Grants talk:IdeaLab/Cameras for Commons photographers

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Some thoughts[edit]

Interesting idea, thanks for writing this up, Pine! I'll be curious to hear what other Commons folks think about this as well... I'd like to experiment with other kinds of small grants to facilitate contributions where they make sense.

Some initial questions/thoughts:

  • Do we see evidence in the existing equipment exchange to back this up as a need looking to be filled? I haven't spent much time on that board, so I'm not sure how often there are requests for equipment that go unfilled. Any info you can share on this would be useful for making the case of the need for a program like this. I do understand the point that commons has lots of low-quality images! But how do we know that the equipment exchange would be able to identify the people who would be most served by this, and that those people would find the equipment exchange?
  • Equipment tends to be a tricky one for grantmaking, because circumstances can change and of course no one wants to see contributions petering out right after a $600 camera has been shipped. Do you think asking someone to return it in the following quarter if they're not contributing as expected would be enough to handle this issue? (I'm not sure there is a fail-safe answer to this, other than try it and see, but I'm curious to know what people in the IdeaLab think about this, regardless)
  • I'd like to think the community would select based on need, but this can be hard to gage in any on-wiki process. If the grant is based on track-record of contributions, how do we avoid giving $500 cameras to people who already have $1000 cameras?
  • Some additional administrative costs would need to be factored into the program, besides the costs of cameras and shipping itself (a WMF-er to to check, purchase, ship, ensure requirements were filled, pester for return if not). I don't think this would be huge, but it wouldn't be do-able with the current WMF grantmaking team's staff, unless we could design a process where volunteers could take on several significant pieces.
  • Depending on the administrative and setup costs for any micro-grants program, and all of the volunteer time to select a grantee, does 4 cameras per year seem like a worthwhile return on investment?
  • How would you pilot something like this in a lightweight way without investing too much time/money/energy before learning if it was a worthwhile idea?

Finally, if this is a project that you're looking for other participants to help with, let me suggest you add YES after the "more participants=" parameter in your infobox to get that shiny Join button that makes us all unable to click it. :-)

Looking forward to seeing this idea develop. Siko (WMF) (talk) 02:57, 16 July 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]


  1. Equipment exchange threads are started more by offers than requests. I think a better measure of interest on Commons is the amount of discussion that the offers generate, and all of this discussion so far has happened without sitenotices or VP discussion so far as I know. Dcoetzee gave away a D300 awhile back and told me that he was pleased with the results.
  2. You have told me on more than one occasion that you think we should trust that selection processes are rigorous enough. I think a similar kind of AGF is needed here. We're not just relying on a random person's promise though, we're relying on the Commons community's judgement of users' past contributions and who the community thinks would be the best choice for a grant.
  3. See above. Unless WMF wants to research income by geography and/or require notarized copies of tax documents or something like that which might not even exist for users in countries with little in the way of functional government and financial systems, I think the Commons community and WMF should do its best judge each situation on a case by case basis.
  4. If designed and executed efficiently, I expect the WMF administrative processes involved would be less than two hours per camera shipped. Surely someone in Grantmaking has two spare hours each quarter.
  5. I think four per year is the maximum number that can reasonably granted while encouraging a reasonable level of competition and interest for each camera, so that the Commons community will have a number of reasonably valuable choices that it could make for each camera. I think going bigger than this would risk watering down the quality of the selection process. The number of grants can increase in future years if the first year is deemed a success.
  6. I think a six month or one year pilot is reasonable. Could you clarify why you think the administrative burden would be so difficult?

Thanks, --Pine 06:15, 16 July 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • Administration costs: If we purchase straight from the manufacturers online then the WMF would just need to give them the name and shipping address.
  • Selection process: I think we can trust the community to be a good judge of recipients. We could go by the lame cameras they own now with the exif data of their uploads as well as the skill/quality/subject/location. Some may not even own cameras but we could weigh those on Flickr and OTRS input etc. The selection process should definitely not be a !vote but judged by the assumed value of the images we will get from that user.
  • Cost: I doubt there is much of a difference between 300 and 1500 in the WMF budgets. IMHO we should go with higher price and less cameras if the WMF wants to keep costs down. The 'hand me down' plan I mentioned below would work to keep the cameras moving from area to area. We could designate them to areas like continents. A camera is used in Mexico for 1-6 months then moves north to USA and then Canada. This would keep shipping costs down. Users could just submit receipts to WMF after shipping or we could create a Paypal account to transfer funds for those on low income that can't afford shipping up front. I priced shipping from Canada post to anywhere in the world. A huge, heavy camera of 10x10x10 inches and 9 pounds = 25CDN to 100CDN to just about anywhere. I tried China, UK, South America from Edmonton. $1000 insurance adds ~$20. I used but I assume there are other online estimates.--Canoe1967 (talk) 19:03, 22 July 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I don't think WMF should be giving users' information to camera manufacturers.
I think that the end user needs that info for the warranty anyway. With shipping could just have them pick it up at the local post office with a code number instead of a name and address? This issue can be dealt with when we get to the admin section and selection process though.--Canoe1967 (talk) 19:16, 23 July 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I agree that the community should be trusted to select the recipients.
  • There is a substantial difference between $300 and $1500 in the IEG budget. Asking IEG for $1200 for six months and two cameras is likely to be easier to fit into an IEG budget round than asking $3000 for six months and two cameras.
I forgot this was a pilot project. Low-ball may be the way to start. Any grant committee may decide to go higher if we give them that option I would think.--Canoe1967 (talk) 19:16, 23 July 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Please see my comments below about proposal to rent cameras.
Thanks, --Pine 06:15, 23 July 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]


This may sound pedantic, but I would like to see a requirement that the photographers use a Creative Commons license. Wikimedia Australia did a similar program and the (very expensive) cameras ended up going to commercial photographers who were using the GFDL 1.2-only license to exploit Wikipedia for their own commercial gain. It was also a waste since the photographers already had nice cameras, but didn't want to pass up the opportunity for a free upgrade. Kaldari (talk) 20:17, 16 July 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Good point, I'll add a requirement that Commons uploads be done with a CC license. --Pine 18:23, 17 July 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
CC BY requirement is too tight as Commons still prefers and recommends CC BY-SA 3.0 Jee 06:52, 14 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Similar programs[edit]

Thank you Pine for this proposal, I find the idea very interesting. For your reference, I'm adding here links to similar programs run by some Wikimedia chapters WMAT-Communitybudget, WMDE-Technikpool. By the way, will this proposal eventually be submitted as an IEG grant? and if so, is there any thoughts on how to maintain the funding after the end of the IEG round? Thanks --Haithams (talk) 21:19, 16 July 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

A six month pilot could fit within IEG, or a one year pilot if IEG provided the funding up front or continued funding for a second IEG phase. If the pilot is successful then I think the Foundation Grant Program is a better fit for the long term. It may be simpler to have the pilot within the Foundation Grant Prgram as well. But GAC requires a minimum value of $500 per grant so this could have the strange effect of requiring the more expensive cameras to be granted. Perhaps GAC will agree to look at the annual cost of the program instead of individual camera grants. --Pine 18:35, 17 July 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I could see this being piloted for a 6-month IEG, with potential to renew for a second 6 months if needed to solidify the program/setup (or test further tweaks). Longer-term, we're looking at expanding scope for the Travel & Participation Support program (our smallest grants program offering), which could potentially become a new hub for making smaller grants to individuals to support more online contributors, and it might make sense to house it over there eventually. And/or via PEG or other programs...there should be options, for something successful. Siko (WMF) (talk) 00:30, 15 January 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Request for feedback about eligibility requirements[edit]

I tightened some of the eligibility requirements. Are they reasonable? Should there be more? The eligibility requirements are minimums, and I anticipate that there will be enough competition for the cameras that the Commons community will select grantees who significantly exceed the minimums, especially if recruiting for grant applicants is done widely on Commons through a sitenotice in multiple languages to logged-in contributors. --Pine 19:02, 17 July 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

We could have the requirements 'not etched in stone'. I think the selection process will tighten them considerably so we may wish to leave them a little flexible for now.--Canoe1967 (talk) 19:22, 22 July 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Price range[edit]

Great project! Can we bump it up a little? We may be able to get a package deal from Canon or Nikon. I bought a w:Canon EOS 500D in 2010. Although Future Shop had in on for 699(?) by the time I bought two memory sticks, a carry case, and an extra battery it was over 1300CDN including taxes. The w:Canon EOS 700D is probably the better one to get now. If we approach Canon or Nikon with a price range then they may ask for higher. We may wish to low-ball them on our first offer though. I don't know if we need community consensus but we could credit the manufacturers on the pages or in the EXIF of each image as well. "Equipment subsidized by the Canon-WMF camera project" type thing. I think they can add that to the EXIF firmware for us. This would save the camera owners from doing it and adding it to every page. It may sound spammish but it should get us a better price.--Canoe1967 (talk) 22:51, 21 July 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hi, I set the price range fairly low to minimize the financial costs and risks for WMF and to limit the program's appeal to people who could afford to pay for a camera with higher quality. However, the quality of cameras in the $300-$600 price range continues to improve over time and I think we should encourage people to look for discounts or bundles of cameras with accessories at good prices. I didn't suggest a bulk purchase from camera manufacturers because grantees may have different preferences and needs and available camera specs may improve from quarter to quarter, although WMF could approach manufacturers with requests for discounts or donations. --Pine 23:26, 21 July 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I see your points. I just feel we should 'go big or stay at home.' These are entry level DSLRs that do take very nice images. They aren't as complex as some SLRs I have used. The factory settings are set up for 'point and shoot' out of the box. I still haven't played with all of my settings but the few I did adjust were basic and did improve images. I usually set to shutter priority and try to balance the ISO and f-stop to get the best shots. I would assume we want 15-20 megapixel images with a decent lens. The lower cost non-DSLR cameras usually have a tiny lens with lower light input. This raises the ISO and produces images that although are large the grain is just horrid. I also think they can be too 'automatic' with the user not being able to get good images by adjustments that are either complex or not available. We may want to leave the price range open until WMF decides how much budget we have. I think they could easily cover $1500 a month for 12 cameras a year. We could also keep them as WMF property. Each user would have them for 1-6 months, take lots of images from their area and then they are passed on to a user in another area. If we go with 1-2 months possesion and allow users to extend if they plan a trip then that may work as well. This will get us a broader coverage of images.--Canoe1967 (talk) 18:24, 22 July 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks for your interest, but I feel that asking $18,000 per year and $1,500 per camera is outside the scope of a pilot project, and I've seen photos on Commons from cameras in the $300-$600 price range that have very good quality. As for renting, I think that would create a lot of challenges with keeping user information confidential and holding people accountable if cameras go missing or get damaged. --Pine 06:08, 23 July 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I forgot this was a pilot project. Low-ball may be the way to start. Any grant committee may decide to go higher if we give them that option I would think.--Canoe1967 (talk) 19:16, 23 July 2013 (UTC)
To really learn something useful from a pilot, we'd probably want more than 2 data points. I wonder if you might increase the number of cameras given away, but maintain the cost per camera as low as possible (still meeting your quality requirements, of course). What are the most cameras that you think could be usefully given away in a 6-month period? Siko (WMF) (talk) 00:34, 15 January 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If WMF is willing to take on more risk I think one camera per month for the first 4 to 6 months could be piloted while maintaining a per user budget of $300 to $600 roughly. After the first 6 months we could reduce the rate slightly to one camera every other month during a 6 month extension. If 9 cameras were given in a year the total cost could be about $5400 plus shipping, insurance, and taxes. What do you think, Siko? --Pine 06:44, 15 January 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think we'd want to take on just enough risk to learn if it was useful. $2500-$3000 initial investment to learn if buying cameras for photographers helped improve Commons, build community, encourage contributions? I'm not sure it will, or that the challenges of equipment purchases won't weigh benefits down, but it seems like it would be a not-too-large price to pay to find out. What would your measures of success be? (want to start adding proposal sections to the idea?) Siko (WMF) (talk) 07:32, 15 January 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Sbouterse (WMF) I'm not sure. We could say that each grantee photographer is expected to take at least 300 photos in six months, at least 1 photo from each grantee becomes featured on Commons, and at least 3 continents are represented by grantees. I think it would be beneficial to let the Commons community have flexibility to select which photographers should be funded and what their objectives should be. Hopefully the community makes diverse and high quality selections of grantees. How does that sound? --Pine 06:11, 24 January 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Sounds like a reasonable start. I wonder if you'd also want to put a measure of success around processing time...perhaps from when grant was announced to when a grantee has the camera in-hand? If it takes the community 9 months to select a photographer, and it takes WMF 6 months to get the grantee their camera, we'd have learned the system is not really scalable as designed. I don't expect either of those things would happen, but its a possibility you'd likely want to keep track of. Siko (WMF) (talk) 18:23, 24 January 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think the selection by the Commons community should only take 2-4 weeks. If they are informed ahead of time about the possibility of nominating and voting on camera grants I think participation will be strong. --Pine 06:36, 25 January 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Image size[edit]

"...will be uploaded at the highest size and quality available." My camera can store as .raw and .jpg. I shut off the .raw because the files were 23-25mb on the memory stick. Jpg are only 6-8mb at highest resolution. We may need to re-word it to something like "largest size from camera memory".--Canoe1967 (talk) 22:58, 21 July 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • Commons:Commons:File types suggests to me that Commons doesn't support any raw images which implies that uploaders would need to use other formats. We could require png. What do you think? --Pine 23:32, 21 July 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
My Canon software converts the .raw to .tiff which are huge. I am probably being to picky but the way it is worded now it could mean that they need to be the largest file size possible not the largest frame size. I take pictures with the largest .jpg format but the camera can be set to lower frame sizes. "...highest size and quality available." just seems too absolute a requirement if they shoot in smaller frame with .raw option off. "Full frame from the original" may be a better way to word it.--Canoe1967 (talk) 18:03, 22 July 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
How about "largest dimensions and at the highest JPG or PNG quality that the camera allows"? --Pine 06:12, 23 July 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I always shoot at full size. Others may think that setting a lower size may be best to save memory in the camera for things like portraits that may only be needed at a smaller frame. File:Ajay Fry InnerSPACE Calgary Expo 2013.JPG will probably never be needed at the size I used but no sense changing size for just one shot. This can be tweaked later in the selection process even. Some recipients may not have computers that can crunch the larger sizes.--Canoe1967 (talk) 19:26, 23 July 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It's a good point that some people might not have the computing power, or internet bandwidth, to upload lots of large files. However if someone doesn't have a computer that can crunch large files then they can take the photos in JPG or PNG in the first place so conversion isn't necessary, and I think we should expect that people who receive a camera through this grant program will upload with the maximum size and quality that they reasonably can. We can offer to let people send their images to the Foundation on CDs, DVDs, or thumb drives if bandwidth is a problem. --Pine 23:12, 11 August 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Should we discuss these? I find them essential for many good shots. We wouldn't need expensive ones as cameras are very light now. We could even just get a few w:Tripod heads and either have the users build the legs with sticks and string or subcontract our own cheapies made with metal tubing. Thoughts?--Canoe1967 (talk) 19:16, 22 July 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Yes, if a user chooses a camera and is under the approximate $600 ceiling then they and WMF can consider using remaining funds for accessories. They could also consider buying a camera bundle that includes accessories like a tripod. --Pine 06:10, 23 July 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This we can tweak later. If we just budget an amount per person then they may select a package within that budget. I myself would go with all camera and build accessories from duct tape, potato sacks, and my tickle trunk. Some may wish a camera with one extra lens, some may want 3 spare batteries, etc.--Canoe1967 (talk) 19:32, 23 July 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

What we really require than a grant[edit]

Thanks Pine for your attempt to identify and encourage photographers who live in less prosperous parts of the world. But more than good equipments, we really require appreciations and considerations as part of the community. If somebody offer me a good camera and ask me to sacrifice my personal and moral rights for that gift; I will definitely prefer my rights. Unfortunately this is the problem we are facing in Commons nowadays. It will be nice if we have better equipment; but we have no plans to sacrifice our rights for that. JKadavoor Jee 06:11, 23 July 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I think that the discussion about photos of people on Commons should preferably be handled by the Commons community through processes that are unrelated to this proposed grant program. --Pine 23:14, 11 August 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I too hope so. JKadavoor Jee 05:16, 14 August 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Is more expensive equipment the answer?[edit]

I don't have enough data to know if the low-quality images are taken by awesome contributors due to a camera's limitations, or because of other factors. It seems like a reasonable assumption, but I wonder if anyone has evidence (from the contributors you aim to serve?) that a better camera is the need? What about photography training? Or anything else that contributes to low-quality image uploads? I have seen some terrible pictures taken on amazing cameras and vice versa, so just raising this for consideration...curious to hear your thoughts! Siko (WMF) (talk) 02:48, 15 January 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Yes, there was good example from English Wikipedia Featured Picture Candidates some time ago. A user who had a good eye for photography and was in a remote part of the world took a photo of some interesting geography. The photo's technical quality was too low for FP. This is the kind of user who I would like to support with this camera donation program. There is training available on the web, and I think the Commons community can be trusted to choose photographers for camera grants who would benefit from better cameras. --Pine 06:48, 15 January 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

New sections[edit]

It looks like your thoughts are developing beyond the initial idea into something increasingly concrete. So I took the liberty of making you a few more sections, in case you'd like a spot to put things like measures of success, budget, etc, as your thinking progresses :) Feel free to remove/tweak as needed, of course! Siko (WMF) (talk) 18:31, 24 January 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Variations of the proposal[edit]

Hello! I am just seeing this and had have heard this proposal before, but am happy to see it here properly written and discussed. I think that lots of people have wanted this to happen. Here are some variations of this proposal which I have heard:

  1. Cameras are owned by local Wikimedia usergroup and checked out to users who request them. That is - the person who holds the camera also is on-hand to loan it to others.
  2. For people in places with limited access, there could also be some kind of coordinated community service to upload the photos they have taken. In lots of places in the world uploading pictures is a problem, so perhaps if this project were tied to a community forum in which volunteers would agree to receive dvds by mail then they would upload the photos on behalf of a user with limited Internet bandwidth.
  3. Another Believer in Cascadia in the United States coordinates regular photo hunts such as for local coffee houses. Additionally, projects like Wiki Loves Monuments benefit from equipment support. If projects like this were noted then they would serve as guidance for what people could do with cameras.

The proposal as stated seems like a good idea. It could even be piloted with a single camera if several people in one country expressed interest in passing it around. Blue Rasberry (talk) 17:24, 5 May 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Project organization[edit]

Hi Siko, I spent some time working on this project today. Some people have indicated their willingness to help. I also put more details on the grant request page.

I would like to have you and/or one or more people from Commons agree to be the main contacts for this project. I already spend too much time on Wikimedia projects and I think it's not realistic for me to add this one as well on unpaid time, and I am hoping that Commons will agree to crowdsource the coordination of these grants just like they do with the Equipment Exchange and Commons Featured Picture Candidates. On your side I think this grant proposal would fall best under the Travel and Participation Support category because it would support participation on an ongoing basis if the 6-month trial is successful and WMF will handle the logistics, finances, and reports for the program. So, would you please work with the Commons community to move this forward? Some people are indicating their interest in helping in the Endorsements section and you could ask BlueRasberry as well. I have posted some requests for help on Commons user talk pages. Thanks, --Pine 04:03, 19 May 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • In wikimedia CH we are exploring the same idea, and I would be more than happy if we could join the effort. One simple idea I see is that WMCH may take care of the European side of the project, and because WMCH is already in the TPS, we would not have to create another layer of organization. --Charles Andrès (WMCH) 13:40, 28 May 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Charles Andrès (WMCH) that's great to hear. In the US I am wondering if one of the existing chapters would like to help with it. I am also helping to form a new user group, Wikimedia Cascadia. A third option would be to have a global thematic organization for the Commons community much like the Education community has. I wonder if we could set up a time to talk together on IRC with Siko and someone from one of the existing US chapters like Pharos. --Pine 06:45, 29 May 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Equipment sharing[edit]

I was thinking that, instead of granting cameras to individual contributors, give a kit to each megalopolis where there is sufficient interest, and local Commoners can borrow it when needed. This allows more photographers to get in on this, especially if they are not planning to use it all the time. -- King of ♠ 09:16, 19 May 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

A good idea. But who will take the responsibility of the care of the equipment allotted?Jee 12:23, 19 May 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Actually I think the tow ideas complete each other more than replace--Charles Andrès (WMCH) 13:37, 28 May 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Commoners who need a camera are generally poor, they live in distant places. The logistics of this type only work for cities. --Wilfredor (talk) 21:46, 20 June 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Let's put something in place and see what happens. At the moment a number of chapters loan out kit including audio recorders and cameras for any volunteer with a good project proposal. I suggest lessons are learned from those schemes, including deciding whether they tend to favourite city based projects and whether there are realistic ways of compensating for that. To be honest, there are very, very few requests for kit like this, it would be really nice to have some example remote requests to discuss and find solutions for, even if that means individual grants right now. -- (talk) 22:34, 20 June 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thoughts from Colin[edit]

I would indeed be interested if WMF were able to allocate money towards equipment for photographers, particularly those who can't afford the equipment necessary to take an FP/QI of their subject of interest. I agree that an entry-mid-range crop DSLR is the minimum necessary -- a small-senor compact camera simply doesn't approach the quality necessary for professional results. And such a camera is also the most necessary -- a pro crop DSLR or full-frame DSLR would enormously increase the costs for very little gain in results. I would however question whether buying cheap kit lens is wise since these are often disappointing both optically and creatively. Better to choose a constant-aperture standard zoom, or a couple of primes. And some recipients may need more specialist optics (e.g. macro lens for flowers/insects or telephoto lens for birds). The quality of "mirrorless interchangeable-lens cameras" (such as micro four-thirds from Panasonic/Olympus and Sony's E-mount Alpha range) is also sufficient but that area isn't very mature in terms of third-party lens support, second-hand market, etc.

The proposal seems a bit bureaucratic, with a timetable for grants that might encourage an award simply by calendar rather than on merit. It is hard to gauge what the demand might be.

The thing I think won't work is the idea that the grant is for a camera that is effectively on-loan, rather than money to purchase a camera. Usually a grant is an offer of money to help with a proposed project. The project is assessed up-front and if it fails it fails. Here, the design is for continued submissions and reports and should these dry up, the camera has to be returned. That's really just a loan. There are also several problems with WMF purchasing the camera and sending it to the photographer, who then has to return it or compensate for any loss or damage:

  • When you buy a camera (at least in UK law) the contract is with the shop in addition to any warranty the manufacturer supplies. If the camera was to develop a fault quickly after purchase, one simply returns it to the retailer for exchange. But if sent abroad, this would probably not be simpler or cheaper than getting a manufacturer's repair, which can have a lengthy turnaround. So if the photographer purchased the camera locally, they could get it fixed quicker and cheaper.
  • The camera will be set for one of the two main video standards (50hz or 60hz) depending on region, which might not correspond to the recipient. In addition, the mains adapter will be for a plug and voltage that may not work. It is not always possible to change the video standard with menu options.
  • It is very problematic to send lithium batteries by courier and more so internationally. Manufacturers and retailers will have their own arrangements with couriers but for private individuals one will be required to insert the battery in the camera before postage and there is no option to send or return spares. They are considered hazardous.
  • Camera lenses cannot be insured for damage when sent by courier. The better couriers will still allow insurance for theft/loss but some just put lenses on their "not insurable" list.
  • Customs. There will be customs charges on import of the cameras, which is borne by the recipient. The WMF cannot legally or ethically undervalue the equipment on a customs declaration. One may think this only applies to purchases of new equipment, but it can also apply to second hand equipment and to gifts above a very modest value. This is not an inconsiderable amount, and will be a cost in addition to any sales tax paid by WMF when purchasing. And it will also apply when the equipment is returned or exchanged. The rules may be different if the camera is explicitly on loan perhaps (I really don't know) but it would probably have to be for a very short fixed term. Even sending a camera back for warranty repair/replacement can incur customs charges in some cases.
  • Insurance. This may simply not be an option in the third world. A recipient who can't afford the camera to begin with could also not afford to compensate WMF should it be stolen (and that would be doubly painful as they would have all the cost but still be obliged to return it at some point).
  • I don't know what WMF's charitable status allows in terms of purchasing equipment and giving it to random people who are not employees. Would the equipment be have to be used solely for WMF-related business? Most photographers would want to shot family photographs at the very least. It might be simpler for accounting simply to make a financial grant around some proposed project of work. And then what the photographer does additionally is their own business.

-- Colin (talk) 22:18, 4 January 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Similar proposals[edit]

Some similar proposals are sort of documented at en:Wikipedia:Crowdfunding.

These are all photographer funding projects for Wikimedians, but a big difference is that in no case did money come from the WMF or a grants program. Blue Rasberry (talk) 12:44, 10 January 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

And this too. So what about advising people visit here to try themselves as this project is almost dead? Jee 07:43, 28 February 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]