Grants talk:PEG/WM CZ/Communities

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Comment by Lenka64[edit]

I don't think that the office is what the Czech chapter needs the most nowadays. From the point of view of typical ordinary editor of Wikimedia project is chapter just tightly closed group which only focuses mainly on taking pictures and has problems even with it (for instance totally unprepared Wiki Loves Monuments for this year). Czech chapter should at first establish broad contact with editors and stop to ignore sister projects (for instance labelling and mentioning them as unimportant and uninteresting for public or requesting "reports of the project activity" from their editors to even start to deal with their wish for support which I consider indecent and absolutely unacceptable). If they want to organize workshops only for their friends and students of schools (like it seemed to me so far), I hardly doubt they will gain many new editors. Activities across the social and age spectre are minimal and I don't believe that any change will happen with this project. --Lenka64 (talk) 22:53, 20 October 2013 (UTC)

Thank you Lenka for your point of view. WMCZ is surely open to other smaller projects and their development. In the past we advertised them (pamphlet, book) and we gave a space for their editors (Wikikonference, workshops). And this follows until these days. If you’ll come to us, that you’d like to run a project to extend the content or editor group of such project, you’ll be warmly welcomed and encouraged by other chapter members to do so.
From my point of view as Chapter insider and former WMCZ chairman, I see Chapter office as a big benefit. There has been a need to have common workplace, the place to leave Chapter's belongings and got a place to organize workshops. The administration part is usually not seen. But every bigger activity (let’s call it project) has certain amount of administration behind. With the amount of projects we run (more than 10) we are covered by administrative tasks. For many people this is a boring part of the project, but important. Office in this case helps to motivate people doing them in time and easy.--Juandev (talk) 13:50, 21 October 2013 (UTC)

Questions[edit]

  1. It is not clear for me, who do you expect is about to attend your edith-a-thons and workshops? Do you expect to attract new people (I mean people who are non-wikimedians) or rather all these meeting are rather for current wikimedians? If the first one - how do you want to attract non-wikipedians to visit your meetings? Do you have any ideas of the topic of these meetings?
  2. Have you calculated the other scenario? I mean without renting a regular office but rather renting a class-rooms in schools or any university for the periods you really need it?

Polimerek (talk) 00:19, 21 October 2013 (UTC)

  1. The editathons are dedicated for Czech Wikipedia newbies and also other sympathisers as well. They are not supposed to be designed for old-school participants, as they already have the knowledge. It is not hard to announce these events throughout Czech Wikipedia when needed as well as through other communication channels of our chapter (ie. facebook, twitter, blog, external wiki - webpage). We do have successes with addressing people (ie. WLM, Ambassadorship programs we currently have) so I don't see this as a problematic issue.
  2. We do have available space in Lidická 5 in the Boardgame club until now. The truth is, that it proved to be quite complicated to share a place with someone else - sometimes an exact time for some event is really good for us, but we can't do it because the Boardgame club is either closed or they have their own events. And there were other problems as well, including having us entangled into complicated ownership relations between the owner of the whole apartment block and the Boardgame club, participation of municipal police in this etc. --Aktron (talk) 08:52, 21 October 2013 (UTC)

What should be mentioned here in support of this proposal is that the planned "office" room is a fancy word for a small space provided for a very reasonable, non-commercial price by the city council. I believe that these premises will enable us a very interesting range of community-centered activities for a very small price. The office can, in my opinion, be understood as a part of budget fot these activities. I cannot imagine organizing these without such a place. --Vojtech.dostal (talk) 09:57, 21 October 2013 (UTC)

Well - actually I guess there is more than one place in Prague you can organize your events... Actually - you plan to organize 22 events - which looks like a quite a lot from one POV, but it means that you are about to organize just around 2 events in a month. It means that your office will stay empty for the rest of time - especially - you don't plan to equip it with any typical office stuff - such as printer/copy machine, phone etc..., so it will be useless for typical office duties, which I guess is still going to be done at homes of the Board members... Let's assume that all the planned meetings will take on average 8 hours each (which is quite a lot of time to spend together)- it gives you 176 hours. You have mention that you plan to use the office for 720 hrs. for a year - so the question is what are you about to do there for the rest of the time (544 hrs.) ? And even 720 hrs. of use of the office is still no so much, as it means that you will spend there say 90 days for 8 hrs. each - which means the office will be used roughly only 2 days a week. There is also still no answer about the topics/schedule/plans of your edith-a-thons, workshops and other meetings. Is there any page on Czech's Wikipedia, or WMCZ website with ideas for the topics of these meetings? Polimerek (talk) 10:28, 21 October 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for the calculations; you are right that the office will not be fully used 24/7. By no means do we want to follow the trend of over-institutionalization of the chapter. We would go for another options if there were any cheaper and as convenient as the proposed 'office'. Y--Vojtech.dostal (talk) 20:47, 21 October 2013 (UTC)ou mention 'other places' where events can be organized: well, I believe that is is very complicated and very expensive to reserve rooms in a reasonable distance from the city centre, bring in all the stuff we need (video projector, laptop, propagation leaflets) and then take them all somewhere else (currently to chapter members' houses). This also causes incredible logistic problems with possible renting cars and, in the end, is much more expensive than keeping a small room (5x5 meters) for a non-commercial price. I think that, compared to other grant proposals, this is a fairly decent one; in fact, the Czech chapter has an incredible amount of projects in regards to its infrastructure.
Concerning the ideas for topics of the meetings, I expect them to come as it goes. My recent and successful Mediagrant proposal also mentioned no specifically "planned" events but I trust these will be accomplished to everyone's satisfaction.
Please tell me if you have any other questions. I will be happy to answer them. --Vojtech.dostal (talk) 11:28, 21 October 2013 (UTC)
in a reasonable distance from the city centre — I find the distance from the city center a bit misleading. Many places, while geographically further from the center, can be actually reached faster by the (public) transport, because they are closer to the transport arteries (especially metro). Proposed location is just an ordinary out-of-the-way street in a middle class residential area, nothing unbeatable.
Yeah but getting this sort of office for this sort of price took quite a long time. Not very easy to say the least.--Vojtech.dostal (talk) 20:47, 21 October 2013 (UTC)
all the stuff we need (video projector, laptop, propagation leaflets)incredible logistic problems with possible renting cars ­— renting cars for one piece of luggage?
The car thing was primarily related to bigger events such as conferences. And yeah you wouldn't believe how big a challenge it sometimes is, even in way smaller events. --Vojtech.dostal (talk) 20:47, 21 October 2013 (UTC)
a small room (5x5 meters) – The room seems indeed a bit small, especially when some cabinets are moved in. When used for workshops, editathons etc. it will probably actually prove to be a restraint. How many people do you fancy to squeeze in?--Tchoř (talk) 16:14, 21 October 2013 (UTC)
Enough for a good lecture, workshop or an editathon :-) --Vojtech.dostal (talk) 20:47, 21 October 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for your reactions, Vojtech.dostal, but I fail to see how they answer to the original question. We would like to hear why the classroom solution is worse. Of course, you can have a good lecture even in a small room … but only for a small number of participants. Is it wise to dismiss the possibility of a large audience?--Tchoř (talk) 07:38, 22 October 2013 (UTC)
IMHO some types of lectures/workshops have a bigger impact in a larger audience (as I did here), others are suited for a more personal attitude in a smaller room. --Vojtech.dostal (talk) 16:36, 22 October 2013 (UTC)
Polimerek, I wonder how you conclude that the office will not be equiped like an office. There will not be a a full/part time worker, but the project background administration will be done there by community members. To rent coworking place (like HUB) is much more expensive. These places and one use places has the disadvantage, that you can leave your belongings there (no room).--Juandev (talk) 14:03, 21 October 2013 (UTC)
There is not only chapter members, office space will can be usable with interns or EVS (http://www.evs.cz/). Office space is prerequisite for that.--Frettie (talk) 14:25, 21 October 2013 (UTC)
I just read your application - there is the only knowledge I have about it - and the same will be for WMF officers who will make final decision. Treat them as a devil's advocate's questions :-) For example - if you are about to equip your office with some typical office stuff - because you already have it, or someone is about to donate it - put it to the apllication - as your contribiuton to the project - it might help :-) If you are about to use this office for typical office work - also put it to the aplication - it would be more clear for what you need it. Also, some data regarding costs of alternative options - would be, I guess - good for persuading WMF officers that your proposal is rational :-) Cheers, Polimerek (talk) 10:37, 22 October 2013 (UTC)
Being the treasurer and custodian of Wikimedia Philippines I understand the need to have your own space. We use a co-working space, however they have limited storage, some of our equipment (collapsible backdrops) had to be squeezed in a small area, which broke some of it, good thing they are repairable. It's not also ideal to have your equipment housed in one of the members, that person will be obliged to be always available whenever any of the equipment is needed. 25m² is just practically enough to convert it to anything you can think of to maximize it, your plans for it are good. -- Roel (talk) 12:37, 8 November 2013 (UTC)

By-passing FDC[edit]

Dear WMCZ and fellow GAC Members,

my first and foremost concern regarding this and the second WMCZ proposal is the very eligibility of financing them via GAC. Firstly, the grants programme description (point 2.4) explicitly states that GAC should not be used for recurring activities such as the office rental (mentioned in the project). This restriction IMVHO applies as well to unprecised "certain number of meetings/events" through two years. Secondly, a few broad long-term grants like this one ("Community building", "Outreach", "Content creation" etc.) can be used to by-pass the FDC altogether - which would be, in my opinion, some overstretching of GAC purposes which should be project/programme based and very specific.

Therefore I would like to ask Asaf and Dariusz if they see it in GAC or FDC territory, as well as ask WMCZ why don't you use FDC already (Letter of Intent deadline: 8 November 2013). Despite of the outcome I believe that the programme description should be more specific and the cost items should be more directly linked with the programme. So far you have prepared a nice structure of this submission but such a broad request IMHO requires farther elaboration: e.g. more details on the events and I would love to have a clarification why do you need the office for almost 250 EUR per month to organize <1 event per month (or 1 event per two months, if the 2.2 item "presentations in the Czech Republic" means an outreach outside of WMCZ office space).

While I truly believe in WMCZ people and I wish a healthy growth to the Czech community, I think these administrative issues need to be clarified. If WMCZ is not prepared for writing a whole FDC budget maybe they should be provided with some assistance or a bridge solution. Maybe this programme is such a bridge solution of a "chicken and egg problem" - but then let's make it clear and loud.

Best Wishes, aegis maelstrom δ 16:42, 21 October 2013 (UTC)

Thank you Aegis for a very good and interesting comment, as well as the evaluation of the proposal in general. Allow me to explain several issues related to it, so we can avoid possible misconceptions.
Indeed projects that are approved by GAC are not supposed to be office rentals and similar issues. In April this year, I've visited the Chapters Meeting in Milan, just in order to have much more clear view on the channels how the chapters can be financed. I've been told that GAC indeed will not finance a simple office rental, but it is willing to finance the office when it is necessary for achieving another goal, as a part of the project. As an example, an office for organizing Wiki Loves Monuments was presented.
In 2012 and 2013 there was a lot of articles about declining of the number of Wikipedia contributors throughout the world. We spoke about the issue of the number of editors dropping in various language communities of Wikimedia projects etc. The standards for new articles on Wikipedia (for example) are rising; the time that is needed is growing and the topics are less mainstream-like so that people should focus on these in order to have Wikipedia growing (not mentioning also a time needed for improving existing articles). And the number of people in our chapter is also stagnating (since 2011). Therefore, we see this as the main problem in our chapter and we would like to focus on it - that is why this proposal is done. We have a bad experience with having available space shared - it simply does not allow us to work in a way we want to be more effective or to set up events that can attract more people. That is why we want to rent an office space. The reasons for this are many and I will be happy to explain all of them when needed. I must point out (again) that we are speaking about an office that is supposed to be for much lower rent than commercial spaces are available in Prague.
WMCZ did participate in the Round II of FDC process. We submitted a proposal that was supposed to deal with this issue and it was much broader. We used all our potential to make a proposal that might be viable and that can be successful. But we were facing several problems: First of all, we have submitted very successful grants via GAC (Mediagrant and P&O). Also - we are still a voluntary organization and our manpower is limited. As the FDC Committee confirmed in the conversation we had and later in Milan - we are simply to small to apply successfully for FDC. FDC does not match our needs; it seems to be overly strict, not flexible enough and designed for goals that we could make only with more manpower available. That is the reason why the number of events is stated as at least. We want to make more, but that depends on externalities that might be hard to predict.
This proposal was written in order to describe what we want to do, yet to be flexible. It is hard to define exactly every single item that we want to spend money for, as the situation in the chapter can change over time. New possibilities and new events may arise and proven and good experience from the past might not be that sure as it seemed to be. Fining a balance between super strictly defined proposal and a blank page is indeed not an easy task.
Perhaps yes - we are in WM CZ trapped in the void between GAC and FDC. We have good experience with grant programs like Mediagrant and Presentation & Outreach - in last 2 years these helped to move our chapter way forward (ie. we had lots and lots of successful projects), but we need to take focus on the community growth as well. Knowing that the FDC process was too complicated and oversized for us, we would like to answer one of the core problems with a grant proposal like this one. Aktron (talk) 19:08, 21 October 2013 (UTC)
Link to the mentioned FDC proposal.--Tchoř (talk) 07:01, 22 October 2013 (UTC)
I see the problems being somewhere in the gap between GAC and FDC. WMCZ is no exception here. My comments here go for both grant requests by WMCZ.
There is some flexibility concerning rent and staff if it is temporary and project-focused. As with the Presentation and Outreach grant request I see increasingly a problem with putting many different projects into one grant request. If it could be seperated a bit better based on project goals and measurable targets it would be much easier for the GAC to discuss and decide on it. Now it almost looks like an FDC request. Interesting enough the FDC request WMCZ made was lacking programmatic activities while these grant requests look good concerning activities.
My suggestion would be: rewrite the grant requests, focus on targets and single projects. Write a seperate request on "bridge-funding" to take the gap between the individual projects and FDC. With a clear and honest plan to build up some administrative ressources - temporary in the grant request, as they will be covered by FDC in the future - it would be easier to approve it and give the ability to move on to FDC. --Manuel Schneider(bla) (+/-) 10:40, 28 October 2013 (UTC)
When WMCZ was applying for FDC, we still had financing for programmatic stuff from the first Mediagrant and first P&O, and it did not make much sense to request money for something that was already covered.
I have to say I'm not following your recommendation quite well. The current P&O proposal already specifies individual targets for each activity. Are you saying we should write eight individual grant requests, and then include one more for "bridge-funding"? --che 21:09, 28 October 2013 (UTC)
Hello Manuel, in fact, there are even broader grant requests approved. We were told that this is OK :-)). --Vojtech.dostal (talk) 21:53, 28 October 2013 (UTC)
Hi Che and Vojtech! Che got it right - make individual requests plus another one for bridge funding - that would be my _recommendation_. I don't say it is not doable - the first Media Grant was similar to No. II but we see that this causes problems. So I was just thinking about a way to make it cleaner and easier for the GAC to deal with. Maybe just a Media Grant II / Communities Grant as broad as they are now concerning programs, and a bridge funding extra - so you can remove part of the administrative stuff from the first two grants and just keep what is tightly connected to the actual programs in there. Just an idea, just a brainstorming. Maybe others from GAC might state their opinions. Thinks are generally easier if they can be looked at as seperate, in itself closed parts than having big, complex projects with a lot of dependancies. Part of this is not to try to "hide" administrative costs somewhere inside the projects when they are actually going beyond the project. Instead I think we'd be happy to recommend funding of a request which focuses primarily on getting the chapter FDC-capable and which states this clearly. --Manuel Schneider(bla) (+/-) 08:23, 29 October 2013 (UTC)
So you mean, this might be to GAC to difficult? There cutting it to different smaller grants, would help GAC members with decission? Am I taking that right?--Juandev (talk) 16:39, 4 November 2013 (UTC)
I disagree that "getting the chapter FDC-capable" is or should be anyone's goal. If and when a strong case for the added benefit of full-time staff in WMCZ is made, the FDC process would be a means to that end, and then, if necessary, arrangements such as "bridge funding" could be considered. Today, however, WMCZ considers itself able to deliver mission impact with its current volunteer resources, and is asking for funding for material expenses related to programmatic work, without requiring paid staff. Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 00:16, 8 November 2013 (UTC)

Technical clarification[edit]

The Project and Event Grants program (formerly the WMF Grants program) can fund an office. It is generally expected to be tied to specific programmatic work, and to be either a co-working / shared-space arrangement or an otherwise discounted space (such as non-profit centers, hubs, incubators, etc.), where such options are at all available. The one thing that would put a proposal decidedly outside the scope of the Project and Event Grants program is funding for long-term full-time staff; that can only be obtained via an Annual Plan Grant via the FDC process.

Accordingly, this proposal, in its current form, is eligible for this program. Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 00:16, 8 November 2013 (UTC)

To be added to the proposal[edit]

As requested above. Please confirm that I can add these information to the grant proposal during an ongoing review process:

  • The office will also be used to store the chapter's property (boxes of our leaflets, scanner, laptop)
  • 'Rent' of 4.800 EUR includes the core rent (max. 1000 EUR) + payments for central heating and waste disposal. This is calculated to cover the maximum costs if the office will be used a lot during the winter. If the costs are less then this (very likely), we may very well return as much as half of the rent costs back to the WMF. At this point, we think that we should have a reserve so that we are not surprised by a high cost of energies.
  • Price of renting similar premises in Prague would be about 1400 EUR (as estimated by Limojoe) for 22 planned events (+other costs AND without the other benefits of having an office).

--Vojtech.dostal (talk) 16:36, 22 October 2013 (UTC)

Yes, please go ahead and add it. Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 00:19, 30 October 2013 (UTC)
Why do you compare the renting of the office with the price of renting similar premisis in Prague for 22 planned events? I thought some of the events are planned to happen elsewhere in any case. It is written in Project details that some of the workshops should be organized in regional centers. And costs for space in some facilities is included for 10 events in the budget (and I think we agreed that the office is suitable only for events of certain type).--Tchoř (talk) 00:46, 1 November 2013 (UTC)
You might be right on that. I only published the number I got from Limojoe. The actual number of in-office events might not be, however, so much lower than 22 because other types of activities may take place in it (outside of the scope of this program but needing rented rooms). It is very difficult to enumerate this (and I only did it because I was asked to. --Vojtech.dostal (talk) 14:22, 1 November 2013 (UTC)

My thoughts[edit]

Thanks for the submission. In general, the request is fine and very promising if its feasible to carry out all these activities with this amount of money in a two-year period. My only concern is the purchase of furniture and equipment for the office, which is very important but might not be funded as discussed numerous times in the past. Can you consider the possibility to rent a furnished office? Do you think it could be cheaper? I'd also wait until the aforementioned changes are added to the proposal. Best regards.--Kiril Simeonovski (talk) 17:59, 31 October 2013 (UTC)

Hello, thanks for the comment. I am not sure what you mean by a furnishing office, but I think I get the meaning. You think it is a problem to include the price of the office equipment into the request, is that right? If this problem is insurmountable, we - of course - will remove it from the grant proposal; we will be able to furnish the office from our money (although we might bleed a little financially). Do you (and others) think the furniture etc cannot be a part of grant proposals?--Vojtech.dostal (talk) 22:36, 31 October 2013 (UTC)
It had to be "furnished" instead of "furnishing". That was my fault and now is corrected. My experience from the past is that funding a purchase of equipment is generally not approved because of the ownership-related problem after the expiring period of the project. The same logic should apply for the furniture as well. In some cases, the WMF offered to lend the needed equipment for the project, but this one appears to be impossible to do with the furniture and that's why I am asking if it's possible to rent a furnished office. However, let's see what is the opinion of the people from WMF about this. Best.--Kiril Simeonovski (talk) 11:48, 1 November 2013 (UTC)
Yes, other members' inputs would be helpful. We will probably want to continue having the office (or at least some other office) after this grant comes to an end.--Vojtech.dostal (talk) 14:25, 1 November 2013 (UTC)
If I may offer a solution to ownership issues at the end of the project, since it is a chapter project anyway it must be reported in the inventory of the chapter property. -- Roel (talk) 12:58, 8 November 2013 (UTC)

Comments MADe[edit]

Hey, this seems a very good submission.

As from my information, Prague has a vibrant community and has a government which is really open for these kind of initiatives. Probably they offer all kinds of support for organisations in a start-up phase, mostly practical stuff like offices. Have you checked the opportunities of external support for the WM CZ? Having external funding would greatly increase the "survival rate" of this submission, and would also help in convincing the WMF (as member of WM ZA I discussed this topic in depth with Asaf) MADe (talk) 12:13, 1 November 2013 (UTC)

MADe, Thank you for your comments. So far we made some evaluations and this proposal seemed to be the best solution we could come with. The problem is not that we would like to have a place for WMCZ for their activities - the problem is that we have the place, but we are highly limited in its usage. And the question is - how can we prevent that we are not going to end in a problem like this when we would look for something else. Using commercial places that are for rent are very expensive (and practically unavailable).
The external support would mean, that we would need to organize a fundraiser of our own, or have a very good and reliable sponsor. We are working on both for a longer period of time, but it is important to say that we are a voluntary organization and we can't have the capabilities like professionals can have. --Aktron (talk) 20:46, 1 November 2013 (UTC)
You are right, there are such opportunities in Prague. Recently we competed for a very low cost placed offered by Prague 10 and we won it. It was the second time and now we were successful. It is not written in the proposal, because we were informed by representatives of Prague municipality recently (could it be added now in the process?). Other places would be more expensive (e.g. co-working place). This offer of Prague 10 is really cheap in comparison with others and it can stay with the chapter for a very long time if needed and if we are able to pay its consumption.
On the other hand, as Aktron stated above for Czechs to run a collection - it is very very difficult process and we can’t collect for everything we want. That’s why the Chapter was not part of official WMF fundraisers in the past.--Juandev (talk) 17:00, 4 November 2013 (UTC)
WMCZ board, please clarify: Is Juandev's "we" speaking for WMCZ? Has he rejoined the chapter? Thanks. Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 21:19, 4 November 2013 (UTC)
Yes; Juandev has recently rejoined the chapter as a regular member. --Vojtech.dostal (talk) 22:36, 4 November 2013 (UTC)
Oh, excellent, thanks! Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 23:09, 4 November 2013 (UTC)
Hey Juandev, fantastic news that you got support from the City of Prague.
I would add this in the grant proposal. Make an educated guess on how much money we save, and add this as "supported by the City".
PS: I don't understand the Remark under budgtet point 1.1 'Rent', please elaborate MADe (talk) 08:00, 5 November 2013 (UTC)
It had already been in the proposal ("Noncommercial rent provided by city office Prague 10"). We might try to make a guess what the commercial price would be (several times the current price for sure) but I cannot promise this at the moment; I am no real estate agent :-). Regarding the "Remark": it is a calculation of what would the price of renting the premises be if we rented them each time for 22 workshops. This has been already debatted in the discussion above as inaccurate (see discussion with Tchor) although giving a better number is sort of difficult - as it always is with wild guesses. --Vojtech.dostal (talk) 22:32, 6 November 2013 (UTC)
You mix two things: core rent and payments for central heating and waste disposal. You mention you get support by the "City Office Prague 10" and you would only pay 1000 € "core rent" in total. This makes a monthly rental of 50€ for a 26m office - this is exteremely appealing! And yet, this point is not brought forward in the proposal !?MADe (talk) 19:30, 7 November 2013 (UTC)
Well "normal" rent for such office in Prague would be from 320 € a month, that would be 7.680 EUR per 24 month.--Juandev (talk) 21:41, 10 November 2013 (UTC)
Juandev, I felt free to update the grant proposal according to your replies here. I think the updated version now clearly shows the advantage of approving this specific grant (=raking in the 7000 EUR of Prague 10) Feel free to revert my changes if they are not correct. Please also add some proof of the agreement (scanned postal letter...) MADe (talk) 11:15, 11 November 2013 (UTC)
Thank you. I just added a scanned agreement concerning the bail in a form of three regular monthly rents - incl. fixed water price, cleanup, electricity and service payments. Now we have a very clear image of what our payments for the office will be; Aktron will add these into the proposal in the evening / European time. --Vojtech.dostal (talk) 14:10, 14 November 2013 (UTC)

A statement[edit]

Sometime ago, I've submitted a proposal for the Communities Grant.

So far, we could have seen various comments here in the talk section proposing various changes for our text. One of the prevailing arguments pointed out by the participants was a simple one – to explain this grant proposal. Not a long time ago,I've heard that pretty much every possible proposal on Meta is understandable except for perhaps this one. That is why I decided to explain this Grant proposal one more time.

1) The background of this proposal. In 2010 Wikimedia Czech Repbulic has initiated a process of professionalization We underwent several sessions with Wikimedia Germany and talked a lot about possibilities how to make every administrative process in our chapter more effective. Several possible scenarios of our growth were outlined.

2011 was however a very turbulent year; the board of the Wikimedia Czech Republic changed twice during the year metioned. The board that came after June 2011 decided to stabilize the situation in our chapter by finishing the introduction of Mediagrant and Presentation&Outreach grant (the successors of these projects are on Meta right now) and by solving many previously left behind problems.

Despite all our effort, we have to say that we could not boost our organization when it comes to the influx of new sympathizers and people who would like to come with their own projects in order to supports goals of the Wikimedia movement. New people come indeed, but older ones left as well. We were successful in our projects (see report) but we underestimated possibilities how to develop our community. Since 2011 the number of members of Wikimedia Czech Republic is stagnating. Since the very same year the number of participants of many projects (ie. Wikipedia) is not growing. Czech Wikinews were even a subject of a process for project closure.

2) The goal of Wikimedia Czech Republic is to promote the goals of the Wikimedia movement in the Czech Republic by developing the projects of WMF in Czech Language. In order to do so, it is necessary to talk with people and meet them. The content of Czech language Wikimedia projects has to grow in quantity as well as in quality. In 2005, writing a Feature Article was an easy task. Nowadays, writing an article with the same flag needs more time, more effort and it is more complicated. People have to be informed and educated. That is why there are editathons and other workshops. Some of them help people to understand how Wikipedia and other projects work, others help to create a well-created content. Students Write Wikipedia is one of the project that is currently using this principle and lots of great articles were written to Czech Wikipedia.

3) Why would Wikimedia Czech Republic need an office? Since its foundation, our community is meeting in various pubs, tearooms and other different places where we can meet. We are happy with every space that was provided for our cause so far. But as the amount of activities we participate in grew in 2011 and 2012 the need for a good place we can use for our activities grew. And the stagnation described above is another reason why a place available for us without limits is truly needed.

Our chapter decided to come with its own solution – different from the current practice of Wikimedia chapters. We know what we need and we know what we want. The office we can use is not for commercial price and the ratio of money/value is worthy. We would not go for a one with commercial price. We do not want to have an employee there – but we want to have a place available pretty much whenever we need – preparations for our participation on fairs, having meetings, assemblies etc. Having in mind that the office will be used by volunteers for writing content/community meeting and building, the place will not be deserted entirely. The number of workshops stated in this grant proposal is the lowest possible amount and we would be of course aiming for better results.

4) There were many arguments mentioning that we should use some different solution. Wikimedia Czech Republic actually has a possibility to use the space of Klub deskových her (Boardgame club) in Prague-Smíchov. However, this place can be used for a limited amount of time, depending how the local staff is available. And some of the experience with this place is very negative, even requesting the intervention of municipal police.

Renting various other places might be tricky, as there might be other limitations that will make our work more complicated sooner or later. Cooperation with universities or other institutions might be possible, but still - these organizations have their own work schedules that our chapter will most likely have no chance to change. Renting separate places for various events will result in high costs (when more events will be carried out) and another limitations, when an event has to be posponed - resulting in administrative load.

Wikimedia Czech Republic need to address more people and this can be done only by organizing more events we know we can do in a place that we know we can use every time we want. Being obliged to wait when the place is available for us is an obstacle that blocks us from working more effectively – from organizing more meetings with volunteers, community sessions etc.

5) The grant described here tries to answer following questions:

  • How to provide a stable background for our chapter available 24/7
  • How to provide a place for organizing meetings for outreach, editathons and workshops.
  • How to promote Wikimedia projects in the capital (where most of our people reside) as well as in remote regions.
  • How to make available for our community to attend international events (financially); how to get a chance to share our knowledge with others and enrich our own.

--Aktron (talk) 21:54, 7 November 2013 (UTC)

Comment to the updated proposal[edit]

Hi again, thanks for your updates.

Let me begin with congratulations for WMCZ for finding a sponsored rental space. Great job! After that and your elaboration on planned activities I consider it as a far better proposal - I see only three issues, one involving you directly - all regarding the key part, the office.

  1. Heating - firstly this number is puzzling, as 24 x 160 EUR does not make 2 950 EUR - please correct and clarify. Secondly, I find 2950 EUR for 2 years (not to mention 160 EUR each month!) an extremely high amount for heating a 30 sq metre, not-so-often used office in Prague, not Murmansk. I would love to know how you came with such a high number - Prague requires heating only a few months a year and I cannot imagine such costs if only the building has some proper walls and not broken windows. :) Perhaps some details explaining how this place is heated and when the heating is turned on and off (we live in XXI century and usually the energy is saved and heating is controlled, at least here in Poland) could justify it, otherwise I would trim this item.
  2. Office as a programmatic expense - I can take this explaination of Asaf for granted - after all he is the author of the problematic part of WMF's grants policy (which remains unchanged with the wording as follows: Starting fiscal year 2012-2013, Grants through this program do not fund full-time permanent staff salaries and other recurring operating expenses, such as the rent of an office. Full-time staff and recurring operating expenses will now only be funded via the Funds Dissemination Committee (FDC) process.) However, I would kindly suggest rewriting this point in order to avoid controversies in the future.
  3. Regarding the office itself, it remains the biggest and most tangible cost item. No matter how inexpensive it is, if we are to consider it as a part of programmatic activity, we should judge it on this basis. Present wording of the measures of success is still a bit confusing, as it still mentions 5 meetings in this place - I do believe this is only some minimum amount and we are not thinking of a >5000 USD office for 5 meetings only but they will be held far more often. :) In other circumstances I would ask for a detailed plan of this activity but knowing a track record of WMCZ people I trust their initiative and I like the idea.

Summing up, I am quite sold but please verify the heating numbers.

Best Regards,
aegis maelstrom δ 17:51, 20 November 2013 (UTC)

Some comments from me to no. 1. I dont know how this price was calculated, but something about heating in the Czech Republic. The need of heating in this country is usually from 6 to 8 month, which doesnt seem to me "few month". I would say that heating is one of the highest item for lifing and working here. The need of heating for this proper place indicates you will need to heat more than living in the flor. In this case the office will be in the basement. So no one is heating your flor. On the other side even you have a brick house you have still for 40 % higher heat losses with modern materials. It doesnt matter how strong the wall is. Old bricks themselves has such losses.--Juandev (talk) 20:33, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
Well, my questions are grounded on my experiences in Warsaw, which is statistically colder than Prague. Even assuming that Czech people are used to a bit higher temperatures / thinner walls and the heating period lasts 6-8 months - which sounds legit - I still find this price very high, thus my questions. Moreover, now it has been changed by Aktron into 3 840 euro. This is a lot: 1420 Euro per year is the price for heating a big house populated 24/7/365.
I don't know the heating technology but seeing this number I assume this cellar was not constructed to be heated, so it is not isolated and is a huge heating hog (and that partially explains the price). In such circumstances I am not sure how much you lose on energy and really save while using this location (this is just a basement, after all) and how good this idea is. If you are planning using it heavily and for longer, maybe you could make some agreement with the owner that you would sponsor/co-sponsor thermal isolation (this place needs to be painted, plumbed and adapted anyway, right?) for some cancelled/reduced fees. This would be beneficiary for both parties (not to mention Mother Earth :) ). My 2 cents. aegis maelstrom δ 16:53, 21 November 2013 (UTC)

Well, I would like to apologize first for the editing and numbering mess. The only problem is that there was a small misinformation in between of me and our chairman - pretty much the only person who provided us with the calculation for electricity prices.

It is indeed a question for how long the office will be used. Perhaps there is one thing I forgot to mention - having an office opens a new horizon of possibilities for our chapter. The basic idea is building a community (not to provide shelter for homeless wikipedians).

As about the sum - well, I was not the one who made the calculation. Basically, what I wanted to do is to ask our board members for several calculations, but since most of them (after I realized) were based on pretty much no data, I decided in the end to go with the one provided by Limojoe. That might explain the 3840 → 2950 → 3840 jump. But still, mentioning a fact that it is hard to predict when the office will be used and when not (this will depend on the possibilities we are going to have), it is really complicated to do a calculation that would be sure. We wanted to play on the safe side; it would be a tiresome experience just to be closed because we can't afford the heating.

Thinking about the thermal isolation might be a good idea, but this would need further evaluation and definitely would raise the costs for the "equipment" section (however, I hope we can make it anyway somehow within the boundaries defined by this grant proposal). I would be very happy to think about it.

Not a long time ago for example an opportunity appeared here that we might have a volunteer with a formal volunteer agreement that would like to work in our chapter on daily basis, preparing some materials for our promotion. And there might be also interns when it comes to some schools - another idea that we were talking about some time earlier. The only problem is, that something like this might and might not appear; it is hard to estimate what possibilities we might have and we might use. Therefore these can't be noted in the grant more precisely like "new options will be opened for our chapter". --Aktron (talk) 21:21, 21 November 2013 (UTC)

Evaluation by the GAC[edit]

GAC Members who read the grant request without comments[edit]

GAC Members who approve this grant request[edit]

  1. MADe (talk) 16:03, 15 November 2013 (UTC) Smart grant request. WM CZ benefits from external support (7000 EUR by Prague 10). My approval excludes point 3 (Participation on regional events), as it seems an add-on. Would be glad to approve it in a seperate grant request.
  2.  Klaas|Z4␟V:  12:49, 19 November 2013 (UTC) I liked it yet and now €678 less. Go on this way ;-D  Klaas|Z4␟V:  12:49, 19 November 2013 (UTC)

GAC Members who oppose this grant request[edit]

GAC Members who abstain from voting/comment[edit]

Goals and measures[edit]

Thank you to all who engaged in the discussion so far!

I would like to see clearer goals and metrics in this proposal: at the moment, some of the stated measures of success are the very occurrence of "meetings"; it would be more compelling to identify and state goals that actually promote the Wikimedia mission, and to think of how you would actually measure them (By the way, have you tried WikiMetrics? See also Wiki Metrics training).

With better-articulated, measurable goals, I would be ready to make a decision about this. Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 00:42, 8 November 2013 (UTC)

Asaf, thank you for clarifying a bit this whole situation. I have no problem to make the metrics better defined if required and add them to the grant proposal. Or would you suggest to be separated from the origintal text? --Aktron (talk) 12:51, 8 November 2013 (UTC)
Yes, please go ahead and edit the proposal. Unlike FDC proposals, Project and Event Grant proposals are regular wiki pages, and are expected to change during and as a result of discussion (but not once approved :)). Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 17:06, 8 November 2013 (UTC)
Thanks. The final remaining issue is the numbers don't quite match -- the current proposal budgets for 20 Euros a month for rent, with the comment on the same line stating it's 40 Euros, and the scanned document mentioned above suggests 2115 CZK, which are around 70 Euros. Please take a few moments and make sure the numbers, and the grant total, are all correct. Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 19:34, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
Yes I would like to clarify that. 2115 CZK is a bail for three consecutive rents (it is usual to start by paying 3 months rent as a bail like that). The 40 Euro comment is probably an outdated information; the actual known rent should correspond to the 20 Euro (which is in concord with the bail for three months). I don't want to meddle with numbers in the grant request but I will call Aktron's attention to it. --Vojtech.dostal (talk) 17:06, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
My friends, see please this diff (it's over 2 versions). The only remaining text noting 40 € for a rent is removed (of course) --Aktron (talk) 20:41, 18 November 2013 (UTC)

Notes upon approval[edit]

This grant is now approved. Please note that we are making an exception in the grant term to accommodate this 2-year period, to allow WMCZ to make use of the highly-discounted rent opportunity. Beside the final report, we will require an interim report after one year, i.e. at Nov 1st 2014. Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 03:35, 28 November 2013 (UTC)

Derogation request[edit]

My fellow friends from the GAC. The ability to have our own office has mobilized and motivated our chapter like never before. It was nice to see how everyone contributed. So the reconstruction works in our office are almost finished. We entered the phase II, which is furnishing the whole place.

In the meantime, we managed to get some furniture for free. On the other hands, our costs – when it comes to reconstruction – surpassed the plan by cca 60 %

In accordance with the Organization Grant Agreement (3. C II) I would hereby like to ask for a following change in the grant:

Merging items 1.3 and 1.4 together as the new item “Basic repairs, furnishing the office”, totalling 950 €, with the description “This is the sum of money that will be used for basic repairs, painting the place, basic repairs and also some accessories. The basic furniture will be obtained by a sponsor as a gift of the non-financial nature”.

Thank you. --Aktron (talk) 14:25, 22 January 2014 (UTC)

I'm glad to hear things are working out. This is approved, thanks! Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 19:38, 23 January 2014 (UTC)

Derogation request 2[edit]

Since we are getting closer to some interesting activities (like for example the Wikipedians in Seifhennersdorf meeting, that will take place in May 2014 at the Czech-German-Polish tripoint), iIt is going to be a very nice opportunity how to do exactly what is supposed to be supported by the Communities Grant. This means help to exchange knowledge among chapters (Participation on Regional events, no. 3). However, the definition of this "participation" is supposed to be coverage of the travel costs only. I would like to have it expanded so it will cover also accommodation costs, if necessary. Therefore, in accordance with the Organization Grant Agreement (3. C II) I would hereby like to ask for a following change in the grant:

The changes of the definitions of certain items in the grant follow:

  • 2.1

The sum is counted for a minimum number of workshops in the office, but will be used based on the number of events initiated. The price is supposed to cover travel costs for some of the participants (ie. experienced members of the community travelling to smaller cities in order to adress new volunteers or sympathisers).

Will be changed to:

The sum is counted for a minimum number of wiki-meetups in the Czech Republic, but will be used based on the number of events initiated. The price is supposed to cover travel costs for some of the participants (ie. experienced members of the community travelling to smaller cities in order to adress new volunteers or sympathisers).

  • 2.2

The sum is counted for a minimum number of presentations, but will be used based on the number of events initiated. When a higher number of presentations will be done, the price must be redistributed for the higher amount of presentations. The price is supposed to cover costs for space in some facilities and travel costs for the speakers of the event.

Will be changed to:

The sum is counted for a minimum number of presentations, but will be used based on the number of events initiated. When a higher number of presentations will be done, the price must be redistributed for the higher amount of presentations. The price is supposed to cover costs for space in some facilities, accommodation if necessary, and travel costs for the speakers of the event.


  • 3.1

This sum is supposed to cover costs for travelling of the experienced members of Czech Wikimedia Projects community and members of Wikimedia Czech Republic to the events in countries in region (not exceeding the direct distance 1500 km from Prague mark - ie. all Europe except for Portugal, Ireland and Finland). The minimum events that it is supposed to be used for are 3. When a higher number of events will be done, the price must be adjusted for the higher amount of events.

Will be changed to:

This sum is supposed to cover costs for travelling and accommodation, if necessary of the experienced members of Czech Wikimedia Projects community and members of Wikimedia Czech Republic to the events in countries in region (not exceeding the direct distance 1500 km from Prague mark - ie. all Europe except for Portugal, Ireland and Finland). The minimum events that it is supposed to be used for are 3. When a higher number of events will be done, the price must be adjusted for the higher amount of events.


In essence: Accommodation will be included in these events that are related to anything that can take more than one day. I do believe that the amount of events when this will be necessary will be strictly limited and the amount of finances we have according to this grant thus wouldn't be compromised. There is also one small description error that I'd also like to fix with this derogation request.

Thank you. --Aktron (talk) 09:44, 24 April 2014 (UTC)

Thank you for the update. This is approved. Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 18:48, 24 April 2014 (UTC)

Reports Timeline[edit]

Please see the Reports Summary for this grant for details on submitted and pending interim and final reports.

Derogation request[edit]

My friends,

I am hereby requesting extension of the deadline for this grant from 1st November 2015 to 31st December 2015. For spendings in this period, finances for the group 1 expenses (ie. office related costs) should be paid from the group 2 block (ie. community related events), where some expected costs were significantly lower than planned.

The reasons are following:

  • There is a new grant proposal we are currently preparing in our chapter for 2016. Having the Communities grant ending this November, there will be 2 months with no coverage for our office or travel costs.
  • There is a significant underspending in this grant, so there are still finances in this grant that can be spent for 2 more months of activities.

Thank you! --Aktron (talk) 09:39, 18 October 2015 (UTC)


Hi Aktron, we have approved your request for an extension through the end of December 2015. Please note your report will be due on March 2, 2016. Best,--KHarold (WMF) (talk) 02:18, 20 October 2015 (UTC)