Learning and Evaluation/News/Pre-conference for Wikimedia Conference 2016/Engaging and Retaining Volunteers

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Participatory Engagement Strategies[edit]

Building a community: Practices in volunteer engagement[edit]

Session Abstract:

For this session, we will be focused on sharing experiences around volunteer engagement, or encouraging participation of volunteers to support programs and activities. We will be collecting and sharing practices around the following topics:

  • Why do we need volunteers? (Roles)
  • Why do volunteers engage? (Motivations)
  • How do you keep volunteers active and involved? (Engagement)

Specific learning objectives:

  • Participants will learn at least one reason volunteers are committed and what volunteers bring.
  • Participants will learn at least one new idea, technique, or strategy for keeping volunteers active and involved.

Session Format: Facilitated discussion

  • Type of session room: Exchange room
  • Amount of time required: At least one hour
  • Potential participant collaborators: Alex Stinson, (need others)

Teaching Lead(s):

Edward Galvez
Winifred Olliff

Interested Participants[edit]

Please sign-up below

Participatory processes[edit]

Session Abstract: This session will focus on the participatory process of the Wikimedia Foundation grant programs. Through a role-playing exercise, participants will wrestle with the types of challenges and questions considered by different groups - i.e. grantees, grant committee members, Wikimedia Foundation staff, and interested community members - throughout the grant process, and discuss how these problems can be understood and addressed. For example, how do we balance encouraging experimentation with funding activities with demonstrated success?

The goal is that attendees would be able to better understand the concerns each group within the Wikimedia grants ecosystem. To get here, the exercise will encourage participants to choose an unfamiliar role rather than play their familiar roles, to more fully understand the struggles of other groups: grantees read the cases from the perspective of the grantmakers, and committee members answer from the perspectives of a grantee, etc.

Specific learning objectives:

  • Participants understand the perspective of another group within the grants ecosystem, i.e. grantees, grant committee members, Wikimedia Foundation staff, and interested community members.

Session Format:

  • Type of session room: Exchange
  • Amount of time required: 75 minutes

Teaching Lead(s):

Katy Love
Winifred Olliff
Sati Houston
  • Participant collaborators:
FDC/Board/TBD

Presentation Materials

Interested Participants[edit]

Please sign-up below

  1. Poco a poco (talk) 10:55, 17 April 2016 (UTC)

Partnerships - Challenges and Practices[edit]

Session Abstract: Increasingly, Wikimedia affiliates are recognizing the benefits of partnering with each other and with institutions and organizations outside of the movement, in order to achieve joint goals towards the vision of Free Knowledge for everyone. However, despite benefits such as better positioning for funding and higher impact, partnerships do come with common pitfalls, and require substantial commitment in terms of resources and time.

This session will be an opportunity to exchange strategies, experiences, and practices around addressing the typical partnership challenges, as identified by movement organizations in the 2015 Partnerships and Resource Development Survey.

Specific learning objectives:

Participants will engage in a lively, facilitated exchange about the most common challenges and practical ways to address them. Topics will include, but may not be limited to:

  • How to manage partnerships given our limited capacities and resources
  • How to navigate between community and external partner cultures
  • How to set up a ‘light’ partnership, vs a long-term strategic partnership aiming for collective impact
  • How to find appropriate partners
  • How to handle varying levels of commitment and follow-through of partners
  • How to develop funding for joint projects
  • How to maintain partnerships beyond projects

Session Format:

  • Type of session room: Exchange
  • Amount of time required: 60m
  • Facilitators/Presenters:
Nicola Zeuner (Lead)
Sydney Poore
Daria Cybulska
Alex Stinson

Interested Participants[edit]

Please sign-up below

Communications & Social Media[edit]

ABCDs of Storytelling[edit]

Session Abstract: The ABCD's of storytelling workshop provides participants with instruction and resources in crafting and delivering effective stories about Wikimedia projects. It is designed for Wikimedia Community and Program leaders who can use the power of storytelling to connect with volunteers, donors, partners and community to advance Wikimedia Awareness and Engagement. The workshop is created with a dynamic principle: offer a frame of thought and engage participants in exercises. Storytelling is a skill that people can learn: find a way to get participants to feel comfortable sharing a story.

Specific learning objectives: Increase the ability of Wikimedia staff and volunteers to share their work and impact in order to engage more strongly with their communities. Outcomes of effective storytelling can include positive engagement of readers, funders, partners and contributors.

After completing this course, participants will be able to:

  • Define why stories are important to advancing Wikimedia’s work.
  • Identify different channels for effective storytelling.
  • Craft a Wikimedia story using an ABCD model and template.
  • Locate and use the storytelling toolkit.

Session Format:

  • Type of session room: Workshop
  • Amount of time required: 60 minutes
  • Potential participant collaborators: (Recruit from lightning talks)

Teaching Lead(s):
Maria Cruz

Identified Co-Facilitator to reach out to: Nikola Kalchev (User:Лорд Бъмбъри / Lord Bumbury)

Interested Participants[edit]

Please sign-up below

Building a Communications Strategy[edit]

Session Abstract: this workshop is an opportunity for affiliates to learn about engaging in proactive communications work and building communications strategy. Affiliates not sure if they need a communications strategy will learn about the advantages and basics of doing this work. Affiliates already engaging in proactive communications will be able to share their experiences and learn how to further develop their communications strategy. Ideal for affiliates with existing communications plans.

Specific learning objectives: Assist Wikimedia movement affiliates with development of their communications strategy. After completing this workshop, participants will:

  • Have a better understanding of the role of proactive communications in Wikimedia movement building work.
  • Be able to develop or further enhance their affiliate's communications strategy.
  • Be able to find on-wiki resources to help with development and implementation of their communication's strategy.


Session Format:

  • Type of session room: Workshop
  • Amount of time required: 45 minutes
  • Potential participant collaborators:

Teaching Lead(s):

Gregory Varnum Jeff Elder

Interested Participants[edit]

Please sign-up below

  1. Flixtey (talk) 20:58, 15 April 2016 (UTC)
  2. Poco a poco (talk) 10:47, 17 April 2016 (UTC)
  3. Padaguan (talk)
  4. Mglaser (talk) 08:12, 19 April 2016 (UTC)
  5. Romaine (talk) 11:20, 21 April 2016 (UTC)

Understanding Social Media[edit]

Session Abstract: this workshop workshop will cover the main social media platforms through the lens of the Wikimedia movement. Affiliates with no social media training will learn about the current state and evolution of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest – and how to engage with verified Wikimedia Foundation accounts. Affiliates already using the platforms can share their experiences and gain pointers. Ideal for affiliates with an interest in social media.

Specific learning objectives: Assist Wikimedia movement affiliates with development of their social media capacity. After completing this workshop, participants will:

  • Understand the basic social media platforms and how they can serve the movement
  • Be able to connect with the WMF verified social media accounts
  • Reference social media best practices and use on-wiki guide

Session Format:

  • Type of session room: Workshop
  • Amount of time required: 75 minutes.
  • Potential participant collaborators:
Note: Maria has working list

Teaching Lead(s):
Gregory Varnum Jeff Elder Maria Cruz

Interested Participants[edit]

Please sign-up below