Grants talk:APG/Proposals/2012-2013 round1/Wikimédia France/Proposal form

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Wikimédia France received a funds allocation in the amount of 94,000 in 2012-2013 Round 1. This funds allocation was recommended by the Funds Dissemination Committee on 15 November 2012 and approved by the WMF Board of Trustees on 1 December 2012.


Please note that the proposals are now closed to community response. Thanks to all for your engagement with the Community Review process, and for your questions. FDC members, FDC staff, and entity representatives will still be communicating on these discussion pages over the next few weeks, but entities will not be responding to questions from anyone other than the FDC or FDC Staff.


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Few clarifying questions regarding financials[edit]

Hello WMFR, I have some clarifying preliminary questions on your financials. I have also put some additional questions based on possible feedback. I would love to have your clarifications on these questions and any additional information that you think might help our understanding. Here are the questions (please give your answers below the questions for better understanding):

  1. You have mentioned that your current fiscal year is from 1st July to 30th June (and earlier it was calender year until 2011). Then why is your funding request for 18 months till 31st December 2013 (given the fact that it splits your fiscal year 2013-14 into two and increase computation difficulty)?
    We do not really have the choice :
    • We had cash but not enough to cover our fiscal year budget (ended june 2013) with our planned developpement without FDC funds.
    • Our recruitment plan straddles two tax years. It is consistent. It would not be realistic to present a such lan just over 12 months
    • We have the tax constraint that Wikimedia France has to use at least 50% of the collected funds and it not authorized to transfert more than 50% to a foreign charity without the risk to lost our charity status.
    • For the future, we probably submit for the FDC in round 2 in March and so back to an adapted cycle to our fiscal year.
  2. Your total budgeted expanse for the upcoming year is $1,396,652 out of which you plan to receive $961,109 from FDC and $20,019 from non-FDC sources. You also mentioned that remaining $415,524 will be funded from previous fiscal year's reserve (less 6 months payroll provision). However, there is a balance fund of $642,844 as per your 'Year to date actuals' and you are provisioning $ 227,320 for 6 months payroll only. Why no other expense is included there for this 6 months time period your are mentioning (i.e. expenses for programs and activities)?
    We are not speaking for one year but for 18 months. In France, a NGO is normally not able to keep funds from year to an another if its raise funds annually, the 6 months payroll is a tolerance.
  3. Would you please give the date you considered for 'Year to date actuals' and the actual time frame your are provisioning the payroll for (i.e. from this date to that date)?
    Year to date : October 1th
    Provisionning the payroll : from January 1th 2014 to June 30th 2014 (the 6 months following our FDC budget)

(have some additional clarifying questions but hope to post them tomorrow due to time constraint) - Ali Haidar Khan (Tonmoy) (talk) 20:25, 14 October 2012 (UTC)

Clarifying questions from FDC staff[edit]

Thank you for your proposal! Please respond to the questions below; do not hesitate to reach out in case you need any clarifications.

Budget and finances[edit]

  1. Please confirm the following information:
    1. Current year budget: USD 1,591,000
      No. This is our former 2012 budget (share given to the WMF - 50% of donations less fundraising fees - included). As we have changed of financial period during 2012, this budget is out-of-date but is here the best referential we could give (due to a mediawiki syntax mistake, the Table 3 comments do not appear, you can only see it on the Edit mode, sorry for that).
    2. Proposed year budget: USD 1,396,652
      This is our 18 months FDC budget
    3. Current year movement grants received/amount retained from the fundraiser: USD 451,193
      How do you find this figure ? Could you precise amount you want to be confirmed.
    4. Proposed year funds requested (from FDC): USD 961,109
      Yes
  2. Please confirm your entity’s cash reserve position (it appears you have a large cash reserve of USD 415,000 from the previous year):
    1. Yes, on June 30th 2012 (including our future payroll reserve)
    2. How much do you have in your reserves now?
      Roughly USD 320,000 (included our future payroll reserve)
    3. How much do you expect to have by the start of the planning year period?
      Our planning period has already started as we've changed of financial year, it has begun July 1th, 2012. So USD 415,000.
      Please explain here how WMFR defines "cash reserve". Thanks, Wolliff (talk) 21:47, 23 October 2012 (UTC)
  3. Please explain why such a large reserve was established. What is your long-term policy and strategy towards operating reserves?
    For two main reasons and a secondary one :
    • we do not have done our planned hiring for example the Francophonie position was planned too earlier.
    • our programs cost less than expected, as some cost have been paid by our partner.
    • we were also saving on our operating costs.
    We learn from this. Our public auditor also warned us about this reserve. That explains our 18 months budget to combine a coherent and realistic development and full but rational use of our reserves. We are developping regulatory tools like cost accountings ones with our accounter. It will allow better monitoring of the budget and a potential quaterly budget revision by the board.
  4. As asked above, please explain why you are asking for an 18 month allocation from the FDC when the process is meant to support annual plans?
    It's the best solution despite calculation or more difficult comparability of information. We have changed of financial year this year so our current financial year (begun in July) was not full funded so we can't wait for Round 2. We must also manage the French tax rules by which we must manage at least 50% of the donations collected or risk losing our charity status. And we have to use our reserve. A 18 month allocation permit to handle this constraints.
This is rather confusing, and needs some elaboration and clarity. Please explain why an 18 month plan is required in order to be in compliance with tax laws and NGO laws in France? If the reason is to rationalise the process such that the FDC proposal is coordinated with the WMFR fiscal year, then why did WMFR decide not to apply for Round 2 of the FDC process (given its current reserve)? --ASengupta (WMF) (talk) 00:30, 24 October 2012 (UTC)
You're true it's not easy to understand. To put it in simple terms :
  • If we opt for a fiscal year plan (July 2012 to June 2013) but decide to wait for round 2, we face 2 problems :
    • we are too short in our budget with only our current cash (except if we do a low development than planned) and round 2 begin in March, so with discussions, validation, it will end nearly to the end of our fiscal year (June)
    • we will have 50% of the 2012 fundraising we have to handle ourself to respect French tax rules, on our bank account in early 2013, with no allocation.
  • If we opt for a fiscal year plan (July 2012 to June 2013) but decide to submit for round 1, we face one problem : we will have to allocate our current cash + 50 % of the 2012 fundraising in a 12 months budget but we think it was not realistic, specially for our recruitment plan so will end again our fiscal year with excess cash we absolutly want to avoid.
That's explain the 18 months FDC submit even if I agree is not the ideal plan because it complicates the task of the FDC and ours.
TCY (talk) 17:57, 25 October 2012 (UTC)

Missing or unclear data[edit]

  1. Please clarify if the data in Table 3 is for the past fiscal year (July 2011 - June 2012); in which case, what is the spending for this current fiscal year (July 2012 onwards)?
    Sorry, due to an improper Mediawiki syntax, table 3 comments do not appear on the Content page (you can only see in Edit mode). The comment is :
    "(1) 2012 budget : during the first 2012 semester, Wikimédia France decided, on the recommendation of its public financial auditor (Commissaire aux comptes) a transition from an accounting calendar year to a July-June accounting year. Our annual budget decided in the beginning of 2012 was lapsed. But this 2012 budget is probably the best referential here.
    (2) included cash of the end of 2011 : 175 000 € / 218 960 $"
    Our last "full" financial year was January 2011 - December 2011. We have a transitional "mid" financial year from January 2012 to June 2012 (auditing in progress, have to be approved during our next GA, December 1th). We are currently now in our new period financial year from July 2012 to June 2013. TCY (talk) 23:16, 20 October 2012 (UTC)
    What is the explanation of the significant under-spending in the past year (at 65% of planned budget)? Can you provide more detail on whether you feel you're on track for hitting spending projections for the current year?
    65% is a year-to-date (year = 2012, date = October 1th) so it's 65% vs planned 75 % (3/4 of the year) and not 100 %.
    The difference could be explain by a delay in our hiring and less expenses on our projects, part of planned cost were covered by our partners. TCY (talk) 23:16, 20 October 2012 (UTC)
  2. Can you provide a link to a detailed budget for the upcoming year's annual plan (even if not translated)?
    Draft Budget June 2012 December 2013 en.pdf
  3. WMFR has not offered a response to the question about "what the entity learned/innovated that could benefit the broader WM movement".
    • The micro grants program is an easy way to help directly the contributors to build free content: several kind of requests were granted in this way. The volunteers ask just what they need to product free and cultural content, it's probably a good way to work with volunteers. It's not very complicated to run, even with a little budget a chapter can install that kind of program. But we also learned that's this micro-grants have to be put forward regulary with members and contributors as it's seems not an obvious step for Wikimedians to ask grants.
    • We learned that sister projects can be very attractive for partnerships with institutions or new projects. This year, we received projects proposals for Wikibooks, Wiktionary, Wikispecies, Wikiversity and Wikisource. We need to have more experience and volunteers from these others WM projects, to be able to conduct good projects. Languages studies (multilinguism, promotion of local languages, analysis of languages) is a very popular theme for the institutions and often the potential projects are for sister projects. We are learning how to build projects for Wikimedia projects with less visibility than Wikipedia or Wikimedia Commons.
    • We are learning how to measure our success in projects even if it's not an easy thing :
      • What is a good result for retaining new contributors ?
      • What do we want to have as quality for content uploaded ?
      • How much content and how many new contributors are good results for a project ?
      • Can we measure all the projects with the same tools ?
    We work to always keep in mind that our projects must have a result for the Wikimedia projects. It could be benefit to have reflexion with the other chapters and the Wikimedia Foundation to build some guidelines to measure the impact of our projects.

Staffing[edit]

  1. You are planning a significant staffing increase next year (from 5 to 12 persons) - more than doubling in size and almost doubling in cost. What is your rationale for this considerable growth? What are the strategies for the leadership team to manage this growth?
    We plan to hire 5 full time employees and 5 EVS volunteers (civic service volunteers) with part-time and fixed-term contracts.
    Our planned budget includes a significant growth of our staff for the next year for several reasons :
    • We have learned from our staff experience. We have conducted a careful recruitment being sure we had the necessary workload for those hired employees. The workload has increased considerably in recent months. We need more staff to support the projects and let the volunteers do cool things. :
      • We need to have one staff member dedicated to technical projects, because we have more and more projects with technical issues and volunteers cannot follow every day the projects or give hours and hours to build a technical project. Currently, the person in charge of tech is also in charge of the community because initially we did not know if we had sufficient workload for two separate positions.
      • The Francophonie is one of our areas of development. We have plans well underway, we are recognized as an partner by French and Francophonie institutions and we begin to identify the topic for French-speaking Africa. We also need someone dedicated to this program who could spend time to travel in order to sustain this projects. Our program director can not ensure a growth of her workload so it's the good time for recruitment. We also sustain and have local and French overseas languages projects, the abilities required are quite similar to those of Francophonie but we are not sure of the workload so we have decided for the time being that the head of Francophonie will also carry out the languages projects.
    • Some recruitments were expected earlier but are late because partnerships are behind schedule (for example the Francophonie one)
    • We have also identified our defiencies with the community :
      • We need a dedicated head of community to support global projects (for example WLM) and give all Internet support.
      • we have an ambitious project to grow local communities as we know thru the Toulouse and Rennes ones that's a good way to involve volunteers, increase and strengthen the community and improve the WM projects (such as cooperating with the local Glams, help to organize workshops and conferences in volunteers areas, responding to regional media, etc.). So we plan to have several fellows to support this project, with a staff coordinator.
    • To manage this growth, we have
      • The staff organizationnal structure with an executive director, who is partly dedicated to manage staff people. Each program is overviewed by the director of programs. For the specific local development program, the coordinator will manage and overview the fellows.
      • A well functionning payroll system to face the rise of the staff and the recruitment of an administrative assistant to help the Executive Director in HR stuff.
      • A valuable experience in recruiting even if we will not hesitate to get external help, for example for securing fair compensation.
      • A planned hiring spread over the coming 12 months.
    TCY (talk) 13:42, 19 October 2012 (UTC)
  2. You also report that there is a decline in volunteers' engagement, and that a balance must be found between employment and volunteer activities; can you explain your strategy in managing these risks?
    It's a sensitive issue, others NGO's faced to this problem but do not have an universal answer. And as a Wikimedia organizations, we support collaborative volunteers projects. We have to :
    • avoid a staff bubble / avoid that staff and volunteers operate in parallel
    • be aware that employee position would still be a bit of a "balancing position" because staff must clearly support actions volunteers, not discourage them but while try to channel actions for a better result and keep going even if they face inaction or unavailability of a volunteer.
    • avoid for the volunteers the feeling of an implicit hierarchization, that employees plan the projects so they plan the work of volunteers
    • have volunteers know they can always run projects and have support of the staff
    • have volunteers know they could involved in any projects and make that possible (working groups, active members wiki, offering various investment opportunities for both in time and skills).
    • making volunteers aware that if the association provides funding directly or indirectly (staff time), we have to obtain results and then be sure of their involvment.
    • be aware that inflow of projects that allows a staff team could give the impress for volunteers to be drowned, that's things goes too fast ans they can not get involved in anything
    • involves volunteers in funding decisions of others volunteers projects
    • manage two differents rhythms and periods of work (volunteers and staff) and as far as possible, have employees available in volunteers time
    • avoid the volunteers impress to be deprived of their association, manage the transition from a "friends association" to a "professional organization" and keeping in mind the volunteer spirit.
    TCY (talk) 09:06, 22 October 2012 (UTC)
    I'm sorry TCY but I think you misunderstood the question. Here you're making a list of goals, while what was asked is a list of concrete actions. Léna (talk) 10:44, 22 October 2012 (UTC)
    Misunderstood I don't think as managing a global risk requires to identify the different causes and so to be aware of them, but you're right I did not reply fully to the question so I complete my answer.
    We plann a cross action :
    • Have one people dedicated to support volunteers and make their actions easier: support to contact institutions, help to build projects and establish a budget, to track the result, give some technical support and be the link of projects communities. So we will recruit a "community manager". Up to now, we had one staff men dedicated to community and all WMFr technical issues. We plan to split this position and have one full time staff member for each job.
    • to have people to sustain local volunteers engagement by support local communities, developping active ones and create others in big cities. This strategy of localization is based on IRL events and projects and volunteers group dynamic to recruit and motivate volunteers.
    The idea is make it easier for volunteers to get involved (online support, for some IRL support), to feel they are useful (by a better idea of their profile, what and when they can do) that their implication could give them a personal development and pleasure, a sense of belonging to a group and to serve a cause they believe in. It could be easier for some projects, very popular for the volunteers, more difficult for others ones less attractive, not easy or fun to be managed by volunteers, but strategic for the Wikimedia projects. But even for this kind of projects, with this kind of structure, somewhere on the process, you could involve some volunteers. TCY (talk) 20:13, 22 October 2012 (UTC)
  3. What is WMFR's policy or guiding principles on ratios of efficiency and effectiveness, for instance, overall expenses:staff expenses or annual expenses:program expenses?
    First, Wikimedia France is under the control of a "Commissaire aux comptes", a statutory and public auditor. It's mandatory in France for NGO's who collects more than 153,000 € with public donation. This auditor checks that donators money spendings respect the call of donations and the goals of the association, so that the bulk of expenses goes for the social mission of our association. There is an unwritten rule to not exceed 15% of expenses for functionning and if exceptionnaly we breach this 15%, we need to have solid arguments.
    The experience gained of staffing and programs shows that most of programs need more staff time than direct expenses. We have focused the staff time and expenses on programs and to support volunteers with quite good success. We will continue but the administrative burden we faced and difficulties created showed us that we need some one dedicated. But except this position, part of the time of the executive director and the fundraiser, all the staff are dedicated to the programs and projects. So we can consider that more than 3/4 of our expenses are dedicated to the programs.

Key Initiatives, Strategies and Impact[edit]

  1. You report that in the past 18 months, WMFR's image has changed positively in France. Why has this happened, and what are the significant learnings from this process?
    • We have more and more GLAM institutions asking us to start partnerships or other type of involvement into the Wikimedia projects. Now, we cannot answer to all the demands because we need more volunteers or staff to follow each project
    • We are now recognized by the institutions. We work with 2 different French ministries : Ministry of Culture and Communication (General Delegation for French language and languages of France) and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, We will sign an official agreement with the Ministry of Culture on November 19th, with the presence of the minister herself. Recently, in answering public questions of two French National Assembly members about her digital policy, the minister mentionned Wikipedia and the cooperation with Wikimédia France. We also work with the regional agencies for pedagogical documentation (operated by the Ministry of Education).
    • We have good contacts with press and media, who frequently ask us about the development of Wikipedia and the different projects of Wikimedia France. Wikipedia has now a large press coverage, positive one for most of them and Wikimedia France is involved in it.
    Probably this happened because during the last years we made a hard work to meet the institutions and propose projects and partnerships. We have organized in november 2010 the "Rencontres Wikimedia" (Wikimedia Meetings), a two days bilingual (French and English) conference in Paris about Glams, in one the conference rooms of the French National Assembly, where we could show the audience Wikimedian cooperation with Glams institution in France and around the world. The quality of speakers and the place, made Wikimedia France a valuable partner. The followings months, volunteers involved in Glams and staff keep in touch with this Glams people and with some we wera able to built a partnership. Each partnership is officially signed and promoted with press release and promotion to the press. So, people frequently read something about Wikipedia or Wikimédia in papers, radio, television, and probably has a better view about our projects.
    Like what we did for Glams, we will organize at the end of this year the "Wikimedia Rencontres 2012" (2012 Wikimedia Meetings) about education. We also already had our own stand last year in the Salon européen de l'Education (the annual big fair in Paris about education) and wez will continued this year.
    The significant learnings are:
    • That we must be very reactive with the institutions and media. We must be able to sign official partnerships, be reactive to manage partnerships to give a good reputation for the chapter : it is possible with volunteers with professional abilities and with a professional staff.
    • Avoid the confusion institutions could made between Wikimédia France and the Wikipédia community. Make sure they understand they signed with a support association (which don't edit WP), not with the community
    • We also be selective because press contact could be easely time consuming for a poor result. So in the last months we learn to have a more firm handle with media.
  2. Please explain the Francophone programs run by Wikimedia France. How are the Africa programs going to be monitored given that there seems to be significant on-the-ground work?
    The Francophone programs are mostly focused on 2 points :
    • a technical solution to give offline access to Wikipedia
    • support new contributors and new communities and workshops to contribute
    The first point is made in cooperation with 2 organizations, the Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie (French-speaking University Agency), an institution part of the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie (International Organization of Francophonie), which have offices in all the big or medium cities in French-speaking Africa. They are in the universities in Africa and we give the plug computers to the technicians to install, and help the teachers and students to use it. We manage this project with an other institution, the Institut Français (French Institute), part of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which manages cultural institutes in all the French-speaking countries in Africa. They help us to facilitate the operations (transport, etc.).
    To organize workshops and support the future new contributors, we plan to have one dedicated person, who will coordinate all our projects in the different countries. This future staff member will organize the different workshops, give support to new contributors, and move the project forward. For now, and for the 1st deployment in November 2012, our Program director will go in Africa with one French Institute staff person (also a Wikipedian) and a Kiwix developer.
    We plan to have enough money to sustain this project for several years, because since we have announced it, many African universities and schools have expressed an interest and asked us to participate. Kiwix works to lower the plug prices.
  3. It is helpful that WMFR is looking at both output and outcome indicators; for e.g., in the education programme, you are looking at both numbers trained as well as 10% becoming regular contributors. Can you give us more details of how this tracking is planned, including any measures for ensuring editor retention?
    We track the contributions with a very easy process : each new contributor in our programs is listed on a project page, and after that we can see if he becomes a regular contributor or no. See (for example) here : http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Projet:Projet_Mundaneum . Each participant is also identified with a userbox (ex : http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Projet:Wikipeplum/BU ) which links to the coordination page. We also use some tools to measure the retention and activity of the participants, like Wikiscan http://wikiscan.org/
    The wikimedians who organize the programs are listed too, to be like "mentor" for the new contributors. If it is necessary, we ask the community to welcome and help the new contributors.

--ASengupta (WMF) (talk) 01:29, 15 October 2012 (UTC)

Question about volunteer participation[edit]

Hello WMFR, These are some general questions that I am asking to all the EEs regarding volunteer participation. All the entities have stated in their proposals that low turnover of volunteers in both online and offline activities have been a major obstacle for them. Most of them have also expressed concerns that reducing number of volunteers is a threat to their organizational effectiveness and to the movement as a whole. I feel we need to have short term, midterm and long term plans to tackle this problem.

Does your organization have -

  1. Any short term plan to recruit new volunteers for both online and off line activities?
  2. Any midterm plan to train, motivate and convert them into regular contributors?
  3. Any long term plan to retain them and continue the growth?

If you already have any such plans, please mention them and elaborate how your plan/s is (are) going to achieve the goal of recruiting new volunteers, converting them into regular contributors and retain the volunteers as well as maintain the growth? - Ali Haidar Khan (Tonmoy) (talk) 17:33, 15 October 2012 (UTC)

I agree it would be nice to have some info on that - also, regarding the running schedule, it is quite important to conduct an ongoing dialogue about these (so a reply would be really highly appreciated :) Pundit (talk) 17:17, 17 October 2012 (UTC).
WMFr staff is working on it. I hope they can answer today :-). GuillaumeG (talk) 12:58, 19 October 2012 (UTC)
Hello Ali,
If I well understand, there is two different questions in your question :
  • Volunteers/contributors in WM projects
  • Volunteers of the Wikimedia movement, for us in Wikimédia France.
Some of the issues are the same, others are differents. We do not have yet strategic plans as for both of them, we experience and learn from these experiences as we are at the step 1 for example with Glams (more successful in free contents than in recruitings new contributors but some successful partnerships motivate and convert some in regular Glam contributors) and education (first year in a PhD students and researchers program, wikicontest in high schools, etc.). We also wants try to create animate local groups with our civic services volunteers because we believe that IRL meetings where people meet Wikimedians can create an emulation to contribute and maintain motivation for this new contributors. TCY (talk) 00:17, 21 October 2012 (UTC)

I agree with Pundit[edit]

I think a short-term, mid-term and long-term plan will provide a solid foundation to the resolution of this problem. Thanks! --Kevin12xd (talk) 22:12, 17 October 2012 (UTC)

Measures of success in Table 4[edit]

Thanks for being specific in the ways that you will measure success (last column of table 4). However, I think you should put some quantitative goals. So following "GLAM" you have:

  • 3.1 Number of new contributors in GLAM staff, number of contributions, retaining new contributors
  • 3.2 Number of content uploaded on Wikimedia projects, quality of the description, categorization, re-use on Wikimedia projects, page views
  • 3.3 Number of contents uploaded supported by Wikimedia France in GLAM themes

I'd much prefer something like:

  • 3.1 At least 20 new contributors from GLAM staff, making at least 100 article contributions, with at least 10 new contributors continuing their participation for at least 6 months.
  • 3.2 At least 1000 images uploaded on Wikimedia projects, including full description and categorization, re-used on at least 5 Wikimedia projects, with over 5,000 page views
  • 3.3 Number of contents uploaded supported by Wikimedia France in GLAM themes (not sure what this means, but if it were quantified it would certainly be clearer)

Thanks again,

Smallbones (talk) 22:32, 18 October 2012 (UTC)

Hello Smallbones,
I agree with you when you want to have precise objectives for GLAM projects.
We are currently building our indicators. Our basis is around 10% retaining new contributors and a high quality of descriptions, categorization and re-using in different Wikimedia projects. But each GLAM project is very singular : some of them are mostly for contribution, some other are for uploading content, some other for creating content, and each project has its own goals. That's why I prefer to say that our measures of success contains this kind of indicators and not giving a global indicator which can be inappropriate for the reality of the future projects. --SereinWMfr (talk) 16:20, 22 October 2012 (UTC)

Questions about current cash position and monthly spending patterns[edit]

Please clarify WMFR's cash position and usual monthly expenditures.

  1. What is WMFR's current cash position (as of 30 September 2012)? In other words, what is the total balance in all of WMFR's accounts (including operating reserves and cash for WMFR's programs and operations)?
    Gross cash as of 30 September 2012 : ~507,000 € ; as of 26 October 2012 : 470,200 €
  2. What are WMFR's typical monthly expenditures? We would like a sense of about how much money WMFR spends in an ordinary month during the current fiscal year.
    • Until october : 23,000 € (working capital requirement (not average month) : wages, offices, insurance, etc.)
    • Since october : 28,000 € (+ 1 staff member + new offices)
    • Planned for january : 31,000 € (+ 1 staff member)

TCY (talk) 00:54, 26 October 2012 (UTC) Let us know if the questions above require any additional clarification. Thank you, Wolliff (talk) 21:29, 23 October 2012 (UTC)