Grants talk:APG/Proposals/2014-2015 round2/Wikimedia Italia/Staff proposal assessment
Wikimedia Italia comments
Thank you for your work and attention!
About communication expenses
The total amount of the communication expenses included in our balance sheet of € 131,259.32 comes from the sum of two items:
- € 98,048 for initiatives related to the programs (WLM, OSM, GLAM, Educational) such as hackatons, mapping parties, wikisource proofreading contest, promotional materials on Wikipedia, sms solidarity campaign for a nation wide educational project, etc.
- € 33,211.32 for institutional communication aimed to increase WMIT's programs credibility among institutions, create new relationships, disseminate the results of our activities, reach a new audience (also people who have not familiarity with contributing on the internet), reinforce fundraising.
The total amount of € 131,259.32 has been included in our budget (illustrated to the Assembly) as it follows the chart of accounts required by the Italian Civil Code which requires the expenses to be sorted by type and not by project. Therefore both initiatives related to the projects and other communication expenses have been included in the “communication expenses”. In the proposal we have included initiative related items (for a total amount of € 98,048) in each project as they “represent” projects themselves. Therefore we invite you to consider as communication expenses only the sum of € 33,211.32; instead, the sum of 98,048 Euros should be accounted for as program related initiatives, which should not be separated from the programs (WLM, OSM, GLAM, Educational) as they are funding part of the them. The communication costs in the proposal are € 33,211.32 out of 403,214.72 (total expenses), representing the 8,2% of the of the total expenses.
About Wikimania 2016
Please note that Ecomuseo delle Grigne and other partners are in charge of the whole organization of Wikimania 2016. In other words, Wikimedia Italia supports Wikimania 2016, but from a financial, organizational and formal viewpoint Wikimedia Italia is not the reference point. We have put in place an in-kind contribution for the: communication of the event (newsletter and other media used by Wikimedia Italia); on-site registration with 3 people for 7 days during the conference. This is why we have included Wikimania 2016 within the chapter “Communication” in the proposal form. Please look at http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimania_2016_bids/Esino_Lario/Description#Organization Ecomuseo delle Grigne has also applied for a contribution to an Italian grantmaker. If this contribution is approved, Wikimedia Italia will get 20,000 euro to finance some supplemental work. In this case, Wikimedia Italia will have the further tasks of: - creating a network of schools, museums and libraries in Lombardy, - strengthen Wiki Loves Monuments in Lombardy with the involvement of new municipalities and institutions, - organizing Wikitrips and excursions. Our supplemental work depends on this contribution. As mentioned in the proposal, since Cariplo Foundation’s grant is still uncertain, the grant of € 20,000 have not been added to WMIT’s provisional budget.
About Wikimedia Italia reliance on APG Funding and cinque per mille
Even if the expected total amount of “cinque per mille” is sufficient to cover staff expenses, actually this funding is fluctuant. Therefore our plan is to diversify as much as possible our source of revenues. Apart from a strong cinque per mille campaign, for example, we aim to strengthen the support from institutional partners and for this reason we have conceived a specific program on institutional communication (for a total amount of € 33,211.32) specifically addressed at increasing WMIT's programs credibility among institutions, create new relationships, disseminate the results of our activities, reinforce fundraising. Besides we have planned specific fundraising actions such as the solidarity sms campaign which will give us the chance to develop a nationwide educational program and also to raise our brand awareness towards institutions and reach a new audience (also people who have not familiarity with contributing on the internet).
When we have drafted our proposal (last march) we haven’t yet organized recruiting days before and we preferred to isolate this specific part of our strategy to clearly convey the idea that the recruiting of new volunteers is a first, fundamental step of our growth plan. Now that we have carried out our first training day focused on GLAM and Educational projects we have some new precious information we didn’t have before:
- now we know that there is a considerable number of people willing to be trained on our project and become volunteers (we have received 33 request of participation out of 15 available seats);
- now we have new reference points for our activities in our focal areas (we have involved people coming from part of the country less covered by our projects and activities);
- specific feedbacks from the participants and issues have been expressed: the need has emerged for separate follow up meetings, respectively, on GLAM and Educational projects.
- we are also planning a new training day this time focused on WLM and OSM.
These are few examples to express the strict link between the voluntary program and the other ones.
About strategy behind Wikimedia Italia’s Education program
We have developed a strong know-how in the educational area since the first year of WMIT’s life. As regards the impact, we are now ready to develop a nationwide education program that will be able to tackle two of the main problems we have encountered, when trying to replicate our initiatives on a larger scale: the lack of active members on educational projects across Italy (projects often depend on the social network of the members involved) and the limited financial resources held by schools. As mentioned above, the solidarity sms campaign will help us to raise funds for a single, articulated national project relating to schools.
OSM has proved to be a mature, collaborative, open content, well known, and appreciated project and there is a strong sense of community around it: all these features make OSM similar to WMIT approach and projects and represent a value added to WMIT and Wikimedia movement. In our opinion, at least the following strategic priorities of Wikimedia movements suit to OSM program:
- Create products and services that support affiliation and excellence among Wikimedians.
- Provide support to the Wikimedia movement in the development of institutional partnerships and alliances;
- Encourage innovation;
- Increase participation.
About GLAM - Museums
As we mentioned in our strategic plan, at page 45, unlike relations with libraries, relations with museums are a yet unexplored ground, despite major projects and collaborations carried out in the past. We understand that our projects with museums seems to fall into the “just GLAMWIKI work” bucket, but please remember the uniqueness of Italy’s cultural heritage. When we first approached the Italian Minister of Cultural Heritage, in 2012, we barely scratched the surface of a huge, very complicated system. Even Italian monuments, estimated in millions, are not yet catalogued in a single directory - millions of potential notable monuments that could easily be photographed and described on Wikipedia. If we now start counting cultural goods, this numbers goes up in tens of millions. Italy has the problem of having “too much” archeological and cultural sites; too many ancient documents, stored in archives, not yet cataloged; too many cultural goods that are exposed in many many little museums dispersed across all Italy. As we did with libraries, we need to start a conversation with Museums. We cannot plan to “liberate” a definite number of pictures or documents (which is a more concrete way of measuring our impact) at the moment, but we will of course do it when the time comes. The “memory industry” in Italy is huge and dramatically under-funded. GLAMs, in Italy, are present all across the country, especially in small or mid-size institutions, which are under represented and under-used. We are establishing a contact with these institutions, making them aware of Wikipedia, Wikisource, Commons, Wikidata as “digital commons”, which they can participate in. It is very important that these memory institutions do not feel threatened by us, but see us as allies. With libraries, after years of conversations and discussions and events, we are now starting to reap the fruits of our efforts. They are interested in what the Wikimedia Movement has to give: not only in terms of visibility of their books and documents and articles, but also in terms of open collaboration, bottom-up approach, openness. For example, we are now discussing with the National Library of Florence regarding a local Wikidata for bibliographic records. They understand both the importance of linked open data, but also the wiki, open collaboration side of Wikibase. So, in the long run our strategy is to teach GLAMs how to work like us, delivering knowledge and information in the most open and sharing way. This is, we think, a very concrete way to achieve our mission: free access to all human knowledge.