Grants talk:PEG/WM PH/Annual program plan 2015
- 1 GAC members who support this request
- 2 GAC members who support this request with adjustments
- 3 GAC members who oppose this request
- 4 GAC members who abstain from voting/comment
- 5 GAC comments
- 6 Community comments
- 7 WMF comments
- 8 Additional comments from WMF
- 9 Status of audit
GAC members who support this request
- --DerekvG (talk) 13:27, 16 March 2015 (UTC) Thanks for your clarifications, with overheads you shoudl have/maintain a critical look, if they're necessary/essential, this is difficult to judge from our perspective, given that we don't have insight in regulatory matters in your country. But the fact that you can present a convincing motivation shows that you do carefully look at the overheads. Keep up the good work
- --Violetova (talk) 10:08, 20 March 2015 (UTC)
- Reasonable, anyway I am a little bit in a controversial point considering your report of 2014 where I see a lot of activities not done or partially done. Too much ambitious in my opinion --Ilario (talk) 09:49, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
- Concerns were the same as with DerekvG, however my support is mild even I see the plan a little ambitious as compared to last year. -- ♪Karthik♫ ♪Nadar♫ 07:37, 1 April 2015 (UTC)
- --Hasive • talk • 05:34, 10 May 2015 (UTC)
- Following my correspondence below, I support the grant proposal. I wish you good luck in your programs. Alleycat80 (talk) 06:22, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
GAC members who support this request with adjustments
- I think it is a realistic plan, with metrics etc. Only $3,390 for merchandise, promotional materials and brochures – it is not suitable and you should think how to reduce it. --Packa (talk) 00:04, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
GAC members who oppose this request
GAC members who abstain from voting/comment
- Indexum (talk) 08:46, 19 April 2015 (UTC) - after analyzing the Grants:PEG/WM PH/Annual program plan 2015 and Grants:PEG/WM PH/Annual program plan 2014, plus Grants:PEG/WM PH/Annual program plan 2014/Report, I have had the feeling that WM PH is lacking human resources of implementing large scale projects, involving multiple stakeholders and following (quite) strict financial regulations, facts which can be proved by the Submitted report of activities for 2014. I don't perceive this as problem, I see it more as stage in the growing process, and the necessity of a strategical development of the organization. The diversity of the Philippines society and people representing a strong point, for such initiatives as WM PH, for stronger and strategical driven development. I would recommend thus a partial and conditioned approval of the request, covering specially the administrative costs and the successful and done projects from last year (edit-a-thons), plus the costs for traveling to international WM events (Wikimania 2015 for example) - with the only goal to develop a more strategic and longterm view of the future of WM PH and subsequent budget - and to submit it for the next round.
- I agree with Indexum in some points. This program plan and 2014 Report doesn't give a sufficient and appropriate assurance on effectiveness and performance of WM PH. So I also think that partial financing is more expedient.--Wertuose (talk) 05:16, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
Congratulations on the annual budget. Can you inform us on the projects you did last year the number of participants their total cost and net cost funded from your grant, and what are your plans for this year so that we get a better feel for the publicfacing impact. Your administrative overhead has gone up 70% and accounts for about 60% of your buget increase, although I have no particular questions about individual items in that budget you might want to have a critcal look at that evolution. --DerekvG (talk) 09:46, 12 March 2015 (UTC)
- Hi DerekvG, thanks for going over our proposal. Allow us to complete our 2014 Annual Program Plan grant report this March 16 to provide a better picture of the projects we've had in 2014. As for the Administrative expenses we note the significant increase in the following allocations:
Expense 2014 2015 Notes Budgeted Actual Budgeted Rental expense 156,000 98,220 180,000 Increased by 15%. The 2015 budget includes around ₱60,000 for a 3 year contract with a new virtual office service provider, as our current provider's rate was increased and is already much higher that the new provider we are planning to secure. We intend to secure the 3 year contract as it's being offered at 50% discount, plus its location is more accessible than our current one. The actual rental expense in 2014 is lower as about ₱31,606 (for 1 month advance payment and 2 months security deposit) was instead included in the General Operations 2013 grant, and we were only able to secure the facility/back office in April 2014. Professional fees 18,000 14,161 80,000 Increased by 344%. The amount includes a monthly retainer fee for an accountant. More than just a certified public accountant, we will be maintaining one accredited by the following agencies: Bureau of Internal Revenue, Board of Accountancy, Securities and Exchange Commission as not all certified public accountants have these accreditation, and only those with accreditation from these agencies are authorized to sign financial statements. Previously, the chapter only avails the services of an accredited accountant to have its financial statements audited before it's submitted to the Bureau of Internal Revenue and Securities and Exchange Commission. The need for retaining an accredited accountant became apparent in 2014 as the chapter had difficulty coping up with new regulations that targeted non-profit organizations. This delayed the preparation of our 2013 financial statements. Admin services 14,400 108,000 Increased by 650%. The chapter would provide per diems/honoraria to persons tasked or contracted (as needed basis) to perform admin duties to compensate the man hours consumed in ensuring the continuous operation of the chapter. Compared to 2010 to 2012, the amount of hours needed to manage the organization has more than doubled. In those years, it would just take about 4 to 16 hours in a month to manage the organization, in 2013 this has doubled and in 2014 this 4 to 16 hours is just for a week as it now has bigger projects like Cultural heritage mapping project (which is being planned to be repeated for 2015-2016) and more engagements. The amount of time needed to provide admin support for the projects and other monthly regulatory requirements (as shown in the listed admin activities) should be readily available and not reliant on the free time an officer or person in charge could provide. One way of putting it is we'll be covering for their productive (compensated) time for organization tasks to be given due priority and attention. The chapter is still not inclined to hire an employee as the amount of duties or admin tasks to be performed still does not come close to 40 hours in a week to warrant it. Representation/Transportation/Fuel expenses/meeting expenses 48,000 80,000 Increased by 67%. The amount proposed for 2015 is based on actual 2014 expenses. These expenses show direct relation to the amount of time needed to manage the organization, that includes going to and from the chapter back office (where documents, records, files are kept), and other meetings that resulted to projects and other engagements during the year. During the December audit of the internal auditor, the auditor had to be accommodated for two days as it took her almost three days to review and scrutinize financial records and other related documents. Internet connection 8,000 7,578 18,000 Increased by 125%. The chapter will have a regular DSL connection at its back office for reliability. It also plans to open its back office on weekends for small edit-a-thons, tutorials, workships as it already houses its collection of reference materials and local language dictionaries in it. Let me follow up with the actual figures in 2014 in two days.Please note that I have used tooltips to show additional notes about the expense. -- User:Namayan (talk) 12:49, 13 March 2015 (UTC)
I want to express my view on 2 points. First, I think the costs shown as "Wikimedia conferences participation" are superfluous, because such costs are included in the budgets of those conferences. But maybe I am wrong and maybe it is a standard practice for chapters budgets, as I am new in GAC and I see such grant proposal for the first time. And the second point is 5.0 section of the budget. I think you need to give more detailed info about that 2 projects and how you plan to spend $7,910. Thank you in advance for your answers.--Wertuose (talk) 14:31, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
- Hi Wertuose, our Grants:PEG/WM PH/Annual program plan 2014 already provided for a budget for our attendance to Wikimedia conferences so this is just a repeat. It must be noted though that item 4.3 may or may not be used as it was not used in 2014. It depends if there are conferences that we feel there is a benefit for us to attend. Most of these conferences are announced between a month or two before they are held and based on our experience some do not have enough budgets to sponsor a scholar from a far-flung chapter like the Philippines, or by the time they could make a decision to sponsor us, there isn't enough time anymore to secure a visa.
- For your second point regarding item 5.0, we have greatly benefited from having a "stand-by budget for projects" to fund initiatives that are formulated during the year. In 2014, we spent (if my computation is right) ₱232,800 ($5,260) on edit-a-thons, community projects (organized by Wikimedians in areas outside Manila, there are also 7 Wikipedia projects in Philippine languages).
- Currently there are three community proposals submitted to us:
- Please note that these are not approved as proposed, we in turn deliberate and scrutinize them to ensure that they are consistent with chapter and WMF goals and strategies. Last year, we were invited on short notice by the local Wikipedia Zero provider to join them in their public school teacher outreach, and due to the availability of funds that we decided to repurpose for the said outreach we were able to participate and not miss out that opportunity to bring Wikipedia closer to them. -- User:Namayan (talk) 09:43, 18 March 2015 (UTC)
- I suggest you should have connections directly to the communities who really are working and don't channel it to WMPH whose people are just using the communities to get the fractions thereof of the allocated funds for their own personal interests. When you do this, rest assured that your support will be utilized for the further improvement of the Wikipedias. Geopoet (talk) 07:27, 2 July 2015 (UTC)
Comments by Kiril Simeonovski
Thanks for the submission and congratulations on the efforts put on the annual plan. My questions are the following:
- Can you please define any specific measures of success regarding the GLAM activities (e.g. amount of content released, number of pages digitised, etc.)? I see that you mention a successful implementation, which is a qualitative rather than a quantitative measure?
- Can you please explain more about the costs on publishing the annual report? Do you have to publish a printed version according to law? If yes, how many copies are you obliged to print and what is the individual cost for each of them? If no, what is the main incentive for having a hard copy of it?
- Can you please reveal more about the calculation of the items enumerated by 5.1 and 5.2 on the support of the Philippine Wikimedia Communities and the Outreach partnership projects?
- What is the current status of your partnership with Smart Communications, Mozilla Philippines and any other organisation or institution? Do you have any specific plans for joint projects that you would like to pursue over the course of the year (e.g. Tap & Learn Roadshow, Open Web Day, etc.)?
- Hi Kiril thank you for your questions. I apologize I didn't notice the questions until I was notified over the weekend, please find the answers numbered according to how the questions were numbered:
- Our Cultural Heritage Mapping project is actually our GLAM initiative last year that just wrapped up on April 30, 2015. It's too premature for now for me to provide you exact figures but our report should be out by May 22. I'll wait for the project team to provide more or less the numbers you are probably looking for. I don't know if this interim report could somehow provide you a glimpse on the quantitative metrics. -- User:Namayan (talk) 05:33, 4 May 2015 (UTC)
- Annual reports are actually among the documents required by the Philippine Council for NGO Certfication. You may download Guide to Fully Operating Applicants Self Assessment (it's a Word document) here: (item 7, second half of the page) . As to the number of hard copies, there isn't any specification, but we do distribute them when they are available on our annual meetings. I think I failed to note that the amount for publishing the report will cover 2013 report as well which we failed to publish (we didn't consume the allocation for that in our last year's Annual Program Plan grant). We are just planning to print 25 copies of each for 2013 and 2014. -- User:Namayan (talk) 05:33, 4 May 2015 (UTC)
- The figures are more or less an estimate based on the amounts spent in 2014 as well as the submitted proposals and projects that are more or less in the works. Allow me to provide a table for that in a few days. -- User:Namayan (talk) 05:33, 4 May 2015 (UTC)
- Our partnership with Smart Communications stemmed from their offering of Wikipedia Zero. They have offered for us to join them in another project that was rolled-out in January 2015, but we had to decline as it appears to be off tangent the Strategic goals of the movement. But based on our exchanges with them there's a big chance for them to provide another education outreach. We are hoping to have a budget ready for that. We were able to join them last year after we decided to scrap an WLM exhibit and requested WMF to allow us to allocate the budget for that for the outreach instead. -- User:Namayan (talk) 05:33, 4 May 2015 (UTC)
- Thanks for your answers Roel. I took a look at your interim report and it provides immense amount of information but the section with metrics is left blank; then, I have also checked the final report but it is still a draft version. I suppose that the members of the team are working on completing it over the next period. Best.--Kiril Simeonovski (talk) 07:40, 6 May 2015 (UTC)
Reply to Alleycat80
The merchandise supply should be good for two or may be even up to three years. Cost per piece is so much higher when produced in smaller volumes. We've also encountered
some several manufacturers who won't accept small volume orders. For example, if the budget should be able to produce 300 pcs of items, reducing it in half produce will not be 150 pcs, but rather it may be less than 100 pcs, since cost per unit is higher. The amount will also be used for printed materials we may need.
Our education program last year had us print Wikipedia education brochures, but we realize the cost is too much when printed in small numbers. We had it printed at $6-7, and that is just for one brochure. So we had manufactured Wikipedia wristband flash drives where we downloaded all the materials to. We were given a feedback by WMF staff who were in the Philippines and were able to join us in one leg of that project, and she commented that it would be preferred if participants will also have something tangible, perhaps a back to back cardboard illustration. -- User:Namayan (talk) 22:03, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
- Hi, thanks for replying. I'm content with the explanation. Cheers and goodluck! Alleycat80 (talk) 05:14, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
I find it funny how the Chapter uses the Community and Philippine Wikipedia projects in the proposal as if the communities on the ground and the local projects directly benefit from it.
The total number of members of the Chapter is overwhelming however it needs people for its "errands/works". Who are these people being paid to do these jobs?
Some allocations are too high and often re-allocated later to projects which already have enough budget. Again, there is an allocation for Wikipedia merchandise, promotional materials, brochures. Last year's budget for the Wikipedia Rewards Program was re-allocated.
The program is similar with the previous year, only that the amounts have gone bigger.
We have not received the reimbursement for the 5th Bikol Wikipedia Day held 3 years ago.
Looking at the appropriation for 2012 Bikol Community Projects:
- The following dictionaries were never given to our community: a. Diksyunaryong Traylingguwal Bikol (Naga)-Filipino-English by Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino,
b. Etnikong Bokabularyong Bikol by Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino. The Bikol Dictionary, Vol. I & II by Malcolm W. Mintz was donated in 2012 to and withdrawn in 2014 from Canaman Municipal Library.
- Meet ups budget was used by Manila-based members "visiting" the Community and not by the Community.
- Bikol Open Web Day budget came from a separate grant.
- Each existing Philippine Wikimedia Community will propose and implement at least 1 project targeted to any of their respective language Wikipedia
- Except for the Bikol Community, activities of other Philipine Wikimedia Communities are proposed and conducted by a member of the Board based in Manila. There's barely no people implementing from the Community.
- At least 1 Philippine-language Wikipedia currently on Incubator will become an official Wikipedia project. Candidates are Hiligaynon (hil), Bikol Rinconada/Iriga (bto), Bikol Pandan (cts), Bikol Miraya (rbl)
- There is no Community in Iloilo province to improve Hiligaynon (hil). Bikol Community has initiated activities to improve Bikol Rinconada/Iriga (bto) by holding its own Edithon. It has also initiated discussions to build Bikol Pandan (cts) and Bikol Miraya (rbl) Wikipedia project.
- At least 10 Wikipedia edit-a-thons will be held with the following Global Metrics totals.
- Please note that Bikol Community's proposed activity for 2015-16, with a very low yet reasonable budget, is a series of 6 workshops.
- Bikol Rinconada/Iriga (bto), Bikol Pandan (cts), Bikol Miraya (rbl) should be removed in the Measures of success since there are no activities mentioned in the proposal that would develop these projects. Should any of these becomes active, it is not the result of this program but it is through the initiatives of contributors as the case of other active Wikipedias such as Cebuano Wikipedia and Waray Wikipedia. --Filipinayzd (talk) 06:43, 14 August 2015 (UTC)
To practically ensure wise utilization of funds to intended projects, foreign financiers/grantors need to check the internal control system particularly in disbursements and liquidations system. When I was elected as the Auditor of WMPH, I had this experience of being set aside by the Board of Directors and officers. I was never invited to attend meetings more particularly in the planning, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of said projects.
Frankly, the whole year of my term, I was waiting for the persons concerned to submit to me documents to be certified and evaluated. Thus, I felt isolated by the very officers to directly get involved into the internal affairs of WMPH. I felt used by officers who had hidden agenda and never trusted me to take part of its very important internal affairs. I was never trusted and that I really don't know. But I've had this feeling that there is something "fishy" going on inside the WMPH, which they probably felt when discovered could've caused them busted.
From that time on, since I was not "trusted", so why stay in the organization that do not trust you. I learned that there is so much "animosity" going on between the founding officers and members of WMPH even before my regular membership and I learned that the cause was all about "FINANCE".
Again, I'd like to reiterate my point, for WMPH to survive against the whiles of its existence, "people" involved must be honest to the general membership about the "real thing" inside WMPH.
- No wonder why they put somebody from Bohol, outside Manila yet again, to hold the internal auditor position and not somebody who is from Manila and is capable to review the finances. Last year, they nominated somebody from Pampanga, outside Manila, to succeed the internal auditor, but the nominee declined. So they chose one of their own. The internal auditor in 2011 is also non-Manila based, he/she is from the US with roots in the Philippines. ---Filipinayzd (talk) 15:18, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
- I note misgivings above, particularly queries about last year's report, without properly reading through them. The "not done" symbols seem to predominate in that report, and I see that another WMPH project funded through PEG has an overdue report. Renewed support is ruled out by this reportage deficit.
- Much information I'm looking for is missing. For example, what language(s) is the education program in? Can you give details about editathons, which our experience suggests are not value for money unless certain conditions are met? (Repeat attendances? Follow-ups with individuals? Who's training? Durations and structure of sessions?)
- Stated risk: "Election of new officers and Board members who do not have sufficient experience/background in operational, administrative and project management most especially grant handling and reporting." – that is indeed concerning, as is: "Insufficient technical ability to retrieve edit/contribution metrics." and "unavailability of persons".
- Impact: language sites are listed, but can we have information on their trajectories over the past year or two (the usual stats), so we can see what your aims are for this funding period, and whether your strategies, particularly for the smalle languages, are viable for impact?
- There's no information on strategies for volunteer/community engagement.
- Merchandise: poorly targeted.
Concerning the discussion about administrative costs: I think they should be a fraction of 30%—nothing even approaching it—if we're to keep faith with donors (and the editorial community, which looks on grantmaking with a slightly different take). Tony (talk) 07:38, 22 September 2015 (UTC)
Thank you for the grant request and for engaging with the GAC thus far in the discussion. I appreciated our discussion today and am summarizing the feedback given and next steps agreed upon here. Please feel free to clarify any points, add details, or ask questions.
- We are concerned about the high administrative burden placed on WMPH as a result of being an incorporated nonprofit. It takes significant time, effort, and financial resources on behalf of the board members and chapter to satisfy the ever-increasing regulations (and we really appreciate the work that the board members have done this far as volunteers to satisfy the complex regulations). This leads to a high overhead in comparison to the amount and impact of the chapter's projects. While we understand that the organization is required by law to keep overhead under 30%, this is still quite high. We strongly recommend the chapter to consider the costs/benefits of incorporation as compared to the potential costs/benefits of organizing as a user group. Yes, the initial transition will take significant time to deal with the authorities, but as we discussed, it is not known whether other activities like partnerships will suffer at all with the change in affiliation status. Please explore this in more detail -- asking your current and future partners if WMPH needs to be incorporated for partnerships, looking at other volunteer groups, etc.
- The above issue closely relates to the need for administrative services. WMPH already pays for accounting/auditor services. We understand this is to pay for a non-board member to fulfill weekly admin requirements of the chapter and provide project support. We would strongly recommend considering the user group model and spreading out the admin work amongst responsible volunteers before moving forward with hiring a part-time person.
- Thank you for clarifying that this annual plan proposal does not encompass the full portfolio of projects you hope to do in the next year, but only the admin expenses and regular projects (editathons, workshops, etc.). You plan to request funding for two other larger projects -- the continuation of the Cultural Heritage Mapping Project and a possible Music Survey project. We do however, need more details on the projects included in this proposal. For those initiated by the chapter, what will you be doing differently than last year to recruit new users, engage current users, and most importantly, to support the development of volunteer project leaders? You have a lot of volunteers that have project ideas and enthusiasm, but few have the skills to actually plan and implement them. It might be better to do fewer editathons (especially one-off ones with questionable impact) and instead organize a couple of project management trainings for your volunteers with the highest potential. WMPH will also need to increase your ability, and the ability of their volunteers organizing events outside of Manila, to better track event participants and editor retention with better project pages and through the use of Wikimetrics. Otherwise, we have no way of knowing if these types of activities have any benefits in terms of content creation or editor engagement. WMPH should create a better plan for follow-up after these events to make sure new connections are not lost.
- We agreed that the Tap & Learn roadshow activities with SMART communications did not result in any sustained interested by the trained teachers or promise of future projects. SMART could still be a potential partner, but the project they have proposed thus far for 2015 is not well aligned with the mission of WMPH.
- In terms of international conference travel, additional expenses for this year's Wikimedia Conference can be reimbursed based on submission of receipts with this proposal. For Wikimania, have WMPH members received scholarships through the Wikimania scholarship process? What other Wikimedia conferences is the chapter particularly interested in attending? Typically, these events have scholarship budgets included. For example, Hackathon, GLAMCamp, Diversity Conference, and GLAMWiki.
- Please provide more details on the merchandise budget, rationale for the amount, and to whom/how merchandise will be given away.
Thank you again for your efforts with this proposal. We look forward to reading the responses to our comments on the 2014 report and continuing our discussion of the proposal. Cheers, Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 23:24, 16 June 2015 (UTC)
- Thanks for taking the time to go over our plan and discussing this with us. We'll be updating the proposal to infuse the other plans we have discussed. We agree to the points you have
- 1. Administrative cost
- We have always been conscious and have always managed to cap our administrative costs year on year, below the mandatory 30% cap of government regulations, in 2014 alone this is at 21%. If WMF finds this too high, what is the acceptable level for WMF? Is this a specific amount or a percentage?
- On the hindsight I see that admin costs would peak this year (grant proposal wise), and will begin to taper off in the succeeding year, since the budget includes (1) a three-year budget for virtual office services (2) costs for reviewing our past financial statements for government compliance.
- We can begin formal discussions on the pros and cons of being an "incorporated group" vs a "non-incorporated group". A non-incorporated user group frees us from filing no less than 25 tax returns in a year, that is for the Internal Revenue Bureau alone, and the submission of Annual Information Report required by the Securities and Exchange Commission, those seem to be too tasking for an organization which does not have any regular paid staff, and it may be a challenge to maintain one based on other chapters' experiences. It may be needed to note that our push for compliance is centered on our long term goal of diversifying our funding resources, to be a "certified donee institution" whose donations to it are tax free, if we were to rely only on WMF funding alone we can very well be just a non-incorporated group. My preference for a non-incorporated group is a lone voice though. Should we have a definitive understanding of the consequences of choosing one option over the other, we'll make this a formal report for your reference. -- User:Namayan (talk) 08:17, 17 June 2015 (UTC)
- On the issue of incorporation: note that in many countries (the Philippines included), the issue of legitimacy is very important, and us retaining incorporated status is still better than transitioning to a user group. There is the perception that incorporated non-profits are more reliable partners who are better equipped to execute partnerships than a group of people who have organized into an unincorporated user group, and significantly more resources are available at our disposal if we are to remain incorporated, including ensuring our financial self-sustainability through the ability to solicit for donations in the Philippines. Like Roel, I am curious to hear about what is the "acceptable" level of overhead that chapters should abide by, because the way I see it our overhead has always been diluted through investing in meaningful projects where we request for separate grants. It's only this year where I noticed that overhead became an issue that was up for discussion whereas this wasn't the case over the last four years despite our overhead remaining fairly constant.
- While I understand that the paperwork is difficult to cope with, and this is something that we have sought to address for a while now, this is something that I hope the Foundation will be able to help us with by helping us come up with solutions to reduce administrative burden, rather than suggesting that we wind down the legal entity. To just blindly suggest that we wind down the legal entity isn't productive. --Sky Harbor (talk) 13:23, 17 June 2015 (UTC)
- 2. Administrative services
- I'll be inclined to discuss further the need for administrative services and why I feel our ability to operate is dependent on that. Perhaps it helps if we can show you the amount of documents regularly produced and maintained (and what takes place in between producing those documents) on a weekly or bi-weekly basis just to show you how demanding and crucial admin support is. -- User:Namayan (talk) 08:17, 17 June 2015 (UTC)
- 3. Additional projects for the year
- Despite being an "annual plan" this grant proposal does not cover our entire slate of activities for the year. We intend them to be separate grants as they would have different implementation calendar. Among those which we plan outside of this grant are:
- 4. Smart partnership
- There are two activities that we will be pursuing brought about by the Tap and Learn activities with Smart, we still need to follow-up it though. We do not discount the possibility of holding other activities with them especially now that they're pursuing activities in partnership with the Department of Education. -- User:Namayan (talk) 03:41, 23 June 2015 (UTC)
- 5. International conference travel
- I'm not sure if the chapter is aware that travel expenses like these can be reimbursed from WMF, the difficulty we see though in this manner is the lead time to get an approval and for it to be processed, especially expenses for international conferences aren't cheap and a participant may not have the resources to advance the cost of it. If the chapter handles this, we can immediately issue their reimbursements for as long as they have submitted the reporting requirements.
- For Wikimania, it appears that only one representative from the Philippines manages to secure a scholarship every year. WMPH members have received scholarships and they are mostly members of the Board because they are the ones who have the extensive experience in the movement. We have preferred sending a member of the Board (to attend chapter/affiliations related discussions) and one Wikimedian at large who may not have "extensive experience" to compete with Board members or the original founding members of the chapter.
- The rationale why we would prefer to handle our travel funds is also due to the "late" announcements of some conferences/meetings. Often when they are announced there isn't enough time for us to obtain a schedule and apply for a visa. Another frustration that we've had is when these meetings and conferences are organized by other chapters and they may not have a sufficient budget to provide a scholar for a participant for far-flung Philippines.
- To answer also your question, we're typically interested in GLAMCamp and GLAMWiki as we have been "more successful" in developing related activities and seeing them take off. Should there be Education related conferences we'll be interested in it too. I have to go over our records though wherein there were meetings/conferences of interest to us, but couldn't obtain a scholarship. -- User:Namayan (talk) 08:17, 17 June 2015 (UTC)
- 6. Merchandise budget
- We find wristband flash drives to be very useful and would have "longer" promotional value as they are repeatedly used. The flash drives were also loaded with the latest set of Wikipedia brochures before they were distributed. These were manufactured last year with discount at $5 (₱225) at 300 pcs for a 4GB flash drive (please note production costs change depending on the volume of orders, manufacturers also observe minimum quantity to take in orders). They were given to participants of Tap and Learn activities, edit-a-thons and some guests.
- These are actually our ideal set of merchandise, but we will likely choose which ones we will prioritize to have, since we may need a ready budget for the printing of concise back-to-back Wikipedia editing guides as suggested by Carolynne Schloeder when she visited the Philippines during the Tap and Learn activity.
Item Qty Cost per Unit Total cost Remarks Wristband flash drives 300 ₱250 ($5.60) ₱75,000 Primarily distributed during education and editing workshops ID lanyards 300 ₱85 ($1.90) ₱25,500 It is planned to hold another cultural heritage mapping seminar workshop this will be very useful Pens 500 ₱25 ($0.60) ₱12,500 generally distributed merchandise items Embroidered shirts 50 ₱600 ($13.30) ₱30,000 Distributed primarily to project team members and mini-contest winners Umbrellas 100 ₱165 ($3.70) ₱16,500 primarily given as "gifts" or "token" items, but also given during mini-contests.
Additional comments from WMF
Thank you for responding in detail to the questions above. After additional conversations, we wanted to step back and voice some of our higher level concerns. We really appreciate the efforts of the whole board, and especially of Namayan, in shouldering a significant amount of the administrative burden of the chapter. We are aware of the significant legal requirements and paperwork of the chapter (as Asaf witnessed in person) and realize this is a challenge to deal with by volunteers. It is quite concerning that no other board members are willing to support with the admin duties. We have repeatedly suggested that more board members participate in reviewing the monthly bank statements, but to our knowledge this has not happened. We also understand that there is a big push by the chapter over the next 12-18 months to continue with these high levels of admin work in order to complete your process for achieving nonprofit status, thereby being able to accept outside donations. A lot of work has been put into this effort thus far and you do not want to see the time or effort wasted. A part-time admin would help during this especially intense period, but our remaining question is in service of what projects? We do not see the proposed projects as being particularly strategic or impactful.
The proposed community projects are serving communities with very few editors and those editors may be better served by book purchases or other support. WMPH should be focusing on supporting the relatively large community of active English Wikipedia editors in the Philippines. What does the community want from the chapter? What are they interested in doing -- offline or online? How can they be better engaged? As suggested previously, we encourage the chapter to conduct a geo-located survey on English Wikipedia and find out the answers to those questions. Wikimedia South Africa just conducted one and received a lot of good input that they are basing their new strategy on. We are happy to help support with a similar survey.
The Cultural Heritage Mapping Project has been seemingly quite successful in terms of generating content and engaging some new volunteers (although we are still waiting for the report). We would encourage you to continue with this project and grant request and re-think the rest of the chapter's strategy for serving the active editing community. What can be done in GLAM and education? There have been a lot of interest in these programs, but little development. Can you find out from a survey if editors are interested in participating in these types of programs?
We would like to support WMPH and the community in the Philippines, but do need to see more results from current projects, more effort to engage active Wikimedians, and a more cohesive strategy with better project details. We would like to support you with this process and welcome the chance to discuss over the phone or otherwise. Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 22:09, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
- Hi, Alex. Before I proceed to addressing the specific points of your comments, members of the Board have been discussing how to move forward over the last week or so and we've decided to move forward with a few projects which we feel will generate a level of impact sufficient enough to meet the Foundation's requirements. Please feel free to take a look at those. In addition, we're currently in the final stages of designing a strategy survey that will run on the English Wikipedia by hopefully next week, and a parallel discussion is currently taking place on our regional notice board. Finally, I've committed to regularly reviewing the chapter's finances in my capacity as the newly-reelected President of Wikimedia Philippines (something that I've done when I was President back when the organization was founded in 2010), and I'll make sure that other Board members review the books on a regular basis when I do.
- Now, what I've noticed to be the crux of your points here is that the projects that we're proposing are not, as you put it, "particularly strategic or impactful". Projects like Open Web Day have helped generate awareness of Wikimedia in the regions, which in turn has led to greater opportunities for us to engage with people outside Manila. We're already seeing this manifest in several ways: there is interest in an Education Program in Bohol and Pampanga, we continue to engage with governments in Eastern Visayas to help onboard more Waray Wikipedians, and in Bicol the community over there has benefited greatly from the support we've extended to them. I seriously doubt that's not impactful.
- Whether the Foundation likes it or not, we have to face the facts here: we are dealing with running a national chapter that has to serve 100 million people plus twelve million more outside the country, dealing with the complexities of having 175 indigenous languages and cultures plus two colonial ones. These are things that cannot possibly be fathomed by numbers and metrics alone, and we have to consider the potential ramifications of our actions when people perceive us to be favoritizing one group of people over another. We've already seen people using this to divide our community along regional lines prior to the chapter's formation, and I certainly hope to not see this while this organization is here despite the intentions of some local editors to do so.
- I have very strong concerns with what seems to be the Foundation's "trivialization" of our outreach to regional communities—outreach that we feel is very important in order for us to gain legitimacy not only with our partners here in the Philippines (in particular outside of Metro Manila) but with the wider national community as well—without considering its socio-political ramifications. Remember that most Filipino English Wikipedia editors live within 150 kilometers of Metro Manila, and we're already being pilloried for being a Manila-centric organization as it is. If you think that those communities will be better served by projects where we don't engage them on the scale we currently do now, then don't blame us when we're being crucified by editors in the regions for being overly focused on Manila at the Wikimedia Foundation's suggestion, and the more editors won't engage with us (which is supposedly, as you say, where we are now) as a result of it. Diverting attention away from regional projects, whether in regional languages or otherwise, will make the situation far worse than what it is now, and whatever legitimacy we have (and that the Foundation has) will be lost if we can't engage in regional projects because the Foundation believes that its only priority for the Philippines should be "English, Tagalog and, to a lesser extent, Cebuano", and that anything else is not impactful. If we cannot support regional initiatives, especially given the tendency for people to focus on their local languages in this country, you create the image that only English and Tagalog matter. It is wrong for this organization to go around alienating itself from Wikimedians outside Metro Manila simply because the Foundation won't invest in it.
- I continue to believe in the mission of Wikimedia Philippines to serve our community in all the languages that they contribute to, and outreach to the regions is an integral part of our strategy and identity as an organization. We will continue to come up with impactful projects for English Wikipedia editors here in Metro Manila, but this must never come at the expense of our regional projects or our outreach in regional languages, especially when we've spent a lot of time and energy building up capacity, good will and groundwork in those areas. We may not have actual Wikipedians on the ground in all those areas, but we're hopeful that what we're doing will help put those boots on the ground. We see potential in growing thriving Wikimedia communities outside of Metro Manila (or in other languages!) given the right investment—an investment that I hope the Foundation will commit to—and it is wrong for the Foundation to suggest that we have to somehow narrow our focus if it means that we lose our reputation because of it. Sure, we're still waiting to reap the rewards of what we've sown, but as I've always told people when talking about the developing world and our movement, these things take time. I hope the Foundation will recognize that. --Sky Harbor (talk) 08:16, 11 August 2015 (UTC)
Status of audit
Kacie and everyone else who is involved in this grant application, based on our discussion last September, we're aware that the Foundation wants to conduct an audit of our books before approving or rejecting this application for funding. Given that the last time we saw the auditors was late last month, may we have some idea as to when the Foundation intends to conduct the audit? I'm worried that any further delay means that our entire program of activities for this year and next year are in jeopardy because the Foundation isn't taking this seriously. Thanks. --Sky Harbor (talk) 03:51, 30 October 2015 (UTC)