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Grants:PEG/WM US-DC/Wiki Loves Monuments 2012 USA

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This submission to the Wikimedia Foundation Grants Program was funded in the fiscal year 2012-13. This is a grant to an organization.

IMPORTANT: Please do not make changes to this page now. They will be reverted.

  • This project has been funded, completed, and a project report has been reviewed and accepted by WMF Staff.
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Legal name of organization or individual requesting this grant
Wikimedia District of Columbia
For organizations: Are you a for-profit entity? Registered nonprofit corporation.
For organizations: If non-profit (US) or equivalent (outside the US) status is available in your country, do you have or are you pursuing such status (please be specific): 501(c)(3) public charity, pending IRS recognition
Grant contact name
James Hare
Grant contact username or email
User:Harej, james.hare(_AT_)wikidc.org
Grant contact title (position)
Project lead name
Nicholas Bashour
Project lead username or email
User:AutoGyro, nicholas.bashour(_AT_)wikidc.org
Project lead title (position), if any
Full project name
USA Wiki Loves Monuments 2012
Amount requested in USD or local currency (USD will be assumed if no other currency is specified)
$3,750 approved amount: $2,750
Provisional target start date
September 1, 2012
Provisional completion date
December 31, 2012

Project goal


This year will be the first year that Wiki Loves Monuments, the international Wikipedia photo contest, will be held in the United States. The U.S. is home to thousands of beautiful historical and natural monuments. With Wiki Loves Monuments and its related events, our goal is to substantially increase the number of freely licensed photographs of these monuments on Wikimedia Commons, and to enhance Wikipedia coverage of these monument. While many of our activities have already been funded, we need financial assistance for certain Wiki Loves Monuments incidentals as well as administrative costs. After Wiki Loves Monuments, we plan to continue our outreach in our chapter's region, capitalizing on the excitement from Wikimania 2012 and Wiki Loves Monuments.

Project scope


Wiki Loves Monuments started out in 2010 as a small photo contest in the Netherlands. In 2011, it grew to include several European countries and helped add over 165,000 freely licensed photographs to Wikimedia Commons. In 2012, Wiki Loves Monuments is expanding again, with the goal of encouraging worldwide participation. Wikimedians in the United States decided to jump on board and Wikimedia District of Columbia signed on to manage and implement outreach and logistical aspects of the contest in the United States.

Due to its nature, Wiki Loves Monuments is an event that requires the participation of hundreds of people throughout the United States, many of whom may never have contributed to Wikipedia or Wikimedia projects in general. Our goal is to get people excited for Wiki Loves Monuments and provide inviduals and groups, both those new to Wikimedia as well as seasoned contributors, with logistic and financial support so that they may participate fully in Wiki Loves Monuments. We plan to hold events that will get people excited about this contest while, at the same time, inform them of the proper ways of participating and encourage them to continue their participation in Wikimedia projects even after the contest is over.

While Wiki Loves Monuments is a photo contest focused on Wikimedia Commons, we plan on using the energy of this international event to improve contributions to other Wikimedia projects. We plan to tie everything together with Wiki Loves Monuments by keeping monuments and historical sites as the central theme of all events planned in September and early October.

Planned local events

  • US National Historic Landmarks Edit-a-Thon—(tentatively scheduled for Oct / Nov) This will be a day-long event during the weekend, which would include training sessions for new contributors. The focus of this edit-a-thon will be articles related to the US National Historic Landmarks Program, which would include many landmarks and buildings eligible for being photographed as Wiki Loves Monuments entries. The goal is to have high-quality articles to go with the high-quality Wiki Loves Monuments photos. In addition, high-quality articles that come out of this edit-a-thon will go on to be included in our QRpedia Challenge (see below), so that high-quality Wiki Loves Monuments photographs will not only be associated with great articles on the English Wikipedia, but also on other Wikipedias.
  • Wikipedia Takes Baltimore— (tentatively in late Sept) We are working with Baltimore Heritage to hold a Wikipedia Takes Baltimore photo scavenger hunt in September. We hope to attract new people to contribute to Wikimedia, with their photographs, and strengthen the Wikimedia community in Baltimore. We are planning to follow-up with an edit-a-thon and Wikipedia workshop at the Pratt Library in October, and an edit-a-thon at the Jewish Museum of Maryland later in the fall.
  • We will be holding our own Wikipedia Takes DC (early Sept) event similar to the one above.
  • Other various events and activities, in support of ongoing partnerships with National Archives, Smithsonian, Library of Congress, DC Public Library, etc., including Wikipedia Loves Libraries events in DC and Baltimore in Oct / Nov.
  • We plan a series of more informal upload meetups during the month of September, in support of Wiki Loves Monuments.


  • For September, our Microgrant program (previously funded at $2,500) will aim to support individuals and groups in the United States who would like to host Wiki Loves Monuments events throughout the United States. Some funding is important for event organizers to provide small prizes, along with pizza, snacks, etc. during the upload party following the photo scavenger hunts. Getting people to follow up on their own with uploading can be a challenge, especially if they are newbies and unfamiliar with Wikimedia Commons. Through our Microgrant program, Wikimedia DC will be able to facilitate participation throughout the country.

Wiki Loves Monuments coordination

  • Wiki Loves Monuments Incidentals—These are general costs for the entire Wiki Loves Monuments month that are not associated with a particular event. They include prizes for Wiki Loves Monuments finalists and winners, and professional printing costs for finalist and winning photographs as we seek temporary exhibit space for them in the Washington, DC area.
  • Web hosting—Our website at Linode will need to be upgraded to serve millions of visitors for Wiki Loves Monuments, so for September and October we are upgrading our web hosting to accommodate the increased traffic.

Budget breakdown


Previously funded

  • Microgrants—$2,500 available from Events 2012 funding. During September, the program will give priority to Wiki Loves Monuments programming. Unspent microgrant funding will be made available for other purposes after Wiki Loves Monuments.
  • Edit-a-thons and GLAM programs

We mention these already funded items to demonstrate the full scope of our Wiki Loves Monuments and Fall outreach programs.

Requested funds

Wiki Loves Monuments Prizes $1,500
Printing costs for images of winning and finalist photographs from 2012 for display $1,000
Web Hosting $250
Cost Buffer (not funded) $1,000
Total request $3,750

Non-financial requirements


We would like the help of the Wikimania Foundation's press and communications team in press outreach and communication about Wiki Loves Monuments.

We request the donation of one hundred Wikipedia t-shirts.

Fit to strategy


This project fits within the Wikimedia Foundation's strategic plan in several ways:

  • Increasing Reach & Participation (more people being able to access or contribute to Wikipedia or our other projects): Our events are designed not only to get existing editors excited, but to recruit new contributors. Our Wikipedia-focused events, such as the edit-a-thon, are designed so that even those who have never contributed to Wikipedia before, or those who are intimidated by MediaWiki's interface, can still contribute substantially to Wikipedia. By having experienced writers and translators work off-wiki—if that is their preference—and then have their edits incorporated into Wikipedia by more experienced Wikipedians, we will work to ensure that articles on Wikipedia reach the highest levels of quality. After all, it's not the number of articles, edits, or editors that make Wikipedia great, but rather the number of quality articles.
  • Increasing Quality (more useful content or higher quality existing content): As stated above, our focus, whether in Commons or Wikipedia contributions, will be about quality edits. That's why we plan on having novice contributors work alongside experienced Wikipedians, so that even those who are not comfortable with the MediaWiki interface and would prefer to write off-wiki can still have their edits incorporated into Wikipedia with the help of more experienced Wikipedians. This, of course, will be a great way to get more people to become invested now before the introduction of a fully-functional visual editor on Wikipedia, when editing Wikipedia will be easier for the general population.
  • Increasing Credibility (more trust in our projects): The partnerships and collaborations we plan on pursuing during this month will serve to raise the credibility and reach of the Foundation, its projects, and its chapters. By showcasing the great work that contributors have submitted last year to Wiki Loves Monuments 2011, and through the press and social media coverage we hope to get through this event, more people will become aware of how Commons can be a great resource of quality, beautiful images that are all free-use.
  • Improving Organizational Maturity and Effectiveness (how it will move your chapter or the Wikimedia community as a whole forward): being a successful nonprofit in the Washington, DC area requires instant brand and name recognition and trust. As we worked to build our brand as a Wikimedia chapter, we found that many organizations are initially hesitant to work with us because they knew nothing about us or have not worked with us in the past. We have found this to be most true of embassies as we try to work with them in our Embassy Outreach Initiative. We were specifically told that one embassy is hesitant to work with an organization they do not recognize. Unfortunately, in the DC area, there still remains the stigma in some circles that we're either somehow associated with WikiLeaks, which we are obviously not, and that Wikipedia is not to be taken seriously for things such as disseminating research or health information or for effective use by other nonprofits. Wiki Loves Monuments events will help us continue to build our positive brand and name recognition in the area, and will help us in building our contacts, which will help make it much easier for us going forward to forge more relationships and partnerships and get more organizations and nonprofits to be involved in our projects.
  • Financial Sustainability (how it will help your chapter achieve more in the long run): As stated above, this period for us is all about building brand and name recognition for our organization through implementation of effective and substantial projects that add to the quality and credibility of Wikimedia projects. Having financial assistance from the Foundation to carry out these events, and particularly financial assistance for logistical support such as maintaining an office space, will help us continue to grow and move forward. Before we can seek funding from other sources, we need to be able to demonstrate to potential donors that we have a track record for successful events and outcomes.

Other benefits


One of our goals in this month of events is to get some professional photographers to release their photos under a Creative Commons license. Professional photographers take many pictures—only a handful of which end up in publication. By reaching out to them through our events, and showing them that Commons is a proper venue for photographic expression, we hope to get them to contribute even a small portion of their unpublished work.

We hope, at the conclusion of the month, to persuade one of the galleries or museums in the Washington, DC area to host a temporary exhibit of finalist and winning photographs from Wiki Loves Monuments 2012. At this exhibit, we will not only showcase the winning photographs, but will work on improving articles associated with them, and on linking those articles to the photographs through QRpedia.

Measures of success


There are clear, quantitative measures of success:

  1. How many articles and blog posts were written about Wiki Loves Monuments in the US as a result of our events?
  2. How many people signed up for other Wiki Loves Monuments events throughout September as a result of our events?
  3. How many new photographs were contributed from the US to Wikimedia Commons during the month of September?
  4. How many objects from the National Building Museum's collection were digitized during our events with them?
  5. How many articles were translated into how many languages during our DC QRpedia Challenge?
  6. How many articles were improved during our various Wiki Loves Monuments-related edit-a-thons?
  7. Did we successfully get any professional photographers to contribute photos to Wikimedia Commons?
  8. Did we successfully persuade a gallery or museum to have a temporary Wiki Loves Monuments exhibit?

Team members (optional)

  • Peter Ekman—United States coordinator for Wiki Loves Monuments
  • Nicholas Michael Bashour—Wikimedia DC President
  • James Hare—Wikimedia DC Treasurer
  • Lisa Marrs—Wikimedia DC Outreach & Program Coordination Intern, assistant coordinator
  • Tom Risen—Wikimedia DC Vice-President, press relations
  • Katie Filbert—Wikimedia DC Board Member, remote technical assistance
  • Tiffany Smith—Wikimedia DC Board Member, Edit-a-thons and related events
  • Kristin Anderson—Wikimedia DC Board Member, Edit-a-thons and related events
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