Grants talk:PEG/WM US-DC/Wiki Loves Monuments 2012 USA

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For old discussion[edit]

For the discussion of the old version of this grant proposal before it was subject to major revisions, see /Archive 1. harej (talk) 09:11, 21 August 2012 (UTC)

For the sake of clarity[edit]

Would you mind making the budget a bit clearer in the breakdown, and explain that parts of this has already been funded previously (at least, that's what I understood). Not all of us were in the GAC then, and we don't necessarily know what funding has been attributed. Clicking through the whole thing is confusing :). As I understand it, only the "Other costs" part is the one you're asking to be funded this time, right? Thanks! notafish }<';> 07:29, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

I have restructured some stuff. Let us know if you still have questions or need anything clarified. Cheers. Aude (talk) 07:50, 22 August 2012 (UTC)


Thanks for re-submitting this grant request. Now it seems more reasonable to support this from a financial point of view, but I also assume that this time it will mostly focus on the DC area and carrying out most of the activities there. Nevertheless, it still mentions the territory of the United States, and I need a bit clarification about the other parts of the country and the people there. Best regards.--Kiril Simeonovski (talk) 09:09, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

We have a series of events happening across the US that we wish to support:

Microgrants can support those. We already have $2,500, which we think is enough to start with but can ask for more when it runs low. We have separate funding in our previous grant for our own local events. Aude (talk) 10:03, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for the response. I really appreciate this brave idea for delivering microgrants, but something makes me feel that it's not the right step in these circumstances. Do you think that the interested parties who will need financial support would hesitate to seek them from the Wikimedia Foundation first? It's normal to be easier to run a grant program in your own country, but the Wikimedia Foundation, by fortune, operates in the same country as Wikimedia DC. There is no general problem for you to do a grant program, but you should give us some more information about it and how to overcome the transparency issues that may occur. You will also need time and resources to do it, so my opinion is to simply redirect those parties to seek grants from the Wikimedia Foundation. Best regards.--Kiril Simeonovski (talk) 16:45, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
The Wikimedia Foundation is fine with our microgrants program, seeing as they already funded it. We created our grants program very recently, so we have not distributed any funds yet, which is why we have the entire $2,500 sum available. We are just making explicit that for the month of September and for early October, we are prioritizing applications for Wiki Loves Monuments-related activities. This is because we would like to see activities happen all throughout the United States, seeing as we are the primary fiscal agent for the U.S. portion of the Wiki Loves Monuments contest. (If the Wikimedia Foundation were handling WLM-US themselves, that would be another thing, but such is not the case.) harej (talk) 18:25, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
It's ok then. Thanks again for clearing it up.--Kiril Simeonovski (talk) 19:24, 24 August 2012 (UTC)

Fall Outreach and Program Coordination Intern[edit]

What would be job obligations for Coordination Intern, and how are you going to find a proper person for this possition. Is this paid possition really needed? This is actually 42% of proposed budget. See also: Grants:Hiring Staff. Polimerek (talk) 09:45, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

My 2 cents.... We've had an intern for the summer who has supported our programs at the DC Public Library, Library of Congress, Smithsonian, etc., as well as helped with Wikimania and documenting / communications (e.g. blog posts) and she's provided invaluable support. Don't know how we'd manage without her.
We've also had User:Harej who has basically volunteered full time for the entire summer, but goes back to school starting in September. Before I left for Germany, I essentially put in full time volunteering and User:Djembayz has also been doing quite a lot (at times, a Wikimedia-related thing every day of the week!). Even being here in Germany, I'm volunteering my evenings and weekends on technical support for Wiki Loves Monuments US program and coordination stuff for WLM, our work with the Commons:Walters Art Museum, etc., and not sure I can really sustain this level, and previously was doing a bit of stuff that our intern has done (blog posting, coordination).
Our intern is coordinating local events and will be involved in supporting the microgrants, among other stuff, which continues through September and beyond. (the Wiki Loves Libraries events are a natural follow-up for the photo events in September) Our intern has freed us to do a bit more though still wonder if just one intern is enough? Zero interns means we'll have to scale back our programs and partnerships, and not sure about microgrants. Our current intern is leaving at the end of September, unfortunately, but we can recruit from students (some already are Wikipedians) in the DC region, and from places such as the library school at the University of Maryland. Aude (talk) 10:22, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
The purpose of paying the intern is to cover his or her living expenses so that they made dedicate as much time as possible to helping Wikimedia DC carry out its mission, not to give them a full living wage as though they were a full-time employee. To expand on what Aude has already said, there is a lot of interest in working with Wikimedia DC that we needed to recruit a dedicated person whose task is to help us manage our relationships. Thanks to our current intern Lisa, we have developed a database of over fifty contacts so that anyone who works with Wikimedia DC can have access to our social and professional network, not just the people who already made the personal connections. This is necessary for an organization—especially a people-powered one such as ours—to expand beyond the dedicated core that helped to found and build it. Because we expect our interns to do real work for us, we feel it is only fair to give them some kind of compensation. (In Washington, DC, there is no shortage of unpaid internships where the tasks are menial and mind-numbing. We need to distinguish ourselves from those.) harej (talk) 20:03, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
I'm wondering also if an Coordination Intern is really need to be part of the WLM budget, and why it can be manged, like it manged in many of the countries, by volunteers. The same for office rent.
250$ for hosting? how much cost an hosting plan today for wordpress? seem to me like much less. --Itzike (talk) 21:36, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
The site will be linked from a central notice banner on Wikipedia and elsewhere. We probably won't need that much for hosting, but would like to try to improve scalability of the site for the next month or two. (en:Scalability#Scale_horizontally_vs._vertically) Aude (talk) 06:37, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
I am told that our website needs to handle millions of hits through the month of September. As such, we need to temporarily upgrade our website hosting. harej (talk) 17:34, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
Regarding the intern, I expect new potential partnerships and opportunities to emerge with the Wiki Loves Monuments banner up on Wikipedia. We're inviting people to get involved -- both individuals and also historical associations, cultural institutions, governments, etc. (along with continuing existing partnerships) Partnerships require meetings during weekday / daytime hours when almost all our volunteers are busy with school or their day job. Partnerships also require someone to be reliably available and responsive. Having an intern help in this area has done wonders. We are strengthening our ties with the Smithsonian, for example, and they are offering to take the lead on organizing a Wiki Loves Libraries event in DC (although we'll have to help out too). More and more, these partnerships and events are helping grow our capacity -- new volunteers, partners, etc. I don't think this can be done near as successfully without some dedicated staff help. Aude (talk) 18:21, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

Previous intern[edit]

A previous grant awarded to Wikimedia DC has provided for an intern to "help coordinate our involvement in Wiki Loves Monuments". We expected that internship to do the ground work to enable further volunteer participation in WLM. Was this attempted and failed? Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 18:24, 28 August 2012 (UTC)

Our current intern, Lisa, whose position was funded through the grant you mentioned, has been of great help throughout her time at Wikimedia DC. Lisa helped tremendously with our outreach efforts, connecting to people at such institutions as the World Bank and the American Gallery of Art, and she was instrumental during Wikimania, staffing the help desk and providing various forms of support. She is also currently planning our events for Wiki Loves Monuments in September, such as photo hunts and social events, and writing blog posts on various topics. Lisa's internship ends on September 29, but events associated with Wiki Loves Monuments will continue through October (when judging will take place), and October is also the month where Wiki Loves Libraries will take place, and we need an intern to help with that, as well. --AutoGyro (talk) 19:33, 28 August 2012 (UTC)
You mention all kinds of help the current intern provided, but do not address my question, which was: "We expected that internship to do the ground work to enable further volunteer participation in WLM. Was this attempted and failed?" Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 17:57, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
Our intern meets in person with our various partners to set up event, as she did when setting up the edit-a-thon at the American Gallery of Art, and she does this during work hours, when everyone else in Wikimedia DC has either work or school obligations. She set up the entire Wiki Loves Monuments DC events, which required a lot of time and work also done during work hours. So yes, this has been attempted. As to whether or not it failed, we can't tell, since these events haven't taken place yet. But the non-WLM events that our intern has set up have been largely successful. --AutoGyro (talk) 18:21, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
Hang on, I think my question is still not understood. Let me rephrase: we expected the paid work of the intern to accomplish, among other things, the expansion of the pool of available volunteers, so that you won't depend on paid work. Many other chapters manage entirely without paid work of any kind, and they manage to take some meetings too, whether thanks to having one or two volunteers with flexible schedules, or thanks to teleconferencing or other solutions. I think it won't do to rely on paid internships for each project Wiki DC wants to run. So my question is: was there any sustained effort in securing that kind of volunteer capacity, and if so, did it run into some truly insurmountable obstacle? Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 18:32, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
The internship position was created to build our institutional relationships, not to function as a volunteer coordinator. We did note in our application that we will have additional volunteer resources at our disposal once Wikimania was done with, and we do; however, we would like some continuity in our staffing. We are still continuing our development. harej (talk) 16:58, 1 September 2012 (UTC)
"Continuity in our staffing" is a very weak reason to spend donor dollars on another intern. Now more than before Wikimania, Wiki DC should be in a position to mobilize volunteers for its work, and should not require a succession of interns to do its work. As you know, many other groups have been able to accomplish significant things without even an intern. If Wiki DC does not have enough volunteers to do the work associated with WLM in the US (I note the majority of the active WLM volunteers so far are not affiliated with the chapter), perhaps it's not well situated to be a grantee for this work.
In the interest of moving forward, I would say Wiki DC should either reconceive its grant proposal without paid work or office space, or separate out the WLM prizes into a separate grant. The Foundation is happy to fund WLM prizes for the US competition in any event, though those need not necessarily be given via Wiki DC. Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 01:36, 5 September 2012 (UTC)

Wikimedia District of Columbia is no longer requesting office space or a fall internship. harej (talk) 02:04, 5 September 2012 (UTC)

Coworking space[edit]

Is the coworking space already funded in the Events 2012 grant no longer available? Why is further funding sought for a virtual office? Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 18:24, 28 August 2012 (UTC)

All cowroking spaces were pursued this summer were either full or did not accept us, and we ended up renting an office from a non-profit. This non-profit will relocate to another building at the end of September, and it does not have extra space for us anymore, which is why we will no longer have office space. --AutoGyro (talk) 19:35, 28 August 2012 (UTC)
So, could Wiki DC share a brief mini-report on the use of the funds specifically designated for the coworking space? Are they all used up now, by renting than office? Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 01:24, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
$1,800 was budgeted for coworking space. Given the lack of available coworking space, we instead invested in an office sublease. By the end of September, when we will be evicted from our sublease (due to the parent lease vacating the office), we will have spent $2,275 on rent. The $475 overage is covered by a budget surplus in our embassy outreach program. harej (talk) 16:50, 1 September 2012 (UTC)

Office Space[edit]

Why do you need an office space to organize Wiki Loves Monuments? Abbasjnr (talk) 05:23, 24 August 2012 (UTC)

We will be handling swag and distributing stuff (and microgrants) to local groups for WLM. Access to an office provides us a space to meet with partners, better than a starbucks. It provides us a place to hold events, as needed (e.g. when the library -- very much in demand -- is unavailable), and meetings. Sometimes we teleconference remote participants in for events and meetings, which is also very challenging to do at, say Starbucks. Without a quiet and reliable place to hold our meetings, remote board members like myself might as well quit the chapter as I've been unable to hear folks on teleconference when meetings were held at the library and other places. :( Cheers. Aude (talk) 11:28, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
And note that we've switched to part-time office and conference room space, which significantly saves money for now. Harej will be in school and can't volunteer full time and the intern doesn't need to be in the office full time. But part time, yes we need something. Aude (talk) 11:29, 24 August 2012 (UTC)

GAC finall comments[edit]

  1. I support this grant --Itzike (talk) 21:58, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
  2. I support this grant -- Namayan (talk) 09:59, 7 September 2012 (UTC)

GAC members who abstain from comment/vote[edit]