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Latest comment: 6 years ago by Wolliff (WMF) in topic Extending the funding period


Hello, Wikimedia Community User Group Brasil colleagues,

Thank you for your request for an annual plan grant. You have submitted a request for $27,405 for a 6-month grant, based on your group's needs, and after extensive discussions we have determined that you are eligible to apply for a grant of that amount. Normally, an organization with your experience with WMF grants would be asked to limit their request to $15,000 US dollars or less for 6 months. Considering the size of this grant request, it will be important that you adhere carefully to any monitoring plans requested by the committee or WMF. This is likely to include monthly review of financials and bank statements, in addition to your regular reporting as part of the Simple APG process.

This grant request may include program expenses, operating expenses, and expenses for discreet contract services (e.g. PR, accounting). You are not eligible to submit a request for staff or long term contractors as part of this grant.

Note that we have limits on the total funding we can send to informal groups in Brazil, and we also ask that you do not engage in any regranting until you are a legally established entity, so it is important to keep those restrictions in mind. If you choose to establish a formal organization in Brasil during the course of the grant, we will have more flexibility in considering future requests. While you are receiving an APG, it is important to know that your group is not eligible to receive any other WMF grants (with the exception of conference grants). This includes project grants, rapid grants, and travel grants to the user group and to user group leaders who are acting in their capacity as group leaders or doing work on projects related to activities in your APG. You should include your total program and operating expenses that need funding during the grant period in your APG. If you or your group's members apply for any WMF grant during the course of your APG (including a conference grant), you should notify your APG program officer immediately.

During this period before you establish a formal organization and board structure, we recommend that your group ensure that communication among group leadership and members is happening smoothly, around this grant request and other matters that are important to your group. You should continue to have 2-3 designated points of contact for your grant, who can communicate relevant information to other group members and leaders.

The Wikimedia Community User Group Brasil has received 3-4 grants since 2016, totaling less that $5,000 US dollars:

We appreciate that the user group has been laying the groundwork for this work for many years prior to requesting significant movement funding, for example in establishing the long term partnership with the NeuroMat research center at the University of Sao Paulo. More information about the group's activities and achievements since 2014 may be found here:

Finally, note that adherence to Friendly Space Expectations is a requirement of your participation in the APG process, and that this applies to your group's members and leadership. In the event that group members are not adhering to these expectations, they should be formally asked to correct their behavior or leave the group. Adhering to Friendly Space Expectations and employing a Friendly Space Policy as part of your group's offline activities is also a part of your grant agreement, and continuing eligibility for Annual Plan Grants is contingent upon respect for these policies and guidelines. This is important as your group continues to expand your leadership role in the movement.

We are very excited to see so much momentum with this group right now, and hope this Annual Plan Grant application is a good starting point for your group if you wish to receive more annual plan grants in the future. This annual plan grant should give you opportunities to practice effective budgeting and to report on the results of your work using metrics, and also to improve your working governance structure as a foundation for future work.

Best, Winifred Olliff (WMF Program Officer) talk 18:46, 13 June 2017 (UTC)Reply

Some comments from Alleycat80[edit]

Hi, thanks for submitting this elaborate grant proposal! I want to refer to a few items in your budget that seem to be quite expensive and maybe hard to justify:

  • Scraping / data extraction - this seems a prohibitive cost; if the information is very hard to extract, I would definitely explore a smaller pilot than "bet" on getting all of it. There are many people from the Wikimedia communtiy who would help you, for free, so I would encourage you do spend less on this.
  • Streaming the training seems like a waste of money. You could Skype and get the same results, and have a professional edit the video afterwards. This would cost 1/10 of what you've indicated, with similar results. Maybe I'm missing something...

Please take these comments with the utmost respect; I just offer my ideas, I have no way to fully understand your context. I'm trying to help :)

Alleycat80 (talk) 23:22, 16 June 2017 (UTC)Reply

@Alleycat80: Hello and thank you for your inputs. We are new to the Simple APG protocol, so please do not hesitate to let us know if we are missing something on our grant request and on the answers provided to your questions (below). Thanks again.
  • Museu Paulista is one of the three most important museums in São Paulo. If you look up on Google places to go in São Paulo, this museum will probably rank very high. To provide more context, it was built at the exact spot where the Brazilian Independence was proclaimed. The collection gathers some of the most important historical paintings of the Brazilian history; just to give an example, it is basically impossible to have any school history book without the reproduction of some of these paintings, such as the very famous Independence or Death (just of this particular painter we expect to bring to the projects around 200-300 art works --and the vast majority are not in the projects yet). One other feature that makes this GLAM initiative especially significant is that the museum is currently closed, as its building has been going through major repairs; it will only re-open in 2022 (the 200th anniversary of the Brazilian independence), so we will be able to open to the world a museum that is closed. Given this context, we believe we have a great opportunity here, that will generate a lot of media attention and potentially make us better known and improve our outreach capacities. Moreover, large GLAM initiatives, such as the current GLAM initiative with the Metropolitan Museum in New York, are often very expensive, involving Wikipedians-in-residence. Most of the work with the Museu Paulista GLAM initiative will be done by our community, voluntarily, but we are facing a technical challenge with data scrapping: it has to be done in the museum, as most of the database is off-line, and more importantly it involves three different technologies, that our members do not know. A student worker that we got funding for will help with this activity, but she/he will not be able to do it alone. We believe it is also worth re-emphasizing we are dealing here with a public museum in a Third-World country. They lack staff; they lack resources even for major repairs they need for their building. To some extent, we might even say there is a Third-World cost associated to this GLAM initiative --as there is with most of the work we have been doing with museums--, as we need to come up with support for tasks you might not expect volunteers in rich countries to get involved with when they are doing this kind of work with museums. In the GLAM initiative with the Museum of Veterinary Anatomy, we have had to create the museum inventory from scratch, as we have reported in the case study that we were invited to contribute in the GLAM portal. Does this make sense?
  • I am not sure I understood what you are suggesting with streaming of the Outreach Dashboard training. Our goals are twofold here. First, have an event that people will be able to attend and join up remotely. Secondly, develop a video resource to give basic instructions on how to use the Dashboard; the video resource will use in part some footage of the training but also incorporate images of using the Dashboard. With the Dashboard developers, we are working on making ptwiki a test case for some functionalities of this amazing tool for programs and events --most resources created for the North American Dashboard are useless to our context, as functionalities are not the same. The event and video resource we intend to develop will fill a gap and hopefully stimulate more and more people to see the projects as easy to work on for programs and events. Did I answer what you were asking? (Sorry if I missed the core of your question here, as I am not positive to have fully understood what you were asking.)
Thank you again for commenting on our work. We were happy to see you have found our grant proposal "elaborate" :) Peace! --Joalpe (talk) 01:48, 17 June 2017 (UTC)Reply

Simple Annual Plan Grants Committee recommendation[edit]

Committee recommendations
Funding recommendations:

The committee recommends that this application be funded in the amount of $20,000 US dollars for 6 months.

The committee is impressed with the user group’s thoughtful program plan and extensive experience in the area of GLAM partnerships, and has confidence that this group can achieve impact now and in the future. We have some recommendations for the user group over the next six months.

  1. The committee does not recommend funding professional services for data extraction or training new users in how to use Wikipedia, since these are tasks often accomplished by Wikimedia volunteers. Instead, the committee encourages the user group to use some funding to build the capacity of group members to perform these roles.
  2. The committee recommends that the amount of funding available for streaming the one-day training be reduced to $1,000 US dollars. This training could be a valuable tool, but despite explanations provided in the budget table, the budgeted amount of $3,500 is too high.
  3. The group should focus on demonstrating that they can successfully plan, budget for, measure the results of, carry out, and report on, a long term grant from WMF.
  4. The group should establish a stable governance structure based on good practices, as a foundation for future grants and program activities.
  5. While the committee recommends that the large PR expenses requested here be considered for funding, more justification for these PR expenses will need to be shown in future requests. Specifically the user group should provide a report at the midpoint and endpoint of the grant that addresses (1) the process for selecting and engaging the PR contractor; (2) management of the PR contractor; and (3) an assessment of how the PR contractor’s work is leading to program impact that justifies this cost.
Strengths identified by the committee:
  • The committee is impressed with this user group’s program plan, which includes a range of interesting and thoughtful programs. In particular, the GLAM work presented has a high potential for impact and it is clear that group members have the expertise to carry this work out.
  • The user group has already established partnerships with cultural heritage institutions (for example, the Museum of Veterinary Anatomy and the Museu Paulista), and has been cultivating these partnerships for several years leading up to this grant application.
  • It is very impressive to see that the user group has other sources of significant support for their program work, in the form of the employee time provided by Neuromat. This demonstrates that partners are highly committed to carrying this work forward.
  • We appreciate presentations of past work, including step by step learning materials and a detailed log book on meta, as well as the well-developed storytelling technique showcased in this application, including well-written case studies.
Concerns identified by the committee:
  • The user group does not yet have a track record with writing a program plan in advance, creating and managing an annual budget, or producing detailed reports of their work using both qualitative and quantitative metrics. The user group does not yet have a track record managing significant amounts of WMF funding, that are comparable to the amount requested.
  • The committee was concerned with the idea of employing professionals or community members in tasks that would generally be carried out by volunteers in other Wikimedia contexts, including scraping data and training new Wikipedia users. Furthermore, the committee has concerns about this group’s ability to manage contractors with no formal governance structure and no prior experience in this area.
  • The budget presented may not provide a realistic picture of the actual costs required. This group may need more experience budgeting before they are able to provide a more accurate budget. For example, the costs of streaming a one day training at $3,500 seems too high, despite the explanations offered in the budget table.
  • More justification is needed to understand the value of high PR costs associated with this plan.
  • While the committee is impressed by this program plan, it seems extremely ambitious for an all-volunteer group, and may be difficult to achieve with the resources this group has. Yet, we do not recommend that this group hire contractors or staff until they can establish a track record and establish more formal governance that is appropriate to an organization with a larger budget and staff.

On behalf of the Simple Annual Plan Grants Committee. Kirill Lokshin (talk) 18:58, 27 June 2017 (UTC)Reply

WMF approval[edit]

Decision from WMF
Funding decision:

Many thanks to the committee for this recommendation and to the Wikimedia Community User Group Brasil for your patience and work during the application process. The committee has offered some very positive comments about your team's potential to achieve impact and your impressive past work, and yet has expressed some specific concerns.

Accordingly, I am approving the committee's recommendation to fund this grant in the amount of $20,000 for 6 months. We ask that you submit a revised budget within 15 days of the start of your grant term. In line with the committee's recommendations, we ask that you do not include funding for professional services for data extraction or training and that you limit funding for streaming the one day training to $1,000. This means that you will have some surplus funding that you can allocate to organizing some trainings for your teams in these areas (per the committee's suggestions) or that you can allocate to other program activities (pending approval).

As noted in your eligibility assessment, we have specific requirements that apply to any informal group that we grant funds to in Brazil, and you must adhere to these requirements if you want to receive your grant. These will include the monthly submission of bank statements and a transaction log, and the establishment of a bank account used solely for the purposes of administering your group's grant funds. Janice and I can walk you through these requirements in detail when we process your grant. Also as noted in your eligibility assessment, we expect your group and its members to adhere to friendly space expectations and appropriately address violations if they occur. This is a condition of your grant agreement, and it applies to any group receiving a grant.

I realize that this process may not have been easy, and also that it may be disappointing to read that the committee has recommended less funding than you requested. I remain committed to working together with you on future grant applications to get the best results possible. Over the next six months, I suggest that we focus on capacity building in the area of budgeting. My colleague James Baldwin (Community Finance Analyst) has offered to consult with us on this topic during your grant. WMF staff and some of our committee members can also support your group in the area of governance, to help you do the foundational work needed to support your future growth.

We admire that work your group is doing in Brazil, and the commitment of your group members. We know that you have accomplished a lot so far, and we look forward to following your work and your achievements during the grant period!

Best, Winifred Olliff (WMF Program Officer) talk 02:16, 29 June 2017 (UTC)Reply

Working on it[edit]

@Kirill Lokshin and Wolliff (WMF): We appreciate recommendations that have been made. We are working on an adjusted proposal, that should be ready soon. We appreciate the offer for support from the WMF to improve our budgeting and governance skills. --Joalpe (talk) 23:32, 30 June 2017 (UTC)Reply

Thanks for the feedback and approval. We expect to learn with the Committee and become more experienced in these requests.—Teles «Talk to me ˱C L @ S˲» 00:22, 1 July 2017 (UTC)Reply

Reviewed versions of simple APG project and budget[edit]

Hi. We are providing below new versions of the simple APG proposal and the associated budget for the Wikimedia Community User Group Brasil. We have strictly followed recommendations from the committee and program officers. Let us know if there is anything else we should work on.

Thanks. --Joalpe (talk) 14:02, 8 July 2017 (UTC)Reply

Many thanks, Joalpe! We are impressed by your swift work to revise the budget. We find that the revisions included are consistent with the committee's recommendations, and thank you for attending to those carefully. This revised budget is approved! Best, Winifred Olliff (WMF Program Officer) talk 17:42, 11 July 2017 (UTC)Reply

Midpoint report[edit]

Hello Wolliff (WMF). This is a just a quick note to let you know our midpoint report is ready for your assessment. Interestingly, though we have not received any funding yet (at least to my knowledge), most of what we were hoping to accomplish this term has been done, and we have also reported on unexpected activities. Please, let us know if there is anything you feel we should provide more information on. --Joalpe (talk) 00:58, 16 October 2017 (UTC)Reply

Extending the funding period[edit]

As discussed, due to our delay in receiving the funding, we request a one month extension to the funding period. So that it ends in January 31 2018.

Chico Venancio (talk) 19:29, 19 October 2017 (UTC)Reply

Sorry, Chico Venancio. I just saw that you had posted this here. The extension is approved. New reporting due date for the final will be 2 March :) Winifred Olliff (WMF Program Officer) talk 12:17, 15 November 2017 (UTC)Reply