Grants talk:APG/Proposals/2013-2014 round1/Amical Wikimedia/Proposal form

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Staff costs increase[edit]

Hi @Arnaugir, @Kippelboy. I have two question related to the staff costs assessed in this proposal (which depend mostly on the form of the proposal form [sic et simpliciter]):

  • in table 7 you are noting an increase of 7000 € (i.e. ~18%) of your staff costs. Are these costs referrable to the hiring of the "Universities project director" or are an increase in the cost of your current staff (and, if so, for which reason?) Or both?
    • Hello, CristianCantoro. The 7000€ increase only applies to the current employee (GLAM Project Director). The Universities Project Director is not considered "new staff" because he will work less than 6 months (thus is not considered staff). The 7000€ increase is explained because of a "contract upgrade". When we first signed him, we signed him as an intern (internship contract extendable every 6 months), because it was a new experience for us and we didn't have much money either. We believe that, given the results obtained thanks to him and the work he has done, we have to raise his wage to market price and sign a better (professional) contract with him.
  • Is it correct to think that these staff costs can all be referred to the initiatives under Program 3: "Improvement of the projects' content"?
    • Yes: it's 45000€ for GLAM Project Director and 3000€ for Universities Project Director (as you can see in our budget). Both fit into Program 3.

Thank you. -- CristianCantoro (talk)

    • Thank you for the questions and for fixing minor thinks in our proposal :-) --Arnaugir (talk) 15:04, 2 October 2013 (UTC)
Hi again @Arnaugir, I was also wondering if the estimated cost (45000 €) include labor taxes and related labor costs. Thank you. -- CristianCantoro (talk) 17:51, 2 October 2013 (UTC)
Yes, all taxes are included. This is the total cost devoted to the employee adjusted to the maximum. As you can see in the budget history, initially we had assigned 50000€ to this concept, but after our treasurer took a closer look (taxes, etc.) we were able to reduce it by 5000€.--Arnaugir (talk) 18:18, 2 October 2013 (UTC)

Admistrative tasks[edit]

Thanks for your promising proposal. I wonder over administrative tasks. You only plan for one employee. How much would time for adm tasks are you budgeting (in percentage) to take from this person. And are you admsupport like bookkeeping systems in place. Have you looked into someone who can work a limited partime say 0,1 FTE to help you with basic adm tasks?Anders Wennersten (talk) 12:28, 5 October 2013 (UTC)

Hello Anders! Our only employee is devoted to developing GLAM projects - none of his working time is for administrative work. The administrative work is done by the board members (ie. myself, the secretary and the treasurer) and other members who might also occasionally help. We are lucky to have a very experienced treasurer in Amical, and we all together are able to deal with the bureaucracy etc. Anyway, we have not ruled out the possibility of hiring an assistant to help with adm tasks - but we want to try to do it by ourselves and, if we feel it's necessary (increased work because we are doing more projects, members burnout, high FDC reporting requirements, etc.), in next year's FDC proposal we will consider it, but for now we think it is not needed. Thank you --Arnaugir (talk) 13:06, 5 October 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for your answer, it makes it clear to me. A bit tough on you in the board, but it could be a good way of getting started. It is important that you have personell committed to do program work, which you then have.Anders Wennersten (talk) 14:59, 5 October 2013 (UTC)

Political bias[edit]

I have found three instances of politically-biased language in this form. The first one is the term “Catalan Countries”. As explained in the article in Wikipedia in English, this phrase does not correspond to any existing political entity and its use is controversial because of its independentist and pan-Catalanist connotations.

The second one is the statement of “Catalan language being a minoritary/minorized language”. While this may be true for specific locations like Alguer, it is certainly not true for Andorra, where it is the only official language. In Catalonia the preponderance of Catalan in education over Spanish has long been a matter of debate between nationalists and non-nationalists (example).

The third one is the mention of “The recurrent threats from the Spanish government... ” The text does not detail what these threats are. I tend to interpret this in the framework of the current conflict between the Catalan and Spanish central governments regarding the self-determination referendum, but maybe the person who wrote the form had something else in mind?

In my opinion these three phrases are in clear contradiction with the principles of neutrality and non-involvement in political activities and should be removed. Otherwise Amical and the WMF could be seen as supporting the nationalist or pro-independence points of view in Catalonian politics.

Cheers. --Hispalois (talk) 00:02, 7 October 2013 (UTC)

Hello, Hispalois!
  • First question: the term Catalan Countries, as per the English article, as you point out, is (quote): "territories where the Catalan language is spoken". I could have as well written "territories where the Catalan language is spoken", but the term is vastly used so I see no reason for changing it, nor I see any political bias in here, sorry.
  • Second question: I guess you do not live in any Catalan-speaking area (and maybe have never visited! I strongly recommend to :-) ). It's true that it's an official language in Andorra, but that accounts only for a small percentage of Catalan speakers (Andorra 85.000 inhabitants, Catalan 11M speakers). Btw - the article you posted might lead to confusion to people who are not used to how the Catalan educational system works. Yesterday a survey was published: 81% of Catalonia citizens support the current educational system, and that doesn't seem related to the proindependence/antiindependence ratio. I suggest reading Language immersion. Anyway here is not the place to discuss that. Catalan is a minority language - that's a fact (see [1]). While being minorized might be more subject to a matter of discussion, your home wikipedia says that Catalan is ([2]). Here I do neither see a political bias - we are just explaining the language situation of the language in the Catalan countries.
  • Third question: I didn't mean the conflict about the self-determination (which is very interesting but does not apply to the Wikimedia movement; Amical is obviously not interested in politics), what we had in mind were the recent attacks against Catalan language by minister Wert, the LOMCE, etc. Amical published a statement against the LOMCE ("ley Wert") because it attempts against Catalan educational system, against the linguistic diversity, etc. Anyway I understand that the way I wrote it might lead to confusion - I would ask the FDC committee whether it's possible to rewrite the text in a m--Arnaugir (talk) 14:10, 18 October 2013 (UTC)ore concise manner.

Thank you for your comments--Arnaugir (talk) 14:40, 8 October 2013 (UTC)

Hi Arnau
First of all I have not only visited but also lived in Catalonia (not now), but even if I had never done it that wouldn’t necessarily mean that I am less objective or have less right to express my opinion here.
Second, your reply worries me because you fail to recognize that the terms that I pointed out are politically controversial. For example the wiki article on “Catalan Countries” states that “The term is controversial”. I don’t want to debate with you here whether the terms and the political opinions they convey are right or wrong – I would only like you to see that other people have different political opinions from the ones that you display on your user page, and that the language you are using in this funding request is not neutral for them.
I am nevertheless glad that you are considering rewriting the text and hope that with the help of other members of Amical you can strip it of the political bias that at least I perceive in the current version. --Hispalois (talk) 21:12, 8 October 2013 (UTC)
I'm glad my guess about you never visiting Catalonia was not correct :-) Thank you for bringing up those issues - I agreed with your third comment (and wish to rewrite it), but I still afirm that the term Catalan Countries is just a widely used short term for "territories where Catalan is spoken" (and only appears twice in the form). However, I (we) have no problem on changing it to the long sentence, given the FDC committee gives its green light. At the end, what matters is the rest, not this, and we should try to focus on the proposal content. --Arnaugir (talk) 21:33, 8 October 2013 (UTC)
May I offer a bit of compromise? Use the phrase "territories where the Catalan language is spoken" once and in parentheses "Hereafter called 'Catalan Countries'". This would clear the air on what it says, cause minimal amending to the proposal and get the point across. I read through the entire proposal and found it complete and a worthy project. MacEachan1 (talk) 19:05, 17 October 2013 (UTC)MacEachan1
Hello MacEachan1. I already said, there is no problem doing that or rephrasing it in a similar way. At the end, what matters is the proposal content. I will be glad to rewrite it once the FDC committee agrees on the change.--Arnaugir (talk) 14:10, 18 October 2013 (UTC)
I think Arnaugir has give enough explanation on the issue. This is not a place for political pov and my suggestion would be to end this discussion here, no need to change anything. Otherwise we would be giving too much importance to a minor issue. Let's concentrate on the proposal itself.--Ali Haidar Khan (Tonmoy) (talk) 14:04, 26 October 2013 (UTC)

I agree that this looks a lot like an instrumentalization of Wikipedia by Catalan nationalists. People need to know that Catalan was one of the very earliest non-English versions of Wikipedia, and it was not by chance either. That was completely legitimate, just as Catalan nationalism is completely legitimate. But I would be concerned about providing extra resources to Catalan efforts on Wikipedia given the political context. Wikipedia should be neutral. AlexTyki (talk) 19:42, 30 October 2013 (UTC)

Queries and comments[edit]

There are worthy aspects to this application, and the significance of Amical to the structural evolution of the WMF's affiliated entities is acknowledged. I do have three issues, though, which arise from Sue Gardner's statement last week.

  • A concern I have is the emphasis on a bricks-and-mortar office. The cost looks like US$9K a year, which I presume includes insurance, electricity, water, taxes, cleaning, on-costs, security, etc. I acknowledge that it's a lower cost than would be the case without the arrangement with the other organisation. But here are my doubts:
  1. I'm wondering why an organisation that essentially supports websites needs to accumulate significant amounts of "merchandise" that now needs an office for storage; I'd hope for minimal amounts of paper, since most documents should be online or scanned electronically. What does need to be stored shouldn't be so much that senior members (or the staff member(s)) can't manage it at home.
  2. If merchandise is t-shirts and buttons and badges and pins and posters, I do question how directly they will play into improving the readers' experience on Catalan-language WMF sites. Volunteers who are likely to work to improve those sites are unlikely to need to be motivated by physical objects; and as a form of advertising to the Catalan-speaking community, presumably to encourage them to use the sites as readers or editors, I don't see a convincing case.
  3. In a related point, the people who will make a difference are already online (I wonder why anyone without decent online access would be interested in being involved at all): so everyone has a computer and connection. I wonder, then, why a central physical location is necessary, and why it's not singularly inconvenient for many participants. It restricts staffing and member access to those who are close to Bercelona itself, at the northern end of the language area. That area extends hundreds of km south along the coast, and includes part of France, part of Italy, and the Balearic Islands. Why is it not preferable to work and collaborate online, given the advantage of equal access over this diverse region and the significant cost savings in dispensing with an office? If there is need to conduct meetups/training sessions face to face, a small office in this one location is not necessarily suitable.
  • Related to point 3, there's a strong emphasis on "real-world meetings between Amical members and also between community members"—this priority appears in first position in the list of programs. What advantages do these real-world meetings have over strategic online contact—in terms of getting the real work done of liaising with external institutions (GLAM etc) and liaising among yourselves as necessary, involving people throughout the geographically disparate Catalan-speaking region? It's nice to do face to face, but are the financial and time expenses justified over the efficiency and ability to target with online communication? The Catalan-language sites are, after all, built through online collaboration among the community. You have a well-established monthly IRC, and much is made of that, but there are quite a few other communication methods that could be added (skype, google drive docs, phone, email), and with appropriate planning and design, they can be combined as a powerful and continual connective tissue among volunteers and staff and external people. Meetups, in my view, should be minimised.
  • What measures have been and will be taken to ensure productive working relations between staff and volunteers—particularly to maintain the motivation of volunteers?

Concerning the post immediately above ... I'd have preferred it, too, if the negativity had been excluded. Grant applications are best when they stress the positive, the dynamic. Negative political pressure—unsourced, although I don't disbelieve it—doesn't seem relevant to the FDC's task of assessing the bid.

Thanks and very best wishes for this proposal. Tony (talk) 03:35, 7 October 2013 (UTC)

Hello, Tony1. Thanks for your comments, I'm answering your questions below in the same order than above.
  • Questions regarding the new office. Note: you say the cost is 9k$; according to our budget the cost is 3k€ (around 4k€).
  1. That's true. Most (if not all) of the documents are scanned and available online. However, the main goal of the office is NOT to be a storage space, but to have our own space where we can hold meetings (currently we always have to go to the other part offices) and where our employee (and "employees" -plural-, maybe, in the future) can work. At the moment, when our employee has to work by himself -that is, he has no meetings, workshops, etc., only planning work- he has to go to a nearby library. When we have the office -which, luckily, is located almost in the very centre of Barcelona- he will have an office space where he will be able to work comfortably. Apart from that, we need the storage space for brochures, t-shirts, etc. (they are at our members homes - trust me the coulpes don't like having a box with hundreds of shirts at home :-) ). Besides, we feel that the opportunity to share the office space with other similar organizations (namely, PuntCAt foundation) is an opportunity we can not let pass, even more taking into account the low cost (250€/month is a really low quote).
  2. Amical has always managed its merchandising supplies austerely. We don't use merchandising (mainly t-shirts - we have never printed or purchased buttons, pencils, pens, bags or other merchandising, in contrast to other chapters/orgs) for EVERY event, but only for those which deserve it - that is, events where a third party is involved and there are potential new editors. Using merchandising in an event where the attendants are already editors is almost nonsense (as you said). I assume you will also post this question to bigger chapters who use lots more merchandising than us.
  3. We prefer to work online -that is written in the bylaws-, but sometimes it's necessary to have a central office (meetings, storage, space for the employee(s), etc.). Yes, the territory is vast (luckily for Catalan language), but it seems normal that the headquarters are located in the biggest city and capital of Catalonia. If we were really wealthy and have lots of volunteers we would have an office in every region (there's 13 of them), but for now that seems impossible :-) The office is not intended for workshops (read above question number 1). Other organizations also have a centrally located office, that looks normal to me.
  • Just to note: the fact that it is the first priority of the programs doesn't mean it has more importance than others. I agree that most of the work and meetings should be done online - in fact, that is why we propose holding a monthly meeting via IRC, which is usually attended by many users, both members and non-members of Amical. But sometimes -especially in a Wikipedia like ours, where the community is small and there is another language which is a real threat- exists the need for a face-to-face meetup to engage new people and "take care of" already active editors. We propose one meetup every 3 months plus one big meetup - that is, one event every 3 months (in a distinct region) plus the Viquitrobada. For me, it looks reasonable. Anyway, I respect your opinion and, in fact, I do share it - yes, meetups should be minimised, but they shouldn't be ruled out.
  • As you have pointed out, the relation between Amical and the community is one of our priorities - that includes the relation between the staff and the community of editors. Our employee(s) are under the supervision of a group of Amical volunteers who, together with him, decide what should be the next steps, taking into account the ideas, comments and concerts expressed by the editors, be it in the monthly chat, via private mail, in the Project chat, or wherever. Also, we have to keep in mind that our language community is small -especially if we compare with other countries like Germany, UK, etc.- so it's easier for us to enforce the relations between the parts, because we almost everyone know each other.
  • About the last comment, I answered the post above. The "negativity" (as you say) has been excluded from the proposal except in the SWOT - that's what it is for, isn't it? Threats from Spanish government to Catalan language are real, and as an organization whose aim is to promote Catalan language we are worried about it.

Thank you for your comments--Arnaugir (talk) 14:17, 8 October 2013 (UTC)

Alignment with strategic priorities[edit]

Hello. Amiya, thank you for the post about the process behind your strategic plan development, which is extremely interesting. I klnow the form allows very few words, so I'll ask here in the hope maybe you can clarify a bit the alignment between your five points of focus and the strategic priorities of the Wikimedia Movement. Some are clear, but others are more difficult for me to grasp. Thanks. notafish }<';> 12:29, 10 October 2013 (UTC)

Hi notafish, could you point out which priority from our Strategic Plan is difficult for you to relate with one of the Wikimedia Movement's? Anyway I will try to explain.
  1. Cohesion: Increase (maintain) participation
  2. Discourse: Increase reach, Encourage innovation
  3. Content: Improve quality, Increase participation, Encourage innovation
  4. Territory: Increase reach, Stabilize (Amical's) infrastructure
  5. Readers: Increase reach, Increase participation
I hope it makes it clearer.--Arnaugir (talk) 12:09, 12 October 2013 (UTC)
Yes it does. Thank you. notafish }<';> 19:09, 17 October 2013 (UTC)

FDC funding vs external funding[edit]

The history of Amical shows that you have been able to raise quite an important amount of funds over the years. If I calculate well, last year the revenue from "outside" the movement (although maybe I missed some IEG and/or grants funds which are not clear to see in the 2013 budget) totals about 30 000€ (if we take into consideration that 39 000€ was brought from the year before). You mention "economical crisis" as a reason for less funds coming in. However, could you develop on this? Were some of the programs which brought funds developped in the past years one-shot programs? Have some of the partnerships not been renewed? What would be your strategy to sustain as much as possible the funding you've been securing in the past years so as to diversify sources of income? Thanks. notafish }<';> 09:18, 11 October 2013 (UTC)

Hello again Notafish, and apologies for the late answer - lots of work this weekend. Our philosophy is to ensure sustainability - some of the current projects payments will be charged in 2014, and we will keep looking for funding besides the FDC in order not to rely entirely on them. Luckily, until now and during the past four-five years we have been able to raise enough money to develop our many projects and even pay for an employee; the problem is, this funding came mainly from public institutions. Nowadays the situation is not the same than previous years - funding has been cut and it's much more difficult to obtain resources. We will keep trying anyway, and we have already secured some funding from museums etc., but I think you can undersand how difficult this is. About the "one-shot programs" you mention: we try to start the projects so later they can be run by volunteers, so the funds are mainly to cover the "first phase". We believe that Amical's duty is to boost and stimulate, to start projects which later might carry on on their own - this is why a great part of the requested funds is aimed at relatively new projects like libraries and universities. And yes, some of the partnerships have not been renewed, be it because of the lower funds available from the institutions or because the project was completed and was not thought to last more (mostly, the first case). About the last question, our strategy is 1) to keep looking for possible funding sources, both from new ones and from already partner institutions and 2) keep up the good work and to spread our way of doing things so they are interested in Amical. To sum up - the current situation in Catalonia (where most of our funding comes from) and Spain in general is very bad, institutions are reluctant about giving money, but we are in a good position thanks to the work done during the past years and we think we can still obtain some funds from non-FDC sources, even though it will not be easy. --Arnaugir (talk) 09:41, 15 October 2013 (UTC)

A Few General Comments[edit]

These comments relate generally to this application & responses to comments already made.

Firstly, this is a very new entity so the track record on which to make assessments is necessarily short.

Secondly, I would assume that there would be a natural correlation between people who have very strong beliefs about the Catalan political situation and the people who are most active in this entity's operations. Links can be formal or informal. This is quite natural and not necessarily a bad thing. The danger for Wiki is that, knowingly or unknowingly, a political slant could be perceived to exist even if it were not the case. Wiki has to stand absolutely above political interests. The discussion about "Catalan Countries" worries me a bit in this regard.

Thirdly, leaving aside the points above, the need for minimal office space does sound reasonable, it will be a natural hub as the entity builds. The costings sound reasonable as well but it is important to ensure that the bricks & mortar operations do not start to dominate the agenda, now or in the future. Can costs going forward be assessed with any certainty? Will this also lead to an increased focus on merchandising? Ultimately, office space & merchandising are only to support the actual work, namely dissemination of knowledge amongst the target population.

Lastly, I am impressed with the answers given by the entity to previous comments but my first & second points still cause me some concern. --Princebuster5 (talk)

Hello, Princebuster5. Thank you for your comments. I don't quite understand the first one - can you develop it a bit more? I don't consider Amical Wikimedia a new entity - it's been up and running since around five years ago and we have been quite active in many fields, mainly GLAM work but also other areas (you can read the monthly reports in our meta page). About the second comment, I could answer about the "Catalan Countries" concept again, but I already did it above so there is no point in talking about it again. There is no political influence in there, and it is clear that Amical (and any other wikimedia entity) should stand above any political interests. If you want any more concise answer, please tell me, but I think I already developed on this above.
About the third question: we want to focus on "real" work, ie. work that can produce direct results to Catalan Wikipedia and sister projects. That's why a great part of our proposed budget is devoted to "improvement of the projects content". But after five years of work, we think that we need a physical space where we can have storage room, we can meet, etc. Now that we have found a cheap place where, moreover, we can share the space with similar entities like ours, we don't want to let this opportunity go away. "Brick and mortar" operations will not dominate the agenda, believe me – we love to work on wiki projects, not on building an office :-). About "Can costs going forward be assessed with any certainty?", you mean office costs (rental costs)? We don't have any official contract yet, but we have spoken to the other entities and we agreed on the fee you can see in the budget, which shall remain the same during the next years. Merchandising - for us, merchandising (mainly t-shirts and stickers) is a way for our workshop/programs participants to express gratitude for their interest in what we try to explain and also a way so they will remember wikipedia and, hopefully, keep editing. Obviously, merchandising is not essential, but we think it might help achieve our goals and programs success. I wrote about t-shirts above in another question, you can read it as well.
Shall you need any detailed statement, please ask again! Cheers--Arnaugir (talk) 14:35, 18 October 2013 (UTC)

Thank-you for your responses, I have no more questions. I wish you best of luck with your endeavours.Princebuster5 (talk) 14:08, 29 October 2013 (UTC)

Reasons for Budget Increase[edit]

When explaining the increase, you say this:

Last year's budget was 72.500 € (97.904 $) (see /Budget 2013). The growth is explained by several factors, like the new office rental and the new projects we intend to do in 2014. We think that Amical's rate of growth 2013-14 is very reasonable given the amount of work we have been doing during the past years. We still wish that if the work can be done by volunteers it should be done by them - not by newly hired staff; that's why we do not intend to hire new employees.

However, reading the proposal carefully, it seems that in fact the increase is mostly due to an 18% pay increase for your one employee and the intent to hire a universities project director. I realise that you technically don't consider anyone hired for less than a year to be an 'employee' but that last sentence still seems to me that anyone reading that last sentence would be very surprised to find that you in fact plan to hire someone for 1-2 months as a universities project director. I'd like to see a lot more transparency about where the budget increase is going in this proposal. I'd like to see an estimated cost of hiring the universities project director.

I think it's also a bit worrying that you don't (as far as I can see) mention any employees at all in your Strategic Plan. Why are you spending €45k (plus I think around €30k for the universities person, though it's not spelt out - so around half your budget) on something that's not part of your strategic plan?

I realise a lot of the above sounds rather ABF. That's not my intent and I'm not making any accusation. I'm concerned that money is spent correctly and seen to be spent correctly. GoldenRing (talk) 13:44, 17 October 2013 (UTC)

Hello, GoldenRing. The proposed budget for the Universities project director is 3000 EUR (as you can see in the detailed budget; not 30000 EUR!!). Yes, the sentence might be confusing, it's true, but below (in the Proposed new staff section) there is a note: "However, in Program 3 we intend to hire a Universities project director for a limited amount of time (less than 6 months - it doesn't count as staff). See Program 3.". I personally asked a FDC committee member about this issue and this solution was proposed. Anyway, if you think we should add this in the explanation of the budget increase, I have absolutely no problem on doing it - as long as the FDC committee agrees on the change.
About the Strategic Plan - why should we mention it? Those are the goals we want to achieve by 2018. Every year we will draft the Activities Plan (the 2014 Activities Plan is linked in our FDC Proposal). Currently part of our way of achieving the proposed goals is by means of an employee, but maybe later we will not have to make use of him. The employee is just a mean, not a goal. --Arnaugir (talk) 15:36, 18 October 2013 (UTC)

Diversity, gender gap[edit]

Hello :-) Thank you for the work that you put into writing the proposal. I have one question so far. Looking through the proposal, I don't see any mention in the strategic plan or the proposed programs about the gender gap in the Wikimedia movement or ways to make the movement more diverse in general (such as increasing the number of older people contributing content.) Could you speak to the gender gap as it relates to your organization. Could you highlight any programs that have focused on making the Wikimedia movement more diverse. Again thanks for your volunteer work, FloNight (talk) 22:13, 21 October 2013 (UTC) (Sydney Poore)

Hello, FloNight. Thanks for the question. While the gender gap issue isn't directly present in our Strategic Plan, it is surely present in Amical's way of thinking. In order to reduce the gender gap, we try to promote projects where women are traditionally more present (ie. Network of Libraries - librarians), and we also try to keep a balance in other areas like GLAM, where we have three Wikipedian-in-Residence who are women (Music Museum of Barcelona, Morera Museum of Lleida and Fundació Suñol of Barcelona), which makes roughly 50% (if not more) of our complete set of WiRs. In the libraries project, more than 90% of participants are women and they act as project leaders, since our intention is to train them so they can continue contributing on their own and training other people (as explained above). Apart from that, we have proposed some specific projects in order to improve content about women in Catalan Wikipedia, like the "Women composers" wikiproject which was organized by Museum of Music.
Besides the gender gap, you talk about elder people. In the past (this means, last year) we tried to develop a project to teach elder people how to edit and contribute to Wikipedia, which didn't turn out very well (it's mentioned in the FDC proposal as "failed" project, you may read it). At the moment we don't have any project in mind here.
Finally, in Amical there are 14 female members (out of 76), we are trying to balance both sexes, hopefully the projects above mentioned will attract more users :-) shall you need any clarification, please ask. Cheers!--Arnaugir (talk) 11:45, 23 October 2013 (UTC)
Please let me add that we signed an agreement three months ago with the Catalan Institute of Women see news in our blog.--Arnaugir (talk) 14:29, 27 October 2013 (UTC)

Board size[edit]

Hello. I'm curious about the size of your board - having just four board members is rather unusual in my experience. Please could you share some of the reasons behind why you have chosen to have a board of this size? Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 22:54, 28 October 2013 (UTC)

Hello Mike, there is no specific reason to explain the board size. Last April the Board was changed - I became the new Chair, the Treasurer remained the same, the Secretary was also changed and the previous Chair became Board member. Catalan law requires (if I'm not wrong) at least one Board member ("vocal" in Catalan), and he agreed to take this position. We didn't feel we need more board members, since this position is not very important. To be honest we didn't think much about it either - we prefer to focus on other things. The decisions are always taken by Amical's members via the internal list or internal wiki.--Arnaugir (talk) 18:11, 30 October 2013 (UTC)
Thanks Arnaugir, that's really interesting to hear. Again out of curiosity, how does that work in legal terms - is responsibility for the decisions shared by all members, or is that responsibility undertaken by the board members? Theoretically, could the board members decide to change how the decision-making process takes place (e.g. so they solely make the decisions) without the members' approval? Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 13:45, 5 November 2013 (UTC)
Our decisions are taken by global consensus amongst all members (by means of our internal wiki). Nevertheless, for most of the decisions it is not necessary to open a decision making process - it's enough by asking in our internal mail list. In our bylaws the funcions of the Board are listed (Article 17) - the main funcions are convoking the General Assembly, keeping the accounting statements and hiring the employees. Theoretically, I guess they could do what you say; but then if 10% of the members ask for a GA, it has to be celebrated, and a new board may come up :-) again, as said in other answers above, we don't believe much in bureaucracy, we are a small community and prefer to focus on working on what we like - that is, Catalan and Wiki. This might sound unprofessional to some of the readers but believe me, it works out. The board size doesn't affect in any way the day-to-day progress of our organization :-)--Arnaugir (talk) 16:34, 5 November 2013 (UTC)

Questions for all entities from FDC staff[edit]

Please answer a few questions about your entity that we are asking of all entities. The purpose of these questions is to gain clarity about the information provided in your proposal, and also to request information that we can easily understand across all entities. We ask that you respond to these questions within 14 days, so that the FDC will have time to consider your responses during the deliberations. We apologize if any of these questions seem redundant. Thank you for your attention to these questions, and please let us know if you need any clarifications or have any questions for us. Thank you! Winifred Olliff (Grants Administrator) talk 00:11, 29 October 2013 (UTC)

Please confirm your rates of growth[edit]

The FDC reviews rates of growth, which are calculated using the amounts provided in the currency requested in the proposal, to understand each entity’s proposed growth in total budget, and proposed growth in movement resources (that is, what the entity is requesting from the FDC this year compared with the amount the entity received in WMF grants last year). We are asking you to confirm these numbers here so we may be sure we are understanding your request.

  1. Please confirm the amount you have been awarded in WMF grants between 1 January 2013 and 31 December 2013, and list each grant and the amount awarded here.
  2. Please confirm the amount from WMF grants you expect to have spent between 1 January 2013 and 31 December 2013, and list each grant and the amount expected here (note that some of these grants may have been awarded in the calendar year 2012 but spent in the calendar year 2013).
    • GLAM & outreach grant lasted from June 1st, 2012 to June 30th, 2013. According to the Expenses section of the grant report, I calculated that during 2013 10,869.04 EUR from the funds were spent.
    • GLAM & outreach (II) grant has not yet finished, I calculate we have spent around 50-60% of the funds (8,310 EUR), I will ask our treasurer for more detailed info according to our treasurer we have spent almost 4,000 EUR until the moment.--Arnaugir (talk) 18:57, 30 October 2013 (UTC)
  3. Your total budget in 2013 listed in Table 3 is 72,500 Euro and that your total proposed budget for 2014 listed in Table 2 is 111,650 Euro. Therefore, we calculate a proposed growth rate in your total budget of 54%. Please confirm that this matches your records.
    Yes, this is correct. The rationale may be found in the proposal.--Arnaugir (talk) 18:56, 30 October 2013 (UTC)

Thank you and clarification[edit]

Thank you for these prompt answers about your rates of grown, Arnaugir. Would it be fair to consider 19179.04 EUR as the approximate amount of WMF grant funds you will have spent by the end of this year? I have calculated this number by adding the 10,869.04 EUR spent from GLAM & outreach during 2013 and the expected 8310 EUR you will spend on GLAM & outreach (II) up to now and during the rest of 2013. Thank you, Winifred Olliff (Grants Administrator) talk 18:20, 31 October 2013 (UTC)

Yes, this is correct.--Arnaugir (talk) 09:28, 5 November 2013 (UTC)

Clarity around exchange rates used in this proposal[edit]

Please state how you calculated the exchange rate used in your proposal to provide the estimates provided in this proposal. Note that FDC allocations will be made in your requested currency (your local currency, in most cases), and amounts in US dollars are provided only so that entities and the FDC may understand allocations across entities. The FDC will use the exchange rate on the date of the proposal submission (1 October 2013) as calculated by Oanda, to ensure consistency across proposals.

We used the official exchange as of 25 Septemebr 2013 from the European Central Bank BCE: 1 € = 1.3504 $.--Arnaugir (talk) 18:44, 30 October 2013 (UTC)
Thank you for confirming your source. Cheers, Winifred Olliff (Grants Administrator) talk 18:21, 31 October 2013 (UTC)

Questions about your entity’s staffing plan and strategy[edit]

Many entities plan to grow their staff in the coming year, and we would like some more information about each entity’s staffing strategy.

  1. If your entity is increasing its staff by one or more people, please explain how your board and, if applicable, the staff person managing your new staff, will handle the increased responsibilities of managing more staff.
    N/A
  2. Do you think the decision to increase the number of your staff will change the way your organization or your staff interacts with volunteers or change the attitude of volunteers toward your organization? Will the role of volunteers shift as a result of the change in staffing? How were community members a part of the decision to grow your staff?
    N/A
  3. Who on your staff is responsible for your organization’s fundraising activities in 2014?
    Mainly User:Kippelboy (our only employee), but also board members and other designed members.--Arnaugir (talk) 14:47, 31 October 2013 (UTC)
Thank you for confirming! Winifred Olliff (Grants Administrator) talk 18:21, 31 October 2013 (UTC)

Organizational context[edit]

We have noticed a few ideas that are included in many of this round’s proposals, and would like more information about each entity’s context.

  1. Growth: We have reviewed your response to the question in the proposal form about your proposed rate of growth in budget and in movement resources. The rates of growth in movement resources for all entities in this round are at or significantly greater than the recommended maximum of 20% in the FDC Framework funding guidelines. It would be helpful to the FDC and FDC staff if you have any further details to justify your proposed rate of growth. Why do you believe your rates of growth are sustainable and that your plans are feasible? This request is also informed by the context of current underspending of movement resources (FDC allocations and WMF grants).
    As explained in the proposal, our rate of growth is explained mainly by three factors: the rental of our new office, the 18% pay increase for our only employee -which is explained above- (we will not hire any new employee during 2014) and the ambition to develop more projects, since we now have a stronger and more prepared member base. Our economic budget is also significantly higher than last year's because we intent to provide funding for travel bursaries for Amical mmebers and Catalan Wikimedia projects editors, which we couldn't provide before with our own funds - that concept accounts for 10,000 EUR (see detailed budget).
  2. Partnerships: How does your entity define partnership? Do you have a process in place for bringing on new partners? What commitments do you require from the partner to begin the relationship?
    We consider a partner any institution, entity, etc. which helps us to achieve our goals by any means - be it by supporting Amical with funding, by providing a space to develop our projects or by promoting our activities. Besides that, we have "formal partnerships", agreements which we sign officially with institutions. At the moment we have two of those -with the Catalan Government regarding Open Data, and with Catalan Institute of Women- and more are coming up.
  3. Grants: If your entity has a microgrants, minigrants, travel grants, or other grants program, how much funding in your budget is committed to grants? What is your process for selecting who is able to receive grants and which grants to fund? How do you know if your microgrants are leading to good outcomes?
    Next year will be the first time we will be able to offer travel grants -considering we obtain the FDC funding proposed-. We still have to decide how we will choose who the grants are awarded to - probably, candidates will have to submit their applications and there will be a jury to decide it. If you consider it essential that we have this guidelines before the FDC resolution, we may try to speed things up.--Arnaugir (talk) 10:44, 5 November 2013 (UTC)
Thank you for these answers! Cheers, Winifred Olliff (Grants Administrator) talk 23:23, 5 November 2013 (UTC)

Questions for all entities about operating reserves[edit]

We need more clarity on the state of the operating reserves of all entities. Operating reserves are defined as liquid, unrestricted assets available for an organization to use as a cushion, and to cover the costs of operations in case of unanticipated expenses or loss of revenue.

  1. Please summarize your strategy or policy around holding operating reserves, and your procedure for determining the amount of operating reserves needed by your organization.
    As financial and prudence principles, we consider that Amical has to have enough available operating reserves in order to be able to guarantee the coverage of fixed expenses of, at least, two months (at the moment, that is 8,200 EUR) so we can overcome an unfavourable scenario, a delay of the expected income payments or a reduction of the budgeted income. Two months is the period we consider the minimum so that we can react and confront our obligations.
    In our case, the operating reserves come from two sources: 1) surplus from non expected incomes ; and 2) savings obtained thanks to an optimal management of the expenses, applying austerity and efficiency criteria.
  2. What amount of funds are in your entity's operating reserves right now?
    At the moment our operating reserves are very low (almost zero).
    Note: please let me add a (late but necessary) comment from our treasurer. We have no operating reserves, but we have pending receipts to cash which will enable us to go back to the desired level of operating reserves by the end of the year. Also, in the ultimate case there was a real unexpected event of lack of funds, the community members would be able to stand up and fix it.
  3. Have you budgeted any funds for your operating reserves in this proposal (your proposal for 2014) and if so, how much?
    No, there are no budgeted funds for the operating reserves in our proposal.
Note: those answers have been provided by Amical's treasurer, Josepnogue.--Arnaugir (talk) 11:45, 5 November 2013 (UTC)
Thanks to you and Jose for these answers. Cheers, Winifred Olliff (Grants Administrator) talk 23:23, 5 November 2013 (UTC)

Questions about Amical’s proposal from FDC staff[edit]

These are some questions and points of clarification that arose while reading your proposal. These questions are an opportunity to clarify information in your proposal for the FDC and for FDC staff. Thank you in advance for your attention to these questions. We ask that you respond to these questions within 14 days, so that the FDC will have time to consider your responses during the deliberations. In a few cases, we may need to follow up with you after you respond to gain further clarity around your answers. Thanks again on behalf of FDC staff! Winifred Olliff (Grants Administrator) talk 00:11, 29 October 2013 (UTC)

Questions about the financial information in this proposal[edit]

Please answer a few clarifying questions about the information you presented in this proposal about your revenues and planned expenses.

  1. While your projected spending is at about 83% of your planned spending, you also note that you are “on budget.” Would you explain why you believe you will spend about 17% less than you planned, and also why you consider that to be on budget?
    I undestand you are talking about the curreny year spending (2013). "On budget" maybe is not the correct expression (altough it sounds good to me) - what the proposal means is that we expect to be able to fund successfully all projects we planned to do according to our Activities Plan. Again, like I said many times above, we will not spend 100% of our money if we can do the same activities with 83% of the funds - that would be misspending resources. I would understand your concerns if we were _above_ budget, but considering that we are _under_ budget and we are successfully developing all of our projects, I don't see this ars a problem.--Arnaugir (talk) 16:41, 5 November 2013 (UTC)
  2. Please provide some more details about expenses in the following areas:
    • Universities project: the funds are to be spent in the day-to-day work, mainly: visiting universities were we haven't had any presence yet (basically those which are further away from Barcelona, or where we have almost no Amical members living nearby), workshops, etc. We also plan to hire a Universities director to deal with the work we are expeting to do with the universities from the Xarxa Vives (Catalan-speaking universities network). We will try to repeat projects like Viquimodernisme - I mean, developing new projects based on the method from this one which was particularly successful.
    • GLAM project: we want to continue working in the line started by the grants GLAM & Outreach (I&II), expand into new GLAM entities (libraries, archives, even new museums), etc. The money is to be spent in the "hand to hand" process - that is, initial presentation, kick off day, etc. Afterwards, events like workshops etc. are founded by GLAMs itselfs (or 50-50), and if necessary we shall ask for an economic compensation in case we have to devote many hours of work to them. Anyway, we try to adapt to every case.
    • External reach and readers: I already developed on this in another question, the main part of the funds requested in this part will be devoted to increase our presence in international meetings. Until now we have had to rely on other chapters to be able to attend the conferences, wikimania, etc. The "Navega en català" campaign will be performed with other entities to increase the navigation in Catalan, which is very important to us to gain more visits which otherwise are directed to Spanish Wikipedia (because of the computer setup).
  3. Please provide us with a detailed budget breakdown for Viquitrobada if it is available (or provide us with some approximate numbers if it is not yet available), so that we may better understand what costs are involved. Also, what do you think will be the longer term outcomes of this event?
    This is a good question, and I think we should have developed more in the proposal, since it is a fairly high amount of money. For us the Viquitrobada (Wikimeeting) is the main event of the year, when we can meet and see each other faces in real life. Until now, the Viquitrobada has drawn like 30-40 people, but considering that ca-wiki has 300 active editors we think we can gather more people and make it a bigger, more diverse and more interesing event. For exemple, until this year the Viquitrobada has been celebrated in Catalonia (next one is November 17 in Barcelona), which leaves aside the rest of the regions of the Catalan Countries (or regions on which Catalan is spoken ;-) ). With the proposed funding -for which we have no breakdown-, we can rent a decent venue, rent a coach from Barcelona and offer [partial or complete] travel bursaries for wiki(pm)edians who live further away (ie. Balearic Islands -which means they have to take the plane/ferry), south of France, Alghero or the Pyrenees. In the past, this has been done thanks to the optional contribution of the assistants - for example, in 2010 everyone who wanted to contribute paid 10 euro for the travel bursaries program which helped to bring a wikipedian from Alghero, making the Viquitrobada more diverse and really interesing.
    The outcomes of the event are mostly: 1) cohesion of the editor group (very important for our community) 2) new editors (since the Viquitrobada is open) 3) improvement of Catalan Wikipedia (new ideas come out to be discussed later on-wiki) and 4) territory (specially if we obtain the proposed funds - we can move to furthest places from Barcelona which otherwise would be nonsense to choose because of the difficulty for getting there, and thus, a possible low attendance). This objectives are in line with our Strategic Plan.--Arnaugir (talk) 16:52, 5 November 2013 (UTC)
  4. We notice that Amical budgeted 3,000 Euro for travel expenses in 2013, but notice that the budget for Program 5 / External reach and readers, which appears focused on travel, is almost 12,000 Euro. Please clarify if Program 5 contains significant expenses other than travel, and also explain this increase in your travel budget.
    The explanation is that last year we were not a recognized entity by the WMF, so we were not able to apply for FDC. Two of our members (myself and Gomà) were able to attend the Wikimedia Conference in Milan thanks to the support from Wikimedia Italy. Now, if it's possible, we'd like not to rely on others funding to attend those events - be it WMCON, Education meetings, GLAM camp, etc. Apart from this, we have also thought about offering Catalan editors travel bursaries to Wikimania 2014 in London, those will probably be partial scolarships since we expect we will "send" a huge delegation :-). Apart from those two, program 5 (External reach & readers) also proposes creating 2 roll-ups (absolutely necessary since we changed our logo and the two we had are no longer useful), the "Navega en català" ("Navigate in Catalan") campaign (together with other entities; many of the Catalan-speaking users computers are set up in Spanish, thus diverting the traffic to es-wiki or en-wiki. The campaign is already ongoing, we will add to it) and, finally, the website domains.--Arnaugir (talk) 16:59, 5 November 2013 (UTC)
Thank you for this helpful background. Cheers, Winifred Olliff (Grants Administrator) talk 23:26, 5 November 2013 (UTC)

Question about strategic priorities[edit]

Thank you for clearly listing strategic priorities that align with each of your programs. Please also share with us briefly how these strategic priorities and goals listed are achieved through your programs. We understand that each program may contribute to more than one strategic priority. In some cases when you list three or more strategic priorities, we would like to know which strategic priority is _most_ closely aligned with your work and why. We are asking this because your rationale for choosing these strategies is important to understanding the impact and feasibility of your plan. It also helps the FDC track progress against movement-wide goals.

  • Program 1 / Amical-community relationship: You list ‘Increase participation’, ‘Improve quality’ and ‘Increase reach’.
    • Of these three priorities, which do you believe is most closely aligned with this program?
      • The most important one, in this case, is 'increase participation'. We have to work to help maintain the good atmosphere one can breath when participating in Catalan-related projects. This itself causes an improvement of the quality. If the users are well treated, and they find help from other editors when they seek it, they will surely tend to participate more and even bring new people and editors.
    • You link your program to “better content and the gain of more users,” which addresses ‘Increase participation’ and ‘Improve quality’, but would you also explain how this program is related to to ‘Increase reach’?
      • Events like the Viquitrobada and Wikimeetups are not restricted to already active editors but also to new interested people. By celebrating meetups in different places of the territory we intend to draw more interested people into our projects, thus increasing our reach.
  • Program 2 / Sharing good practices: You list ‘Increase reach’ and ‘Increase participation’.
    • Please offer a brief explanation of how each of these priorities are related to this program.
      • By promoting our goals and activities (both future and past) by means of the right platforms (website, video, leaflets), and providing help (ie. editing tips) we will try to attract new editors by reaching different sectors of the society, and we will work to maintain them (so not to lose them after the first day). This will indirectly lead to an increased participation to our projects.
  • Program 3 / Improvement of the projects' content: You list ‘Improve quality’, ‘Increase reach’ and ‘Increase participation’.
    • Of these three priorities, which do you believe is most closely aligned with this program?
      • Obviously 'improve quality', that's why we try to reach sectors like GLAM institutions and universities.
    • Please offer a brief explanation of how each of these priorities are related to this program.
      • I think 'improve quality' does not need an explanation. As per the other two: working with entities like GLAM museums -which have lots of potential of reaching out to media, etc.- and universities -which have a wide person base- helps us to reach more people; and on the other hand, working with this kind of institutions might lead to an increase of the participation from already active users -because they feel 'new blood', the wish to help new users, etc.- and also from new gained users.
  • Program 4 / External reach & readers: You list ‘Increase reach’.
    • Please offer a brief explanation of how this priority is related to this program.
      • (I think you mean Program 5, not 4) Communication is very important for us, since we need to make ourselves and our projects more visible and gain new readers. This will be done by following the Communication Plan and also by participating in the "Navega en català" campaign (as explained above) to attract readers that otherwise are directed to Spanish or English Wikipedia because they do not even know there is a Catalan Wikipedia (fact - even some Catalan Government webpages point to Spanish Wikipedia...). Aside from that, we also want to share our experiences and way of working with other organizations from the Wikimedia Movement so we can learn every one from each other.
    • In particular, please describe how the activity ‘Intense participation in international meetings’ is linked to this strategic priority.
      • We think participating in such meetings (GLAMcamp, Education meeting, WMCON, etc.) is crucial to learn from experiencies from other organizations, and also to share what we are doing, where have we failed and succeeded. Obviously this might (and has to) be achieved by online discussions, but face to face is easier and more productive (in fact, if it wasn't, WMCON and similar events wouldn't be celebrated, right?). With this project we want to make sure we can send delegates from Amical to every conference or meeting which is of our interest (from both the point of view of sharing & learning).--Arnaugir (talk) 16:37, 6 November 2013 (UTC)

I endorse this comment: The "overview" says nothing about the project (just box checking the goals of wikipedia). These above are the key questions: Why should 200k be given here (as opposed to elsewhere?) How (exactly) will organic enduring growth ensue from this intervention (or will precious donations be required every year?) What is the evidence that this intervention is what is lacking (as opposed to myriad other causes of a lack of editing? Tim bates (talk) 19:45, 31 October 2013 (UTC)

Questions about programs[edit]

  1. When asked about how your organization defines success, your answer includes: "Number of new editors to Catalan Wikimedia projects gained thanks to our programs, and also retaining them in the long term.“ How have you measured your success in this area in the past, and what are the metrics that you will use to find out whether you are reaching your goal of increasing and retaining new editors to the Catalan Wikimedia projects?
    We try to combine "quantitative" measurements (number of users who keep editing after the workshops; we know their nicks because we note them down, either in a wikiproject public page or in a private list) and "qualitative" measurements (following up with them, we make sure they understand the guidelines and the project philosophy. After a workshop, a number of Amical volunteers helps to keep track of new editors. Lately, we are trying a new system of metrics from the Evaluation Program, which we hope will help us in the future providing better ways of keeping track of metrics.
  2. Spoken Wikipedia and WikiArs are both projects conducted by volunteers. Please offer some examples of how Amical supports this type of volunteer-led work.
    Spoken Wikipedia will be a new project in 2014, so we will surely find difficulties during the path. Our wish is to take advantage of our relationship with the Network of Libraries and also GLAM institutions in a way such to facilitate the work for those who want to participate to the Spoken Wikipedia project. We also will try to make contact with the TALP Center from UPC (Polytechic Unviersity of Barcelona) in order to develop a system to automatically "speak" the articles, and to partner with institutions whose goals are in line with the project. With the proposed funds, our intention is to distribute a number of microphones to ensure everyone who desires to participate can do so. On the other hand, in WikiArS we help establishing bridges with new participating schools, facilitating contact, economical support for trips, merchandising if necessary, etc. Also, Amical is the "brand" behind the project. I will ask the project leader Dvdgmz to develop more on this.
    Hi, wikiArS was an initiative initiated by Amical on 2011; between the end of the last Academic Year and the starting of the current Academic Year my IEG have been an opportunity to consolidate the project, to create tools and to define better the methodology that facilitates to replicate the experience in other countries. As Arnau said Amical continues to promote the initiative; weaving a growing network of schools, expert advisers and wikimedians; involving art students and teachers in Free Knowledge goals. The collaboration with catalan schools is coordinated from Amical, and the management of illustration exhibition and other related activities as well. --Dvdgmz (talk) 17:09, 7 November 2013 (UTC)
  3. Why have you chosen to focus on WikiQuote, and what do you believe will be the outcomes of this focus?
    Because it was a wish expressed by some of our users who are willing to work on it, and we took it into account. We have already partnered with some GLAM institutions to expand our WikiQuote base. The outcome will be a more complete Catalan WikiQuote.--Arnaugir (talk) 16:53, 6 November 2013 (UTC)