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

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If you have read our application - thank you! We know it is long but were eager to 'show our working'. Even so there is a lot we have left out. So if anything needs clarifying please use this page and we will try and answer your questions. Jon Davies WMUK (talk) 11:25, 1 October 2013 (UTC)Reply

More info to understand your figures[edit]

I like your propsal that shows many good intiatives and plans for more. I have, though, problems to understand the figures. As I read it you are not planning to recruit new personell, at the same time you ask the FDC grant to grow by 33%. I also read that you this year use up money from the reserve, but next year plan to increase your reserve. How much did you use from reserves, how much are you budgeting to increase it next year?.Anders Wennersten (talk) 10:38, 5 October 2013 (UTC)Reply

Tack Anders - we will get back to you on both your questions. Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 10:24, 7 October 2013 (UTC)Reply
Anders, I will answer your questions below, one at a time:
  1. "As I read it you are not planning to recruit new personell, at the same time you ask the FDC grant to grow by 33%." - This is true. Our overall budget will drop by circa 8%, but the proportion of that budget which will come from the FDC will grow by 33%. The FDC were very clear that we were not to increase our overall budget by more than 20%, and as such we have opted to shrink our overall budget slightly.
  2. "How much did you use from reserves, how much are you budgeting to increase it next year" - At the end of January 2012, we had £298,000 as reserves, including funds of £7,000 designated for fixed assets, restricted funds of £1,000 and a €40,000 (ca. £36,000) charitable project commitment. We planned to spend £147,000 of these reserves on programmes in 2013-14, holding an estimated £151-161,000 as reserves.
This year (ending Jan 31 2014), we will move our £30,000 projected underspend into our reserves, raising our reserves for 2014-15 to £191,000. Our long-term aim remains to increase this figure to £380,000 (12 months administrative spend) as is recommended as good practice in the UK. I hope this helps - please let me know if you have any more questions. Richard Symonds (WMUK) (talk) 12:04, 7 October 2013 (UTC)Reply

Governance expenditure[edit]

As I understand it you hãve three FTE on governance, could you spilt this into different work type, like managament, external representation, basic adm (bookkeeping etc), secretary work, other adm assistance work (what) etc.Anders Wennersten (talk) 10:38, 5 October 2013 (UTC)Reply

Of course. The table for breaking things down wasn't very clear, so I'm happy to clarify this! It's not quite just governance. In the 'Governance & Finance' column, we included three staff:
  1. The Chief Executive, whose job description is here: In Q2, he spent 45% of his time managing staff, 30% liaising with the board, and 5% on each of Legal, Accountancy, producing our Annual Report, and other admin.
  2. The Office & Development Manager, who handles Wikimedia UK's finances, but also takes minutes at board meetings and advises on community issues. His Job Description is here: In Q2, he spent 20% of his time on Accountancy, 20% on other admin, 10% on Travel Grants, and 5% on each of our grant from the FDC/WMF, our grant to Europeana, managing other staff, organising project grants, organising our annual conference, organising Wikimania 2014, Fundraising, Legal costs, and board costs.
  3. The Office Support Officer, who primarily supports the Office Manager, but also supports other staff. This might include basic administration work, organising board meetings, answering emails, booking hotels etc. His job description is here: In quarter 2, he spent 25% of his time on other admin, 10% on the board, 10% on accountancy, and 5% on each of the WMF grant, Train the Trainers, Merchandise, Extended Reach, GLAM Outreach, University outreach, organising EDU-WIKI, project grants, travel grants, and our annual report.
It is quite difficult to break this down any further than above. Each quarter, our staff fill in a time allocation spreadsheet. You can see our Q2 sheet at, which breaks down our staff times even further, by budget. I hope this helps! Richard Symonds (WMUK) (talk) 10:43, 7 October 2013 (UTC)Reply
Thanks, This was just the type of clarification I wanted so I am quite satisfied with htis answer (but still a bit concerned over the total amount of resources spent on this).Anders Wennersten (talk) 14:13, 7 October 2013 (UTC)Reply
Tack Anders. The 'Governance' heading covers quite a lot of things that are important, board meetings and travel for instance. Have a look at the sheet Richard links to above. But in the last year we have spent extra amounts as a result of our extensive governance review. The Foundation kindly paid for the main consultant but we had to consult our own lawyers as part of the review and commission the agreed follow-up. Next year we are committed to the 18 month follow-up and I have allocated up to an extra £10K for this. I hope that will see the end of the high bills in future years. What should be noted though is that we have shared all this with the wider community and offered a popular workshop on governance lessons in Milan. At the moment we are organising a workshop for other chapters on lessons learned so that we can share the learning. We will subsidise this to help small chapters. Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 15:44, 7 October 2013 (UTC)Reply

Train The Trainers program Success criteria[edit]

I could not find a smart goal for the critical success criteria for the program TtT
"Participants become active trainers supporting several Wikimedia UK events per year."
Since the plan has been worked out to a lot of detail in general, can you share specific number based on the experience of the previous year. --Arjunaraoc (talk) 07:56, 13 October 2013 (UTC)Reply

Thanks for the question Arjunaraoc. We have been really pleased at how Train the Trainers has developed and made an evaluation of its progress. The best thing I can do is link you to the report where you can find all the detail and our 17 point plan for developing it. This answers your question. As a short answer we cannot be certain how many sessions per annum a trained trainer will deliver. From our experience so far I am hopeful that it could be up to around 8. Some trainers, retired people for example. may be able to do more, others may find life gets in the way and they can't manage more than a few. What is wonderful is that we know we have a pool of 30+ (soon to be 40+) Wikimedians who can offer sympathetic, top quality training.

If this doesn't answer your question post again. Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 07:41, 14 October 2013 (UTC)Reply

Thanks Jon Davies (WMUK) for your response. I revisited the page you referred. As there is a potential to do upto 240 sessions per year, it is better to put a number (based on the best judgement) so that it can serve as a better goal. --Arjunaraoc (talk) 01:08, 15 October 2013 (UTC)Reply
Discussing this with colleagues we feel that an ambitious but realistic target for events that need trainers would be 40. Coming at it from another angle we have 31 qualified trainers with another 12 places in the pipeline this year. This makes a starting cohort for the year of a maximum of 43. As part of the agreement with them they agree to deliver sessions for us. This will not be an even number as everyone is different. For instance one of our trainers was unable to carry out any last year through personal circumstances and others who may have more time available may be able to deliver one a month or more. This is not an exact science as it depends on humans but I plumped on an average per annum of eight sessions attended. This is quite ambitious but from our survey of trainers (27 responded) there was a real appetite to deliver sessions. So that gives us a maximum of 43 x 8 person sessions available i.e. 344. That would mean we can offer at least five people per session and have spare person sessions available for less formal events or to add to bigger events where we may for instance be teaching a large group of people. We are keeping a careful balance between supply and demand. If we promise too many sessions and cannot supply good trainers we will disappoint people. Conversely if we train too many people and don't use them it is a waste of their time and the communities resources. My instinct is that there is massive potential demand. Every time I attend a professional charity event I meet other CEO's who get quite excited at the idea of having editathons on the topic they care about. Yes, Arjunaraoc, I know this is not an exact number, it is a range but I hope it demonstrates the complexity of coming up with an exact figure. What we do know is that the trainers and trainees are very positive about the process and what we have been doing. Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 14:07, 16 October 2013 (UTC)Reply
Thanks for your update. Best wishes. --Arjunaraoc (talk) 16:13, 16 October 2013 (UTC)Reply

Three Questions[edit]

1) Has the WMUK had its activities independently reviewed in terms of a cost benefit analysis?

2) You note an expected exchange rate of " £1=£1 ($1.6) ". Could you explain how this figure was reached, whether the rate quoted includes commision and other fees, whether this exchange rate has been locked in and could you explain whether this rate is exact or a rough approximation? Due to the large amount of money being granted, slight alterations in exchange rate will significantly affect your budget.

3) It is noted in your report that "we are still a project dominated by men." In the eyes of the WMUK, is this a bad thing? Does the WMUK believe that the current demographics of Wikipedia have caused the content of Wikipedia to become biased against Women?

Thanks, Retrolord (talk) 04:55, 17 October 2013 (UTC)Reply

Thank you for submitting these questions. We will review them and post a reply at the beginning of next week. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 10:01, 18 October 2013 (UTC)Reply
Hello Retrolord.
To answer your questions:
  1. No. We are beginning to do this internally cf. The Train the trainers review and of course seek to keep all costs to the lowest and the output to the highest. We measure/estimate staff time against programme areas as well to determine our spending patterns in line with UK Charity Commission reporting guidelines and our seven FDC reporting lines.
  2. This will be answered by my colleague Richard Symonds who controls this area of work
    The figure £1=$1.6 was chosen to be an 'indicative figure' - it's broadly accurate, but doesn't need to be exact. It's just to make the form easier to understand for non-Brits. As we have in previous years, we are requesting that the WMF grant us an amount in USD that equals £442,217 when it hits our bank account. Any alterations in exchange rate, commission, etc will affect the figure that the WMF pays in USD, rather than the figure we receive, so any variations in exchange rate will not affect our budget. Richard Symonds (WMUK) (talk) 12:56, 21 October 2013 (UTC)Reply
  3. I cannot speak for all of WMUK but in the view of the board and staff (and I see no opposition from the community), the dearth of women editors is seen as most definitely a bad thing. Our mission is not to 'imagine a world in which every single man on the planet is given free access to the some of all male knowledge'. We cannot accomplish our global mission if a significant part of 51% of the population are not participating in its creation. Personally I am certain that the current demographics skew the content of Wikimedia in all sorts of ways that need changing. The lack of women editors is simply one aspect of this but there are many others. Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 12:50, 21 October 2013 (UTC)Reply

Status of reports and some numbers underpinning the FDC application[edit]

Due to a migration to a different website, the links in the FDC application do not appear to link to the "live" reports. Could these be corrected? -- (talk) 11:56, 17 October 2013 (UTC)Reply

Five year plan[edit]

In a number of sections references are made to the five year plan as a means to review the completeness or suitability of targets being set. The "live" version appears to be this document. This one page discussion document is titled "Towards a five year plan", so by definition is not the five year plan itself, and is not a plan as it contains no clear goals that success could be measured against. The page appears draft and not yet agreed by the UK board of trustees or members.

Do you have a five year plan with measurable targets to provide as an alternative link, or will this be produced to support the FDC application?

In the context that Wikimedia UK's application for funding is the second highest figure being presented to the FDC, a draft one-page document providing aspirations (such as "will continue to support" and "We will participate") with no measurable goals does not appear sufficient as a way to explain the five year programme, nor a way of assessing the specific targets given in this FDC proposal to judge whether they are realistic, or can be considered to fulfil the longer term strategy. -- (talk) 11:56, 17 October 2013 (UTC)Reply

This works at different levels. After a considerable amount of work and discussion we have established high level goals in parallel with and in line with the Foundation’s.
The board discussed them following community consultation, notably a day-long workshop in March and another shorter session at the Annual Conference. It was agreed that these are in line with our programme and intentions and the feedback from our community. So this is the top level.
The next level is being worked on now. We are looking at the previous versions of the five year plan, there are three significant variations over the last two years, with a view to creating a limited number of high level targets. This is work that needs to be done carefully especially given the aspiration that it will be fit for purpose, albeit with an annual review, for a five year period.
At the day-to-day level we have developed a range of targets for our programme which are reported upon quarterly to the board and constantly updated by staff. You will of course be familiar with this from your time as a trustee. It is certainly a work in progress but we are working hard at creating a coherent raft of measures that will support our local measurement and also fit in with the foundation’s developing plans for tracking edits and editors.
For those not familiar with the work of the chapter we’ve undertaken continuous work to a develop a five year plan, all of which have sought input from the volunteer community and board members, as well as staff. This has been challenging as you know. Each attempt has simultaneously been ‘too detailed’ for some and ‘not detailed enough’ for others, quite a dilemma. One of the difficulties we have encountered is establishing a consensus. The community discussions have been useful but the community can be fairly divergent in its opinions. We are hopeful that we will have found a good general consensus with our plans for 2014-15 and these will be retro-fitted into the five year planning process. Not ideal but that is the way it is.
The FDC has access to our current measures and targets (see links in the FDC bid) and when we know the exact shape of our plan we will have next year’s measures in place by February 1st. A lot of staff work is being spent on this. We take it very seriously. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 10:48, 23 October 2013 (UTC)Reply
Thanks for the context. I agree there is a one year proposed budget in the Activity Plan. It is unfortunate that this FDC grant application relies throughout on a 5 year plan which has yet to be produced. Thanks -- (talk) 15:18, 23 October 2013 (UTC)Reply

Programme 1—Community[edit]


(a) There is reference in this section to numbers of active volunteers. The numbers of active volunteers has not been included in reports to the UK board of trustees, and there does not appear to be a definitive report with a consistent or repeatable way of counting "active volunteers", yet a target has been set of 150. How do you intend to report on the progress of this figure?

The list of active volunteers has been on display at at least two trustee meetings that you attended. New trustees are taken through it as a matter of course. A digital list is also maintained in the office.
This is not a public list. As you know some volunteers prefer to remain anonymous.
We need to be clear about defining what a volunteer is in this context. Clearly, we don’t mean anyone that edits Wikipedia or Wikimedia projects to a greater or lesser degree. We mean people that have participated in and lead chapter-related activities or facilitate activity for others over the last 18 months. This can be quite a broad range of people from experienced editors to new volunteers. For example, two of our current volunteers are helping to deliver the EduWiki conference but had no Wikimedia experience beforehand. Also, we haven’t included participants in Wiki Loves Monuments - of whom there were 573 - in this figure. I recently mentioned this on the water cooler and feel it is worth reproducing here: “In September 2013, in our proposal to the FDC we wanted to include the figure to show what kind of volunteer community we have. At that point I updated the document and the number had increased to 101. Part of the jump is because there were some people who had already been volunteers but were not documented in the file. This was not really an issue since it was intended for internal use. At the moment, the number stands at 103 (my apologies to Jon for supplying the out-of-date number of 101 earlier). The volunteer community has grown, which is unsurprising considering how many people have gone through Training the Trainers, how many people have received grants of one sort or another, and have got involved with events such as organising Wiki Loves Monuments or delivering training.”
Going forward, with the scheduled release of a new version of the Civi-CRM software that we use and its associated new features, we will have the ability to track much more easily our volunteers, the type of events or activities they have contributed to etc.
Thank you for this context.
Could WMUK give a more specific answer to the question "How do you intend to report on the progress...?", it appears that there may be an intention to publish statistics on active member totals from Civi-CRM. It would be useful if there was a commitment to a date by when this will start, so that this can be consistently tracked as a performance indicator, in the light that a number of related figures for active members are quoted in this FDC grant proposal. -- (talk) 15:43, 23 October 2013 (UTC)Reply
It's more than a mere intention to publish membership numbers from CiviCRM, it has been the process since October 2012. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 14:53, 24 October 2013 (UTC)Reply
Sorry, this is not a more specific answer, it appears to be an answer to a different question. WMUK does not publish figures for active volunteers from CiviCRM, as demonstrated here with multiple requests for evidence of published reports of these figures to the WMUK board.
Will WMUK now commit to a date by when this will start, so that this can be consistently tracked as a published performance indicator? -- (talk) 15:19, 24 October 2013 (UTC)Reply

(b) There is a statement that "100 active volunteers, an increase from 80 last year". Please provide links to reports to the UK board showing these figures. I note that according to the UK board minutes of September 2012 there were 87 active volunteers. -- (talk) 13:05, 17 October 2013 (UTC)Reply

Please see the reply to the previous question. The Board have not asked for a running total although it is reported in various documents. We are really happy that despite all the rough waters of the past 18 months we can see a gradual but steady growth in active community members. 150 is a finger in the wind but based on what we see happening, the growth in activities and meet-ups, and of course Wikimania, it is challenging but not impossible. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 10:48, 23 October 2013 (UTC)Reply
Thank you for the explanation. I agree, these figures are based on a finger in the wind. -- (talk) 11:41, 23 October 2013 (UTC)Reply


(a) A target of "Have >3,000 media files uploaded to Wikimedia Commons" is set for 2014, however there are currently examples of single small UK projects in 2013 that have resulted in higher numbers of uploads than this. Why has this figure been chosen rather than one a magnitude higher? -- (talk) 11:56, 17 October 2013 (UTC)Reply

As stated on the application, the ">3,000" target are in regards to files directly generated by the various equipments available for volunteer use, or as a result of support from our project grants. Images from project such as Picturing Canada this year, which are good and many, came from a separate budget dedicated to digitalisation and would not be counted if such a target were used for this year. You can see from the application that this particular target was chosen based on the current and projected rate of qualifying uploads, along with a conservative estimated uptick from better awareness of the equipment availability where next year will be the first full year such media generating equipment are available. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 10:48, 23 October 2013 (UTC)Reply
As an example, a microgrant request for a £16 USB stick in 2012[1] has been used over the last year to upload over 100,000 photographs, of which around 50,000 are recent amateur photos with releases made through OTRS rather than GLAM partnerships or similar. Given that one might expect numbers at this level to be a goal in the coming year if more equipment and support were offered to volunteers, a target of 3,000 seems unambitious. -- (talk) 11:48, 23 October 2013 (UTC)Reply

(b) With regard to the investment in equipment purchased for volunteer use, the target is "Have >3,000 media files uploaded to Wikimedia Commons that are either generated by our pool of volunteer equipments or as a result of support from our project grants" and ">300 hours of use of our volunteer computer equipments". A brief analysis of how this equipment has been used to date by looking at Commons:Category:Files generated with WMUK equipment shows the following breakdown by uploader for 1,672 files:

Status Name Uploads
Employee Katie Chan 1149 (68%)
Employee Richard Symonds 357 (21%)
Employee Richard Nevell 104 (6%)
Employee Stevie Benton 40 (1%)
Volunteer / Intern Rock drum 12 (0%)
Employee Katherine Bavage 6 (0%)
N/A File Upload Bot 4 (0%)
Percentages in this table are rounded down to the nearest whole number.
The single volunteer listed here, may have been an intern at Wikimedia UK when these 12 photographs were taken using WMUK equipment, and so potentially equivalent to an employee at that time.

If there is no other explanation for these figures, could you explain why the FDC should consider further investment in Wikimedia UK equipment good value in terms of future volunteer engagement, when 99% of the current use is by employees rather than unpaid volunteers? -- (talk) 15:51, 17 October 2013 (UTC)Reply

Wikimedia UK has acquired a variety of equipment for volunteers to use. These purchases were made by the charity acting on suggestions from the volunteers. Some of this equipment has been used by more volunteers than others.
We consider the laptops to be a great success, in fact we have just bought another, and in the long-term we will expect to replace those we have. Having the laptops means that we can use venues that don’t have suites of computers, as we can run events on a bring a laptop basis, but making them inclusive by offering the option to book a laptop if you don’t have one. Bringing a spare also means we turn the event from an embarrassment to a positive experience for the person who has brought a dysfunctional laptop or forgotten the password of the laptop they brought to the event. It also means we can inveigle curators and other attendees who came expecting to merely spectate into actually editing.
Having a mobile WiFi hotspot means that we can hold events at venues that lack WiFi. It has been used several times already., Just as importantly it is a backup that can rescue events where the WiFi fails, or is insufficient.
The linked to category is for the purpose of tracking all media files uploaded to Wikimedia Commons that were generated using equipment owned by Wikimedia UK, not solely those that are considered available for use by volunteers, or for that matter purchased with the main intention of being made available to volunteers.
Rock drum has never been an intern for Wikimedia UK and his time in the office has been as a volunteer. All of our employees, contractors and interns are clearly marked as such on WMUK's wiki staff page, and the only interns Wikimedia have had to date can be seen on previous version of that page.
Aside from the above two points, the breakdown does not take into account uploads that were made in the course of someone’s duties as an employee from those they make in their volunteer capacity unassociated with what they are paid to do as an employee. Without question, we are seeking to increase the number of people who are aware of the availability of, and feel able to use the equipment. An example of raising awareness was the short piece in the most recent Members Newsletter. To enable volunteers to feel able to use equipment such as the camera, we are planning to run photography training workshops which will improve their photography skills along with an opportunity to use the DSLR for those who haven't done so before. In addition to that, we have an upcoming volunteer portal on our website that will provide information to potential volunteers in how they can get involved with the charity. The availability of equipment, and basic instructions in how to use it, will be featured in there.
With all this focus on media generating equipment, and the camera in particular, it's easy to forget that volunteer equipment includes other types of equipment, such as volunteer laptops, a slide scanner & MiFi hub for use for example by attendees at training events or editathons. We are still slowly building our volunteer equipment pool in terms of the type of equipment available and with community consultation, to make sure we are able to offer our volunteers support reflecting their differing needs. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 10:48, 23 October 2013 (UTC)Reply
Thank you for the context. Based on what you have added here, it appears we can confirm that almost all use of higher value volunteer loan equipment (cameras) that may be considered to deliver the outcome of "media files uploaded to Wikimedia Commons" has been by employees of WMUK whether during their working day or outside of that, rather than by being loaned out to unpaid volunteers as one might have expected the intention when this equipment was purchased by the charity. The figure of 99% of uploaded files being photographs taken by employees rather than any other volunteers appears accurate in the absence of an alternative measure. -- (talk) 12:11, 23 October 2013 (UTC)Reply
Very few photos were taken by 'staff' per se they were doing so in their own time as volunteers. This is to be expected when more than half the staff have come from the volunteer community. We are pleased that despite the long working hours they continue to be active volunteers. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 14:53, 24 October 2013 (UTC)Reply
Thanks for the clarification. I see no disagreement to the 99% figure as stated. -- (talk) 15:14, 24 October 2013 (UTC)Reply

(c) Could you explain how you intend to ensure that only unpaid volunteer use contributes to the target figures for 2014? -- (talk) 15:51, 17 October 2013 (UTC)Reply

We consider all voluntary contributions as equally valuable, whether they are made by someone who has no previous contact with the charity, a long time volunteer, a member, a trustee, or a member of staff in their own unpaid time contributing in areas unrelated to their employment. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 10:48, 23 October 2013 (UTC)Reply
It seems reasonable to take this as a statement that WMUK has no intention of measuring or reporting on how unpaid volunteer use contributes to the target figures. Thanks -- (talk) 12:18, 23 October 2013 (UTC)Reply
I would not agree with that conclusion. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 14:53, 24 October 2013 (UTC)Reply
I am pleased to see that.
Could WMUK please then make a positive statement of commitment for the FDC, that it will from this point onwards record and publicly report on the levels of unpaid volunteer use of equipment purchased for volunteer use out of FDC grant monies and distinguish this from "paid volunteer" or employee use? -- (talk) 15:14, 24 October 2013 (UTC)Reply


It has recently been confirmed that WMUK flexibly counts some employees as volunteers when they are doing volunteer-type things and uses volunteer budgets to pay for these expenses. In the numbers reported back that this FDC grant relies on, are these numbers "unpaid volunteers" or do they include "paid volunteers"? -- (talk) 11:56, 17 October 2013 (UTC)Reply

This is not accurate. Many staff are also Wikipedians in their spare time. Five of our paid employees were active Wikimedians (in some cases very active) before applying for, and accepting, employment with the chapter. They still contribute to Wikimedia projects in their volunteer time and can still reasonably be classified as volunteers. There is a distinction between volunteer and staff roles that is obvious and reasonable. It is an issue the other way round as well. It is also very important, and the German chapter explained this to our CEO when he started, that staff need to concentrate on their paid work and not do volunteer work during working hours.
Wiki Loves Monuments is a prime example where at least six staff were active contributors but all in their own time. This is not something ‘recently confirmed’ as if it was a great secret. It has been the case since WMUK hired its first employees in 2011 one of whom changed his personal user name so he could continue to edit as a volunteer without there being any confusion about it. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 10:48, 23 October 2013 (UTC)Reply
Thanks for this clarification.
By "recently confirmed", I was referring to the statement a few days ago by the UK CEO, that the volunteer expenses budget is being used for employee travel to conferences rather than the allocated employee travel budget, whenever the employee elects to go as a volunteer. During my time on the board I was unaware of the volunteer budget being used this way.
I believe most Wikimedia volunteers would prefer the count of active volunteers to distinguish between paid and unpaid volunteers. For example a successful event where success was counted on the basis of 6 volunteers attending, might seem rather less successful to external eyes if WMUK or her partner organizations were paying 4 of the attendees for their time. Leaving the distinction blurred will undermine reports of successful volunteer engagement or growth. -- (talk) 11:21, 23 October 2013 (UTC)Reply
The example given of employees "continue to edit as a volunteer without there being any confusion about it" is unfortunate considering that this FDC application and talk page has been several times edited by WMUK staff using personal accounts or as anon IP addresses when they must have been acting as employees, this was as recently as yesterday. I believe this shows that there is confusion even around even this one example of good practice put forward by WMUK.-- (talk) 17:38, 23 October 2013 (UTC)Reply
The CEO did not confirm this. He stated clearly that a wikimedian is attending an event as a volunteer in theor own time and that therefore it is being paid for from the volunteer travel budget. Your argument would lead to a member of staff never being able to access volunteer funds once they had become a member of staff. This would be discriminatory and unfair and it is our belief that to the contrary most members of the community find this quite easy to understand. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 14:53, 24 October 2013 (UTC)Reply
Such are the vagaries of different log ins for different sites. I've been caught out swapping between my volunteer and work account before, to suggest this reflects a blurring of lines between the roles is not a valid conclusion. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 14:53, 24 October 2013 (UTC)Reply
As an example of a different approach; for Wikimania the board of trustees have their expenses paid for from a separate budget to the one set aside for general volunteer scholarships. This way there is no perception that volunteers are being rejected for scholarships to attend Wikimania so that trustees can go as volunteers.
I see no benefit in establishing a practice where employees are in direct competition with unpaid volunteers for scholarships, when it would be a simple practice to encourage employees to attend events as volunteers but allocate a specific budget for doing so, and consequently remain transparent when this happens rather than appearing to tick boxes of "volunteer engagement" or meeting the goal of being "volunteer centric" when the volunteers in question turn out to be current employees.
When members ask about scholarships and the CEO says "we are sending 1 employee and 2 volunteers to this conference" when actually one employee is going as an employee, one employee received a volunteer scholarship and so is going as a volunteer, and one unpaid volunteer received a scholarship and all other applications were rejected, is at best unhelpful and is likely to be seen as misleading when the full facts are revealed.
In terms of this FDC application, if funds are granted to be spent on volunteers, then it is best to be seen that that money is spent on unpaid volunteers rather than conflated with budgets for people paid for their time such as contractors, partner organizations or employees; or at least where money targeted for volunteers is being spent on paid volunteers then it is openly declared as such rather than hidden in the figures. -- (talk) 12:40, 29 October 2013 (UTC)Reply


A target for 50 WMUK trainers has been set, records show that the procured cost of training trainers runs at more than £800 per head, not counting additional internal costs. Some recipients of this training go on to sell their services as WMUK certified Wikimedia training consultants, some at over £700/day, which makes requests for training made to the charity a valuable commodity.

(a) What reports can you provide that show the value of outcomes of training each trainer to date is measured? For example, a report of how many trainers after this investment helped deliver zero, 1, 2 or more training events within 6 months of being trained, would be a simple measure of successful outcomes.

(b) How are COI issues currently managed in the way that trainers are recommended, or how these services are promoted, in some cases being an effective commercial partnership between the charity and the certified trainer? -- (talk) 11:56, 17 October 2013 (UTC)Reply

(response to both a and b) The report on Train the Trainers from July 2013 contains all the accurate information the FDC needs, including how many training sessions people have delivered.
As to your allegations, if you have evidence of this please share it so that we can take appropriate action. We are not aware of any cases of people selling their services as “WMUK certified Wikimedia training consultants”, and the training agreement is worded to avoid this: “The Participant shall not describe or represent themselves, verbally or in writing, to any organisation as a Wikimedia UK Approved or Accredited Trainer, with the aim of selling or providing Wikimedia related training independently of Wikimedia UK.”. If we have such evidence we will contact the person(s) involved. Also, as regards to point b) - “an effective commercial partnership between the charity and the certified trainer” - again, please show evidence of this as we are unaware of any cases of this. Our commitment to the Compass Review and the implementation of its recommendations shows how seriously the chapter takes conflicts of interest. For those interested in CoI in particular, or governance more generally, it may be worth taking a look at the recently published interim report which examines WMUK’s progress against these recommendations. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 10:48, 23 October 2013 (UTC)Reply
I suggest you ask your CEO for a past example from 2012 if you are unaware of it. This relates to commercial contracts which I will not discuss here.
I have made no "allegations" of COI or wrong-doing. This FDC proposal is a public document and questions are encouraged by the FDC and the WMF. I am allowed to publicly ask how WMUK is managing the issue of COI with regard to its certification scheme for training trainers, and I would be more comfortable with an explanation of the process the charity is currently applying rather than apparent legal escalation. I do not appreciate re-framing my factual assertions as "allegations", this introduces legal language that threatens to close down all further discussion of this FDC grant proposal. This discussion page should be seen as an entirely suitable governance process and itself a document for the public interest, considering that $707,000 of charitable money is being requested by WMUK.
I note that a WMUK employee today asserts that marketing of related services by those that have been certified through the WMUK train the trainers course as "contentious".[2] This is a certification scheme, it is a public scheme and it is entirely reasonable and within the terms of the Training the Trainers Agreement that a commercial provider of services would factually state that they are certified in this way in their marketing materials or their résumé sent to prospective clients, having been on the course and having the official certificate to prove it. It is entirely reasonable to assert that this must have happened, considering that there are members of WMUK that have been paid for their time and services as independent trainers and Wikimedians in Residence (whether under the WiR Agreement or outside of that 2013 scheme).
FDC members should note that the Training the Trainers agreement referenced above, was not retrospective. There is no expectation that this applies for the significant number trained before the document became available in March 2013, I believe this is currently the majority of certified trainers. I have been on this course, having been one of the original architects of it, and I have not been asked to sign the agreement. Thanks -- (talk) 16:39, 23 October 2013 (UTC)Reply
You quite rightly point out that the agreement was brought in after the first training sessions as a result of identifying the issue you raise. But we debated the issue within the community and came to this sensible solution. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 14:53, 24 October 2013 (UTC)Reply
Thank you for your confirmation. I note that there has been no direct answer to question (b). -- (talk) 14:59, 24 October 2013 (UTC)Reply

Programme 2—Promoting free knowledge[edit]


With regard to outcomes of WiR programmes, the Agreement referenced has been used for several programmes in 2013. Where can the reports of measurable outcomes be found and compared to the original targets specified in the Agreements? -- (talk) 12:08, 17 October 2013 (UTC)Reply

Please see the report on Train the Trainers and its recommendations.
As the demand for trainers is growing steadily we will be able to demonstrate the programme’s efficacy. We are working to develop more diversity amongst the trainers as they tend to be clumped together geographically and lack human diversity.
The reports of the sessions are posted on the UK wiki but this is we acknowledge less than ideal. We expect our CiviCRM database to give us the opportunity to track volunteers against events to be able to produce reliable stats. For the moment what we had up until the summer is in the Train the Trainers report. The targets in the original programme were all met although some were a bit vague it must be said. The review as made recommendations, that the board accepted, to improve this. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 10:48, 23 October 2013 (UTC)Reply
Sorry, your reply here does not relate to my question. The WiR Agreement contains a standard section defining the outcomes for each funding programme. These outcomes should be measured and reported for each project. Where can the reports of outcomes for past applications of this Agreement be found? I believe there are several examples of the Agreement having been signed and associated projects funded. Thanks -- (talk) 11:34, 23 October 2013 (UTC)Reply
They are reported on regularly and on the UK wiki. We are planning a full review in 2014 which we will invite people to participate in and report back to the community. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 14:53, 24 October 2013 (UTC)Reply
Thank you. I have been unable to locate the reports of measurable outcomes against original targets specified in the WiR Agreements. -- (talk) 15:38, 24 October 2013 (UTC)Reply

Programme 3—Membership and public support[edit]


The FDC application states "The chapter currently has 224 members", could you please provide a link to the report to the WMUK board that showed this figure? -- (talk) 12:44, 17 October 2013 (UTC)Reply

These figures are reported to the movement on a monthly basis. You can see the September report here. At the time of submission the number was 224. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 10:48, 23 October 2013 (UTC)Reply
The September report you have linked to states "This adds up to xx members who were eligible to vote" rather than any number. I can find no evidence that a figure of 224 members was reported to the WMUK board at the time of the FDC application. -- (talk) 11:36, 23 October 2013 (UTC)Reply


A target of membership of the UK charity has been set at 400. However past records show that membership of Wikimedia UK dropped from a high of 330 members (per the 2012 annual report) to the current reported figure of 220 members,[3] even whilst numbers of employees and budget geometrically increased in the same period (funding quadrupled during 2011/13 and staff went from 1 to 9 employees).

A trend chart published on the WMUK site shows this as a dramatic decline, and questions from current members highlight the serious risk of low membership making entryism possible, along with the democratic deficit of having voting members at such low levels.

Member details such as name or residential address are not verified, so there is a risk of multiple fake memberships being created (membership is set at only £5) with associated voting rights, including the potential for multiple votes by proxy, for example the board would be legally forced to call an Extraordinary General Meeting if just 5 votes from members were to support a proposal, regardless of merit. This puts the control of more than £700,000 turnover during 2014 at risk of being misused after a partisan take-over or the charity having a reputational crisis if misuse of membership of this type was uncovered.

(a) Why is a target of 400 members a realistic figure in this FDC grant application, in light of the trend and numbers reported in the link above showing a 3 year long trend of past decline, rather than increases in membership? -- (talk) 12:44, 17 October 2013 (UTC)Reply

To re-iterate, because we have supplied all this information before. It was felt that given the following activities it would be unambitious to only aim to increase membership by 25%. Aiming for around 45% increase was sensible based on the following activities in 2014 - 15 as follows:
  • Distribution of volunteer handout at all Wikimedia UK organised events
  • Development and progression of a online campaign targeting English editors of WP and other wiki projects
  • Regular inclusion of membership sign up in event attendee emails
  • Regular inclusion of membership sign up in donor emails
  • Use of a volunteering portal to streamline enquiries and sign ups, and support members
  • Good quality communications (Regular newsletter, moving the content editing toward being volunteer managed)
  • Regular surveying and responding to issues identified.
In January 2011 membership numbers were 165. In November and December 2011 the UK Chapter was able to sign up members via the heightened platform participation in the 2011 fundraiser provided.
The decline from around 300 members in May 2012 to 200 in May 2013 reflects the lapsing of sign ups made in November and December 2011. In this period (Jan ‘12 - Dec ‘12) members had primarily received infrequent and poor quality communications from the chapter (essentially - a plain text egm notice and nothing else)
The higher number of 400 by end of Jan 2015 is ambitious. Whether it is achievable, or in fact without the fundraiser the chapter can only attract a core of around 200 people is hard to know. We aren’t benchmarking comparable periods of activity or resources. Numbers and implicitly progress will continue to be reported on a monthly basis in public.
The board were clear in their decision in September 2012 that the goal was increasing overall numbers to provide a broad base for support, so stretching targets are appropriate. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 10:48, 23 October 2013 (UTC)Reply
Above you state that "aiming for around 45% increase was sensible", though it remains unclear to me why any significant increase is a reasonable target in the light of the trend of significant decline over 3 years which has been published, and the fact that the list of activities above contains no significantly radical improvement compared to the previous year's membership promotion activities. I suggest that WMUK notes that the most recent published figure appearing in any report to the UK board was 220 members, the target in this FDC grant application is 400, this is an increase of a far more than "stretching" 82%, not 45% as stated. -- (talk) 15:30, 23 October 2013 (UTC)Reply
Fae, what's your point? You've been told the reasons for the recent decline in membership, which is apparently reversing, and Richard has told you how WMUK intends to increase membership in the coming year. In light of that "it remains unclear to me why any significant increase is a reasonable target in the light of the trend of significant decline over 3 years" doesn't seem to me to be a reasonable comment. If you think the plan won't work, perhaps you could say so instead of trying to trip Richard up? HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 18:33, 24 October 2013 (UTC)Reply
Hi Harry, I'm happy to rephrase along your lines rather than giving any impression of tripping Richard up... During the same time that membership has been in decline and staff numbers rose from 1 to 9, there is no evidence that very similar plans and activities in the past have made a difference; in fact numbers still dropped. For this reason I am unclear why the FDC should now believe that a commitment to reaching 400 members in 2014 is meaningful and provides a reason to give the chapter the funds it is requesting to achieve this. I support your additional point below that increasing membership numbers without increasing active membership makes little sense either.
As for pointing out that WMUK may have made a mistake in quoting 45% as the target increase and saying that in WMUK's (presumably the board) opinion 45% is "sensible", this is not intended to trip anyone up, it is a simple matter of fact that 45% is not the target increase, it is 82% and so the statement should be corrected is it remains a key commitment in this FDC grant application as to how the money will be spent and how the chapter's delivery of the committed outcomes in 2014 will be assessed by the FDC. -- (talk) 19:19, 24 October 2013 (UTC)Reply
Hi Fae, rephrasing your comment to make clear what the point is you'd like addressed might be helpful. I was under the impression the membership numbers were on the increase, albeit gradually (that is they are higher than in the spring when the members who ticked the box during the 2011 fundraiser expired, but still lower than before the 2011 fundraiser), which is subtly different to the continual decline you seem to be suggesting is happening (or have I misread?). HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 19:09, 24 October 2013 (UTC)Reply
Any statistician will tell you that an increase by 4 or 5 members over a month or two is a blip in contrast with the massive drop of 110 members from 330 members down to the current level of 220. On this scale for an increase to be significant it would have to be in the order of 20 or 30 new active members. The graph I linked to produced by the previous WMUK Secretary Mike Peel makes this pretty easy to see, even though the period of measurement was inconsistent two years ago. In terms of specific dates, I believe it is more useful for both the FDC and WMUK to measure a 2 year trend, any further back than that takes us to a time before we created the Wikimedia UK charity and numerical comparisons become less meaningful. -- (talk) 19:29, 24 October 2013 (UTC)Reply
Richard, from what you've posted above, this seems like another scheme to increase the number of membership, but not to get a greater number of members involved with WMUK's activities. If there's one thing we've established from the recent nosedive, it's that a large, apathetic membership is unsustainable and no better than a small membership. Have the staff or the board put significant thought into building a more active membership? HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 18:33, 24 October 2013 (UTC)Reply
The above is certainly about membership as opposed to people involved with the charity's activities, but that's because Programme 3 is Membership and public support. Paid up members of the charity are one thing and there is a steady increase with plans in place and being implemented to increase the numbers. Active volunteers are different and the number has been increasing. We are planning to grow the number of active members, for example we recently printed volunteer leaflets which are aimed at getting people involved specifically in the volunteering side of the charity. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 13:54, 25 October 2013 (UTC)Reply

(b) How can the FDC be assured that the charity is not at immediate risk of entryism? -- (talk) 16:24, 17 October 2013 (UTC)Reply

(c) Please explain how the $707,000 of funding requested is not put at significant risk by current or future membership fraud when there is no verification of the legal identity of members with a right to vote? -- (talk) 16:21, 17 October 2013 (UTC)Reply

(in response to b and c) As mentioned on the WMUK water cooler, the matter is under active review by the board of trustees.
The introduction of two year terms for trustees plus the appointment of independent trustees offers further safeguards. Having only half the elected trustees elected at each AGM means that an outside organisation would need to swamp two consecutive AGMs to achieve a majority on the board. The shift from first past the post to PR elections for trustees means that any organisation trying to take us over would need more than a three to one majority instead of a simple majority to take all the seats. Under our previous electoral arrangements a group that controlled a majority of votes at the AGM could have elected a completely new board. That can no longer happen.
As we charge £5 for membership and names and addresses there is in effect more verification of identity than in other community elections. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 10:48, 23 October 2013 (UTC)Reply
Thank you for these replies.
From a previous statement by Michael Maggs (a WMUK trustee), it is unclear what the scope of the current in-camera review of membership verification is, whether it will publicly report anything, or if there is any specific commitment to improvement by the board of trustees when past minutes of board meetings indicate that no action is being taken or considered necessary. It is clear that no report from this review will be published until December 2013, being the earliest date for the board to provide an update for members as to how this risk is being managed; this will be too late to be relevant to this FDC grant application.[4]
I note that the £5 membership fee may be accepted in cash at events and the financial transaction is not confirmed against membership name or details, in particular the person paying the membership fee does not have to be the person applying to be a member. To use the financial transaction for any other purpose would be likely to require a change to the declared nature of the membership database under the terms of the UK Data Protection Act or as explained to members at the time of payment. To this extent the financial process is not membership verification and probably should not be used informally as a form of membership verification without an approved and publicly declared change of processes. -- (talk) 13:41, 23 October 2013 (UTC)Reply

Programme 5—Finance[edit]


Please provide a figure that shows the simple ratio of monies spent on administration, fundraising and programme outcomes for 2012/13 and the target for 2013/14? I cannot deduce it from the budget given and it would be reassuring to know that plans for future funding were to reduce the administrative burden of internal costs compared to solid programme outcomes. -- (talk) 13:23, 17 October 2013 (UTC)Reply

Our quarterly reports already divide all activities into categories recognised by the Charity Commission and by the FDC. The figures also take into account, as per the material supplied to the FDC, staff time allocated to various activities. (see below for details).
It has however to be said that the definition of ‘administration’ or ‘programme’ (ie charitable) outcomes is not as simple as you think! For example, is the postage cost for sending a package of booklets to an event charitable, or administrative? What about the cost to insure an editathon at the British Library, or the cost of electricity to charge up the laptops before the event? Arbitrary breakdowns will not help here. Fortunately, the Charity Commission already provides us with a more helpful way to break down these costs, in their Statement of Recommended Practice. In line with this document, we split our reporting into three categories:
The cost of generating funds (see par. 178-87 of
The costs of charitable activities, (see par. 188 – 209)
and Governance costs (see par. 210-212).
At the end of Q2 2013, our charitable expenditure was £212,142. Our governance expenditure was £23,397, and our fundraising costs were £28,743.
As we have said this is reported each quarter to the board, and each year to the public, the WMF and the membership. In addition, we also provide SORP-based performance ratios. As of the end of Q2 2013, these were:
Governance costs are 31% of charitable project costs
Fundraising costs is approximately 22% of funds raised (excluding Gift Aid)
Charitable projects account for 69% of our total expenditure
We are comfortable with this method of breaking down our expenditure - it is recommended by the Charity Commission as the ideal method of breaking down expenditure for a Charity. This breakdown also allows us to more easily match our standards against those of other countries - for example, the USA-based Better Business Bureau’s “Standards for Charity Accountability”. The BBB assurance to funders/donors and the public says: ‘’”Organizations that comply with these accountability standards have provided documentation that meet the basic standards in how they govern their organization, in the ways they spend their money, in the truthfulness of their representations and In their willingness to disclose basic information to the public. These standards apply to publicly soliciting organizations that are tax exempt under s.501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and to other organizations conducting charitable solicitations.”’’ What is heartening is that we broadly comply with those standards and that, from our Q2 Report as reviewed at last month’s Board Meeting we currently beat the BBB benchmarks for US public charities with our 69% of total expenditure going on charitable programs this year and only 22% of donation income for the half-year being spent on fundraising costs.
We are confident that we can significantly reduce costs as we enter a period of stable governance thereby reducing, for example, any legal costs. Having said that the 2014-15 budget needs to contain the final follow up to the Hudson report. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 10:48, 23 October 2013 (UTC)Reply
Thank you for the detailed explanation.
I'm afraid that I am not a SORP expert but I do have other experience to fall back on. Asking for what proportion of income goes on administration versus the expected outcome for beneficiaries of the charity seems not an unreasonable question to expect an answer. I would say that any member of the charity would assume that "Governance costs" were administration, rather than being lumped with project costs (the expense of running trustee board meetings with staff support, or paying for expensive lawyers and management consultants as part of governance issues, does not normally look like a deliverable project). Looking at the figures WMUK has provided here this means that:
  • 47.6% is spent on a common sense definition of programme outcomes
    programme outcomes = project costs less governance costs
  • 52.4% being spent on administration and fundraising
    Approximately 9% does not fall under the top headlines given here, but must be under a default of administrative costs as not counted under project costs.
    Fundraising is an additional expense to the Wikimedia movement of the WMF's fundraising, who have full authority and responsibility for the annual fundraiser which generates the majority of income for the WMUK charity. Consequently the 22% of income spent on Fundraising by WMUK, is used to generate a minority of income and excludes the cost of fundraising for the rest of the income. The ratio spent on WMUK fundraising as a proportion of the donations processed by WMUK is therefore higher than 22%.
Considering the financial backgrounds of some of the FDC members, I am sure they can deduce similar generic ratios from the detailed accounts rather than relying on headline figures using WMUK specific definitions.
It seems a reasonable deduction from this past record that around 50% of the $707,000 FDC grant requested may well go on administration rather than volunteer-led projects that deliver the Wikimedia mission. -- (talk) 17:18, 23 October 2013 (UTC)Reply
Without a standard system it is easy to slice the cake in an infinite number of ways. Using the expertise of our treasurer, a world expert in governance finance with a proven track record, we believe our figures make sense and are an honest assessment of what we spend and how. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 14:53, 24 October 2013 (UTC)Reply
Thank you for not disagreeing with my common sense summary figures. -- (talk) 14:57, 24 October 2013 (UTC)Reply


The section states that there are "Strict internal financial controls and protocols". The current approved finance policy requires that "Office expenses and the Chief Executive's expenses are published on the public wiki in summary form". According to Expenses 2012-2013 this happened for some trustees but not the CEO. Why has this not happened? -- (talk) 13:23, 17 October 2013 (UTC)Reply

We have been undergoing continual and quite significant financial change since February in order to get to the very highest standards of financial reporting. Our new treasurer, a world expert in the field, has recommended many changes to improve the system which we’re still implementing. But we’ll post the figures up there by the end of the week - thanks for pointing this out.
However, we do also report on this yearly in our annual report, specifically, “There were no employees with emoluments above £60,000. The trustees received no remuneration during the period. Expenses incurred of £19,203 were reimbursed to 8 trustees during the period.” Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 10:48, 23 October 2013 (UTC)Reply
(CEO personal note - I regret this as my expenses should be public and are minimal. We need to work on this.)
Thank you for this update.
I would like the FDC members to note this was raised as an action in the open board meeting in May 2013 (6 months ago), so a reply here of publishing these expenses within a week of this being raised, shows a critical difference between the approach taken to "strict internal financial controls" as part of regular WMUK Operations including board level monitoring, and applying the same controls when questioned as part of an FDC grant application. In total I believe the publication of the WMUK CEO's expenses should be back-dated for a period of 2 years, the full term of Jon Davies' appointment as CEO. The action published was:[5]
ACTION: (Fae13.5) JD to report on the delay of nearly 18 months to publish CEO expenses as required by the Finance Policy (and before that, Finance Policy/2012) and JD to complete corrective and agree preventative action with the Board of Trustees to ensure this does not reoccur, before 8 June 2013. The relevant section states "Office expenses and the Chief Executive's expenses are published on the public wiki in summary form (Administrator)". Refer to email of February 28, 2013 "Action: [Governance][Fae021] Publication of CEO expenses"
-- (talk) 14:51, 23 October 2013 (UTC)Reply
I would also like to see these published, but I would note that a simple figure of "Jon was reimbursed expenses of £X" obviously lacks the context of what the money was spent on. I've seen people in the past leap to conclusions that it's being spent on giving Jon (or other expenses claimants) la vida loca, so a breakdown of what the money was spent on would also be useful. And as somebody who frequently claims expenses to cover travel and other costs associated with my volunteer work for WMUK, I'd be perfectly happy for my own expenses to be published). HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 19:01, 24 October 2013 (UTC)Reply
There was a commitment from WMUK to "post the figures up there by the end of the week" which was 25th October. This has not happened. -- (talk) 13:24, 29 October 2013 (UTC)Reply
I must admit my confusion - I posted the link on the UK wiki at on Monday, so it's definitely there. It covers this financial year to date. This is two days later than I aimed for, but it's not something I'd normally do half-way through the year - instead, I'd do it while preparing the annual accounts in the Spring. I hope this calms Harry's concerns about Jon "living lad vida loca"! Richard Symonds (WMUK) (talk) 12:07, 30 October 2013 (UTC)Reply

Programme 7—Staff[edit]


There is a commitment to "Membership to increase by 50% to 300" which contradicts the target of 400 in Programme 3. Which is the correct commitment? -- (talk) 13:32, 17 October 2013 (UTC)Reply

Thanks for spotting this. It is is incorrect and reflects a drafting change. A decision was made to change the SMART target to 400 based on the above reasoning. This should read membership to increase by 45% to 400. We will request this change is made. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 10:48, 23 October 2013 (UTC)Reply


With regard to the targets of "At least 20% of active volunteers and participants to be women" and "At least 40% of event participants to be women", please provide a link to the current figures reported to the UK board. -- (talk) 13:32, 17 October 2013 (UTC)Reply

We have not been able to report this as gathering exact data from our activities has proved difficult. Where staff are involved it is simpler but volunteers are often up to their eyes arranging other things and recording such things slips down their priority lists. With the Civi CRM and the opportunity for on-line reporting this will be helped. We know that some of our events targeted at women, Ada Lovelace for instance, have been very successful and we will be building on these. Yesterday, for example our training with Breast Cancer Care attracted a majority of women (4 to3). This in an example of targeting topics that are of special interest to women. Overall we have some rough figures but they are not reliable enough to publish. But to be honest from the figures we do have we doubt if we are reaching this target and need to do much better. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 10:48, 23 October 2013 (UTC)Reply
Thank you for the clarification.
In the absence of any baseline figures or any usable trend metrics, I do not understand how these target figures in the FDC application can show improvement when reported on next year (for all we know they may already have been achieved), or how they would fit in with targets used more widely in the Wikimedia movement. I believe that all of WMUK's events have registration and WMUK has asserted here that there are unpublished in-camera lists of active members that are already being used to justify figures in this FDC application. In this context, periodically adding up totals on the maintained list of active members by their declared gender, to be published as a statistic without names that can support this grant application, seems an entirely reasonable expectation. -- (talk) 15:06, 23 October 2013 (UTC)Reply


The statement "We are currently determining our over arching KPI’s for 2014-15. These are in draft...", alludes to the fact that Wikimedia UK has failed to agree top level performance indicators for the charity for two years (as the UK board minutes and reports show). Consequently the performance of senior management is not measured by comparing pre-agreed targets against publicly reported trends in indisputable or consistently measured outcomes, such as numbers of members, numbers of volunteers or the proportion of administration versus measurable project outcomes. The obvious deadline to agree top level Key Performance Indicators would have been before this FDC proposal.

How can the FDC be confident that agreed and accountable top level performance indicators are going to be published now, along with their associated performance trends, when this has consistently failed to happen in the past? -- (talk) 13:41, 17 October 2013 (UTC)Reply

Thank you for submitting these questions. We will review them and post a reply at the beginning of next week. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 10:01, 18 October 2013 (UTC)Reply
It may be worth noting the performance indicators laid out at our 2014 Activity Plan.
As stated above - this is in some measure the result of being unable to agree a five year strategy. This is now in process and there will be a report to the December board.
The FDC timetable is awkward for us in that given our annual cycle we are faced with either agreeing our bid only two months into our financial year or, as we did barely a month before the bid is due. Last year we did it with only three days to spare.
We have argued for a three year settlement to allow better planning but this is not on the agenda at the Foundation.
The German chapter have even more of an issue in that they don’t actually agree their budget and plan until over a month after their FDC bid is submitted. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 10:48, 23 October 2013 (UTC)Reply
Probably best not to highlight issues with WMDE's application in this WMUK application.
Thank you for this context and confirmation of the facts. As highlighted previously it is disappointing that the five year plan that appears to underpin the application and associated top level performance indicators has yet to be agreed or applied. -- (talk) 11:56, 23 October 2013 (UTC)Reply

Changes to the proposal form[edit]

Hello, WMUK. Please note that you are not permitted to make any changes to the proposal form after the proposal submission deadline without explicit approval from FDC Staff. We notice that you have made a few changes here to the links in your proposal and to some dates that were listed differently at the time of submission. Would you please formally request these changes here if you would like them to remain so that FDC Staff may approve them? Thank you, Winifred Olliff (Grants Administrator) talk 19:11, 17 October 2013 (UTC)Reply

Hi Winifred. My sincerest apologies for changing the proposal after the deadline - this was for two reasons:
  • Firstly, to correct an error in the proposal which we only identified after the deadline, as seen here - a change to correct a genuine factual error, changing the incorrect text '2013-14' to '2012-13'.
  • The second correction is even smaller - to replace the links from our old website, at, to our new website, at - as seen here.
In both circumstances the intention was only to provide accurate information to the FDC, and make them easier to understand and better inform the FDC. We have made sure not to change the 'material facts' of the grant request. With this in mind, I would ask that the FDC staff consider approving these changes. Richard Symonds (WMUK) (talk) 22:04, 17 October 2013 (UTC)Reply
These changes are approved, and we thank you for the changes and your request. We had noticed the broken links when first reading your proposal form and we are thankful for the improvement! Best, Winifred Olliff (Grants Administrator) talk 01:56, 18 October 2013 (UTC)Reply


Hi folks - I have a question about the KPIs specified in the quarterly planning grid. This seemed like the most reasonable place to look to see if WMUK was meeting its own goals, using measurable indicators. But what I noticed is that though quantifiable KPI are often described in the "KPI if applicable" column, they are rarely if ever responded to in the body of the progress report. The report doesn't actually include a "current status" column, only forward-looking target columns that are sometimes repurposed as a current status. I expected to see a description of the KPI followed by the status of the action item as measured by the KPI. As an example, under the item "Wicipedia Cymraeg" the KPIs "Number of active Wikipedians" and "Organizations with links established" are listed. But the report does not list either the number of active Wikipedians or the number of organizations. If progress according to the KPIs is recorded elsewhere, can you please point me to it? If the KPIs are being described but not tracked, perhaps they should be removed from the proposal to the FDC to avoid confusion. Nathan T 15:10, 28 October 2013 (UTC)Reply

Hi Nathan, this is my perspective as a volunteer, despite being a past trustee I have no official role in the charity.
There has been confusion about the term "KPI". The absence of a long term strategy (referenced in the proposal as the "five year plan" but as confirmed above has yet to be produced) means that no top level Key Performance Indicators are agreed by the board of trustees for the charity. Consequently the performance of the charity is not reported against top level KPIs.
At the beginning of this year there was a "bottom-up" internal exercise as part of employee performance reviews by the CEO to agree some low level metrics with employees so that their performance could be reported. As you note, the metrics are reported inconsistently so there are no trends available, the numbers are not necessarily public, nor are the operational metrics/targets intended to be agreed with the board of trustees. Any numbers you find in this report cannot, and probably should not, be used to measure the top level performance of the charity as they are not captured for that purpose and may not be reliable or available for external audit. The title for the column in the quarterly planning grid of "WMUK KPIs" is unfortunate as these are more in the nature of service level agreements and targets for employees, for example "Probation period passed successfully" is a specific staff goal, not a KPI and "[Volunteer] equipment being used on regular basis and recorded" may be a rough indicator for an internal function but on its own is not a meaningful KPI for WMUK (as as explored above as a measurement this particular example may not be meaningful even if reported as an internal service level agreement as it would turn out that 99% of reported use is employee use, rather than unpaid volunteers).
-- (talk) 11:58, 29 October 2013 (UTC)Reply

Dear Nathan , thanks for the questions.
The quarterly planning grid is only a snapshot, though in fact quite a big snapshot, of our programme and its progress at a programme level. If we put all the reports and staff plans in the data would be overwhelming and through a lack of consistent methodology, confusing.
In fact the trustees have asked in addition for a boiled down traffic light version of this on two sides of A4 as it contains such a lot of detail. The work on top level KPI's is under way as part of the five year plan.
‘If applicable’ relates to areas such as payroll or office rent etc. where the only KPI would be paid or not.
The ‘current status’ is de facto where we are. i.e. now coming up to the end of Q3.
The KPI’s are always responded to through the colour coding and the narrative. The colour coding records whether the target has been reached (green), in process (yellow) or where there are problems (red).
As a snapshot this serves to show overall progress but you are right the fine detail is not there. Citing the Cymraeg example this comes in detailed monthly and quarterly reports which go to the board and are published on the wiki. If you look at staff reports to the board and our event report pages plus of course the monthly reports you will find the detail.
This document is mainly intended for chapter use and is there to illustrate our progress. The FDC have indicated that they found it useful.
But we wish to be honest. Our monitoring and evaluation, although it has come a long way in the last six months, still needs a lot of re-organisation. What we are doing is good and our volunteers deserve a lot of praise for what they are delivering but our measurements are not consistent. The use of our CiviCRM database to coordinate the records of our activities and the work we are doing on consistent data gathering will make 2014-15 a much better recorded year of activities where the measurements will more accurately reflect achievement or setbacks) and marry up to our 5 year plan. Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 15:01, 29 October 2013 (UTC)Reply

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! KLove (WMF) (talk) 00:15, 29 October 2013 (UTC)Reply

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. The amount of 331,768 Pounds you list in Table 2 matches our records.
    This is correct. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 15:29, 5 November 2013 (UTC)Reply
  2. Your total budget in 2013 listed in Table 3 is 768,363 Pounds and that your total proposed budget for 2014 listed in Table 2 is 712,217 Pounds. Therefore, we calculate a proposed growth rate in your total budget of -7%. Please confirm that this matches your records.
    This is correct. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 15:29, 5 November 2013 (UTC)Reply
  3. Your movement resources in 2013 are 331,768 Pounds, and your request for 2014 listed in Table 2 is 442,217 Pounds. Therefore, we calculate a proposed growth rate in movement resources of 33%. Please confirm that this matches your records.
    This is correct. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 15:29, 5 November 2013 (UTC)Reply

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.

The exchange rate was taken from Google’s exchange rate calculator on 30 September 2013. It was 1.60 USD to 1.00 GBP. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 15:29, 5 November 2013 (UTC)Reply

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.
    We are not intending to increase our staffing. There may be interns but no new staff posts are planned. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 15:29, 5 November 2013 (UTC)Reply
  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?
    We know that our current staff will deliver more in 2014 than in 2013 as some of them were not in post at the start of 2013, and it takes time to bring people up to speed. See employment list, organogram and timeline. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk)
  3. Who on your staff is responsible for your organization’s fundraising activities in 2014?
    Katherine Bavage, our Fundraising Manager. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 15:29, 5 November 2013 (UTC)Reply

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).
    We are actually proposing a small reduction in our overall budget for 2014-15. Looking at our staff and volunteer resources and our ambitions we believed it will be sensible to have at least one year of complete stability ensuring that what we do is practical and deliverable. The demand from our community and partners is virtually unlimited and we need to make sure that we plan a programme that will be delivered sensibly and with good outcomes.

    In previous years we did not have the human capacity to deliver 100% of our programme. In this year we are still anticipating an underspend of around 8%. With experience has come an understanding of what is practical and desirable and the 2014-15 plan represents a programme that can be achieved with our current staffing and volunteer community. We expect more emphasis on rigorous decisions having to be made in 2014-15. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 15:29, 5 November 2013 (UTC)Reply

  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?
    WMUK has specialised in partnerships and this is one of its great strengths - linking with external organisations to deliver projects from our programme together. We have two part-time staff allocated to building the relationships with the Education and GLAM sectors specifically, and our comms director works with sympathetic organisations, Creative Commons etc, to create useful alliances in the UK and internationally.

    We are open to outside organisations reaching out to us for partnerships or training support, e.g. this week Kingston University, Manchester Girl Geeks, Manchester University Library, Breast Cancer Care, Mozilla Fest, Open Knowledge Foundation.

    The level of commitment depends on the type of project delivered - for example, the Wikimedian in Residence partnerships have set objectives and time commitment built into the projects. Others would ask for support in organising a particular joint project, e.g. an event, and can be build up from there depending on enthusiasm. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 15:29, 5 November 2013 (UTC)Reply

  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?
    We offer both travel grants and project grants.

    The project grants are submitted to a three person committee consisting of a trustee, another volunteer and a member of staff. While working with the applicant to ensure applications are of sufficient details, we aim for a decision to be made quickly. Similar three person panel decision making is used for project grants of significant monetary value or with large number of applicants, such as scholarships for Wikimania & WikiSym+OpenSym in Hong Kong this year. Decisions on other travel grants are delegated to the staff member responsible in consultation with other staff members, trustees or community members where appropriate. All scholarships opportunities are advertised openly through our different communication channels, with applications encouraged and accepted from all eligible persons.

    Applicants for grant are asked to show in their application how their project or travel to a particular event would be beneficial and contribute to the Wikimedia UK's charitable objects and the Wikimedia movement goals. All successful scholarship recipients are also required as a condition of their scholarship to produce a report to the chapter on their event attendance, with details such as what they did, learned, lessons for the future etc. Microgrants recipients are required to produce a short report showing achievement based on a template which is based on the WMF Project and Event Grants report form.

    The idea has massive potential but there has been poor take up over the last few years but we are very hopeful that with the growing community and partnerships theses grants will become more popular and feed directly into content contributions targeted at areas where our projects are weak. For instance we are encouraging work around fashion and women’s health. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 15:29, 5 November 2013 (UTC)Reply

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 regularly reviewed as part of our financial protocols. We aim to maintain reserves ideally equal to a maximum of 12 months administrative expenses for our London office, staff and governance, in order to protect our programme of activities. In 2013-14 we used reserves to protect our planned programme when FDC funding fell short of our request. In actuality not all of this was used, we are predicting an 8% underspend, and we plan to return it to our reserves. We are particularly aware, given our individual staff circumstances, of a need to take into account staff cover for potential long term illness and maternity leave.

We do not intend to build up reserves beyond what is absolutely necessary to protect the charity. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 15:29, 5 November 2013 (UTC)Reply

  1. What amount of funds are in your entity's operating reserves right now?
    Please could you define what you mean by ‘operating reserves’? Do you mean ‘cash at hand and bank’ or ‘free reserves’? This question is important because we define reserves as that part of a charity's income funds that is freely available to spend - which may not include granted funds from the WMF, and will not include funds that are already designated for essential future spending. See more here. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 15:29, 5 November 2013 (UTC)Reply
Hi Richard, by 'operating reserves,' we mean liquid, unrestricted assets available for WMUK to use as a buffer in unanticipated or unplanned scenarios in order to cover operational costs, including staff salaries. This may happen for instance if there are unplanned expenses or if revenue that is anticipated does not arrive, for whatever reason. That is how we are defining it. Does it make more sense? KLove (WMF) (talk) 06:38, 14 November 2013 (UTC)Reply
Here's a bit more clarification: we are asking about "free reserves" and for most chapters it is cash they are holding that has no obligations attached to it, such as bills to be paid or as part of a grant they have received. In other words, we are trying to find out how much is in your "savings account." Please let me know if you have any more questions. KLove (WMF) (talk) 20:28, 14 November 2013 (UTC)Reply
  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 are not planning to add to our reserves from the 2013 FDC grant, which we expect to have spent in full this year.
  2. Have you budgeted any funds for your operating reserves in this proposal (your proposal for 2014) and if so, how much?
    We are not planning to add to our reserves from the 2013 FDC grant, which we expect to have spent in full this year. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 15:29, 5 November 2013 (UTC)Reply

Questions about WMUK’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! KLove (WMF) (talk) 00:15, 29 October 2013 (UTC)Reply

Thanks for these questions Katie. We're currently writing up our Q3 report for the 2012-13 grant, so it will take a few days to get a response here - but we will as soon as we can. Richard Symonds (WMUK) (talk) 12:43, 30 October 2013 (UTC)Reply

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 increase in staff expenses present in Table 7 appears to be 20% and not 17% as suggested in this table: 320712 GBP / 266207 = 1.20474668209. Please explain the discrepancy.
    The 17% figure is a mistake. The 20% figure is accurate. May we update the proposal to include the accurate figure? Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 15:29, 5 November 2013 (UTC)Reply
  2. Please provide an estimate of the total funds you believe the WMUK chapter will devote to Wikimania 2014, including staff time.
    We can assess the minimum we will be spending as follows:
    We are assuming that two of our staff will spend 20% of their time on Wikimania, and the rest of the staff will spend 5% of their time.
    We have also allocated a £10,000 budget towards supporting Wikimania.
    We will also be running a “Train the Trainers” event - total cost circa £10,000 - at Wikimania in order to train international attendees in professional training styles.
    We calculate the total cost of this as £44,801.07.
  3. Please tell us what is included in the line items Wikimedians in Residence, and International chapter's support.
    Wikimedians in Residence:
    We are planning to continue part-funding Wikimedian in Residence positions to support opportunities in particular areas. The number of positions depends on negotiations with partner institutions about how a Wikimedian in Residence fits with their organisation and how much funding they will make available.
    • A review of the WIR programme to identify key strengths and areas of improvement
    • Continuing delivery of WIR projects that run over 2014
    • Delivery of 3-5 new WIR projects in 2014-15 with a diverse selection of partners, chosen in a formal application process commencing in mid 2014.
    International support:
    • A Train the Trainers course held before Wikimania 2014 for international delegates. Now being planned.
    • Supporting a chapter-led training workshop. March 1st and 2nd with Mike Hudson who led review of WMUK governance.
    • An ambassador programme where we send members of the Wikimedia UK community to other chapters to share and increase dialogue between organisations. To be decided depending on demand. In 2013-14 community members sent to Poland, Netherlands and Hungary for example.
    • We will work with those in the UK community for whom English is not their mother tongue to develop work on other wikis. Plans for working in Gujarati being made.
    • To be involved in the European chapter’s initiative to influence EU policy, particularly relating to copyright. Work in progress with other European Chapters First meeting hosted by WMUK was 4th November.
  1. The amount listed for 2014 Total annual expenses of entity in Table 2 of £712,217 and confirmed in your detailed budget does not match the amount listed for your expenses in Table 9 of £733,217. This presents a significant difference of about £21,000. Please clarify why these amounts listed are different.
    The £733,217 figure was taken from an older version of the FDC plan, where the figures in some budgets were higher. We later revised the figure downwards to £712,217. The difference occurred when I mistakenly copied across the out-of-date £733,217 figure.

    May we have permission to update the bid accordingly? Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 15:29, 5 November 2013 (UTC)Reply

Question about strategic priorities[edit]

Thank you for providing a chart that clearly shows the alignment of each program with WMUK’s and WMF’s strategic priorities. Please also share with us briefly how these strategic priorities and goals listed are achieved through your programs. This explanation may be at a general program level and does not need to address each and every activity. 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 / Community: You list ‘Stabilize infrastructure’, ‘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.
      They are all instrumental and feed into each other to support this program. Various elements within the programme support different priorities.

      The key strategic goal here is Increase participation

      In particular:

      • ‘Increase participation’ - increasing number of active volunteers; providing training for volunteers; delivering Project grants bringing new volunteers in; delivering our Volunteer Strategy; supporting Wikimania 2014
      • ‘Stabilize infrastructure’ - build the collection of volunteer equipment available;
      • ‘Improve quality’ - media files donated as a result of activities and volunteer equipment being used;
      • ‘Increase reach’ - making efforts to engage with new audiences of potential editors and contributors to Wikimedia projects - for example Scotland and Wales
  • Program 2 / Promoting free knowledge: You list ‘Increase participation’, ‘Improve quality’, and ‘Encourage innovation’.
    • 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.
      They are all instrumental and feed into each other to support this program. Various elements within the programme support different priorities. In this programme our aim is to extend reach to new audiences, hence Increase participation is key here, very closely followed by Improve quality.

      In particular:

      • ‘Increase participation’ - GLAM Outreach, University and Education Outreach, Extended Reach, Expert Outreach - and Wikimedians in Residence programmes; creating opportunities for new volunteers to be involved; producing merchandise and publications that spread the information about our work and elicit participation
      • ‘Improve quality’ - Content donations resulting from GLAM/Edu partnerships or WIR work; Providing access to source and archive material which allows improvement of Wikipedia articles via our Outreach partnerships
      • ‘Increase reach’ - Our Extended Reach program sits here, with a range of increasing reach activities
  • Program 3 / Membership and public support: You list ‘Increase reach’.
    • Please offer a brief explanation of how each of this priority is related to this program.
      • Increase the number of members
      • All members and donors to receive regular e-newsletters informing them of the Chapter’s activities - in longer term increasing their participation in the activities
      • Positive stories about WMUK and our activities encouraging trust in the websites.
      • Through the positive stories more people becoming editors
      • Through the positive stories more partner institution approach us for training. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 19:28, 5 November 2013 (UTC)Reply
  • Program 4 / External relations: You list ‘Stabilize infrastructure’, ‘Increase participation’, ‘Improve quality’, ‘Increase reach’ and ‘Encourage innovation’.
    • 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.
      We are working to build close relationships with organisations and institutions that are sympathetic to the aims of the Wikimedia Community, and we work with the international Wikimedia community. Encourage Innovation is the leading motivation here.
      • ‘Encourage innovation’ - Provide information about the activities of our chapter to enable everyone to better support it, get inspired and participate via running projects with external organisations, conferences, presence at external events; running specialist workshops for other chapters.
      • ‘Stabilize infrastructure’ Working with other organisations to support innovation and development through volunteer participation.
      • ‘Increase participation’ By reaching out to other groups and organisations we can discover new reservoirs of contributors especially from under represented groups.
      • ‘Improve quality’ The involvement of high-quality partnerships can generate new contributors and offer access to content that can be released under open license.
      • Through the acquisition of open source material, editing workshops, work inspired through our Wikimedian in Residence programmes.
      • ‘Increase reach’
      • Through our outreach activities and inspiration through our partnerships with institutions we can reach users and communities that do not normally contribute to Wikipedia and its sister projects. We will be placing especial emphasis on other language communities based in the UK.
  • Program 5 / Finance: You list ‘Stabilize infrastructure’.
  • 'Program 6 / Governance management and administration: You list ‘Stabilize infrastructure’, ‘Increase participation’, ‘Improve quality’, ‘Increase reach’ and ‘Encourage innovation’.
    • 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.

Questions about programs[edit]

  1. Please explain WMUK’s process for determining priority areas. What does it mean when a program is designated a ‘priority area’? For example, why is External Relations considered a priority area for WMUK?
    The FDC asked for priority areas. Our instinct is to see the programme as a whole and that therefore the whole programme is one priority area with priorities within each. Following the FDC request we chose four areas.The ones we chose are because we feel they will have the most impact on delivering our programme and objectives and thereby supporting the aims of the community and foundation.

    We chose Community, Promoting Free Knowledge, and Membership and Public Support as they are core to the delivery of Wiki project support and development. We identified External Relations not just because this is a strength of the chapter but that it is a positive route to protecting the reputation of the movement through association with organisations and partners of proven merit and reputation. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 15:29, 5 November 2013 (UTC)Reply

  2. How do you define and measure quality of content in relation to your work?
    Measuring the effect on quality is not easy. In the past GLAM projects have looked at the FA and GAs achieved, and Wiki Loves monuments will be measuring featured pictures etc. But we are very conscious that the volunteers involved in such processes don’t want to be too overwhelmed by such evaluative work. We are aware that in the past projects , outside WMUK, have become contentious by allegedly flooding the DYK process on the English language wikipedia. We are also very conscious that an important part of our impact on quality is from the cross training that takes place between volunteers at editathons and similar events. The best way to measure that is to ask the question “Did your editing skill improve as a result of this event” in our feedback forms. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 15:29, 5 November 2013 (UTC)Reply
  3. What long-term outcomes do you expect from the EduWiki Conference (budgeted at 12,000 GBP) and the GLAM-WIKI Conference (amount budgeted unknown)?
    EduWiki long-term outcomes:
    1. stronger engagement in higher education institutions towards more university tutors assigning the editing of Wikipedia articles and/or contributing to other Wikimedia projects for assessment (course credit).
    2. broader reach across the education sector (lifelong learning as well as school children, along with higher education) towards better understanding of Wikimedia’s projects and direct engagement with content sharing.
    3. better awareness, especially among senior managers in the education sector about the appropriate use of Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects in education.
    4. enabling UK-based academic researchers to develop a UK-based network with others working on Wikimedia-related academic research, as well as ensuring more participation in the existing WikiSym community.
    We are not planning a GLAM-Wiki Conference in the next financial year having delivered two successfully we feel it is time for another Chapter to host one. We will be planning a small GLAMcamp. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 15:29, 5 November 2013 (UTC)Reply
  4. How do you intend to more than double the number of applications to your microgrants program received this year despite the fact that the number of applications has been decreasing each year over the past few years?
    We have debated whether to dramatically cut this budget owing to poor uptake or give it another year, albeit at a reduced level, to cut its teeth. By offering reforms we believe we can make it successful.
    • Firstly our new fast-track approval system that will reduce delays and encourage participants.
    • Secondly by promoting the scheme more widely. For instance through donor newsletters,
    • Thirdly by using the growth of our volunteer base and range of activities to promote the scheme especially in areas where we see development of the wikis is needed.
    It is true that take-up has been disappointing but we see these relatively small amount of grant as being key to directly improving content and building our active volunteer base. We do need to be careful to assess its impact but the results so far e.g. London photos that generated at least 800 photos, including featured pictures and quality images, have demonstrated success.
  5. We note WMUK plans to conduct many edit-a-thons in the year to come. Please tell us how WMUK has seen the impact of edit-a-thons on Wikimedia projects (say, in terms of quality or content). Please also tell us a bit more about the follow-up work you do after these events to increase retention.
    We have been putting resources into making sure the editathons are delivering in terms of content creation. Often they have target list set up and secondary sources provided. Thanks to that, for example, we have made progress towards closing the Gender Gap by creating articles for all the female Royal Society fellows.

    One of our weaknesses has been in systematic follow-up. The enthusiasm of the day can be lost if the participants are not contacted afterwards. As part of our root and branch reform of monitoring and evaluation we are experimenting with email and phone follow ups. In most cases the attendees receive an email follow up after an event pointing them towards further resources. The efficacy of this could be measured through our Civi CRM database and the incoming Foundation tracking tool. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 15:29, 5 November 2013 (UTC)Reply

  6. Describe the role of the staff and the role of the volunteers in your GLAM work.
    The role of volunteers is to edit, to show others how to edit, to be ambassadors for Wikimedia to the GLAM sector. As well as to prioritise GLAM choices either by participating in the GLAM committee, giving feedback on Feedback forms or directly to staff.

    The role of the staff is to deliver the parts of the programme that volunteers want to have happen but don’t want to volunteer for themselves. This can range from finding a venue and promoting the event to linking up volunteers with GLAMs. Making sure there are spare laptops and other resources available. On occasion it also means being a staff liaison for GLAMs who want to deal with someone who isn’t a volunteer. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 15:29, 5 November 2013 (UTC)Reply

  7. As part of your work in "Wikimedians in Residence“ you note that one goal is to "Increase the number of contributors to Wikimedia projects.“ Can you tell us to what extent similar efforts in the past have been successful in recruiting new editors, and whether they’re active in the long term?
    The Wikimedian in Residence programme was originally targeted at quality improvement rather than editor recruitment. Whilst we don’t want to lose the primary focus of GLAM as being quality improvement, we are conscious of the movement’s desire for increased focus on editor recruitment, and we are actively seeking out GLAM relationships where that is an opportunity. Our experience has been that libraries and archives are happy to offer Wikipedia training for their readers, and we hope the programme which we ran at the British Library to train people with their reader cards will be a good model to roll out. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 15:29, 5 November 2013 (UTC)Reply

Question about impact[edit]

WMUK is proposing a growth rate in movement resources of 33% with a request of 442,217 GBP (approximately $713,500 USD). Please explain how your activities are having an impact on the Wikimedia projects at a level that is commensurate with the amount of movement funding requested here.

This is a fundamental question that all Chapters need to be able to answer.

We recognise the need to be able to prove that what we do meets with success and we have taken two fundamental sites towards this:

  1. Revising our plan to demonstrate a realistic vision of what is deliverable through a reduction in our programme for 2014-15.
  2. A root and branch review of our monitoring and evaluation processes to unify our recording.
Our focus in devising this programme, which represents a significant review of previous year’s plans, is in creating activities that have a direct impact in encouraging individuals and institutions to take up editing and to improve content.

We are able to demonstrate some tangibles, number of events and activities, people attending, etc. Other impacts are less tangible e.g. how important to the reputation of Wikipedia in it that institutions such as the Science Museum or National History Museum are hosting Wikimedians in Residence and thereby validating the quality and status of Wikipedia. It is difficult to quantify in terms of new edits or contributors.

Our programme of activities consists of volunteer and staff led events that can only happen at a local level and need support and organisation if they are to take place. Local chapters are placed to make sure that happens and that is their value.

We follow the desires and ideas of our community, not just in the UK, and try and reflect their vision. As an organisation we attempt to use our resources frugally with the minimum of administrative expenses, spread our programme as widely as possible without sacrificing quality and develop good and open governance. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 15:29, 5 November 2013 (UTC)Reply

Reporting schedule for this grant[edit]

WMUK and FDC staff have agreed to an altered reporting schedule for this grant, based on the grantee's funding period of 1 February - 31 January. See, Grants_talk:APG/Proposals/2013-2014_round1/WMUK. Cheers, Winifred Olliff (Grants Administrator) talk 16:31, 15 April 2014 (UTC)Reply