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

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Community coordinator/Volounter support[edit]

I am used from other chapters that most of the members of the board and several of the employee are active member of the wikipediacommunity. From you I get the feeling this is not the case and you try to remedy this by recruiting a community coordinator. While a community coordinator could be OK, running things like hackaton etc, I do not believe it is viable that the community coordinator will take on all contacts with the community neither be eble to tackle key issues like contributer retention and recrutiment of new contributers. Could you eloborate on this issue, and if I have drawn the wrong conclusions etc.Anders Wennersten (talk) 13:53, 3 October 2013 (UTC)

There is a close and continues connection between the community and the chapter. All members of the board are part of the community. We have an active and vibrant mailing list and both editors and board members are contributing to it. At least once a week a discussion is opened. We are always aiming to be bigger and better. While our board members and key volunteers have their hands full with leading various projects, the community coordinator will focus on the communication with the editor's community. The Community Coordinator will lead two major processes: strengthening the existing volunteer base and support the integration process of new editors.. Recruiting new editors will be the role of all team members with a focus on the community coordinator. --Itzike (talk) 08:44, 6 October 2013 (UTC)
I am glad and satisfied with your answer on this issue.Anders Wennersten (talk) 11:22, 6 October 2013 (UTC)

Funding strategy[edit]

You are asking for a treefold FDC budget even knowing the guardrail is an increase of maximum 20%. This raises a number of questions. In what way will this ensure extraordinary results of fullfilling the strategic goal of the movement, as I do not in your existing or planned programs see more then the basic acitivites we are used to find from a chapter. How have you ensured you will manage such an increase? Leadership challanges, challanges of internal dynamic in the team, knowledge tranfer and buildup, ensuring productivity and going for maxiual efficieny in golareaching. Generally from our internal learnign and learnings from other organsations it is only possible to maintain quality and effeciencye with incremantal small increases in staff. Also you have only a small part of fundings from other resources then FDC, what is you scenario if the funding from FDC will radically go down, which will happen if our doantions will go down, do you have any fallback plan for recruited personell.Anders Wennersten (talk) 13:53, 3 October 2013 (UTC)

When we created our annual plan, it was out of the foundation's strategic goals. Here are a few examples out of our work plan: We aim to create clear rules and policies regarding the infrastructure of the chapter. We aim to increase the participation of students and scholars with our academic collaborations, re recruit inactive past editors, and more. We will surely improve the quality of both readers and editors by expanding the accessibility of Wikimedia to pupils and teachers and recruiting new editors from various fields.
I believe that WMIL is considered as one of the most innovative and creative chapters. Our board members as well as our community are all driven and motivated about making this quantum leap. The annual plan and the budget were pre approved by the general assembly with excitement. Our ED is highly experienced in managing NGOs and leading them through major changes. We feel that this is the right way to go, and that we have all the needed resources to succeed. --Itzike (talk) 08:45, 6 October 2013 (UTC)

Is there a focus on membership growth?[edit]

I found that membership remained at 40 (No change from previous year), though several programs have been undertaken in the preceding 12 months. What is the strategy with regard to membership growth? What have been the experiences so far. I found more mention of editors and contributions in the metrics, but not membership numbers.--Arjunaraoc (talk) 07:47, 8 October 2013 (UTC)

WMIL do not focus on recruiting new members to the chapter. In Israel is not common to be a member of an association (chapter). Our goal is to increase the number of active editors and volunteers who take part in our projects. . Expending the number of association members who pay dues does not necessarily indicate the increasing scope of activity. --Itzike (talk) 22:22, 10 October 2013 (UTC)
  • Thanks for your clarification. As Chapter is a membership based organisation,a robust membershipbase is critical for sustainability of organisation in my view. The engagement with members may need to be strengthened so that they do not feel it is just payment of dues. --Arjunaraoc (talk) 05:58, 13 October 2013 (UTC)

How will you grow?[edit]

As mentioned above the Israeli chapter puts no effort into growing its membership base. How will the chapter grow over time if the leadership is so hostile to new membership or expansion?

Was this policy of 'anti-growth' put in place to preserve the status quo - the power of the current 40 members over the entire $428K budget?

Due to the low membership numbers and high budget, I suspect there is a high likelihood of embezzlement. Is this chapter independently audited?

Retrolord (talk) 05:16, 17 October 2013 (UTC)

First, it is important to clarify that we support any kind of growth in the WMIL. As our work plan states, we are currently focusing on expanding our editors community in various ways, and as a result we expect a general growth of the chapter. As mentioned above, Israelis typically do not join associations, and therefore we have only 40 members in the chapter. However we have around 200 editors in our community and hoping to have significantly more soon. --Itzike (talk) 19:06, 19 October 2013 (UTC)
Because this seems to be a question that gets asked a lot, I would like to expand a bit on what Itzik said. First of all, there is no anti-growth policy at all. We are in favor of growth and additional members and actively act to increase our membership. However, it is not our main focus and we don't spend significant resources on directly trying to increase membership. We would rather spend our resources on cool projects that actually help the community and further the goals of the movement, especially considering that past experience has shown that more members does not necessarily mean more active volunteers. In other words, more chapter member does not always translate into meaningful growth.
Regarding your concerns about embezzlement: we are one of the oldest chapters in the movement and have a well-established organization (even though we're always trying to improve and always look for experienced people to help us). Each year we have board elections, and each board has new members (the current board has 3 new members out of 5). You could say therefore that we have a good democratic culture in the chapter :) and no status quo.
So to the point about actual financial matters: Wikimedia Israel has an audit committee of two members that is highly involved and attends all board meetings (live and online). We public all of our expenditures in our financial reports and work plans, which are available to the public, and also sent to the Non-Profit Organization Registrar (my translation), which is part of the Israeli Ministry of Justice. They oversee the activities of all non-profit organizations in Israel, including our own, and publish policies and guidelines for correct management of NPOs, which we follow. Aside from the audit committee, our ED and legal advisor are professionals in the field of NPOs and can help resolve of finances, conflict of interest, etc.
It is additionally very important to note that our top 5 salaries are also reported to the registrar and are available to the public. Since we only had one salary last year, and then two, and next year we're asking for four—100% of our employees' salaries will be available to the public for scrutiny. These salaries, plus the office we've just rented, make up the largest portion of our budget increase.
Finally I will note that we had a budget of about $428k in 2011 when we ran Wikimania, and I believe that we're the only chapter ever (could be wrong, please don't be angry if I am :) ) that ran Wikimania without any budget overruns whatsoever, at any stage, so we already have experience in running such a budget and I don't think it is a problem with the current board or membership base.
Hopefully we have answered your question in a satisfactory manner, please let us know if you would like additional clarifications.
Ynhockey (talk) 12:19, 20 October 2013 (UTC)

Sort term[edit]

typo

Question about funding as a ratio to members[edit]

I reviewed all of the planned programs of all of the chapters, and see a lot of impressive proposals. However, one thing I did review on an aggregate level was the ratio of funding requested to member count. See Google doc spreadsheet

I notice that the value for Israel sticks out, and wonder if you would have any comments. Is there reason to think that the member count is artificially low (or worse, that I picked up the wrong number), or are there good reasons to fund this chapter disproportionately to other chapters? (I posted this question before seeing the above discussions which bear on member count, however, I don't think that totally satisfies my question.) --Sphilbrick (talk) 21:41, 19 October 2013 (UTC)(talk) 21:35, 19 October 2013 (UTC)

Sphilbrick, Please read above my comments regards the number of chapter members. --Itzike (talk) 21:59, 19 October 2013 (UTC)
I agree with talk and I am not satisfied by your answers above. I am surprised about the funding asked as a ratio to the chapter. Not only above the number of members, but also because 428,705 USD is a lot of money comparing to the size of Israel country (8 000 000 inhabitants). You seem to be a very big eater comparing to other chapters. Tobovs (talk) 13:07, 27 October 2013 (UTC)
Perhaps compared to some of the chapters, but Sweden, Austria and Switzerland are all comparable in country population, chapter activity, and fund requests. One could look at things another way - less paying (formal) members and a (claimed) higher ratio of volunteers, combined with transparent finances, means a more effective use of funds overall. I'm not saying WMIL's proposal is the best of the bunch, just that your particular fears are exaggerated. --Eliyak (talk) 05:38, 30 October 2013 (UTC)

Hi Tobovs,

I answered more in-depth above, have you read my answer?

In any case, I will add a few more things: the size of the country doesn't matter, we're asking for more than Wikimedia India and less than Wikimedia Switzerland. Nor, in our opinion, does the number of members. It depends on what activities the chapter needs/plans to support. I hope I won't offend anyone by saying that we definitely consider ourselves to be one of the major chapters in terms of our volume of activity and partnerships, and our work plan for 2014 reflects that.

In terms of change from the previous year, as we mentioned, there is a necessary professionalization process that we are undergoing (and other major chapters already underwent) that requires a lot of additional funds. The process started last year with the hiring of our ED, but is reflected much more in this year's budget. Because we started this process last year, the plan was to grow very little and instead focus on establishing a more professional structure that would enable the sustainable growth of our chapter. Therefore the budget last year was very low and we were forced to freeze/delay some partnerships or dawdle in their implementation.

This year we're back to focusing on growth—again, less in terms of membership (which, just to be clear, we encourage), and more in terms of activity. In order to enable this growth we need the help of employees with relevant expertise (which our volunteers might not have) and a permanent office/location. These are the main new expenses of this year's budget, but they are almost static.

Just to be very clear on this point: most of the work in the chapter is done by volunteers, and will continue to be done by volunteers. Many of our volunteers already give hours every day on managing our array of activities, giving lectures, running workshops, creating partnerships, etc. All of this while they have jobs and lead private lives (I'm sure the same applies to other chapters as well). The employees are meant to work behind the scenes to augment this effort and let the volunteers do their work much more efficiently.

Ynhockey (talk) 14:22, 31 October 2013 (UTC)

No focus on Membership growth, copy editing needs[edit]

I admire Wikimedia Israel's achievements as far as organising events and meets, but I have several concerns regarding how Wikipedia Israel will benefit from the proposals here:

A. As far as I can tell, none of the current board of Wikimedia Israel was or is a heavy-duty editor, and this lack of experience with the main task at hand (writing an Encyclopaedia) concerns me vis-a-vis their ability to accurately understand and address editors' needs.

B. The main difficulties of Wikipedia Israel are, from my point of view, the limited number of editors/contributors (~40-45 heavy-duty contributors for the last 6 years), and the complete lack of copy editing. The proposal aims invest less than 1.5 per cent to recruiting new or re-recruiting old editors, and offers to invest the bulk of the budget to salary for "coordinators" and various pet-projects and hobby-horses of the current executive committee. The real-life problems of improving the quality of entries (content and language) are not addressed here.

C. Large sums of money are allocated to projects in education and promoting cooperation with the academy. So far, efforts here produced a lot of hoopla, bragging-rights and chest-thumping opportunities, but very little in the way of actual contribution to the Encyclopaedia. Projects with students, for example, who were required to write entries as part of their academic duties, usually produced sub-par new entries (as far as content goes) with an unacceptably burdensome copy-editing 'trail'.

Generally speaking, it would be more practical and beneficial if the proposal was to address improving the quality of Wikipedia Israel: hiring a copy-editor, even part time, would have lifted the level of thousands of entries; hiring a bunch of teaching assistants (they're starving out here!) to task the dismal state of entries in areas such as history, sociology, psychology, and so on would have benefited entries immensely.

All in all, the proposal seem to be addressing non-existing needs via hiring staff and financing programmes that will not improve the general quality of the Encyclopaedia, while real needs are not met, acknowledged or addressed. הייתשלהדוס (talk) 00:54, 20 October 2013 (UTC)

Hi הייתשלהדוס, I will address your points one by one:
  1. I am on the board of Wikimedia Israel and am/was a heavy-duty editor, with over 60,000 edits on Wikipedia in several languages and thousands more on sister projects. We have another board member who has nearly 20,000 edits across all projects. The three others are all, or have been in the past, active Wikipedians. Unfortunately being on the board requires so much work that it usually makes it difficult to also edit Wikipedia as much as we used to, but we all still edit and talk to Wikipedians on a regular basis. We think we understand the editors' needs, but constantly talk to editors and would definitely welcome other suggestions. We also recognize that a large part of the editors we talk to are the ones who come to the events we organize, and one of our main goals for this year is to significantly increase our interaction with the community.
  2. If you're referring to the Hebrew Wikipedia, the chapter (and the foundation for that matter) cannot directly participate in writing the encyclopedia. Yes we are also Wikipedians individually, but we can't allocate chapter funds to hire writers and editors—this is against the basic principles of what a chapter is and does. We instead wish to enable more people to become editors and existing editors to have better tools. The projects we support are run by volunteers, supported by the chapter, and this will continue in the coming year. If we want to increase the support we can give to volunteers, we have no choice but to hire specific employees that will do much of the behind the scenes work, including metrics, fostering partnerships, coordinating between independent volunteers, and many other things to not only prevent our current volunteers from buckling under the load, but also give them a significant boost in the amount of outreach they can do.
  3. We have had quite a few partnerships with GLAM and academia and some of them involved having students write or edit Wikipedia articles. We recognize that not all of these projects have been successful, but most of them were, and resulted dozens of high-quality articles with no significant copy-editing work required—including features articles! You can read about one of the projects here (Hebrew) and browse to others from the parent page. What we want to do this year is expand these partnerships significantly to focus more on writing high-quality content for the encyclopedia. Ideally we will have more partnerships than we've ever had before (in all of the previous years combined), and this will be made possible by hiring two employees to do what the volunteers can't (no time and/or no expertise).
  4. Again we cannot hire people to actually edit Wikipedia, but many of the editing workshops and events we do indeed focus on improving existing articles. At the same time there are many who believe that Hebrew Wikipedia's biggest problem is the paucity of coverage, not the lack of quality, and that we need to write new articles possibly at the expense of improving quality. We as an organization have no opinion on this (again, we don't influence content directly in any way) and instead empower whoever wants to do either article improvement or creation. We also empower content contribution to projects that are not just Hebrew Wikipedia, including photo-walks and competitions, workshops that include the English Wikipedia, and any assistance we can provide in general to the movement. For specific projects we need volunteers to run them, and if you have a project and need funding, we will gladly help you submit a project/microgrant application. This invitation extends to anyone who reads this.
  5. In general you have raised a lot of valid points that the editor community is asking chapters in many countries, and every issue you raised has actually been given a lot of thought by the board. Many of the things you said might offend the chapter volunteers and board members who spend countless hours of their free time to help the community, but I understand where you are coming from. Even though we try to be as transparent as possible, just finding the time to read the protocols etc. that we release is difficult and we would like to make them as accessible as possible. This year we are planning to significantly expand the activity on our website/blog and find other ways to let the community know what we do, generate feedback and attract new members. I hereby extend an invitation to you and anyone else you know to come to subscribe to the chapter's mailing list, attend chapter meetings (and board meetings if you're interested), and contact us regarding any additional questions you have.
Ynhockey (talk) 09:34, 20 October 2013 (UTC)

I thank you for your response, but I'm afraid what you have written here only augments my concern here.

You've stated that Wikimedia Israel "cannot directly participate in writing the encyclopedia" and can't "hire writers and editors" but needs to limit itself to supporting projects and "enabling" efforts by volunteers.

The end result of Wikimedia Israel is, essentially, to help the creation and improvement of (mainly) the Wikipedia Encyclopaedia articles/entries. Or, as you phrase this, to "empower whoever wants to do either article improvement or creation." You claim that by "hiring two [additional] employees" you would be able to extend the partnerships more than ever before.

If we assume, with measured optimism, that this will result in doubling the amount of articles written thus far (~130 articles over the last 28 months or so) the budget is around 94,000 for the additional stuff and the various directly related programmes, which puts the mark at ~723 USD per article. That's a lot of money just to "empower" such a tiny end result.

This is just an example, of course, and I would not swear by my numbers here (items such as "Education programs" are simply to vague to really tell what they mean), but the general principle of the thing is quite clear: most of the funds will be dedicated to events and salaries, and only a paltry sum will go to actually enhancing and extending Wikipedia Encyclopaedia.

As stated before Wikimedia Israel has done wonders as far as organising events is concerned, but it had a rather slim influence over improving the amount of articles and their quality. I'm afraid I see nothing in this proposal that really dispels the notion that this will be the situation in the future.

הייתשלהדוס (talk) 14:27, 20 October 2013 (UTC)

Actually hundreds of articles have been written, not 130, and our budget so far for the academic partnerships was much less than $94,000 (it is also lower than that in the proposal, not sure which number you're referring to). If you're referring to the budget for all partnerships, then it encompasses far more than just writing articles for Wikipedia, and indeed more than just Wikipedia.
Our GLAM partnerships and photo walks/competition, combined, have been responsible for generating hundreds of thousands of new images for Wikimedia Commons, many of them Features Pictures on various projects. We have a project called WikiAir which generates hundreds of CC-BY-SA aerial photographs that you wouldn't be able to get anywhere else, and this project was chosen as the global movement's coolest project of the year on Wikimania.
As part of our current partnership with the National Library of Israel, for example, we are uploading thousands of rare images and sounds to Wikipedia stored in the library's archives (I think over 1,400 items have been uploaded so far just in the latest round). Our partnership with the Ministry of Education is teaching thousands of junior high and high school students on how to use Wikipedia (we gave a video lecture with over 6,000 students watching live), and we view this kind of outreach as having similar value to outreach that creates new content. We also have a small project with the Circassian community where we have expanded one of the Adyghe Wikipedias by something like 50%.
This was just a (very very) partial list of the projects we did last year, and in the coming year we plan to increase our activities significantly in tandem with the additional budget. A number of major projects are in the pipeline, including a partnership with the Design Museum Holon which will release thousands of copyrighted images into CC (much harder to release than PD images locked up in archives). The academic projects are going to not only generate valuable content for Wikipedia, but also greater awareness among both students and faculty, which will both bring in new editors and soften the professors' positions regarding Wikipedia, creating further partnerships (keep in mind, individual partnerships cost us almost nothing, it's for managing many of them that we need an employee).
So again, in short, the value we generate for the money is not limited to generating content for Wikipedia, in fact it's just a small part of a greater whole. We understand that Wikipedians may feel that they are being neglected, but this is far from the truth, and even if there is some truth in it we are open for suggestions on how to improve ourselves to better help the Wikipedia community—and this is a major part of next year's work plan.
Ynhockey (talk) 09:09, 21 October 2013 (UTC)


Two comments are due here:

First, you claim that "hundreds of articles have been written, not 130" - but you've referred yourself earlier to This link that sums the achievements of the academic programme. There you find 114 articles written, 5 in the process of writing and an additional 6 on the University of Haifa's libraries and archives. So, 125 and not 130.

Regarding the amount of money: you propose to invest 30,556 USD in "Education programs," some 50,777 USD to "increase for new staff expenses" (which according to Wikimedia Israel board protocols (hebrew) is to be dedicated to cooperation with the Academy) and then 12,667 for the "5th Wikiacademy" which I assumed (perhaps wrongly) was connected to this effort. All those sum up neatly to 94,000 USD.

Let's accept your claims that "our budget so far for the academic partnerships was much less than $94,000," and that "hundreds of articles have been written." If so, this begs the question: if "much less" have produced "hundreds of articles" why is the direct budget for that ("Education programs") just 5.5 per cent of the proposed spending? Wouldn't it make much more sense to invest more in what's actually producing "hundreds of articles"?

It seems to me that you're claiming to invest less to lower the Dollar/Article ratio, and claiming to invest more when asked about the direct relationship between proposed items in the proposal and writing new articles. You cannot have it both ways, I think.

Second, and more troubling to me, you refer to GLAM and to your partnership with the National Library of Israel as if they are two separate things, but they are one and the same (in your proposal you describe the project as "Wiki-GLAM project with the National Library of Israel") - why present one project as two? This may be misleading to those who did not read the proposal carefully.

You also claim that the GLAM project is responsible (with the photo walks/competition) to "generating hundreds of thousands of new images for Wikimedia Commons" and then you proceed to claim that the project is responsible to "uploading thousands of rare images and sounds to Wikipedia" and then you state that the project have yielded "over 1,400 items... uploaded so far just in the latest round" and, finally, in your proposal, you state that "1,300 files were uploaded to Wikimedia Commons." So, which is it? hundreds of thousands of new images? thousands or rare images? Over 1,400 just in the last batch... or just "1,300 files"?

This is quite disconcerting. You claim that "This was just a (very very) partial list of the projects we did last year" - well, if that is the case, why present the same project twice as two separate projects?


That said, I would like to sum up with a look at the grand scheme of things. Your budget proposal for 2013 (In Hebrew) state as the most important task for that year to "bring in new editors to Wikipedia and prevent desertion of existing editors" - but the budget itself includes not a single item directed toward this goal. Further, Wikimedia Israel's protocols (Hebrew) does not include a single discussion of this supposedly crucial issue.

Similarly, your proposal suggest investing just 5,834 USD toward Recruiting new editors and Re-recruiting inactive users. That is, just one per cent of the budget is supposed to be invested in what you've claimed to be your number one task this year.

On the other hand 60.6 per cent of the budget for 2013 went to paying the Executive Director and covering extensive travelling expenses for the Executive Director and the board.

My fear here is that the proposal will cement the current situation: Most of the money will go into financing salaries, travelling expenses and extravaganza - little will go into what actually advances writing new articles.

I'll sum with a small example: the WLP photo-contest was the main project planned for 2013 (see here (Hebrew) with a budget of 40,000 NIS. However, when summing the event in the Wikimedia Israel meeting protocols here (Hebrew) the board stated that 30,000 of the budget the preceding year went to a "glittery event... that did not advance the targets set by Wikimedia Israel" (page 7)

My fear is that the proposal will set a hefty sum toward salaries and expenses, and will do nothing to advance the main task of Wikimedia Israel. הייתשלהדוס (talk) 13:17, 23 October 2013 (UTC)

I am afraid that there are a lot of misunderstandings here. Firstly, I posted a link to just one project with the academia, as it offers a very orderly report of articles written. The other projects can be found here, but not all of them list all the articles created or expanded. Additionally none of them mention editor retention and such because it was extremely difficult for our volunteers to keep track of this, and this is one of the things we plan to improve this year. In general having much stricter and more orderly metrics is part of our plan and the chapter's professionalization process.
Secondly, I believe that you are confusing the 2012–13 budget with the 2013–14 proposal regarding our education programs. Last year we spent very little on these programs and got the above results. This year we plan to spend much more (including a staff member, which is a major expense) and plan to get much better results, including lasting partnerships which were very difficult to create in the past. It is important to repeat that writing Wikipedia articles is not our only goal with these partnerships. With some it's the main goal, with some it's a major goal and with others it's a minor goal compared to something else. This something else could be raising awareness, collecting free media, and just overall investing in long-term partnerships which will pay off in the future. An additional point of confusion is the budget figure, where there is again confusion between last year's budget and this year's proposal.
Not counting the National Service volunteer, there is going to be one new staff member according to the proposal, that's the community coordinator. The $50,777 figure is not related to the academic coordinator (or academic partnerships in general). The salary of the academic coordinator is included in the existing salaries. WikiAcademy is a conference; among other things it promotes partnerships with the academia, but it's much more broad than that, and more than anything builds awareness among groups that were previously less familiar with Wikipedia/Wikimedia. Last year's WikiAcademy got tons of press coverage. This potentially creates editors and partners and increases the chapter's ability to influence all sorts of institutions in Israel to do good things for our community, especially release content under free licenses (the chapter's overall main goal). Consider also that our board and ED spend countless hours acquiring independent funds (grants/sponsorships) for this and other important annual events, and we are seeking a grant to partially cover our education programs. I therefore estimate that including travel expenses we will spend no more than ~$40,000 of FDC money on academic coordinator salary and programs, and we expect to see huge returns on this investment. If we don't get the independent funding we hope for, we will be spending ~$65,000 in total.
Regarding GLAM: another misunderstanding. I never said that they were separate. They are not. We have a number of GLAM partnerships, most of them small individual projects (I am really the wrong person to ask about those). The two main permanent partnerships right now are the National Library and the Israel Museum, and we're trying very hard to increase the number of permanent partnerships, because they generate a lot more value. Two potentially big ones that were temporary but hopefully will become permanent are the Haifa University Library and the Design Museum Holon (along with a number of affiliated museums).
Regarding image numbers: yet another misunderstanding. Each figure refers to different things. Hundreds of thousands refers to all images as a whole, including partnerships, workshops, photo walks and competitions such as WLM. Not sure you are familiar with Elef Milim (photo walks) and Wiki Loves Monuments, which are major image generators. "Thousands of rare images" refers to what we're getting from just the National Library, not all of them have been uploaded yet. 1,400 is an estimate of images and sounds uploaded in the latest batch (could be 1,300 but I think that figure is outdated). You could ask User:Deror_avi about that.
In summary, I think our discussion here is a microcosm of how some people on Wikipedia view our chapter, and I intend to make personal conclusions about this and pass them on to the board. It will be part of our effort to significantly increase our presence on Wikipedia (and other projects) in the coming year. Clearly most of the confusion stems from miscommunication, and the lack of familiarity among some Wikipedians about what we do—I concede this is in large part our fault and again, we have every intention to fix our part. I therefore invite you to also find out more about our projects and activities beyond this proposal (which is a very short summary). Feel free to join the chapter, attend meetings and talk to any chapter member about their project. While we on the board know about almost all projects by heart, it's usually best to talk to the individual project coordinators/managers to find out more. I will gladly point you to any project coordinator for any project you're interested in. You can contact me by email or in any other way you prefer.
Ynhockey (talk) 11:57, 25 October 2013 (UTC)

Just as an impartial outsider, I think that this questioner's questions have been promptly and fully answered. In a courtroom there would be a judge to stop an attorney's cross examination as "already answered," but there is none here. YNhockey is at a disadvantage, and anyone can start playing Chief Financial Officer with him. Resist the temptation. The questions were answered.Profhum (talk) 15:23, 26 October 2013 (UTC)

Diversity, gender gap[edit]

Hello :-) Thank you for the work that you put into the proposal. So far I have several questions.

I don't see any specific programs that are directly linked to increasing the diversity of the Wikimedia movement in general (such as gender, older people). In 2013, Wiki-Academy's main theme was "The Underrepresentation of Women Editors". Did this conference influence this FDC proposal about ways to eliminate the gender gap? How are the learning of this conference going to be implemented? Thanks again for your work. Sydney Poore FloNight (talk) 23:25, 21 October 2013 (UTC)

Hello, Sydney. First, thank you for bringing this up! The short answer to your question is "Yes". :) The longer one is that there's no easy, magic solution, but we are taking it seriously and are tackling the issue from a few different angles. The first, I believe, is that we have more women in key positions in the chapter. Our board has 2 women (out of 5), our newly hired CEO is a woman and our about-to-be hired Education Coordinator will also be a woman. As one of the women in WM-IL board, I find that it's crucial that we set an example to others, i.e. be involved, run projects, engage in collaborations and encourage others to do the same. Since you've mentioned our previous Wiki-Academy, you'll be happy to know that it brought about two new important partnerships -- one with the Gender Studies M.A. Program at the Tel-Aviv university and the other a partnership with the City Municipality of Holon, involving GLAMs and EDU institutions in the city. I am not saying that we won't have men contributors in these projects, but women on both ends play a key role in making them happen, thus creating a bigger community of women collaborating together to make things happen in Israel. As diversity does not only mean women, I can report that as I write these lines an editing workshop for senior citizens is happening at our National Library. This event is a collaboration between an ongoing GLAM partnership with the NLI and a new partnership with the Israeli Ministry of Senior Citizens. We are hoping this new collaboration will mature into a long-term partnership with the ministry and will keep you all posted. So, all in all our approach is simply continue doing, enabling a variety of voices, as well as investing our resources in finding practical solutions to the needs of each target group (whether it be women, senior citizens and others). It is well reflected in our 2014 program specifically in relations with the two new hired positions we've requested -- and EDU & Programs coordinator and a community coordinator. Making a decision to hire two new staff members for the chapter was a result of the board's decision to invest more focused and professional resources to solve some of our problems. Thus, the EDU person will also be in charge of facilitating new instructing programs, off and on line, keeping in mind that some of the users are less "computer oriented" than others, and helping the community develop new tools to help them become a more active part of the community. And after we tackle the "How to teach them properly" question, there's the "How do we keep them part of the community" question or in other words "retention rate". For that, we found that we need to invest in a community coordinator - someone who will be dedicated to take close care of the relationship between the editing community and the chapter, as well as help keep track of newcomers. So, all in all -- yes. The gender gap was well in mind while devising our 2014 program. Hope that answers your concerns, but if not, please feel free to ask away! Best, Shani (talk) 11:05, 23 October 2013 (UTC

Question regarding staffing[edit]

Hello WMIL, In your proposal of last year, you planned to hire only one General Manager for the year. However, as per table 5, you hired 4 FTE (one ED & 3 coordinator), two part time employee (50% & 10%) along with a legal adviser. As your proposal says, the first attempt to hire an ED for WMIL as not successful. Why have you attempted for hiring 4 FTE & two part time employee (while your initial plan was to hire one) although your first attempt for hiring ED was not successful? If we consider last year's proposal as base, then you are proposing for growing from 1 FTE to 5 FTE & 2 part time. What is the justification behind such massive proposed growth in staff number?

--Ali Haidar Khan (Tonmoy) (talk) 20:56, 23 October 2013 (UTC)

Hello, Ali. There must be some misunderstanding on your part -- we started with a part time admin person, which grew to be a full time job. In 2013, *this* year, we hired a CEO. So for now, our hired staff consists of 2 people only. For 2014, we plan on expending our staff members by two more - an Education coordinator and a Community coordinator. Both will be full time. That means -- 4 people. Other than that, there are providers or long term contractors, that are not staff (like an accountant and a legal adviser). We will also pursue the option of a National Service (Sherut Leumi) volunteer, that will be part time, but the salary is much lower than regular staff. Hope that clarifies... Best, Shani (talk) 21:04, 23 October 2013 (UTC)
Hello Shani. Thank you for your clarification. However, table 5 is for describing current year's staff composition where you've mentioned 4 FTE, one 50% staff, one 10% staff & one legal advisor. Table 6 is where increase of new staff is to be written where you're mentioned 1 FTE & one 50%. So it sums up to 5 FTE & one 50% as we assume FTEs from previous year will continue unless otherwise stated. However, in your last year's proposal, only 1 general manager was proposed as new staff and no mention was there to make existing part time project coordinator into a full time position. So, if we consider the plan for last's proposal was to have 1.5 FTE, you are still planning to grow your staff into 4.5 FTE & increasing total staff expenditure by 275%. Your detailed budget shows 42% ($206,033) is planned for staff expenditure, 26% ($118,919) for programs & events expenditure (including microgrants), 11% for travel ($50,538), 16% for operating & administrative expense ($74,231) & 5% reserve fund. Proposed expenditure for last year's corrosponding programs & events was 27% whereas this year it is proposed 26% (little lower than previous year's). We expect the staff to program ratio to decrease for entities that already have FTE but in your case it is increasing (like some other entities). What is your rational for increasing the staff to program ratio? What is justification of increasing total staff expenditure by 275%? I also didn't understand how can your existing staff expenditure increase by 211% given you've 2 FTE in current year (you've mentioned you have 2 FTE currently in response to my earlier question). --Ali Haidar Khan (Tonmoy) (talk) 18:21, 26 October 2013 (UTC)
You are right about Table 5. I'll ask the FDC team to allow us to change it to reflect the real current status. --Itzike (talk) 22:15, 26 October 2013 (UTC)


Misc[edit]

Hello, here some comments. About the program 2, « Recruiting new volunteers » : recruiting new volunteers, developing guidance methods and tools for effective instruction, and assisting in the onboarding process of new editors, recruiting inactive members back to the community as active editors, improve quality, mapping target populations... sorry but it doesn't really need money to do so. Just time and motivated people. About the program 4, « Increasing the chapter’s resources »... you want money to have more money ? You are not a bank. To be concrete, all your proposal looks like you want correct your lack of editors/contributors with recruiting people and piling up money. The opposite is more logical : gain more contributors and after ask for money. Tobovs (talk) 13:07, 27 October 2013 (UTC)

Regarding Program 2: we intend to hold 30 editing workshops after mapping specific target populations that are more likely to remain on Wikipedia (retention target: 10%). Previous such editing workshops were much more successful than standard workshops where the retention rate is about 1%. The sum we’re asking for essentially includes three things: travel reimbursement for volunteers that isn’t included in the eponymous spending clause (we want to be flexible with this and not deny volunteers the ability to help organize an event), small amounts of food and drink brought to these meetings, and (depending on the result of the aforementioned mapping) PR. For example, if we conclude that university students in construction engineering are the most likely to edit Wikipedia (just a random example, this is probably not true), then we might publish some materials specifically pertaining to their profession and attract them to come to our workshops and edit.
Regarding Program 4: we are asking for a small sum to invest in promotional materials that (we have every reason to believe) will, exactly as you said, get us more money from non-FDC sources. This is normal and as far as I know it’s done by all the major chapters and other non-profit organizations in the world. If you are concerned that we are asking for too much money, this program is one of the answers to that: we’re trying to get more funds from non-FDC sources in order to ask for less money from the FDC. This usually requires a small investment and represents the maximum amount we might invest in this—of course we will initially try to get outside grants without any expenditures on our part and it is possible that we will need only part, or none, of the investment.
Ynhockey (talk) 14:45, 31 October 2013 (UTC)

Please answer the questions about your Quarter 2 report[edit]

Before addressing the questions by FDC Staff about this proposal, we strongly suggest that you respond to the questions on the discussion page of your quarter 2 progress report for your 2012-2013 Round 1 proposal.

We responded. --Itzike (talk) 22:22, 12 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. We apologize if any of these questions seem redundant. 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. Thank you for your attention to these questions, and please let us know if you need any clarifications. Winifred Olliff (Grants Administrator) talk 00:19, 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 (what the entity is requesting from the FDC this year compared with what the entity received from the FDC last year) requested. 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 received from the FDC for the current FDC funding period in the currency you received it. We have 549,440 564,440 Shekels on record, and yet you list 564,440 Shekels in Table 2.
The FDC approved allocation of 549,440 NIS. As agreed with Winifred, amount of 4,830 NIS (remaining funds of a legal grant) had been deducted from the second installment of our FDC allocation. According to our bank record and as we updated on Q3 report - amount of 544,270 had been transferred from the WMF to WMIL. We assume that they missing amount - 340 NIS is due rate change\transfers fees. We listed 564,440 as we understood that this was the *planned* amount in our budget (and this indeed was planned on the 2012-13 proposal), if this is not the case, please confirm us to change it. --Itzike (talk) 22:36, 12 November 2013 (UTC)
  1. Your total budget in 2013 listed in Table 3 is 564,440 Shekels and that your total proposed budget for 2014 listed in Table 2 is 1,714,637 Shekels. Therefore, we calculate a proposed growth rate in your total budget of 304%. Please confirm that this matches your records.
We confirm the records. --Itzike (talk) 22:36, 12 November 2013 (UTC)
  1. Your movement resources in 2013 are 549,440 Shekels, and your request for 2014 listed in Table 2 is 1,553,837 Shekels.Therefore, we calculate a proposed growth rate in movement resources of 283%. Please confirm that this matches your records.
We confirm the records. --Itzike (talk) 22:36, 12 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.

  • Exchange rates vary according to the date which money was received.
  • We set the rate to $ 1 $ = 3.6 NIS, since the rate is not fixed --Itzike (talk) 22:34, 12 November 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.
  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?
  3. Who on your staff is responsible for your organization’s fundraising activities in 2014?


WMIL response:
  1. Since September, we’ve greatly increased leadership and management skills by hiring an Executive Director with more than 15 years of experience in the non-profit organization world. She is very capabale, and welcomes the responsibility of managing a planned staff of three subordinates. Moreover, our current veteran Activities and Logistics Coordinator will help with the onboarding process for the new employees, and so will the board.
  2. Our volunteers are the most important asset of the chapter. We will select people to join our staff knowing they cherish volunteers and have volunteering experience themselves. Nowadays, for example, when we’re recruiting Academic Activities and Education Coordinator, one of the interviewers is a prominent member of the volunteer community, to help assess the candidate’s fit to community values and communication. However, hiring a community coordinator is intended, in the short term, to increase quality of communication with our volunteer community, and, in the medium to long term to also increase the number of active volunteers in the chapter.
  3. The Executive Director is currently responsible to raise funds for the chapter. Since joining the chapter she’s started to seek additional resources and has developed relationships with several foundations and charitable organizations in Israel, such as the Rothschild Foundation [1], and had already applied to a few grants. She is aided by a few board members who have experience in raising funds through grant applications.
NLIGuy (talk) 06:38, 12 November 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).
  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?
  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?


WMIL response:
  1. We are fully aware of our exceptional request relevant to the growth of our chapter. Israel is a very unique chapter which has performed until 2011 without any salaried staff. Having made significant progress, we are really inspired and believe in our ability to carry out our plans. During our strategic planning in August, it became clear that if we want to have significant growth our senior staffs must work with the community, with the academic world, and with the government. We believe that the foundation and the entire movement have seen our capabilities to date, and we are due the confidence needed to make another giant step forward.
  2. A partnership in our interpretation, is a relationship between WMIL to a counterpart organization intended for working towards similar (or common) goals. A good partnership is strategic, focused and sustainable for the long haul, which enables “win win” situations for both organizations, while realizing the uniqueness of each organization. The usual process includes initial talks, and afterwards creating an agreement with goals, schedules, success factors, etc.
  3. Wikimedia Israel has both mini grants and travel grants programs:


The funding for mini grants amounts to 8,334 US$.
The funding for travel grants amounts to 10,669 US$ for travel grants (Wikimania, Chapters convention).


Travel Grants
We usually regard sending people abroad not as a “gift” or “bonus”, but as a part of their continued work and commitment to the goals of the Wikimedia Movement. The process for granting funds for travel grants is as follows:
For Wikimania - the chapter allocates reserved places, usually for board members and staff who can represent Wikimedia Israel. Then, the chapter sends to an independent, 3rd party committee, a list with the names of all applicants, and receives an ordered list based on the committee’s selection process. Afterwards WMIL employs a few selection criteria on the top names selected from the list, such as the ability to represent actions/projects the community is engaged in, receipt of former grants (we usually prefer distributing travel grants evenly, so that as many community members take part in Wikimania - we truly appreciate what a great commitment-maker tool this conference is for a volunteer), and, of course, based on merit - being a prominent and active member of the community. Moreover, in recent years we’ve attempted preferring sending a mixed team of male and female volunteers.
Other travel grants are issued very sparingly - and additionally based on needs - e.g. the need for community interaction and update in a specific area (e.g. GLAM), a need to learn new capabilities to help planned chapter projects (e.g. EduWiki), and of course the need to help our ED to reach her full capabilities.
It is very hard to evaluate “outcomes” from members’ visits abroad, especially in terms of management. The best way to do that, in our opinion, is witnessing that the chapter’s members have great connections to other chapters and members of the Wikimedia Foundation, that would doubtfully be achieved otherwise. We see many area of cooperation - GLAM, education, and even technical tools - which are blooming just because people with the same interest met abroad and had a nice talk over coffee, or attended a lecture together and got to thinking afterwards. In some areas, such as GLAM, the chapter even adopted models of cooperation and tools to solve common problems because of attendance of either Wikimania or specific events.
Microgrants
Our microgrants program is intended for members of the community (and the public at large), where they can suggest “mini projects” which contribute to furthering of Wikimedia’s goals - e.g. getting new openly licensed content to the Commons, or creating community events to help recruit more volunteers to edit the Hebrew Wikipedia. We are working on creating concrete acceptance criteria to allow for more focused grant making, and we’ll be actively advertising and encouraging community members to apply for microgrants. Since a microgrant can vary widely in subject, we usually tend to evaluate based on fit to strategy (both WMF strategy and the chapter’s own goals), and, where applicable, on the soundness and feasibility of the grantee’s workplans - achievable goals, sensible timelines, and capability to execution.
NLIGuy (talk) 06:37, 12 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.
Our reserves policy is calculated as the total amount of wages for all employees for a month, monthly rent and average of monthly payment to suppliers.--Itzike (talk) 22:20, 12 November 2013 (UTC)
  1. What amount of funds are in your entity's operating reserves right now?
WMIL don't have a dedicated reserves account. We calculated this year and next year reserves budget of 5%. We aim next year, as part of our budget and staff increment alongside with our professionalism process and the plan to write a strategic plan to define and decide about more clear reserves policy. --Itzike (talk) 22:20, 12 November 2013 (UTC)
  1. Is your entity planning to use money from your 2013 FDC funds allocation (your current funds allocation) to add to your organization’s reserves, and if so approximately how much money are you planning to add to your reserves?
We calculated a small balance at the end of the year 25,000 NIS --Itzike (talk) 22:20, 12 November 2013 (UTC)
  1. Have you budgeted any funds for your operating reserves in this proposal (your proposal for 2014) and if so, how much?
We budgeted 5% reserves (including Program & staff) which sum up to 81,649 --Itzike (talk) 22:20, 12 November 2013 (UTC)

Questions about WMIL’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 00:19, 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. The variance calculations in year-to-date spending in Table 3 are not included for the projected final amount. The projected final amount should be compared against the current fiscal year planned budget to calculate the variance.
The variance for the revenues is 93% and 42% for the spending. Please confirm that we can change the table. --Itzike (talk) 22:33, 12 November 2013 (UTC)
  1. The total from Table 8 is 970,577 ILS and the total from Table 7 is 741,720 ILS. At the same time your total proposed budget in Table 2 is 1,714,637 ILS. How do you explain the difference of 664 ILS? We realize this is a very small amount, but wanted to make sure that we were understanding all of your numbers correctly.
Unfortunately there was some mistakes on Table 8 (we and you failed to find it..):
  1. The total amount is incorrect. The amount should be 972,917.
  2. There is a mistake in the international participation budget, the right number is 51,840, as you can also see on the full budget that we posted on meta.
  3. We forgot to copy 2 lines from the original (1) "Marketing and PR" & "Management: Accounting & Consulting". If you will calculate all the numbers on table 8 you will get only 836,077 NIS. Having said that, we are now debating whether the costs of "Management: Accounting & Consulting" (legal) should be added to staff costs and not for to the programs table? Please confirm us to update the tables to fix this mistakes.
We appreciate and thank you for your note that lead us to discover this mistakes - originating from human error (nevertheless, copying Excel records to wiki can sometimes be quite tricky..). The total amount of our request hasn't been change. --Itzike (talk) 22:33, 12 November 2013 (UTC)


  1. Table 9 lists total spending at 1,997,411 ILS and total revenues at 1,714,637 ILS, which indicates total expenses that are greater than total revenues by 282,774 ILS, which should yield a cash balance of -282,774 ILS. Please clarify your cash balance, as well as total revenues and expenses here.
Michal sent email to Katy to get more clarification on this. We waiting for her answer. --Itzike (talk) 22:33, 12 November 2013 (UTC)
  1. Please provide details about what is included the following budget items:
    • Wiki Loves Monuments/earth/air:
Support for Wikiair: 5000 NIS, WLM: 27,000 NIS, WME: 30,000 NIS.
    • GLAM projects:
4 Wikipedian in residence (each one for 6 months): 45,600 NIS. Meetings and special GLAM events: 20,000 NIS --Itzike (talk) 22:33, 12 November 2013 (UTC)

Information missing from the proposal form[edit]

Please provide some information we did not find on your proposal form, or point us to where on your proposal form we may find it.

  1. You did not list any contacts for the donations you listed on the proposal form. Please share contact details for these donors by Emailing FDCsupport@wikimedia.org, or posting them on this page.
  2. You note you will be hiring an Educational Coordinator, but this position is not listed in Table 5 or Table 6. We note that the Community Coordinator position is listed in both tables. Please clarify which position should be listed in which table.
Just for the record, we've fixed the tables (see below, 'Request from FDC to change table 5 contents') and sent the contact details. NLIGuy (talk) 07:44, 10 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 / Strengthening the existing volunteer base: You list ‘Increase participation’.
    • Please offer a brief explanation of how each of these priorities are related to this program.
      In 2014, we seek to increase the participation of the community in the chapter's activities, in Wikipedia and in other initiatives. Enhancing community involvement will increase participation, and we will also be able to use their help in recruiting and absorbing new coordinators.
      Ynhockey (talk) 22:43, 11 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Program 2 / Recruiting new volunteers: You list ‘Improve quality’, ‘Stabilize infrastructure’ and ‘Increase participation’.
    • Of these three priorities, which do you believe is most closely aligned with this program?
    • Please offer a brief explanation of how each of these priorities are related to this program.
      Program 2 aligns with the goals of the movement in the following order: increase participation, improve quality and stabilize infrastructure.
      We are recruiting new volunteers, who will write single entries or expand existing ones. Of course, our hope is that the new editors will become Wikipedians, broaden the community and enrich Wikipedia in Hebrew. We have also begun recruiting volunteers for guidance and counseling. In the future, once the community coordinator assumes his or her role, together with current volunteers we will conduct activities to recruit new volunteers. The recruitment of new volunteers is the intended result of most of our activities this year. The variety of attempts to recruit volunteers from different fields and through different institutions is aimed at improving the quality of Wikipedia and other initiatives. Volunteers who will assist in the areas of guidance, volunteer development and the recruitment of new volunteers will bolster the Israeli chapter.
      Ynhockey (talk) 22:43, 11 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Program 5 / Creating long-term strategic partnerships: You list ‘Increase participation’, ‘Improve quality’ and ‘Increase reach’.
    • Of these three priorities, which do you believe is most closely aligned with this program?
    • Please offer a brief explanation of how each of these priorities are related to this program.
      Program 5 aligns with the goals of the movement in the following order: increase reach, improve quality and increase participation. The strategic partnerships will enhance the optimal use of Wikipedia and other projects. Through these partnerships, we can reach audiences that we previously had no direct contact with, such as senior citizens. Our partners, who specialize in content and/or specific target audiences, help us to create tailored programs in order to have the greatest impact.
      Our GLAM partnerships enable the release of free content from the collections of libraries, museums and so on. Such materials improve the quality of entries in Hebrew and other languages and as a result augment free information. We also hope that staff members in each of these institutions will write entries as a result of these partnerships.
      The materializing partnership with the Ministry of Education is aimed at reaching more students and teachers in Israel, in order to raise the number of Wikipedia users and to optimize usage. Presently, students use Wikipedia in a non-optimal manner and teachers prohibit its use. It is important to us to bring about a change in perception and in the use of Wikipedia.
      Ynhockey (talk) 22:43, 11 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Program 6 / Establishing Wikimedia Israel’s role as leader both in Israel and abroad: You list ‘Increase reach’ and ‘Encourage innovation’.
    • Please offer a brief explanation of how each of these priorities are related to this program.
      The leadership and professionalism of our staff and volunteers, through their activities distributing free information through Wikipedia and other projects, increase the visibility of the chapter and the entire movement. Professional leadership activity enhances visibility and establishes a foundation for new partnerships with other bodies, which view us as a reliable and innovative organization. We believe that our leadership qualities, which are based on professional activity, prompt appeals from central bodies such as the Ministry of Education, universities and GLAM institutions. On an international level, within the Wikimedia community we continue to lead in innovative and original programs that other chapters seek to duplicate.
      Despite the fact that the foundation's goals relate mostly to technological innovation, the Israeli chapter's innovativeness is manifested in projects that are replicated in the movement and garner local publicity.
      Ynhockey (talk) 22:43, 11 November 2013 (UTC)

Questions about your metrics[edit]

Please provide some information about how you plan to measure your work.

  1. Program 1 / Strengthening the existing volunteer base: How many total volunteers will attend the meetings? How many editors will you support and assist in new initiatives? For how many hours will the new community area be used by volunteers?
The following are the figures as detailed in our work plan: three events with 15 participants in each, totaling 45 people, and an additional event with 40 participants – amounting to 85 persons. We will support up to 3 new initiatives annually; each editor whose initiative is accepted will receive support from the chapter's team. Our volunteer room is new, and we can attempt to guess the rate of its use, but since there was nothing like this before in Israel it will simply be a baseless estimate. The board and staff will work to encourage volunteers to use this room, and volunteers are free to use it as much as they want – this room is intended for them. Apart from executive board meetings, our intention is to keep this room available for the community. The space can be utilized for anything, from a meeting between two community members who wish to edit together to large assemblies in preparation for initiatives and activities. We strongly hope that the use of this space will be frequent from the outset.
Ynhockey (talk) 22:25, 11 November 2013 (UTC)
  1. Program 3 / Building Organizational Infrastructures: How will you track and measure “better communication between the staff and the community”?
Activity we will conduct in order to track this issue: Our entire work plan is aimed at improving communication between the community and the chapter. The community coordinator, who will be recruited in 2014, will be assigned to track the number of meetings between staff members and persons from the community; the number of times volunteers initiated contact with the staff; and the number of events held in the community room. We perceive the community as our most valuable resource.
We view measuring as a highly important tool for learning what our most significant activities are and in which ones we need to improve. Measuring is still a new field in the movement, and we look forward to participating in the mutual learning process of the chapters and the foundation. Furthermore, our executive director has acquired previous experience in measuring and evaluating social programs.
We will measure the number of community events organized by the chapter and the number of participants attending each event. Following the recruitment of the community coordinator, we will conduct a survey, create a focus group and conduct personal interviews with representatives of the community, and toward the end of the year we will remeasure using the same tool or different ones.
We have been listening to the responses received from the international community in the past months, regarding the number of members in the association. The community coordinator will work to recruit new members to the organization. We are currently in touch with other chapters, in order to learn from the activities they conducted to recruit new members. In the last several months, we have already witnessed a change in communication with volunteers from the community, who got back in touch with the chapter as a result of the immense resources invested by the executive director in communication with volunteers. This valuable relationship will continue to be reinforced once there is a designated coordinator, who will be able to support and assist in activities and initiatives carried out by current and new volunteers.
Ynhockey (talk) 21:51, 11 November 2013 (UTC)
  1. Program 5 / Creating long-term strategic partnerships: How many faculties will you be working with? How many course participants will there be?
We are currently recruiting an academics and education coordinator. The work plan for the first year includes work with 3-4 faculties. The goal is to collaborate with either several faculties in one academic institution or several institutions in one geographic area, and to work with two or three lecturers in each faculty. In preparation for 2014, the executive director and the board member in charge of academic affairs met with representatives of the Tel Aviv University Student Union (see Q3 report) and a letter was sent to all faculty members. The letter included an invitation to incorporate the writing of Wikipedia entries in academic courses. We have already received an initial response from the Faculty of Engineering.
We have been previously compelled to suspend talks with the Technion (Israel Institute of Technology) due to the lack of an academic coordinator on our staff. Israeli academia wants to collaborate with us, and our ability to grow hinges exclusively upon the extent of resources that we can dedicate to academic activities in the coming year.
Ynhockey (talk) 14:07, 11 November 2013 (UTC)

Questions about impact and feasibility[edit]

  1. WMIL is proposing a growth rate of 283% with a request of 1,553,837 ILS (approximately US$436,000). Given the scope of WMIL’s past work and the current resources of WMIL, please explain how your organization can justify this rate of growth, and accomplish this very ambitious plan.
The WMIL budget for FY2013 was relatively modest because our plans included many estimated figures, which we now know were unreasonably low (such as the expenses of an executive director's salary and office rental costs). Therefore, the growth that might appear too rapid when viewed in percentages is, in fact, simply evolutionary – and the current budget incorporates more realistic estimates learned from our experience.
Moreover, when reviewing this proposal in comparison to other chapters of similar size, the requested amount is relatively low, considering the increases in human resources and activities in other chapters. It is very clear to us that additional human resources will enable us, just like other chapters, to expand the scope of our activities and to boost professionalization.
Ynhockey (talk) 14:05, 11 November 2013 (UTC)
  1. Program 6 / Establishing Wikimedia Israel’s role as leader both in Israel and abroad: Under this program, you note you aim to establish WMIL “as a leading chapter within the movement“. Please explain how this work will further the movement's mission.
We believe that striving to be a better organization is decisively a strategic goal. One of the aspects of being a leader entails having clear-set goals, effective programs and ways to measure outcomes and learn lessons.
We feel that WMIL has a good track record of executing programs, while constantly striving to be a better and more effective organization and to set an example for other chapters. For example, the Sverige chapter wrote in its proposal: "Besides continuing on what has worked well we will explore some new projects e.g. the Wikibus as well as trying to import projects that have been successful for other chapters e.g. WikiAir from Wikimedia Israel." We aspire to express our leadership within the movement through innovation, merit and the involvement of local volunteers in international projects (it is worth noting that the Israel chapter has been active in all the innovations and changes led by the Wikimedia Foundation).
Ynhockey (talk) 14:04, 11 November 2013 (UTC)

Question about long-term commitments or obligations[edit]

Can you explain whether WMIL has currently any long-term commitments or obligations, including to staff (both those already hired as well as those you plan to hire)? Please give us details. Many thanks in advance.

WMIL rented office space for a period of two years. The terms of the lease enable us to terminate the contract by giving one month's advance notice.
There are currently two salaried employees, both holding full-time positions. We are in the process of recruiting an additional employee by the end of this month. Our hopes are that these employees will stay with us and develop within the framework of WMIL.
Israeli law allows employers to fire salaried employees only after a hearing process and a 30-day notice.
Ynhockey (talk) 14:02, 11 November 2013 (UTC)

Request from FDC to change table 5 contents[edit]

Dear FDC, following a correspondence with Katy, we reckon that there has been a mistake in filling table 5. We've filled out projected staff/contractors for 2014, and need to adjust that to reflect the 2013 staff/contractor status. I've updated the table, and followed with a notice on the talk page as requested by Katy. NLIGuy (talk) 07:21, 31 October 2013 (UTC)

Thank you for signaling this mistake, NLIGuy. The requested change has been approved. Cheers, KLove (WMF) (talk) 19:37, 31 October 2013 (UTC)

Request from FDC to change table 9 contents[edit]

Dear FDC, Following a discussion with Katy we would like to amend table 9 in the proposal to reflect our expenditures. Please indicate if this is possible. This is how the renewed table should look like:

In currency requested In $US
Total cash balance as of proposal submission 282,774 78,548
Total revenues 1,714,637 473,372
Total spending 1,632,988 453,607
Net 81,649 22,680

Kindly indicate if it's possible for us to do that. Many thanks! the WMIL team. NLIGuy (talk) 18:34, 15 November 2013 (UTC)

Thank you for noting this request here! Please go ahead and make the change. Cheers, KLove (WMF) (talk) 18:59, 15 November 2013 (UTC)