Grants talk:PEG/WM US-DC/Summer of Monuments 2014

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Evaluation by the GAC[edit]

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

GAC members who approve this grant request[edit]

  1. Tony (talk) 11:36, 8 April 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  2. Good proposal, no big opposition. --Ilario (talk) 13:57, 11 April 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  3. For sure worth supporitng. Polimerek (talk) 21:23, 23 April 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  4. Support. It'll produce worthwhile material, especially with James' changes. Anything that proves to be less than an ideal this year can be tinkered with next year, but comfortably think the revised budget is worth funding. Kevin (talk) 01:14, 6 May 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  5. Support. (Although for comparative purposes, I would be very much interested in knowing if there has been any other case where members of WMF grant committees or WMF funding people have suggested an actual increase in a grant.) --Oop (talk) 09:21, 6 May 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

GAC members who oppose this grant request[edit]

GAC members who abstain from voting/comment[edit]


Hi there, I would like to see those nrhp stats for kansas, can you help? Mdupont (talk) 19:46, 26 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

See WikiProject NRHP's progress page, or click here for details specific to Kansas. It takes a second to load (for this reason, I'd advocated that the lists should be separated by state), but well worth the wait. --Another Believer (talk) 20:04, 26 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Since this project focuses on illustrations, I thought I would share the U.S. map with county-level data for illustrated listings (%):

NRHP Illustrated Counties.svg

I think this project is a great idea. Thank you for submitting the proposal. --Another Believer (talk) 20:08, 26 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Concern with local involvement[edit]

Hi everyone :) I really like the reasoning of this project : adaptation of a sucessful programm (Wiki Loves Monuments), focus on actual needs of projects (poor coverage of several States), rebranding on some of them to have a consistent and "communicable" name (South States). However, I have concerns with the implementation. About the project manager work : firtsly, what experience has Wikimedia DC with paid staff ? Managing an employee when you are a volunteer board is a very tricky job. And secondly, won't it make their job more difficult to be based in DC and not in the South ? More importantly, about the local wikimedia communities in the South : how will they be involved in this project ? Summer of Monuments feel like an awesome potential kick off for a chapter-building dynamic. In France, we have already successful experience with "Wiki Takes" events (a local group goes to another area, takes lot of pictures and meets people from this area that are "just" contributors but not involved in the chapter). It feels thus like a squandered opportunity to only focus on pictures and not on people. Léna (talk) 12:48, 1 April 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I think your concern about having someone based in DC working from afar is valid, but I don't think managing an employee will be problematic if the right person is hired for the job. --Another Believer (talk) 14:50, 1 April 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thank you for your questions, Léna. Wikimedia DC has managed several paid contractors in the past, including the event planners hired for Wikimania 2012 and our outreach intern that same summer. We have mitigated the risks of volunteer supervision of a paid contractor by selecting candidates based on their ability to operate with little direct supervision, by requiring regular reporting of activities according to a pre-determined schedule, and by specifically stating upfront what the expected deliverables are (refer to the timeline in our proposal). We request that the candidate be based in DC because this will allow them to work closely with Wikimedia DC. Keep in mind that the Southern United States is larger than most European countries, so either way travel will be necessary (while being based outside of DC will limit their ability to work directly with Wikimedia DC).
We would like to engage communities of Wikimedians, but we have noticed that outside the Northeast, the density of Wikimedians is fairly low. Thus we are not necessarily dealing with highly active and organized communities so much as a scattering of individuals across a broad geography. As evidence of this, look how many meetups are held per year in the United States outside of the powerhouses of New York and Washington, DC. But given this constraint, we believe it to be more effective to be collaborating with individual photographers.
harej (talk) 20:45, 2 April 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Tony1 comments[edit]

  1. WLM and PotY are dominated by continental Europeans. There's much to recommend extra effort going into photographing North America, and it's a great advantage that you have your fingers on what and where the potential monuments are. I like the idea that the two city-based chapters should be pursuing things further afield. It should be natural.
    Thank you. We agree that more direct outreach is necessary. harej (talk) 19:08, 8 April 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  2. So if you succeeded in the 50% target for all 10 states, it looks like 3500 monuments. Less than $5 a monument. Looks like good value on the numbers. What about quality control? I've suggested a shortish manual online for how to avoid pitfalls (like cars parked next to buildings, ahem ..., and tips on lighting, focus, composition); but I don't see anything like this onwiki.
    I am not sure that Wiki Loves Monuments USA has ever developed formal criteria for pictures. For last year, we used some Commons criteria for quality images (I forget if it's the valued pictures program or something else) but with more of an emphasis on encyclopedic usefulness over aesthetic quality. I agree we should be more explicit in our expectations. harej (talk) 19:08, 8 April 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  3. Project manager —you've left out the vital bit: full-time??? Specifically an average of how many hours per week, please? Sorry to be fussy, but ...
    The Board of Directors established the position as a full-time contractor position. We expect this person to work around 40 hours per week. harej (talk) 19:08, 8 April 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    About $15 an hour. I hope they can put food on the table, since at 40 hours a week it's hard to imagine the person taking another job to make ends meet. The cost of living is high on the east coast. Tony (talk) 15:00, 9 April 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    MIT's Living Wage Calculator notes that $13.68/hr is a living wage for a single adult in the District of Columbia, while it is $13.20–$13.22 in the suburbs. Given that we are looking for candidates relatively early in their career, it is likely that most of our candidates will be single adults. We wish we could pay more, but in the meantime, we believe this level of compensation is adequate. harej (talk) 18:25, 9 April 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  4. "A strong sense of logistics and the ability to interpret visual data would be helpful"—I suggest separating these two quite different skills. And does interpreting visual data mean assessing photographic quality? If so, it could be more clearly expressed. I'd also bullet separately the interest in history and existing relationships with historical societies—you could have the first plus interpersonal and logistic skills, but not the second, and it would still work. What's missing? Ownership of laptop, but no computer skills mentioned (in particular, the experience to easily learn categorise and describe photographs according to the norms of Commons? The computer skills might capture the person you want, rather than just strong pref. for WM experience. Perhaps insert after "a demonstrated aptitude for building professional relationships": ", including through online communication."?
    I tied them together because "visual data," in this instance, refers to maps. Basically, we are looking for someone who can see a map of the density of monuments to photograph and can make strategic decisions based on that. I'll revise the job description based on your recommendations. harej (talk) 19:08, 8 April 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  5. I'm always one for boosting that holy grail of first prize—here I'm talking about the "individual" prize: double to $1000, or better $2500 and you'll get more press. Perhaps sponsorship could do this. A fat first prize has enormous symbolic, promotional, and motivational power. And please consider prizes (vouchers?) for best contributions behind the scenes for sorting, categorising, description page work.
    The current prize structure is based on U.S. tax reporting requirements. Prizes of $600 or more impose a reporting burden on Wikimedia DC and on the winner. In-kind gifts count toward this $600 threshold. We can look into boosting the prize amounts with the use of matching funds, but not without some amount of research first. I'll see if we can also reward behind-the-scenes work. harej (talk) 19:08, 8 April 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    That would be good to research, since the knowledge can then be shared with all US Wikimedians who might be planning activities that involve motivational prize-giving. Tony (talk) 15:00, 9 April 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  6. "Wikimedia DC has been working with its Cultural Partnerships Coordinator to develop best practices for ..."—bit vague. I'd get a nice sense of control and security if you named who's "been working"; but you don't have to if privacy is a concern.
    Our Cultural Partnerships Coordinator is Dominic McDevitt-Parks. He has been developing best practices for a digitization-to-Commons workflow as part of his day-job as a digital content specialist at the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, and we have been paying close attention. harej (talk) 19:08, 8 April 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  7. "... these photographs have been more difficult to obtain, not having been secured despite two years of contests. These photographs thus have a higher value to the Wikimedia projects." – not sure that holds together logically. :-)
    Photographs of all the NRHP sites are valuable to us, but not equally so. A new picture of the Washington Monument would not be particularly valuable, since we already have several high-quality pictures (and it is not exactly an obscure monument at risk of destruction!). However, a picture of something we do not already have—despite having tens of thousands of pictures in our collection—is more valuable in the sense that it is rare and has eluded becoming a part of our collection to date. harej (talk) 19:08, 8 April 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  8. Meeting between manager and grantmaking staff: presumably online.
    Correct. harej (talk) 19:08, 8 April 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  9. Ten states, far-flung. Will you have a volunteer state manager for each, a primary point of contact for your employed person?
    We will certainly try to recruit volunteers as much as possible. I am reluctant to make promises—I do not know about the strength of the Wikimedia communities in these states—but I support recruiting volunteer captains. harej (talk) 19:08, 8 April 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  10. Will you write press releases? A generic one as the basis for all, with state-relevant insertions, could be good. Local newspapers would be pleased to run stories if you write them up for them, mentioning local monuments. There's good stuff on the net about writing press releases.
    Wikimedia DC is a little inconsistent with press outreach at the moment. I imagine writing press releases would be consistent with the project manager's job, though.. harej (talk) 19:08, 8 April 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Note to grantmaking staff—all the better that we put together advice on writing press releases, to encourage good local publicity for WMF-funded projects. Tony (talk) 15:00, 9 April 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Tony (talk) 11:36, 8 April 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • Thanks for your responses, Harej. I see talk of Wiki Loves Earth. Does that mean the them this year won't be monuments? Tony (talk) 15:00, 9 April 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • My understanding is that the international Wiki Loves Monuments contest is not happening this year, while several countries are still holding their own national WLMs. Meanwhile, the Wiki Loves Earth concept is gaining traction after the successful pilot in Ukraine last year. Wikimedia DC (on behalf of Wikimedians throughout the United States) has opted for at least one more year of monuments, using the lack of international contest as an opportunity to reconfigure the contest and change the rules a little (for example, encouraging participation by institutions). We're not doing Wiki Loves Earth until next year at the earliest unless someone else wants to take it on for this year. harej (talk) 19:02, 9 April 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

WMF Feedback[edit]

Thank you for this detailed and interesting proposal. It's a refreshing take on the WLM model! We appreciate that you've already notified the GLAM-US mailing list and asked for their feedback. It's also good to see that you have GLAM experts participating in the project. We have a couple questions below.

  1. Have you already put feelers out to the local cultural and heritage institutions in targeted states to get a sense of their interest and capacity to engage in the project? Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 16:37, 22 April 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    We have not done so yet. We will begin this research soon. harej (talk) 19:45, 23 April 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  2. Depending on their capacity and available volunteers, have you thought about incorporating editing events to support the integration of photos onto wiki projects? Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 16:37, 22 April 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    We would certainly be interested in hosting edit-a-thons with partnering institutions, depending on their capacity to host them and bring in attendees from the area. Here in DC we will likely be organizing an edit-a-thon around NRHP sites using resources we already have. harej (talk) 19:45, 23 April 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  3. It would be great if the information gathered could be added to the GLAM-US connect site. Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 16:37, 22 April 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Information we gain will be used to enhance the network of GLAM pages on Outreach Wiki and English Wikipedia. harej (talk) 19:45, 23 April 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

To Tony's comments regarding photo quality and press releases, we will be pulling together more resources for grantees and hope to have a basic photo guide up within the next month.

Thanks, Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 16:37, 22 April 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]


This grant is approved. Thank you for your engagement with the GAC and WMF. We're excited to support this new photo campaign approach and look forward to discussing more in detail at WikiConference USA. Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 00:09, 26 April 2014‎ (UTC)Reply[reply]

post-approval comment/concerns[edit]

I had discussed this some with James via FB, but unfortunately didn't get the time to post a full comment here before it was approved - the last two weeks have been crunchtime for me. I'm actively concerned both about the budgeted travel costs and the proposed compensation for the project manager. In terms of travel costs: it's been budgeted like the position will be making static trips to particular cities without significant transportation costs. In reality, that likely won't be the case: there will probably be a ton of driving involved, likely in a rental car (and if not in a rental car, it would be standard and customary to include a mileage bump to compensate for damage/wear and tear on the PM's car.) The project is covering ten states, and with the current travel budget, that'd be $200 a state. That wouldn't cover travel expenses unless half or fewer of states were covered, or the project manager was hitchhiking and couchsurfing.

In terms of compensation: what has been approved is technically a living wage in DC, but only in a pretty technical sense. It also probably rules out non-local candidates, since it has no relocation associated with it and it would take at least some time to find a livable place in DC in that price range, which raises two questions: are there enough local Wikimedians with the needed skillset for this to be okay, and would the increased applicant pool made possible by increased compensation increase the quality of results enough to justify it? The current set level of compensation likely limits the applicant's ability to do things like go out to lunch with relevant cultural professionals in DC - a living wage is aimed at home-cooked meal level in non-central DC, and doesn't factor in things like having lunch with relevant cultural professionals near their institutions, something that will probably improve the results of the project/be beneficial in general. It also raises an additional question: the DC council recently tried to pass a bill requiring Walmart to pay all of their workers $12.50 as a baseline. The proposed $2500 a month is only $600 a month more than is needed to qualify for food stamps in DC. Is it in line with the values of the Wikimedia movement to pay a project manager working on something fulltime something that is barely above what the DC council tried to mandate Walmart pay its workers, and something that you literally almost qualify for food stamps on? (I'm not intending to apply for this job, but if I did and moved over with my partner, until she found local work, I would actually qualify for food stamps with this level of compensation.)

Sorry for the lateness of these comments, but given their seriousness, I think they're worth thinking about even if it requires a supplemental grant. @AWang (WMF), Tony1, and Harej: Best, Kevin (talk) 20:08, 26 April 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Yes, the US has managed to hollow out its middle class, and we see the results in poverty-striken expectations for a large proportion of the workforce. My view is that paying on the higher side will get better results and train better people in the medium term. Tony (talk) 02:40, 27 April 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thank you for the questions regarding the budget and planned compensation arrangement. Regarding the travel budget, ten states are within scope for the project but the project manager will have the discretion to select five for special attention. That is how we calculated the line item: an average of $402 per trip for five trips. That said, trips will not be the main focus of this project. We don't have a more rigorous plan for travel, owing to the fact that this hasn't really been done before (at least not in a U.S. context), so we have not made site visits central to our plan. They supplement what will otherwise be a primarily online volunteer engagement effort, coordinating from afar. For a future project—once we've had more experience and a better sense of our capabilities—we can revisit dedicating more resources to travel (and perhaps even hiring regional field managers who are already on the ground).
You also mention the compensation of $2,500 per month. We determined that rate based on the standard industry pay for a field organizer in the Washington, DC, area. Unfortunately, exceedingly high demand for prestigious Washington internships and careers has had an extreme downward effect on wages, so it is understandable that the industry standard is not congruous with a reasonable standard of living.
So should Wikimedia DC be complicit in offering low wages? While we might be able to get away with it, I would like to think we as a movement are in a position to offer a comfortable living standard. But there is also the fact that we are asking the Wikimedia Foundation to fund the project in its entirety. I am aware of the fact that we have to share the grants budget with everyone else, and we drafted the proposal in consideration of what was most likely to get approved. So I am pleased to see that members of the Grants Advisory Committee would actually support a bigger paycheck for the project manager.
WIkimedia DC is gradually building up its fundraising capacity, and we would like to be able to fund future job positions with a mixture of WMF and third-party funding. While we are building up this capacity, would the Wikimedia Foundation approve an addition to the grant amount to go toward paying the project manager more? We unfortunately wouldn't be able to make up the difference ourselves, given our other budget priorities.
harej (talk) 04:40, 28 April 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I really had meant to make all of these comments before the grant closed, but Berkeley's been keeping me super busy. Here's an excerpt from the WMF board's approved compensation practices: "The Wikimedia Foundation's compensation practices reflect its desire to compensate staff for their work in a manner that is understandable, equitable, reasonable, and consistent with our values and culture." Obviously, since it's a WMF specific statement, it doesn't automatically apply to affiliates, but I don't think that paying a bare minimum living wage (with the extra FICA cut, only $1.30 an hour more than the DC council recently tried to require Walmart to pay) is consistent with the values of the Wikimedia movement, or equitable. This is a higher level question than this grant, but I think that quite soon we're going to need to try to figure out our answer to how we want to treat people employed by Wikimedia movement groups. I've always thought that, even though it's not explicit to our mission, for both moral and pragmatic reasons Wikimedia entities should aim to treat their employees well - and $2,500 a month in DC just doesn't meet that standard. With the extra FICA cut the contractor will have to pay, it's about $400 a month over qualifying for food stamps, and if the person has a dependent (and I know plenty of married early career people whose spouses have disabilities that mean they can't meaningfully work,) the salary does actually qualify for food stamps. To me, it's just wrong for a Wikimedia movement contractor or employee to be paid so little that they're literally at the level of qualifying for food stamps.
The pay also poses serious pragmatic issues. Huge numbers of people who would be wonderful candidates would never move to DC for a temporary $2,500 a month gig, so it will cut down on the possible talent pool severely. Even a lot of the more qualified people who already live in DC wouldn't want to take a temporary $2,500 a month gig. Cutting down on the potential applicant pool will have a directly negative effect on the outcome of the project. I pretty firmly believe that increasing the PM's compensation is overwhelmingly likely to increase our return on investment in the project. Such low compensation hinders the project directly in another way too: The project manager's compensation as currently scoped is at the low end of a livable wage in DC - and when people talk about a livable wage in DC, they don't mean the fancy parts of DC and restaurants, they mean the cheap parts of DC and home-cooked meals. DC is home to a huge number of cultural institutions, and many of them will have connections to cultural institutions in the targeted states. The currently scoped compensation wouldn't allow for the project manager to, say, go out to lunch with someone from a DC cultural institution unless they have the independent funds to cover it (and I don't think it's good to create a position where only someone willing to spend their own money can reasonably maximize the productivity of the project.) Having lunch with someone from somewhere like the Smithsonian or having lunch with someone with contacts with historical societies in target states can be a big boon; the PM as scoped could not afford to do so on their salary. That's a bad thing, that will actively hinder the project.
Even without the emphasis being on travel, I still think that the travel budget actively needs to be increased. You're covering ten states, though only planning to travel to five. Most of those states are rural; most of the missing monuments are likely to be more rural than average. Most of the states you are covering aren't the type of place where you can drop in to one major city, have a series of productive meetings with cultural institutions, and then pop back out the next day. Productive outreach in a number of the states you are targeting is likely going to require a series of meetings with geographically disparate organizations - i.e., a roadtrip that hits up three or four of the biggest/best fit organizations in the state to work with (which are likely in different cities/counties.) Even if it's not a capability that WMDC has displayed in the past, I think that it would both greatly improve the outcome of the project to have a higher travel budget that allows for at least slightly more thorough on the ground work during trips. Honestly, I feel like the biggest benefit of the travel budget as it is currently set is that the project manager will get to go on five trips places rather than the benefits gained from the travel as currently structured :p. I think the return on investment for an increased travel budget is worthwhile, and even if WMDC hasn't done a similar project before, previous projects - like freakin' Wikimania - have more than demonstrated that WMDC has the capacity to pull off a more complex travel setup than is currently planned.
This is my first major set of comments on a grant post approval, but to sum up my view: to produce a maximum return on investment while upholding our values, I think that the compensation of the project manager needs to be significantly increased, and the travel budget needs to be significantly increased. I'm not saying either of those because I want to arbitrarily hand more money out, but because I think that the project's degree of success would be greatly hampered if those two things don't happen - I think it presents a worthwhile value proposition either way, but I think that increasing those two budget items would likely mean the difference between a middling success and a remarkable one. Kevin (talk) 05:41, 28 April 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I'm withdrawing from discussion around this grant. When I posted my initial comments, I couldn't imagine a situation where I would even consider applying for the position; since my original post, I've realized that this actually fits in between my funding cycles at Berkeley quite nicely, and would be a project I'd love to undertake myself as a summer gig given the raised compensation (I wasn't expecting a 20% bump, not a 50-100% bump.) However, since I was the person who originally surfaced the concerns around the grant, I have great qualms about doing so and then applying for the project, and do not currently intend to do so - doing so would look to much like classic self-dealing (even though I am not a fiduciary.) Kevin (talk) 21:14, 29 April 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Revisiting the Budget[edit]

Thanks, Kevin for your useful comments and harej for your response. We agree that these issues should be discussed further and will hold on processing the grant as it currently stands until Wikimedia US-DC has had a chance to re-evaluate their proposal and discuss any changes. The main issues including the following:

Project Manager compensation: We did a little research on current compensation averages for similar positions at nonprofits in Washington, DC (field organizers, field coordinators, associates, community organizers, etc.) and found the average annual salary to be around $45,000. Considering the extra taxes a contractor must pay, it seems than an appropriate hourly range would be between $20-$30. We hope the team will continue to look into this and propose a salary that is most supportive to finding a competitive candidate. Additional expenses beyond travel, for meals with cultural institutions for example, should be budgeted separately. Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 19:22, 28 April 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Travel budget: We agree that this project will mostly be implemented through online volunteer engagement. However, the regional trips are a key piece in establishing relationships with local cultural institutions. We would suggest the team do a little more research into the location of the cultural institutions they are hoping to target and their relative distance to each other. If a one-day/two-night trip makes sense, then let's keep the budget the same. If longer trips in certain states are necessary because key institutions are spread apart, then please adjust the budget accordingly. Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 19:22, 28 April 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I am very pleased by the guidance you have provided, and I am happy to see the Wikimedia Foundation is eager to invest adequately in the projects it funds. The Board of Directors is reviewing the budget and we will have a revised proposal for you by May 4. harej (talk) 21:09, 28 April 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks to everyone above for the thoughtful comments, and your realistic assessments of the practical aspects of providing adequate funding. Djembayz (talk) 22:20, 28 April 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

New budget proposal[edit]

Following research and discussion, Wikimedia DC proposes this new budget:

Item Unit Unit cost No. of units Total cost Notes
Project Manager Compensation 1 month $4,500.00 5 $22,500.00 Pay is calculated based on the standard pay for a field organizer in Washington, DC. Based on a 40-hour work week it works out to about $28 per hour.
Travel 1 trip $975.00 5 $4,875.00 The cost per trip is a mean estimate, including flying through a city's airport, four nights' stay at a hotel, four days M&IE at 75% GSA rates, and $140 to cover car rental and gas. The cost of an individual trip can vary significantly based on the plan developed by the project manager. An average cost was calculated based on 36 cities/locales in the target region. The actual cost of the trip (and technically, the number of trips) will depend on the specific plans developed by the Project Manager. Given the large number of counties in our target region, it proved arduous to calculate a more surgical estimate ahead of the development of the actual plan. It is the policy of Wikimedia DC to use the least expensive travel possible; see our Travel Policy.
Institutional Prize 1 prize $1,000.00 1 $1,000.00 The Institutional Prize is a separate prize from the individual prizes, awarded to the institution with the best contributions to Summer of Monuments.
Individual Prize – First Place 1 prize $500.00 1 $500.00
Entertainment costs 1 meal $40.00 10 $400.00 For business meetings with institutional partners to facilitate outreach efforts, whether in DC or in the target region. Entertainment expenses are subject to prior approval by the president of Wikimedia DC, per the travel policy.
Individual Prize – Second Place 1 prize $300.00 1 $300.00
Individual Prize – Third Place 1 prize $150.00 1 $150.00
Total $29,725.00

Thank you for your consideration. harej (talk) 01:26, 5 May 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

For the sake of transparency, below are my calculations for travel costs:
Below is each state in the target regions with destinations based on: (1) the existence of an airport serving that location and (2) the publication of GSA per diem rates for that location. The GSA also publishes "standard" rates for states for travel to areas not part of a major metropolis, but to incorporate such information would also involve calculating the cost of traveling to a broadly-defined "generic" territory. The 36 locations reflect travel destinations where we could compute an exhaustive cost accounting, and these destinations are distributed throughout the ten target states. The dollar amounts in parenthesis reflect travel under a standard set of conditions, including:
  • Airline rates, calculated as the cheapest price of roundtrip travel from June 9 to June 12 ± 3 days, including a 10% buffer. Data provided by Kayak.
  • GSA rates for four nights at a hotel in the given destination and 75% of the meals and incidental expenses allowance.
  • A standard $140 for car rental and gas allowance. The amount will vary from destination to destination; where car rental may be cheaper, more driving may be required.
Arkansas: Little Rock ($961)
Oklahoma: Oklahoma City ($1111)
Kansas: Wichita ($1032)
North Carolina: Asheville ($896), Chapel Hill ($859), Charlotte ($943), Durham ($832), Fayetteville ($856), Greensboro ($880), New Bern ($878), Raleigh ($905), Wilmington ($913)
Mississippi: Oxford ($940), Southaven ($885), Starkville ($1081)
Missouri: Kansas City ($1034), St. Louis ($1105)
Kentucky: Boone County ($923), Kenton County ($1094), Lexington ($997), Louisville ($954)
Georgia: Athens ($943), Atlanta ($1145), Augusta ($901), Jekyll Island ($1317), Savannah ($920)
Tennessee: Brentwood ($1012), Chattanooga ($919), Knoxville ($910), Memphis ($958), Nashville ($1122), Oak Ridge ($872)
Louisiana: Alexandria ($995), Baton Rouge ($1032), Covington ($936), New Orleans ($1049)
  • Range: $832 (Durham, NC) to $1317 (Jekyll Island, GA)
  • Mean: $975
It is important to note that these individually calculated rates are not to serve as budgetary restrictions, but to predict anticipated costs. It is generally assumed that five trips will be carried out, each for multiple days as to allow comprehensive participation by the project manager, but we are giving the project manager discretion to plan the specific nature of this travel. This is to allow such travel to take place according to the strategic direction the project manager determines is best for the achievement of the project goals.
harej (talk) 04:22, 5 May 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Response from WMF[edit]

Hi harej. Thanks for the updated budget. Can you please let us know how you calculated the "standard fee" for a field organizer? Below is the research we did on similar positions in D.C. All the information was gathered on Glassdoor or Indeed. Based on this research, we would recommend an hourly range for the project manager from $20-25/hr. Please let us know if you have additional information that would give us a better picture of how you estimated the fees. Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 20:51, 7 May 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Position Organization Annual Salary Hourly Salary
Regional Field Organizer Human Rights campaign 34,000 17.71
Field Coordinator 68,000 35.42
Community Organizer 28,000 14.58
Average Regional Field Organizer 40,000 20.83
Average regional field Analyst 29,000 15.10
Campaign Organizer Care 2 60,000 31.25
Specialist Campaigner Greenpeace 59,000 30.73
Associate Advisory Board 45,000 23.44
Associate Pew Charitable Trusts 54,000 28.13
Communications Coordinator Brookings Institute 42,000 21.88
Communications Coordinator World Resources Institute 43,654 22.74
Field Analyst New America Foundation 49,000 25.52
Program Associate New America Foundation 38,000 19.79
Associate UN Foundation 43,000 22.40
Program Associate UN Foundation 46,000 23.96
Average $45,243.60 23.56

Regarding travel, please confirm that travel will be used for meetings with established contacts. We expect that the first phase of contacting partners will be done remotely. Otherwise, the travel budget looks reasonable. Thank you for all the additional research. Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 20:51, 7 May 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The increased monthly compensation was based on the research you posted above, where you recommended compensation of $20-30 per hour. It is slightly higher than the salaries you mention since this will be a contract position, meaning the project manager will have a higher tax liability. I hope it is not a problem for the Foundation. The travel and entertainment budgets will be used for meeting with established contacts; initial contacts will take place online. harej (talk) 21:17, 7 May 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
In mathematical terms: A salaried position that pays $25/hr works out to $23.09/hr after 7.65% payroll tax. This position, which pays about $28/hour works out to $23.72/hr after 15.3% self-employment tax. So it's roughly the same amount of pay, but Wikimedia DC is shifting its tax liability to the contractor. harej (talk) 03:00, 9 May 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks for the added information. Let's go with $25/hr and see what kind of applicants you get. Even with the added contractor taxes, we think this would be a reasonable hourly compensation. Please let us know what you think. Thanks, Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 03:33, 9 May 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I know I stated that I wasn't going to comment further on this grant, but since I'm not applying for the position, eh, I may as well. Given that this is a 1099 position, I would personally prefer the compensation to be at ~28 an hour over ~25 an hour, simply because DC is an expensive city, basically on par with SF, and with WMF's minimum baseline for outside contractors being generally $30/hour (and the contractors being paid as W2's through an intermediary (odesk) rather than 1099's - meaning they get basically 7.65% more takehome pay,) I don't think $28/hr for a 1099 based at a Wikimedia affiliate in a similarly expensive city is unreasonable. When compensating movement affiliates, I'd rather go with a rate that both attracts top talent and treats said talent in a somewhat above-average way (simply because I personally believe that WM affiliates should be treated slightly better than most other places do.) That said: I doubt the difference between 28 and 25 will change the applicant pool's quality signfiicantly in either direction, so when it comes down to it, I'm okay with either (and either is definitely preferably to the $15 an hour originally proposed!) Kevin (talk) 04:08, 9 May 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Wikimedia DC agrees to $4,000/month, which is approximately $25/hr. This brings the overall compensation to $20,000 for five months of work from the original amount of $12,500 (but lower than the proposed $22,500). harej (talk) 01:24, 11 May 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm relieved there has been some increase. I'm inclined to expect a lot of a contractor in this type of position, and not paying pauper's rates allows for greater expectation. I also see this person as promoting the WMF's trademark and reputation, and being receptive to training, whether by contact with other chapter people, or through self-training and -adaptation. Tony (talk) 13:14, 11 May 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Please update the grant request total and budget to reflect the increase in compensation and travel. Thanks, Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 16:25, 12 May 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm assuming that's an approval of the new budget? :-) harej (talk) 16:32, 12 May 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Updated budget approved[edit]

The updated budget is approved. Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 00:14, 13 May 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Timeline change[edit]

Due to the last-minute change to the budget shortly after the initial approval of a different budget, there were delays in onboarding our project manager. We hired Leo effective June 1, and we will be engaging his services through October 31. So he will still be working for a five month period, just a different set of five months. We also changed the timeline by combining the deliverables of May and June and launching the contest in July instead. I would like to update the proposal to account for these changes. harej (talk) 20:07, 14 July 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hi harej. Thanks for the notice. Please update the timeline. Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 20:09, 14 July 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The update is made. I also clarified that the regional (i.e. subnational) campaign will be done via the "watchlist notice" mechanism, as I have confirmation from James Alexander that CentralNotice geo-targeting does not work at the subnational level. harej (talk) 20:18, 14 July 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]