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Grants:TPS/Build/Spring 2014 sprint

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This page is a workplan for a revamp we're starting in Spring 2014 on the Travel and Participation Support Program. This is the first sprint planned as part of this revamp.



Main page


We want a friendly, warm and simple design - let's make the steps for applying to the program and getting this kind of grant really clear and simple.

Travel to external events
  • surface only what an applicant needs to know in order to decide to apply and manage their grant. bureaucratic details about the program can be held elsewhere and linked where necessary.
  • focus on 1 primary call to action, and 2 secondary calls:
    • P1: apply (everything about applying, including eligibility)
    • P2: review (list of what's open, calls to endorse, links to older applications, info about the committee and how decisions are made?)
    • P2: participate (info for grantees related to administration, reporting info, list of current reports to be accepted, and link to past reports)
  • remember it needs to be translate-able :)
  • an area on the page about Wikimania scholars should be considered too - WMF plans to start administering those scholarships under the umbrella of TPS, so some info about Wikimania scholarships should be included here in TPS (list of scholars, their reporting requirements and reporting, and link to applications process when open - note, a new page with this info now exists, but it is unintegrated with the rest of TPS).
Room to expand scope
  • in the future, we may expand our small grant offerings in TPS to include other things too, so let's consider room and needs for:
    • more scholarships to Wikimedia events
    • microgrants for small things (meetups food under $500, say)
    • a spot to request merchandise for events



We want applications to be quick and easy to submit and review.

Minimum info that we want to collect from an applicant
  • User name
  • User location (country)
  • Event name & link to website
  • Event date(s) & location (city)
  • Amount requested (remember to specify currency!)
  • Budget
    • +guidance on how to make budget
  • Disbursement preference
    • WMF books for you (our preference)
    • Disbursement before the event
    • Disbursement after the event
  • How will you be an active participant at the event?
  • What do you hope to accomplish as a result of your participation? (focus on outcomes, rather than impact)
  • How will you share back with your community after the event? (link to reporting requirement, examples)
  • Endorsements (spot for community endorsements with clear call to action)
  • the way we ask for info can be made a bit simpler and friendlier, with language phrased from the applicant's point of view.
  • strategic impact of any 1 travel grant is really small, not something that applicants should be expected to consider (though committee should). instead of impact, we can ask about outcomes.
  • consider adding an infobox as we have for IEG proposals? This may make sense to include in early design, but wait to deploy until we've got a Form-wizard from the IdeaLab sprint that makes the box easy to create w/o tons of markup :)



We want a clear call to action so that people can more easily endorse, and get endorsements.

  • Ideal workflow for endorsing - alternatively, we can go with the current wiki-markup-method used in Learning Patterns.
  • Can we come up with a way that encourages people to actively seek endorsements? Some language and a link to use when sharing? (yes, I want a canvassing tool! sigh)


Minimum info we want to collect from a grantee
  • What was the name of the event you attended? Event name
  • Demonstration of outcomes, choose your own adventure. Answer just one of the following:
    • What was the most useful outcome of the event? (submit link to something you and others created as a result of participating in this event)
    • What did you learn? (submit link to a Learning Pattern)
    • How are you sharing something from your experience back with your community? (link to a blog post or newsletter you wrote, or meetup you organized to share your experience with others)
  • Finances: (detail, total, amount over/under budget)
  • Anything else you want to tell us about your experience?
  • Removing the strategic impact question makes reporting easier - it is a hoop that applicants aren’t well equipped to answer, we can’t expect (nor do we see) lots of strategic impact from 1 person going to an event, so it seems odd to ask this at the individual level
  • Removing the description of participation section makes less work for grantees and reviewers - some people write a really long detailed account about everything that happened there, and nothing is used from it later (1-3 people read it, signoff, and then it gets buried) so it seems like a waste of time. Replacing this with something more re-usable seems worth trying.
  • We are going to try this same reporting pattern for Wikimania scholars, minus the finances section.



We need to make advance disbursements a more viable option, and wire transfer fees a non-issue.

Design changes
  • Surface in application process that they should ask for funds to cover wire transfer fees if their bank charges it (or we can add this to the agreement process instead?).
  • Surface in application process our offer to book travel directly, and secondary options for advance disbursement.
Process changes
  • Looking into alternatives to wires with finance team. Western Union or Paypal may be other options.
  • Revise grant agreement to a simple, short, email for TPS and Wikimania scholars.
  • Bake into grant agreement process the collection of info we need to route them to WMF's travel agency, which we'll use for direct booking of most airfare/hotel.
  • Streamline travel setup process w/ agency.

See also