A few questions about your last activity report for this grant term
Thank you for this detailed report. Since this is the last activity report of this grant’s term, we do have a few questions about how WMNL has executed its annual plan this year.
Thanks again for your series of detailed reports, and for your time and attention. We would like to recognize that WMNL has done an excellent job of reporting its activities regularly and of sharing its financial records transparently. We also appreciate that WMNL takes the time to measure its activities closely against its annual plan within each quarterly activity report. We look forward to reading about the results of your organization’s goals in your annual report once it is published, and to receiving your final financial statement once that is ready.
Actual vs. planned spending
We understand that the numbers presented here are not audited, and we are merely using them to get a general idea of how WMNL has executed its proposed plan. Thank you, Winifred Olliff (Grants Administrator) talk 22:21, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
- It seems that WMNL spent 220,804.01 out of 326,623.00 allocated, or about 68% of its total projected expenses. Is that correct?
- Please provide a summary here of why WMNL’s hiring plan did not proceed as expected, for the benefit of capturing learnings. According to this report 55,206.47 out of 120,000.00 allocated to staff was spent, or only about 46%.
- A director was hired on May 1st, two parttime staff were hired October 1st for community support and communications. A project leader GLAM was hired in 2013. A financial assistant is currently being recruited. The greatest hurdle was the hiring of the first employee. With Sandra Rientjes on board WMNL is moving rapidly in fulfulling hiring plan. Ad Huikeshoven (talk) 19:28, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
- Here are a few areas in which significant overspending did occur. Please offer a brief explanation for overspending in each area:
- Office space
- Travel and meeting costs
- Technical facilities
- Additional office space was hired to provide meeting and working space for volunteers. Originally WMNL was subcontractor, and in 2013 contractor. The last change required the acquisition of our own office furniture.
- Travel and meeting costs includes also travel and meeting costs for employee, which were not accounted for in the plan.
- Additional costs includes acquisiton of laptops and monitors for employees.Ad Huikeshoven (talk) 19:28, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
- Regarding insurance, it seems WMNL underspent significantly. Would you please explain the background for this?
- The plan allocated quite some money for insurance. No additional insurance was purchased in 2012.Ad Huikeshoven (talk) 19:28, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
Several times in the plan, WMNL mentions that it will measure its targets according to the results of several surveys: have any of the surveys taken place and could you share or link to the results here? Thanks, Winifred Olliff (Grants Administrator) talk 22:21, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
- A survey was planned in 2012. A firm was hired. A questionaire developed in 2012. The survey was conducted in February 2013. A report is expected March 15th. Ad Huikeshoven (talk) 19:30, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
Questions about your planned activities
Since this is your final activity report, we do have a few questions here about activities that may not have been executed as planned. Regards, Winifred Olliff (Grants Administrator) talk 22:21, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
1 Board recruitment and training: could you offer any details about why this did not take place as planned? Was this training delayed because board members were not recruited on schedule?
- Board recruitment was ok. Board training has been postponed until April 2013. A consultant has been hired to facilitate some team building sessions. The reason for postponement has been busy schedules of several board members and trying to find a weekend nearly everyone on board can attend. Another reason has been finding common ground for purpose of training. Ad Huikeshoven (talk) 18:59, 15 March 2013 (UTC)
2 Institutional cooperation:
- It seems that the guide for partnerships was never created and that new volunteers were not recruited. Would you please share some details about why that didn’t happen?
- This is one of the activities which could not be carried out due to lack of capacity among the volunteers. This actually lead to the request from the volunteers to hire a (part time) staff member whose specific responsibilities it would be to support GLAM activities. The project coordinator GLAM started work in February 2013 Intiating new partnerships and increasing the number of active volunteers are among his priorities. SRientjes (talk) 13:22, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
- How many cultural heritage institutions were contacted? How many have engaged in activities with WMNL?
3 What proportion of listed monuments in the Netherlands are now documented on Commons? We see that at least 7400 were uploaded through WLM. Were there others uploaded, and what proportion of the total listed does that represent?
4 Significant underspending occurred in the following areas. Did these take place as planned?
- Small-scale community events
- Small activities budget
- Several small-scale community events/initiatives were in fact carried out (Photo-hunts for Wiki Loves Monuments in Gouda and Utrecht, 20 Wiki-Saturdays when the WMNL office is open for volunteers and members to meet and work together, a New Years reception, purchasing a good camera which volunteers can borrow to create images). All in all it was cheaper than originally planned. SRientjes (talk) 09:15, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
- Concerning the small activities budget we received fewer requests from members/volunteers than we would have liked. The procedure for applying for funds has now been simplified and is being actively brought to the attention of the community. SRientjes (talk) 09:15, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
5 Regarding researching membership types and approaching existing donors, we see that these items are marked on schedule, but could not find detailed information about these activities in the report. Please provide a few details here if they are available.
- Existing donors were approached in December via a special newsletter which reported on activities carried out in 2012. This resulted in 22 donations and 5 new members. SRientjes (talk) 09:09, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
- The Board considered whether the statutes needed to be revised concerning obligations/rights of donors and members, and decided that this would not result in any clear benefits to WMNL, or its members. SRientjes (talk) 09:09, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
6 Articles in traditional media: this appears not to have been executed. Please briefly explain why, and mention if there are plans to continue this project in the future.
7 Provide more details about the recurring donations process. Why wasn’t this achieved?
Questions about measurable targets
Understanding that details will be included in your annual report, are you able to share with us how WMNL’s activities are measuring up against the following targets, at least preliminarily? Thanks, Winifred Olliff (Grants Administrator) talk 22:21, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
1 Increased participation in WMNL activities
2 Increased membership from Wikimedia community
3 Increased number of volunteers
4 Please share your progress on CBF certification. Has it been achieved, or is there a target date for achieving this?
- It was decided that WMNL would apply for the 'small fundraisers' certification. In 2012, governance structures, planning and reporting processes and accounting systems were revised to meet the criteria for this certification. The official request will be sent in after the annual report and accounts for 2012 have been audited and approved by the General Assembly (March, 2013) SRientjes (talk) 09:44, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
- Any survey results. The report published by Motivaction on the surveys carried out in February 2013 can be found here. In Dutch! SRientjes (talk) 08:29, 15 March 2013 (UTC)
- Leaflet about WMNL launched during the New Years gathering. In 2012, we produced a leaflet on Wikipedia and a leaflet on Wikimedia Nederland. Both in Dutch! SRientjes (talk) 08:29, 15 March 2013 (UTC)
- Reporting standards document. For reporting and governance standards we use the criteria of the CBF (Agency for Certification of Fundraising Charities)
Please share some lessons learned from the activities that WMNL executed successfully or from unsuccessful or unexecuted activities. These learnings will be valuable to the movement. Regards, Winifred Olliff (Grants Administrator) talk 22:21, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
The most important lesson learned is that changing the organization takes time, more than someone can imagine at the start of this process and needs more fundamental thinking in advance.
Due to the number of activities is was clear WMNL needed a small, professional staff to back up the work of volunteers and to expand activities. The ideas for this professionalization process were laid out in 2011. But to convert the ideas into concrete steps was difficult. All kinds of fundamental questions were raised, by the board, but also by volunteers that supported WMNL for so long. Two examples: (1) Do we rent the office for the new staff only, or should it be a meeting place for volunteers. [Answer: both, so we had to rent more space than first planned for]. (2) What must be the profile of the WMNL director, an independent director or rather a secretary of the board. [Answer: an independent director].
Finding answers to these questions delayed the whole process. As a consequence the director was hired per May 1, 2012, months later than scheduled. This delay explains also the bulk of the spending deviations. Once Sandra Rientjes was appointed the implementation gained speed again.
In the end we are happy that we took the time to find answers to fundamental questions and also that we involved WMNL members and volunteers into this process. WMNL has now a professional staff, a small and enthusiastic team that knows what to do and why. It is a milestone in the future development of WMNL and we are conficent that it will prove its added value to the Wikimedia community. Grijz (talk) 20:30, 15 March 2013 (UTC) [Frans Grijzenhout, board member]
Links and lessons learned
Thank you for the responses. Please respond here to our questions from the sections entitled "A few links" and "Lessons learned". Once you respond, we are happy to accept this report.
Congratulations on your increased membership form last year. Those are impressive numbers!