Jump to content

Learning patterns/Delivering prizes

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki
Delivering prizes / international shipping
problemI need to send a prize, mini-grant or item to someone living in a different country.
solutionConsider sending money or credit to an online store instead of shipping a prize.
creatorKHarold (WMF)
status:in progress

What problem does this solve?[edit]

The global community may feel small when we edit Wikipedia together, but the reality of how far apart we are can be a problem if you want to send a prize, mini-grant or item to someone in another country. There is no easy solution to delivering prizes or small grants to people in different countries, but some combination of the tips below may help.

What is the solution?[edit]

When planning prizes, think about delivery time and cost.

  • How much will shipping cost? International shipping may cost more than the prize itself.
  • Will there be any duties or taxes for the person recieving the prize? Who will be responsible for this cost?[1]
  • If you are sending a food prize, try to find out how long shipping will take before you purchase or make the prize.[2] Stale cookies or a box of rotton sausage might make your winner sad.

Sending money rather than prizes may be easier and less expensive than sending a physical prize.

  • Bank transfers, PayPal, Western Union and Money Gram or M-Pesa are several options. Talk to prize or grant recipient about what options are available in their area, and which has the lowest cost.

Consider purchasing items or gift cards from local or online retailers.

  • You might consider buying a prize or grant item for someone in different country using their local Amazon or other online store.
  • Credit for purchases the Wikipedia store might be an attractive prize option for an international contest, but the cost of international delivery and local taxes may still be expensive.

Prize delivery basics

  • Make sure that someone on the contest organizing team is responsible for delivering prizes. If a chapter or a partner is providing a prize they may need assistance or reminders to deliver prizes.[3] [4]
  • Collect delivery information from participants when they register, or at the very least, make sure you have a way to contact winners to arrange delivery.[5]

Add YOUR prize delivery tips!

General considerations[edit]

When to use[edit]

See also[edit]


  • "Sending money is a challenge in some areas. There are usually a lot administrative requirements for proof of residence and other paperwork. We have switched to MoneyGram from Western Union for countries that do not have PayPal because their process is less bureaucratic." – Producer Prize
  • The Prizes for the Europeana Art History Challenge (2016) were primarily Amazon.com vouchers ("eGift cards"). It is not a system that is available for every country. However, I recommend this because of the wide range of options for the winner, and also because of the ease to create + send multiple vouchers, using your own logo, and obtain a purchase-receipt. The successful delivery/accessing of each eGift card can also be tracked by the purchaser. Any problems (e.g. prizes lost in the mail) can then go through amazon customer service systems, rather than become 'your problem'. The Europeana finance administration staff MUCH preferred to do this than to managing physical inventory control of prizes. Wittylama (talk) 14:40, 1 March 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Related patterns[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. "Sending goods is an even bigger problem. Someone asked us to send a laptop, but many countries do not have customs that are not straightforward and we don’t want to send a prize only to have the winner pay more than it cost in taxes to pick it up.  Sometimes the prize winner has asked us to send a prize to their relative in another country because they do not have customs charges there, and they get the item during a visit. If someone does not want to accept prize money and wants us to send a prize, we tell them that we will not be responsible for the customs fee because it is not something we can predict and plan for." – Producer Prize
  2. “We have had problems with food prizes, they do not get delivered soon enough. This happened with our competition with Armenia where the prize was traditional Armenian food.” – Estonia
  3. "Last year WMNO tried to provide $25 gift cards, but it didn't go well because they forgot to send them out. I made a note to never, never ever build up a backlog of gift cards. It was a half year and sour faces all around."
  4. “We really hoped to give out prize money at an event, but the university required the social security number of winners before they could give out money. Instead, we gave winners a certificate and mailed them the checks, but this was during the holiday season so the mail went slowly.” – PhysiWiki
  5. “Sometimes users don’t get in contact with their real names and contact info if they win. It doesn’t happen often. Use an event or registration page [where people track their contributions] for the contest, if people are updating their contributions they usually respond if they win.” – Kaarel, Estonia