Grants:Simple/Applications/Wikimedia South Africa/2019

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Application or grant stage: grant in progress
Applicant or grantee: applicant
Amount requested: R225,280.00(US$15,242.22)
Amount granted: R225,280.00(US$15,242.22)
Funding period: 1 July 2019 - 30 June 2020
Recommended application date: 1 April 2019 (draft)
Midpoint report due: 15 January 2020
Final report due: 30 July 2020

Please link to or provide your annual program plan and annual budget here, and add your targets to the grants metrics worksheet.



These two requests are required of first-time applicants. In future years, you can use reports to substitute for these requirements.

  1. Link to one program story that showcases your organization's achievements in the past year.
    Here is a link to the report delivered at the Wikimedia ZA Annual General meeting to chapter members on activities for 2018. Since the vast bulk of WMZA chapter funding came from the 2018 grant budget this report exenstively coveres activies funded by that grant in addition to other act ivies funded from other sources (donations, membership dues, Wikimania 2018 grant).
Wikimedia ZA 2018 AGM Report
  1. Link to one learning story you have created or contributed to, that demonstrates how your organization documents and applies learning.
    The single largest learning from 2018 we had, and this issue came up repeatedly in during the chapter AGM, is that we can not maintain our current level of momentum on volunteers alone. We as a chapter have reached a point now where we need to hire staff members. This will allow the chapter to have the time and human-hours necessary to invest in partnership building and outreach in addition to completing important administrative tasks that are currently being done haphazardly and at the convenience of volunteers handing the tasks.

Link to these documents, for the upcoming funding period, only if you have them.

  1. Link to your organization's staffing plan, for the upcoming funding period. Staffing Plan for 2019
  2. Link to your annual plan, for the upcoming funding period. Annual plan 2019
  3. Link to your strategic plan, which includes the upcoming funding period. Strategic Plan 2019

Please add your grants metrics to this sheet. Note that requirements for shared metrics have changed for grants starting 1 January 2017 or later. Grants with start dates before 1 January 2017 should still use the old Global Metrics.

Grant metrics for 2019


Please see Annual Plan 2019 for a matrix of programs to be implemented and their goals.

Wikimedia ZA has only two programs for 2019. Namely Outreach and Chapter Support. Each program is made up of multiple projects. The Outreach program is focused on expanding public awareness of, and interaction with, the chapter and other free knowledge projects. By expanding awareness and increasing interactions with people outside of the free knowledge movement it is envisioned that both support for the chapter the movement will grow. This growth is envisioned to come in the form of increased chapter membership and content on free knowledge projects such as Wikipedia. The Chapter Support program is focused on activities that will strengthen the South African chapter in particular and other regional user groups in Africa generally (and as a secondary objective). These include activities that grow chapter membership, make it easier for chapter members to support/contribute to free knowledge projects such as Wikipedia or Commons, the functioning of the chapter and its expanding chapter capacity.

A key objective for the chapter in 2019 to leverage our hosting of Wikimania 2018 in South Africa to better meet the goals of both programs. 2019 is envisioned as a critical year for the chapter due to the need to follow up on the success of hosting Wikimania 2018.

Currently the chapter has maximised its capacity to implement program projects given its exclusive reliance on volunteers and total absence of any paid positions. This has been identified by the chapter in 2018 as a key limitation. This has been somewhat mitigated in 2018 by the outsourcing of bookkeeping activities to Copia, a private bookkeeping service, so as to ensure proper financial tracking over all chapter activities.


Our outreach program as gained more traction since hosting Wikimania 2018 in Cape Town. We now have more partners and increased public awareness of the chapter, its purpose, goals, and works. An important objective for the chapter is to leverage the awareness generated from hosting Wikimania 2018 to further expand our outreach capabilities, impact and partners. The increase in chapter partners from 2018 includes The University of Cape Town, Moleskine Foundation, Code4Africa, ReCreate South Africa, and Orms Photographic Warehouse. In 2019 the chapter plans to expand this to include Rhodes University, Cape Town TV, SouthSouthNorth, and the Puku Foundation.

Strength #1 - More experienced chapter and chapter members:

In the past 8 years, since the chapters founding in 2012, Wikimedia South Africa has gained practices, statistical data, cases, experienced volunteers, and teaching materials. 2017 was an important year for the chapter in getting motivated volunteers in preparation for Wikimania 2018 whilst 2018 was an important year in training and mobilizing those volunteers. This has made us more confident in both maintaining, and expanding, the number of our partners as well as further increasing the profile of the chapter.

Strength #2 - More highly motivated volunteers:

The hosting of Wikimania 2018 has greatly motivated and mobilized South African chapter members to volunteer in organising and hosting chapter events and programs. This has expanded the chapters capacity.

Strength #3 - More opportunities in South Africa:

Hosting Wikimania 2018 has produced a noticeable increase in excitement and interest by partner organisations to work with the chapter. This has resulted in more opportunities to implement outreach projects.

Challenge #1 - Lack capacity:

The key limiting constraint for the chapter is a lack of chapter capacity due to our exclusive reliance on volunteers. As such we will need to be selective about which projects to implement in 2019, which to reject, and which to move to 2020.

Challenge #2 - Lack of a detailed long term strategy:

The program lacks a detailed long term strategy thereby impacting planning and implementation. More importantly chapter members are not fully aware of this programs goals and basic strategy. This means that beyond basic objectives such as "increased chapter membership" or "improved free knowledge content" this little understanding of how to achieve these goals or what/if there are other more meaningful goals to be pursued. It has also resulted in limited connections and overall integration of all of the projects programs.

Challenge #3 - Geography:

South Africa is a relatively large with a chapter that is spread between two urban areas at opposite ends of the country. Currently most chapter members are based in or around the City of Cape Town or the Johannesburg. This means that most events happen in these two urban areas. It also makes coordination between chapter volunteers located in these two cities more difficult. Finding a way to better coordinate and communicate between those located in the two cities is important and also highlights the need for travel between the two points to better bridge this gap. This problem also highlights a bigger problem of over centralising activities in or around only two urban centers to the neglect of the rest of the country. As such efforts and resources need to be made aviable for travel to projects located outside of the two aforementioned cities.


  1. Implementation of the following projects:
  1. African Language Outreach
  2. Afrikaans Writing Competition
  3. KwaZulu Natal activation
  4. Wiki Loves Africa 2019: South Africa
  5. General Outreach

SMART goals

Please see the matrix on WMZA's annual plan 2019.

Chapter Support

This program exists to support local editors to contribute to Wikimedia projects and participate in broader community. Since hosting Wikimania 2018 the chapter has experienced a significant growth in chapter membership. In order to keep and further grow chapter membership we will need to provide members with support services and further grow our ability to implement administrative tasks.

The hiring of a bookkeeping service in 2018 has greatly increased the chapters financial capabilities whilst reducing pressure on volunteers who previously did this task. The chapter recognises the importance of this service and will continue to utilize these bookkeeping services so as to ensure financial accountability and tracking.

In 2018 the chapter experimented with hiring a secretary service to provide part time support services for chapter members. This included setting up and managing a micro-donations system, communicating with chapter members, and managing the chapter membership roster. The chapter is interested in continuing this service in 2019 in lue of any hired staff to manage these important day-to-day chapter functions.

Strength #1 - Enhanced financial abilities:

With the utilization of a bookkeeping service (Copia) and the establishment of a treasury committee (made up of three board members) the chapter now has a robust financial management system in place. Thereby allowing for the effective distribution of funds in a more accountable, transparent, and organised manner.

Strength #2 - Strong community:

Wikimania 2018 has greatly strengthened the free knowledge community in South Africa. Community members have a clear sense of purpose (sum of human knowledge for everyone for free) with a clear understanding of our core goals. The chapter estimates that around 10% of all Wikipedia editors in South Africa are now chapter members. Additionally the chapter has a better understanding of the free knowledge community generally and there is healthy cooperative relationship between community members. The chapter intends to further strengthen this culture of friendly community cooperation between members whilst also growing the community generally. And specifically grow the community, the chapter and the chapter board in a way that better reflects the demographics of South Africa. The number of people volunteering to run or participate in chapter activities has greatly increased.

Strength #3 - Good partners:

Over the years the chapter has developed a network of partner organisations to help achieve chapter goals. This includes the chapter relationship with ReCreate South Africa as part of the chapter's effort at Copyright legal reform, the relationship with the University of Cape Town and library networks to help grow free media content on Wikipedia, and with other organisations to improve language outreach. However more work needs to be done in this area to strengthen relationships and grow new ones.

Challenge #1 - Lack of capacity:

The key limiting constraint for the chapter is a lack of chapter capacity due to our exclusive reliance on volunteers. As such we will need to be selective about which community support projects to implement in 2019, which to reject, and which to move to 2020. We are also considering further using a remote secretary service to provide core administrative services to chapter members.

Challenge #2 - Lack of diversity:

Currently chapter membership, board membership, and the overall profile of free knowledge participant volunteers (such as Wikipedia editors) does not reflect the demographics of South Africa. There is a distinct lack of female and non-binary community members as well as black community members. In addition to growing the community generally the chapter needs to grow the number of black and female community members specifically.

Challenge #3 - Geography:

Providing support to a chapter that is based across the country and coordinating volunteers primarily located in two different cities is a challenge. This is partly offset by the centralisation of chapter members in Cape Town and Johannesburg however the distance between the two cities is quite large which can made logistics difficult and expensive.


Chapter support efforts help with promoting the following goals:

  1. WMZA Corporate maturity
  2. Wikimania 2019 Scholarships
  3. Copyright advocacy support*
  4. Cape Town TV Hackathon event
* These actions include public copyright reform advocacy and knowledge sharing about the movement broadly. Copyright reform will create a friendlier local atmosphere for local editors making it easier for them to contribute to Wikipedia. Initiating activities such as writing competitions and de-stubathons will increase South African related content and/or support local language Wikipedias. No Wikimedia Foundation grant funding will go to this activity.

SMART goals

Please see the matrix on WMZA's annual plan 2019.


Wikimedia ZA currently has no staff or any plans to hire staff in 2019.

Budget and resource plan[edit]

Please see budget and resource plan for detailed information.