Jump to content

Input Discussion on Finances in Prague November 25, 2018

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki

Input Discussion on Finance in Prague, November 25, 2018

Short history[edit]

During the chairpersons meeting of April 20, 2018 we discussed a paper entitled “How should we disseminate funds”. The paper was not very well received during the chairs’ meeting and was not further distributed. The main feedback was that there was too much emphasis on repairing the current system, while the movement strategy process asks for vision ands bold ideas.

The movement strategy process is well under way now and it seems important that we try again to formulate our view on funds dissemination.

Scope of the finance session during the meeting in Prague on November 25, 2018[edit]

Discuss the most important issues of funds dissemination. Ideally we end the session with some common views that provide sufficient input for a small writing committee. The document itself should contain a blueprint on the organization of a future grants program that is sustainable, efficient and beneficial for affiliates.


We have formulated several questions in order to get some structure to the discussion.


Money is an indispensable resource to stimulate local initiatives that support the further development of Wikimedia projects.

Questions on revenue streams[edit]

  • Do we want to discuss the current “Haifa agreement”. (The money given by small donors is collected by WMF. The affiliates are not allowed to run WP banner campaigns themselves (except for WMDE). The money is distributed via grant programs.

Introductory questions on resource allocation[edit]

  • There are currently 5 different grant programs *). Do these programs comply with the needs of the community? Are there areas that are not covered? Or is there overlap and is it possible to combine programs?
  • Two programs are handled by staff members of WMF only. Three programs have volunteer committees. Is this difference justified? Do we have a preferred model?

Questions on future design[edit]

  • Can we design the very basics of an overall grant program. Think of: goals, target groups, minimum organizational demands for grant applicants, max-min amounts, need for consultancy, fulfilment procedures (apply, report, feedback loops and timelines).
  • Can we design the basic organizational structure a resource allocation body? Which stakeholders must be involved? Where are the decisions made?

“Control’’ questions[edit]

  • Is it clear how we envisage the separation of legislative power, executive power and judiciary power? (conflicts)
  • Is the relation with the recognition process of affiliates clear? (Affcom)
  • Have we taken sufficient account of the Strategic direction?

Wrap up[edit]

  • Is there sufficient progress to start a editorial committee to write a new discussion paper?
  • Timeframe? Who’s willing to contribute, who’s willing to lead?


Overview of current grant programs for affiliates[edit]

  1. FDC Annual Plan Grants [Funds Dissemination Committee]
  2. Simple Annual Plan Grants (on hold) [Simple Annual Plan Grants Committee]

Other (not bound to affiliates)

  1. Conference and Event Grants [Grant Advisory Committee]
  2. Project Grants
  3. Rapid Project Grants

Example of a committee (FDC)[edit]

  • The goal of the Funds Dissemination Committee (FDC) is to help make decisions about how to effectively allocate movement funds to achieve Wikimedia’s mission, vision, and strategy.
  • The FDC exists since 2012. The FDC will be an advisory committee of the Board of Trustees and will provide recommendations on requests for funding by eligible entities within the movement to achieve the mission goals of the movement.
  • The FDC will address funds requests from formally acknowledged Wikimedia entities who are in full compliance with agreements with the Wikimedia Foundation and who have a successful track record of two or more grants or years of payment processing.
  • Entities that are not eligible to apply for funds through the FDC process may pursue funds through the Wikimedia Foundation's Grants Program (with support from the Grant Advisory Committee (GAC)) or through other granting entities.

Strategic direction[edit]

By 2030, Wikimedia will become the essential infrastructure of the ecosystem of free knowledge, and anyone who shares our vision will be able to join us. We, the Wikimedia contributors, communities, and organizations, will advance our world by collecting knowledge that fully represents human diversity, and by building the services and structures that enable others to do the same. We will carry on our mission of developing content as we have done in the past, and we will go further.

Knowledge as a service: To serve our users, we will become a platform that serves open knowledge to the world across interfaces and communities. We will build tools for allies and partners to organize and exchange free knowledge beyond Wikimedia. Our infrastructure will enable us and others to collect and use different forms of free, trusted knowledge.

Knowledge equity: As a social movement, we will focus our efforts on the knowledge and communities that have been left out by structures of power and privilege. We will welcome people from every background to build strong and diverse communities. We will break down the social, political, and technical barriers preventing people from accessing and contributing to free knowledge.