Grants talk:APG/Proposals/2016-2017 round 1/Wikimedia Israel/Proposal form

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Thank you for your application[edit]

Hello, WMIL team! Thank you for submitting your complete application on time. We look forward to reviewing it in the coming weeks, and will contact you if we have questions or need more information. Do you happen to have a copy of your budget in spreadsheet form? If you do, that would help us speed up our analysis. You are welcome to send that to us by Email instead of linking it from your proposal document, if that's easier.

If any questions or concerns arise on your end, please do let us know so we can help. Best, Winifred Olliff (WMF Program Officer) talk 11:06, 2 October 2016 (UTC)

Please complete Table 3[edit]

Hello, WMIL colleagues: Apologies for missing this during my initial reading of your proposal. It appears as though Table 3 (grants metrics) is incomplete. I see you do have grants metrics aggregated at the top of each program description. Can you kindly also complete the definitions of your metrics, a row for each program in Table 3, and include a row for totals across programs? These changes are approved. Thank you! Winifred Olliff (WMF Program Officer) talk 00:50, 12 October 2016 (UTC)

Hello, We completed table 3 and added notes. Thank you Michal Lester לסטר (talk) 15:24, 17 October 2016 (UTC)

Questions from FDC[edit]

  1. In your "grantee defined metrics" you write "Target: A1. Target audience: B2". What do the A1 and B2 refer to? Wittylama (talk) 02:05, 17 October 2016 (UTC)
    We changed the headline of the two last columns and added a detailed explanation of the various metrics. Michal Lester לסטר (talk) 15:30, 17 October 2016 (UTC)
  2. Given that you expect to have 5 FTE positions and you have several multi-year relationships (notably with the education sector) I'm surprised to see that you don't have, nor plan to build, an operating reserve. Can you elaborate on this decision? Wittylama (talk) 02:29, 17 October 2016 (UTC)
    We manage our finance very cautiously and work hard to increase income and diversify its resources. In Israel, it is considered unacceptable (though not illegal) for a small non-profit to keep reserves. At an average budget of about ILS 1M in recent years, Wikimedia Israel is a small non-profit by local standards. Building a small reserve would be conterproductive, as it would deter potential local donors and raise unnecessary questions in official audit processes. Michal Lester לסטר (talk) 12:04, 18 October 2016 (UTC)
    I'm afraid this answer is inaccurate. Reserves that are considered unacceptable are larger than 100% of the budget, and that's clearly not what we're talking about here. Zero reserves policy is considered risky and uncommon, especially in light of your speculative revenue plan. Jamnod3 (talk) 20:01, 31 October 2016 (UTC)
  3. I see that you have a goal of 60% quality articles for high schools and 50% for higher education. It is often thought that higher education leads to better articles: why do you expect a lower result? - Laurentius (talk) 08:01, 23 October 2016 (UTC)
We have two different Article Assessment tools. One for high schools (used by teachers to grade their studants' assignments) and the other for more audiences. We gain some exprince with the Article Assessment for Student Assignments and this is the reason that the goal of quality articles is higher.
Michal לסטר (talk) 14:46, 28 October 2016 (UTC)

Questions from non-FDC members[edit]

Hello WMIL! I have a few questions on your proposal:

  1. Continuous editors. I agree that measuring continuity is a good idea. Could you give a more precise definition of what counts as a "continuous editor". How many edits does someone need to make after 2 months to be a "continuous editor"?
  2. Does the "Wikimedia Communities Support" line of the budget refer to Hebrew Wiktionary and Ladino Wikipedia projects? Is anything else included?
  3. Both Ladin Wikipedia and Hebrew Wiktionary are very small projects in terms of active editors and also in terms of the pageviews they currently get. Have you considered whether working closely on these two projects is the best thing to spend your time on, as opposed to using your resources to make an impact on bigger Wikipedias?

Many thanks in advance for your replies, Chris Keating (The Land) (talk) 21:36, 18 October 2016 (UTC)

  1. "Continuous editor" is similar to the foundation definition of “survival” - The number of new users who are making a specified number of edits (5+ edits) after a specified number of hours after they register (two months). The term "survivors" has negative connotations.
  2. Wikimedia Communities Support refers to Hebrew Wiktionary and Ladino Wikipedia projects and Developers Meetups.
  3. Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge. That’s our commitment.

Michal Lester לסטר (talk) 12:47, 19 October 2016 (UTC) לסטר (talk) 16:19, 19 October 2016 (UTC)

On the third point, I don't think that fully answers Chris' question. It is correct that our vision is to have the sum of all knowledge freely available to everyone in the world, but, since we don't have unlimited resources, we need to make choices (prioritizing some projects over others; choosing how to best allocate our resources). Supporting Ladino Wikipedia is definitely aligned to the vision of the Wikimedia movement, but why do you think it's among the best things you can do right now? (Chris, please correct me if I'm misinterpreting your thoughts) - Laurentius (talk) 08:08, 23 October 2016 (UTC)
Yes, That's exactly what I meant. :) (Though I should add - Even though I asked that question, I do think the amount requested for Ladino Wikipedia and Hebrew Wiktionary projects looks appropriate, and if I was on the FDC I wouldn't be worried about it). Chris Keating (The Land) (talk) 09:55, 23 October 2016 (UTC)
To answer your question more thoroughly, we will first have to make a distinction between Hebrew Wiktionary and Ladino Wikipedia. Hebrew Wiktionary is a fertile ground that has been neglected for too long. This project can serve many people in Israel and abroad. While Hebrew has a relativelty small community of speakers, it is a language used by most Israelis and many people around the world for various purposes. And yet there are still few modern online dictionaries and most of them are rather expensive. Also, the attempts to revitalize the volunteers' community of Hebrew Wiktionary led to important cooperations with other organizations, such as the Academy of the Hebrew Language. It is therefore in the best interest of all that we continue this project.
For further information about Hebrew Wiktionary - here
The Ladino Wikipedia is one of the projects that aim at promoting small language communities, such as the Syriac Wikipedia, the Pennsylvania German Wikipedia, the Occitan Wikipedia and many others. These projects exist because there are volunteers who wish to contribute in their native tongues. Many of the potential volunteers are unaware of these projects or have technical or other issues that deter them from joining in. As an Israeli chapter we have an obligation to reach out to these people and make them productive volunteers. Since many Ladino speakers live in Israel, the Ladino Wikipedia should be on our agenda.
Michal Lester לסטר (talk) 08:42, 26 October 2016 (UTC)
Hi Michal - what's the connection between Ladino and Pennsylvania German? There might be some cross-over with de-wp that we could use together as leverage for some activities. Braveheart (talk) 11:32, 26 October 2016 (UTC)
Hi Braveheart, the Ladino Wikipedia and the Pennsylvania German Wikipedia are both small Wikipedia and I used it as an example.
All of Ladino speakers also speak Hebrew (in Israel) so they can use WMIL training tools to learn to edit in WIkipedia. Michal לסטר (talk) 18:49, 28 October 2016 (UTC)
Oh, ok, thanks for clarifying! Braveheart (talk) 20:30, 28 October 2016 (UTC)

Questions from RightCowLeftCoast[edit]

Why this amount? What is the minimum amount that the grant submitter believes is needed to accomplish these goals? Can the grant submitter accomplish the goals stated in your proposal, without funding? If the grant submitter can't, why not? If the grant submitters grant request is not approved, what alternative sources of funding are you seeking? If only one grant is approved during this round of grant approvals, why should this grant be approved rather than all the other grant proposals--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 17:09, 29 October 2016 (UTC)

Hi RightCowLeftCoast, this is a fairly general question and I see you've posted a similar one to all other applicants, so I will keep the answer rather generic, with hints towards our own case. Most Wikimedia affiliates, and Wikimedia Israel is no different, are requesting funds to perform work that leads to impact as defined by Wikimedia Foundation and the affiliate's Board of Trustees (for the most part such impact is defined in terms of Reach (or Participation), namely goals involving more people taking place in editing Wikiprojects or simply learning about how to use them, and in terms of Content (articles edited, created, media items added and reused etc.). A main reason affiliates exist, and are requesting funding from WMF, is the fact that communities contributing to Wikiprojects are very diverse in terms of both geographic coverage and languages, and affiliates help tend for their respective communities and languages, reinforcing and expanding their local communities. After this too long of a background, I will say that for all but a few affiliates, most of the funding is received from WMF, and the budget is usually the minimum necessary to accomplish the goals in the proposal, and there are mechanisms in place (such as the FDC and community review) to ensure that resources are spent frugally. In our specific case (but again - this is no different from many others), most of the funding is spent towards staff that is tasked with executing programs (such as edit-a-thons, work with the education system, or nurturing new activities for a specific language - in our case Arabic, or a specific project - in our case the Hebrew Wiktionary). Funding ensures that there are people working towards the goal with their undivided attention, a luxury most volunteers can't enjoy. Without funding, most programs would diminish greatly in capacity and frequency, and lead to significantly less impact. However, this does not mean that we at WMIL (as well as others) are not seeking to diversify resources. Some countries have mechanisms in place to support NGOs, but Israel does not - so we have a significant effort to do so, and it bears fruits - if you read our proposal, you'd see that some 66,000$ have been secured from non-WMF sources towards realizing our goals, and we expect this is not a one-time accomplishment.
Lastly, I will not answer the part of your question starting with " If only one grant is approved... why should this grant be approved". I think the work carried out by all affiliates is valuable, for the reasons I stated above. It is not for me to decide, and while I do think highly of our staff and volunteers, I have come to appreciate greatly people all around the world, some of it unique to a location and community and some of it is simple adoption of best practices and implementation on a local level - does it mean it is less worthy? I think not; on the contrary. Alleycat80 (talk) 08:06, 31 October 2016 (UTC)

Drastic increase in salaries[edit]

I see that you plan to increase the total expenditure on wages from 535,166 to 781,000 NIS, which is a drastic 46% increase. Moreover, it seems to increase the salaries percentage of the budget to 59%. I find these numbers inappropriate. Can't you make it with the current level of expenditure on salaries? Jamnod3 (talk) 20:07, 31 October 2016 (UTC)