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Grants talk:TPS/Hawkeye7/Sochi 2014 Paralympic Games

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Latest comment: 11 years ago by Hawkeye7 in topic Request not funded

Event dates


Hi Hawkeye7! Is your event really happening in 2016? Seems from the rest of your request that the event is probably in 2014; would you mind changing the date in the Event date(s) field? Thanks, Winifred Olliff (Grants Administrator) talk 23:30, 12 April 2013 (UTC)Reply

AAarghh. Corrected. I'll bet it's not the last typo either. Thanks for that Winifred! Hawkeye7 (talk) 02:44, 13 April 2013 (UTC)Reply
No problem, Hawkeye7. Siko and I will be in touch later this week with some questions or comments. Apologies for the delay! Cheers, Winifred Olliff (Grants Administrator) talk 16:42, 6 May 2013 (UTC)Reply

Request not funded


Thank you for this request. We appreciate both the interesting work you are doing to add content about the Paralympic Games to Wikimedia projects and the time and effort you put into preparing such a thoughtful and detailed request; we also note that you are all three active volunteers doing great work on Wikimedia projects. We are sorry that we cannot support you in this case because the anticipated impact of this request is not strongly enough aligned with our movement's strategic priorities to justify the significant expense of this request.

Most Participation Support requests range from US$300 and US$2500 per person. For any request larger than this, we do expect a very strong link with Wikimedia's strategic goals and a statement of direct impact that clearly goes beyond the generation of new content at this scale.

While it is clear that quality content related to the games will be produced as a result of your participation, the link between your participation and the strategic priorities of increasing reach and increasing participation described in your request is not direct (there is no obvious relationship between producing quality content yourselves as a result of this participation funding, and increasing participation from non-funded contributors). We do not doubt that raising the credibility of Wikimedia as a media organization, fostering ties with the Russian community, and strengthening your relationship with HOPAU are all positive consequences of your participation, but none of these goals are strongly aligned with Wikimedia's present strategic priorities.

We would encourage you to contact local volunteers in Russia who may be able to attend the event at a significantly reduced cost to the movement. We realize that this decision may be disappointing, but we hope that this decision does not discourage you from continuing to contribute actively to the movement.

Best, Winifred Olliff (Grants Administrator) talk 20:07, 9 May 2013 (UTC)Reply

It is very disappointing that WMF will no longer fund any participation at any sporting events of this nature. We were led to believe in discussions with WMF staff in San Francisco last year and in Brisbane earlier this year that it was aligned with your strategic priorities, and WMF was interested in involvement with the Olympics and Paralympics. Participation at the World Championships at La Molina was funded in March under that very same set of strategic policies! Apparently, the policy you link to is no longer valid. Contacting people in Russia would be pointless in view of the fact that such events are no longer aligned with your strategic priorities and will no longer be considered for funding. In view of the amount of money raised in Australia, it is disappointing that WMF has so little interest in supporting Australian activities. It is especially galling that you saw no reason to ask any questions after leaving this in limbo for so long. We would have been willing to accept partial funding, raising the rest elsewhere. Hawkeye7 (talk) 23:46, 9 May 2013 (UTC)Reply
Hi Hawkeye7 - thanks for your response. I understand the disappointment, and also the wish that we had asked more questions. However we felt that because your request was quite thoroughly put together, we didn't need to waste your valuable time in drawn-out discussion leading to the same result.
To clarify: the main issue here is the return on investment, not whether or not WMF is interested in supporting involvement with sporting events. It isn't the type of content we're concerned with so much as the cost-per-person as compared with the resulting strategic impact. The La Molina event was funded at a cost of under $700 per person, and costs were kept low thanks to the participants being already located nearby the event. This request is for about $4500 per person, and although I can see that you've done your best to keep costs to a minimum, sending 3 participants across the globe does significantly raise costs. For $4500 per person, we would need to see more scalable strategic impact directly resulting from participating in an event - this is a lot of funds to use for a 1-time content creation effort in one subject-matter area, and as stewards responsible for distributing funding across the movement, we have to weight these factors.
If you do raise other funding elsewhere or find local Russian Wikimedians to attend instead, and you would then like to submit a request for a significantly lower dollar amount to cover remaining costs, I don't see why we would not consider it. It strikes me that because you brilliantly submitted your request well in advance of 2014, there is still time to do so should you choose that path. Best of luck! Siko (WMF) (talk) 00:16, 10 May 2013 (UTC)Reply
No, the cost was immaterial; my request was turned down flat with an indication that this is not aligned with WMFs strategic policies. There was no discussion. There was no indication that any lower dollar amount would be accepted. There was no counter offer. Therefore, return on investment was never even considered! There was no discussion. WMF is not interested in supporting involvement with sporting events and it follows that would not fund La Molina today. I might have accepted $2,000 per person, but it was not offered or even discussed. Forget about Russian Wikimedians; most of the travel and accommodation cost is inside Russia, and likewise would not be funded, but more importantly, we cannot provide accreditation for Russian media, and without it there is no media access that is required for the task. No opportunity was provided to discuss or explain this. Nor is there a great deal of time; visas must be submitted months in advance. I apologize for my poorly organized proposal, which was dismissed out of hand; I had never done it before and never will again. I thought that I had provided details as to how it aligned with the strategic policies, although these have obviously changed in the last month since the proposal was filed. At the very least, I might have known that there would be no discussion. Hawkeye7 (talk) 01:22, 10 May 2013 (UTC)Reply
I understand you're disappointed, and am sure that we'll have a productive discussion here once some of those initial feelings have been aired. Just a heads up that I'm going to keep checking on this conversation over the next few days, but might not respond very quickly throughout the weekend etc.
Meanwhile, I think if you look at the link to the strategic plan that Winifred posted, you'll see that our strategic priorities have been the same for the last 3 years - they're the movement's priorities that came out of the strategic planning process in 2010. There isn't anything specifically related to sporting or Australia in those priorities, either then or now, so nothing there has changed. Although we understand that your group has been in ongoing conversations with staff about projects like this one, and past requests like La Molina have indeed been funded and may continue to be funded, no specific commitments have been made on WMF's end regarding this event, or the relative prioritizing of sporting content or Australia - everyone in this movement has a country and a subject they're passionate about, and that is one of the best things about Wikimedia! As grantmakers, we are guided by an ongoing commitment to the strategic plan as a whole, and we have to make a return on investment calculation tied to this overall plan.
I want to emphasize again though that there was no deficiency in your submission as an explanation of the funding you're seeking - it was a great write-up, first time or not! You didn't do anything wrong, it is simply that the request is for a lot of money, and with limited funding for the Participation Support Program, we have to weight return on investment. Your costs and deliverables were quite clear in your submission. The simple fact is that some requests will nevertheless be declined based on these calculations.
Finally, it sounds like you may be interested in seeking other funding sources and then reapplying for a partial amount. To be clear, I would want to be sure that you have other funding in place before granting a partial request, because if in the end all you have is partial PSP funding, then you wouldn't be able to execute on your plan and that does no one any good (neither you, nor us). So, I really do look forward to seeing updates as you move forward, please don't hesitate to reach out in the future! Siko (WMF) (talk) 21:37, 10 May 2013 (UTC)Reply
No, that is not the case. There was no problem with partial PSP funding; money was not requested in advance, and no money would have been drawn until after it was actually spent. Many government organisations work on the principle of matching funds, and could have been approached to match the PSP. But we do not wish have funding in place from elsewhere and then apply for PSP, if then we would be committed, while there would be no assurance that you would fund. The result of you not doing so would then be me paying the PSP out of my own pocket. So I have no interest in that. I have now already applied for PSP funding and been turned down. The proposal was dismissed out of hand without any calculation of a return on investment. The promised discussions did not occur. No funding was offered at all, so the returns proposed implicitly have no value whatsoever to WMF. Hawkeye7 (talk) 12:46, 11 May 2013 (UTC)Reply