Supporting mission-aligned people and organizations around the world to increase the quantity, quality, diversity and reach of free knowledge.
Please see Grants Strategy Relaunch 2020-2021
The Wikimedia Foundation Community Resources team, Wikimedia contributors, and affiliate organizations work together.
We find and fund innovative and important projects, and evaluate and share the impact of the work being done across the movement. In addition to financial support, we provide grantees with tools, mentorship, and opportunities to tell their own stories and share their knowledge.
Our participatory grantmaking process is founded on wiki principles.
The Community Resources team's goals and targets are developed in collaboration with the volunteer communities we serve. Decisions about which proposals to fund are made on public wikis and in cooperation with volunteers and affiliates.
We support impact-driven projects.
The non-profit Wikimedia Foundation is supported primarily by individual donors — readers and content contributors who believe in our mission and rely on our high quality free content. The role of the Community Resources team is to re-invest a portion of that budget back into our movement by supporting projects that further our mission. We develop strong evaluation frameworks and effective strategies for grants, in order to build on past successes and learn from our failures. Our research uses both quantitative and qualitative elements of measuring the impact of grants. Our learning and evaluation team helps our movement as a whole better understand how to realize our ambitious goals, and how to build a wider culture of self-assessment, critical thinking, and knowledge sharing within the Wikimedia movement.
We encourage projects that provide opportunities to reach the Wikimedia movement's goal of spreading participation in free culture across boundaries of language, gender, and geography. We seek out opportunities for growth in under-represented demographics, smaller and newer Wikimedia projects, and emerging communities. We focus on providing individuals within these communities with information and tools to help them succeed.
We believe that a diversity of perspectives is crucial to increasing the quality of the free knowledge resources that our movement provides. Grants can be a powerful tool for encouraging the growth of new projects, supporting the participation of new Wikimedians from more countries and cultures, and for increasing the diversity of contributions within mature projects and in geographies with established communities of contributors. Our goal is to develop and execute an innovative grantmaking strategy that promotes growth among under-resourced and emerging regions, languages, and communities in our movement. We support strategies for narrowing the gender gap in terms of both content and contributors.
Wikipedia and the Wikimedia movement have shown the world what individuals can achieve. Grantmaking at WMF follows the paradigm of our free culture projects of empowering individuals to work collaboratively to make positive change in their own communities. We entrust our grantees with the responsibility to design and lead their own projects, while providing them with resources to help those projects succeed.
Wikimedia Grantmaking is a collaboration between grantees, WMF staff, volunteer committees, and Wikimedians from across the globe. We connect people from dozens of Wikimedia projects and geographies within our worldwide free culture movement.
Grantees are the prime movers of Wikimedia Grantmaking. They identify new opportunities and unmet needs within their local communities and wiki projects, propose projects, and see them through to completion. Grantees work with WMF staff, committee members, and other community volunteers to plan their projects, implement their ideas, measure impact, and share what they learned.
The Wikimedia Foundation's Community Resources team supports six grantmaking streams and Wikimania scholarships—Conference and Travel Support, Project and Rapid Grants, and Simple and FDC Annual Plan Grants. There are six grants program officers, a grants administrator, a conference organizer, and a community organizer. Community Resources staff work closely with WMF's Learning & Evaluation, Education, Wikipedia Library, Community Liaison, Community Advocacy, Analytics, Legal, Finance, and Executive teams.
Grantmaking committee members are the primary advisors and decision-makers within our grants programs. Our five committees are made up of contributors from different language Wikipedia and sister projects, and include volunteer participants from around the world. Committee members provide guidance and feedback to grant applicants, supporting prospective grantees throughout the proposal and review process. Grantmaking committees work with WMF staff to disburse over $8 million in annual funding.
Strong community participation is critical to our success. The broader Wikimedia community participates in grantmaking processes in important ways. Community members endorse and comment on grant proposals, brainstorm bold new initiatives in the IdeaLab, and share knowledge through Learning Patterns. They often participate with specific projects by offering their expertise, such as evaluation support or design help. Multilingual Wikimedians take the lead on translating and localizing grantmaking portals, instructional documentation, project reports, and blog posts, making the process and the outcomes of WMF grantmaking more accessible and engaging to non-English speakers.
We value bold ideas and data-driven innovation. Effective grantmaking requires community involvement at every point in the process. Our community portals provide shared workspaces for proposing and refining new ideas, asking questions, and sharing valuable lessons.