Grants talk:Project/WM BE/Public facing activities 2017

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October 11 Proposal Deadline: Reminder to change status to 'proposed'[edit]

The deadline for Project Grant submissions this round is October 11th, 2016. To submit your proposal, you must (1) complete the proposal entirely, filling in all empty fields, and (2) change the status from "draft" to "proposed." As soon as you’re ready, you should begin to invite any communities affected by your project to provide feedback on your proposal talkpage.

Warm regards,
Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 19:44, 11 October 2016 (UTC)

Hi Alex Wang (WMF), Thank you for the first feedback. Now all fields are filled in and the status has been changed to proposed. We will now start with asking feedback from the communities. Thanks. Romaine (talk) 00:03, 12 October 2016 (UTC)

Eligibility confirmed, round 2 2016[edit]

IEG review.png

This Project Grants proposal is under review!

We've confirmed your proposal is eligible for round 2 2016 review. Please feel free to ask questions and make changes to this proposal as discussions continue during this community comments period.

The committee's formal review for round 2 2016 begins on 2 November 2016, and grants will be announced in December. See the schedule for more details.

Questions? Contact us.

Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 17:10, 14 October 2016 (UTC)


I have some comments:

  • "Also for strategic reasons we like to to disclose" you probably meant "not to disclose".
  • In addition to the budget table can you create a similar table for your activities? (with short descriptions of activities in one columns, corresponding participating institutions in another and descriptions of past activities in the third plus dates etc.)
  • The project duration is not specified.
  • The proposal looks like an application for an annual grant, have your considered Grants:Simple grant program?

Ruslik (talk) 13:38, 30 October 2016 (UTC)

Hello Ruslik,
  • Yes, I changed it.
  • I have the impression I do not understand the question or the purpose of it. To have an overview, under the section Activities is in a bullet list in the first sentence behind the bullets a short description. So far we have mentioned the institutions, we have already an agreement to collaborate, for others it is too sensitive at this stage to mention the names already. As the list of activities is already long, we prefer to the list at Activities instead of creating a double list.
  • The project is a continuation of the 2016 grant and we have the intention to end the activities before 31 December 2017, as the title already suggested.
  • Yes, we have considered that option. That option has one major issue that prevents us from choosing an annual grant request, which is, as we understood from the grants team, that we can't submit for example a Wiki Loves Monuments grant or a grant proposal for another large project. We are currently still in the middle of the process of Wiki Loves Monuments and we cannot decide if we will organise Wiki Loves Monuments/Wiki Loves Art or any other large contest/project in 2017 or not. So in the current grant request we have collected all relative small activities together to have a stable development of our activities in 2017 growing further on the 2016 experiences.
Romaine (talk) 03:45, 31 October 2016 (UTC)
I meant that the bullet list is too verbose. It contains lots of minor details. It difficult to comprehend it without reading multiple times. I just wanted a shorter summary in form of a table if possible. Ruslik (talk) 19:42, 31 October 2016 (UTC)

Comments by Joalpe[edit]

Fantastic! I love ambitious projects. It took me a long time to read (sorry for writing this just right now!). Yet, normally, each one of the activities you are planning would be framed as a project on its own, with individual clear metrics, measures of success, risk assessments, sustainability and so on. The strategy you have adopted --to write up a long list of initiatives that are not clearly described-- is, at least from my perspective, both uncommon and unhelpful in the process of assessing the merits of your project. I think general requests are more familiar in annual grant requests. I would have preferred that each activity (GLAMs, edit-a-thons, education programs) to be presented individually, as a project on their own. I must confess I feel uncomfortable assessing this grant request without a precise understanding each of its parts. Thanks! --Joalpe (talk) 15:46, 6 November 2016 (UTC)

Hi Joalpe, Thank you for your reaction. I do not think we are that ambitious, because then we would have doubled the amount of activities. For us the activities are the ones we actually know and are sure of that they will happen. But listing them up, it certainly looks impressive, which I noticed myself when I went through our activity log to see how much we have done in the past year. I can imagine that the activities are framed as project on its own and handled as such, but that would require us to hire someone who can do the administration to process all the activities in separate grant proposals and doing all the individual reporting for each grant. (And we have nobody to do all of that.) The core of our strategy is to support those activities that come on our path and lead to output on Wikimedia wikis. And yes, that is a different approach than a project like Wiki Loves Monuments, in what you do some specific tasks that lead to a specific output. Our specific output here is reach and growing support for the Wikimedia mission. It is strategic in multiple ways. For example, towards GLAMs it is intended to grow trust as they start to know us since this year. I do not understand why you experience our grant proposal as not precise. To me the next level of being precise is giving you the precise dates of the activities take place together with the train tickets to get there.
I have seen other grant proposals in what it is common to say how many new users they expect, how many new articles will be written, how many images will be uploaded, etc. I am always surprised by those numbers, as those are often fictious targets. Fictious in the sense that organising volunteers have little to no influence on most of those targets, and just depend on the luck and willingness of other people. No matter what how hard you work as volunteer in organising a photo contest like Wiki Loves Monuments, you have very little influence on the number of uploads.
But yes, we would like to go for an annual plan grant next year. Greetings - Romaine (talk) 03:21, 11 November 2016 (UTC)
Hello, Romaine. Let me stress once again that I am very impressed by your individual and group activities and contributions to the projects. You face specific challenges, that you have presented clearly and constructively, and in this context you have been able to put up quite an intense and diverse set of outreach and education programs.
Concerning my specific comment on the need of more information to assess your proposal: I do not think you should worry about making a project out of each part of your grant request, but I do believe you should provide detail in terms of goals, measures of success, risks, etc. for each part. For instance, it is at least to me unclear what is objectively expected to happen in the context of the GLAM partnership 3, that itself is worth almost half of funding you are requesting. Do you think it'd be impossible or too excruciating to provide some estimate of the expected output of this activity and an assessment of risk? Now, you refer, for instance, to "Donation of images of art from Belgium", "Donation of images about social movements", "Adding collection of 2 art museums to Wikidata", "Donation of images of coins and medals" etc. -- are you able at this point to provide some estimated figures about these activities? This kind of specific figures, IMHO, should be provided for each section, so we are able to compare expected results vs. risks.
Also, could you please double check the amount that is being requested. On the infobox, the amount being requested is 4,780 euros, whereas the table you have provided raises up to 68,200 euros. On the review tool the amount that is marked as being requested is 21,957 USD.
I hope you do not understand my comment as being tough on you. This round we have received many proposals, and a clear understanding of expected outcomes vs. risks is key for comparing these projects, at least for me. Again, congratulations on the level of activity you have been able to set up; I'm a fan! --Joalpe (talk) 16:20, 11 November 2016 (UTC)
Hi Joalpe, Thank you for your feedback. I thought I had described what our goals are, but maybe we were not clear enough in this. Our main goal is to grow and continue strategic partnerships. Secondary we like to promote to have more knowledge from Belgium on Wikipedia and its sister projects, including materials from museums and other institutions.
In partnership 3 we describe a partnership that we are building for multiple years now, already starting in 2014. This partnership has grown over time and had a great success with the output including from w:Wikidata:Flemish art collections, Wikidata and Linked Open Data, as well as the multiple partnerships we have in relationship to Wiki Loves Art. The network organisation involved is funded by the government and intensively is working with various GLAMs in Belgium to get them open with their data. We have met in 2016 multiple times and written a plan together what we both want to do in 2017 and agree on to do so. The risk there is that it may take longer than just one year as we depend on local GLAMs that are bureaucratic by nature. The project is a continuation on the Wikidata project, which had great results, now going broader and deeper to get more knowledge available on the Wikimedia platforms. At this stage it is not possible to give realistic numbers, as we start the project in January and we do not predefine the output in numbers. And as I wrote in my previous message, I do not want to give numbers as those are too often fictious. Our goal is building a strategic partnership with them and getting the activities done.
Besides the numbers we have provided, I do not think we can give more numbers that are based on solid facts. And I do not think our grant proposal should be judge on that, projects (in general, from anyone) should be judged on their intrinsic value they provide for our movement and to knowledge contribution/collection. Yes, this is more complex and would take more time, but I think this would bring us to the core of what it is about.
A third goal we have is to build a network so we can communicate Wikimedia activities to more people, getting more partners enthusiastic and involved, getting the vision of Wikipedia/Wikimedia/etc more into practise with as result that more knowledge is shared and usable for integration on our platforms.
Concerning the requested amount, in the past week we have had a meeting with the Grants Team and there they indicated that they will not fund translation/communication support and will not fund volunteers going to a conference. Based on these decisions we were asked to modify the grant proposal so that only the actual activities and connected costs are as total in the budget table. The current € 5780 is the right amount, and if the review tool (??) is giving a different amount, that different amount is outdated.
I understand you would like to see an easy set of parameters on what you can asses grant proposals, but I think that with this proposal this is not possible. Our goal is to be completely honest and transparent, and we are open to suggestions where we can be more transparent. However, this also means that we do not want to make up numbers, because we then think that the essence of our grant request is lost and the assessment is based on the wrong grounds. So our question for you and your colleagues reviewing this proposal is to read and see if this proposal, with the past activities in mind, with the goals we have in mind, fits in the local situation (Belgium) and helps the local volunteers move forward, doing the activities, so that we have at the end of 2017 an improved situation by having good partnerships (new created and older ones maintained), having supported the volunteers in their work, having more content created, having more awareness of free knowledge among institutions, and having a larger network built. Because that is what we want to do and have created this proposal to do so.
Also we are/I am not trying to be though on you, but we seem to have a different (less simple) type of project than regular is assessed in the Project Grants, and we think this requires a different approach than regular. Greetings - Romaine (talk) 05:36, 13 November 2016 (UTC)
Thanks, this is definitely not a simple grant request to assess but what you wrote made sense to me. Regards, Joalpe (talk) 11:11, 13 November 2016 (UTC)

Summary of conversation with WMF[edit]

Hi Romaine, Geertivp, and Lfurter. Thank you for your engagement with us on discussing your plans for the coming year. We have had a number of conversations via email and calls that I would like to summarize here for your reference and context for any one who reviews the grant. We recognize the chapter has gone through a lot of transition in the last year and is in a rebuilding stage. We really appreciate your open and clear communication, as well as the thoughtfulness you took in identifying which projects to propose, based on input from your community. We are impressed with the number of activities you were able to organize last year, especially considering all of the challenges WMBE has gone through.


We understand this is an ongoing issue for WMBE and we appreciate the additional context you've provided on the challenges specific to Belgium. However, we will not support this large translation budget. Translation is typically done by volunteers in the Wikimedia movement and we have seen other chapters functioning in multi-language environments be successful. What we would like to see is using 2017 as a year to focus on a few successful projects that set up the chapter to be able to grow in 2018 with more resources through a Simple Annual Plan grant. This may mean that you cannot support the French-speaking community as much as you would like right now. We are happy to support activities that could build your volunteer translation base, whether that be workshops, contests, or other activities. As discussed, we will also reach out to other organizations to understand how they have dealt with similar challenges.


Travel for conferences are considered outside the scope of this Project Grant. For conferences with their own scholarship program, such as the Wikimedia Conference in Berlin, Wikimania, and GLAMWiki, volunteers can apply directly for those scholarships. For other conferences (whether movement or non-movement events), volunteers can apply for a TPS grant for 1-4 people. TPS is a lightweight, simple process specifically to support volunteer travel.


We also discussed the project travel costs and understand the value, especially in context of the support you are getting from outside WMF. Thank you for providing that helpful information.

Thank you again for your time and effort in organizing this plan and laying the groundwork for a successful year. The next step is to update the proposal based on our conversation and then have the committee review the revised version. We also understand the need to preserve information from the original request so we have the full picture of WMBE's needs for future reference. Please let us know if we have missed anything in the above summary. Cheers, Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 19:40, 10 November 2016 (UTC)

About multiple national language translations
@AWang (WMF): and WMBE (Romaine, Geertivp, and Lfurter), is it possible to have a bit more context on translations issue? It is not clear why WMBE needs translations and whether they can live without them. As far as I know, multilingualism is different from one country to another: in some countries organisations are legally required to maintain all documentation multilingual and may face sanctions if they are unable to do it, while in other countries this is more question of respect to all linguistic communities. Thus I would like to understand what is the situation in Belgium: for instance, if WMBE has all documents in Dutch and none in French or German, will they be subject to sanctions or will they just difficulties reaching French and German communities? Thanks — NickK (talk) 00:45, 11 November 2016 (UTC)
Hi NickK, We are happy to provide more context. Belgium is a relatively small country and has three official languages, which are Dutch, French and German. The country is divided mainly in two parts: the Dutch speaking part and the French speaking part. In the capital Brussels two languages are used, outside the capital mainly only one. Between the two language areas there is a very limited exchange in knowing each others language. So if someone is from the Dutch speaking part, Dutch is often not known in the French speaking part, and in many cases is even English difficult, so French is required. Language is political, meaning that if we only communicate in one language, the other part of Belgian is offended or does not take us serious. It is for some officials in one area even forbidden to speak to the other language to clients!
We have done many projects and activities in 2016 and earlier, and we reached the limits of what is possible for us. We assumed at first that we could do all the translations with volunteers, but we notice that good (read: sufficient) translators from one language to the other are scarce and very limited available. And we also received complaints that some translations were insufficient French, concluding to not being taken seriously.
"in some countries organisations are legally required to maintain all documentation multilingual and may face sanctions if they are unable to do it" -> this is luckily not the case for legal purposes. For practical purposes like a website it is needed, as anyone expects to be addressed in their own language and mostly do not speak the other language.
"while in other countries this is more question of respect to all linguistic communities" -> Which is the case here. We are not respected as organisation if we do not communicate in the language of the person we communicate with. If we do not communicate in French, we reach almost nobody from the French part, etc.
Towards the grants team I explained in more detail the situation by email, but sadly they do not want to fund it. Also in comparison to the WMBE 2016 S1 we get less type of costs funded in 2017: no support for our volunteers to participate in local conferences, this as result the grants system changed. As a result we concluded that we have to freeze our progress and growth we made in the past years and hold everything for a year (then simple APG). It is sad and demotivating that we do not get sufficient support to support our volunteers, certainly while we had difficulties but also were so successful. Romaine (talk) 02:52, 11 November 2016 (UTC)
@Alex Wang (WMF): I modified the text, based on your decisions. Removing large parts to the talk page would cause a loss of integral structure and no time to find another way. Romaine (talk) 03:55, 11 November 2016 (UTC)
@Alex Wang (WMF): Based on your suggestion last night to include in our budget space for providing trainings for our translator volunteers, we have now implemented this in our budget. If you have other suggestions, we would like to hear them. Romaine (talk) 16:11, 11 November 2016 (UTC)
To give just a small example: Look at the following example -- every public message we need to translate at least 2 times... so we need to make 3 × the effort for communication... I guess US people cannot easily understand this... Thanks Romaine for your continued effort... Geert Van Pamel (WMBE) (talk) 20:41, 12 November 2016 (UTC)

Aggregated feedback from the committee for WM BE/Public facing activities 2017[edit]

Scoring rubric Score
(A) Impact potential
  • Does it have the potential to increase gender diversity in Wikimedia projects, either in terms of content, contributors, or both?
  • Does it have the potential for online impact?
  • Can it be sustained, scaled, or adapted elsewhere after the grant ends?
(B) Community engagement
  • Does it have a specific target community and plan to engage it often?
  • Does it have community support?
(C) Ability to execute
  • Can the scope be accomplished in the proposed timeframe?
  • Is the budget realistic/efficient ?
  • Do the participants have the necessary skills/experience?
(D) Measures of success
  • Are there both quantitative and qualitative measures of success?
  • Are they realistic?
  • Can they be measured?
Additional comments from the Committee:
  • The project in the form as of 13 November is likely to have sizable impact and fits with WMF strategic priorities. I think if it is successful it can be scaled and sustained in the future.
  • Events are aimed at the growing the community and are direct investments in the sustainability of the movement.
  • This is an ambitious proposal that is presented as an umbrella for several activities. In general, this proposal fits with Wikimedia's strategic priorities. However, initially impacts and potentials were difficult to assess, since the proposal lacks a specific description of each of the activities. Thankfully, the grantee has provided more information on the talk page.
  • Belgian writing weeks were previously good. They have good potential for education programme and GLAM partnerships. Support for translations is more of an experiment, this can have a very good impact on reaching all Belgium's language communities or have limited impact. It’s hard to predict.
  • The metrics are clear and easy to measure with existing tools. It's very ambitious, especially if the community has identified a lack of volunteer/process support in past events.
  • It is worth emphasizing that in general the impacts of activities in previous years have been positive. However, each activity needs it own set of specific metrics to better understand the impact potential.
  • Joint work with Sandra from WMNL make me think that they will have no problem sharing their learnings.
  • The budget seems fine and well balanced between programs and operational support of WMBE. The participants have the sufficient skills to develop the project.
  • WMBE possesses the skills needed to execute the grant. The budget as of 13 November (5780 euro) appears to be realistic.
  • Participants are very skilled! I have looked up the grantees’ activity on projects, and I am very impressed. I am glad people like him exist in our community!
  • Despite difficulties starting their activities, I think WMBE is well positioned to execute this project. They have a skillful membership base, many of whom were already involved in offline activities.
  • It has a lot of support from the chapter.
  • The Belgian community appears to be quite involved.
  • Specific community supports local chapter
  • Willing to fund but in my opinion this is not a single project and it should be addressed to another type of grant.
  • The project is unusual in that it appears to be more of Annual Grant type. However WMF seems to allow such grant requests. So, I support this project.
  • Support for translating volunteers - € 1000 looks too high
  • Very active and serious grant applicant. Activities were not presented as clearly as expected, but grantee has justified specific issues about this lack of clear assessment. Reports of activities in previous years are robust. I would recommend that iterative umbrella projects like this one might be more suitable for APG requests.
  • Good project, very reasonable funding given the possible impact, WMBE is clearly able to do it.
IEG IdeaLab review.png

This proposal has been recommended for due diligence review.

The Project Grants Committee has conducted a preliminary assessment of your proposal and recommended it for due diligence review. This means that a majority of the committee reviewers favorably assessed this proposal and have requested further investigation by Wikimedia Foundation staff.

Next steps:

  1. Aggregated committee comments from the committee are posted above. We recommend that you review the feedback and post any responses, clarifications or questions on this talk page.
  2. Following due diligence review, a final funding decision will be announced on December 16.

Questions? Contact us.

Round 2 2016 decision[edit]

IEG IdeaLab review.png

Congratulations! Your proposal has been selected for a Project Grant.

The committee has recommended this proposal and WMF has approved funding for the full amount of your request, $6,050 USD

Comments regarding this decision:
The committee is pleased to support WMBE’s programmatic activities for 2017! We recognize the strides you’ve taken to address the challenges WMBE faced as a new organization. We value your focus on community outreach, collaborations and partnerships with institutions and movement affiliates, and engaging an active volunteer base. We look forward to seeing WMBE continue to grow, and learning from your experiences in the upcoming year.

Next steps:

  1. You will be contacted to sign a grant agreement and setup a monthly check-in schedule.
  2. Review the information for grantees.
  3. Use the new buttons on your original proposal to create your project pages.
  4. Start work on your project!

Questions? Contact us.

Request extension[edit]

Dear Alex Wang, Hereby we would like to request an extension of this grant until 15 January 2018. See our e-mail about this. Thank you! Romaine (talk) 08:22, 21 December 2017 (UTC)

Hi Romaine, that is fine. The new end date is 15 January 2018 and your final report will be due 14 February 2018. Best, Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 16:24, 21 December 2017 (UTC)
As it takes more time, we would like to extend the grant until 28 February 2018. See our e-mail. We also like to change/reallocate a part of the budget which has not been spent. Romaine (talk) 03:32, 11 January 2018 (UTC)
Hi Romaine. The request is approved. The new end date is 28 February 2018. Please copy over the details you provided in your email regarding the budget change so that we have a public record. Thanks, Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 22:25, 15 January 2018 (UTC)
Regarding our budget change request: Originally we wanted to have a freelance person support us in communication and translation for this. In 2016 you indicated that within this Project grant this could not be funded, and instead you proposed us to add 1000 euro to our budget for "Support for translating volunteers". During 2017 we haven't used any of this 1000 euro as it appears that we had no inspiration to use it, nor needs in our community. In February 2018 we are organising an event for volunteers and interested people, where we give a presentation of the ongoing/coming projects, where volunteers can meet some of our partners to get some synergy (knowledge on Wikipedia), and a part is to get/keep our volunteers motivated with an interesting visit to a knowledge institution. As since 1 January 2018, the works of Belgian's most famous architect (Victor Horta) have become public domain (many buildings in Brussels), we give it a bit a theme by having attention to this architect and what has become public domain on 1 January 2018. For our event we are inspired by the very successful similar events organised by Wikimedia Nederland that are organised for many years, which has resulted in motivated volunteers. Therefore we would like to change our budget of the 1000 euro or reallocate it to this event for volunteers and other interested people, to build a (larger) volunteer base with motivated volunteers. Thank you! Romaine (talk) 22:28, 15 January 2018 (UTC)
Thanks, Romaine!


As it WMF asks us to be transparent and to publish requests on this talk page, hereby our reallocation request.

  • After this grant's period finished, in March 2018 we asked if we could reallocate the remaining funds (while our sAPG grant already was acive). WMF indicated that we can reallocate some remaining funds.
  • During the Wikimedia Conference in April 2018, we spoke with WMF again on this reallocation and there was no problem at all.
  • Yesterday we submitted our proposal of reallocation. We received as answer that because we have an active sAPG grant we can't reallocate some remaining funds.

Now thus the complete opposite appears to be the case. This should not happen, this causes frustrations.

We will return the remaining funds with large disappointment. Romaine (talk) 14:45, 27 June 2018 (UTC)