaged community that cares about Wikimedia Polska and is ready to help it grow is still one of our most valuable assets.
After conducting the interviews our consultant will gather more input during the SWOT and Ashridge mission model workshops. The SWOT workshops will be held separately for the Board and for the staff and volunteers to see whether their views of the organization's strength and potential match or whether they see Wikimedia Polska somewhat differently.
The findings and recommendations gathered in the final report will be published for the community to read and discuss (also in English on Meta). We will also present them during the Wikimedia Polska Winter Retreat conference in January 2019.