Learning patterns/Partnerships for contests
What problem does this solve?
Partners or sponsors can provide prizes, event space, planning support, assist with judging and help you reach new users by promoting your contest.
What is the solution?
How to find and work with partners
When to contact potential partners:
- It is a good idea to contact potential partners at the end of the calendar year, when they are making their budget and promotional plans for the coming year.
- Plan on contacting several potential partners a few months before your contests. Not everyone will say yes.
How to talk to a partners:
- Talk about how Wikipedia and how the competition topic supports the goals of their organization.
- Ask for something spesific, such as a prize, event space or help promoting the contest to their community.
- If you work with the same partners each year, be sure to talk to them about how the contest may change, and why new goals or activities are important.
Who to contact:
- Someone who has an existing relationship, such as a GLAM partner.
- Employers, such as universities, libraries.
- Organizations who will benefit from increased coverage of the contest topic on Wikipedia.
- List of potential partners for photo contests.
What to ask for:
Prizes and In-kind donations:
- Partners may be able to provide cash prizes, electronics, travel vouchers or even internships to contest winners.
- Ask if an organization has space that can be used to host meetings, editathons, or even award ceremonies.
- Organizations may be willing to provide guided group tours to spaces such as archives or natural reserves that are not normally open to the public. This kind of exclusive access may motivate people to participate.
- Partners with expertise in the contest topic may be able to provide bibliographies or help identify gaps in coverage for participants to focus on.
- Expert judges from partner organizations can bring extra attention or prestige to your contest.
- Expert judges may be able to evaluate the quality of content in their area of expertise more quickly than an experience Wikipedian with limited knowledge in that subject area.
- It is a good idea to limit the amount of time that experts or partners must spend as a judge. Asking for 30 minutes of time can be easy to commit to. 
- Promotion may be one of the most vaulable aspects of working with a partner or sponsor because they have access to mailing lists, social media followers and other communication channels to reach people who are interested in the subject of your competiton but have not edited Wikipedia before.
When to use
|Photo contest collaboration|
|Wikimedia Estonia worked with a local nature magazine on a photo competition that the magazine was running. The magazine provided a small prize, and the contest reached 17 photographers who uploaded 20 images, including 2 featured images, that are all in use. "This is a photo competition for professionals who are maybe not ready to publish their photos under free license. This photo competition seems to serve well as an outreach instrument to carry the message of free culture to people who can make quality photos."|
|Managing partner expectations|
|"Wiki moves and changes faster than partners. Some institutional partners (Goverments, heritage institutions) like to repeat events yearly because "when something is working, you may not change it". I recommend you to spend some time explaining to your institutional partners why the contests needs to be rethought/refocused every once in a while, otherwise they may not understand why "we don't join the most succcesful photo contest again this year". You may spend some time also explaining metrics. E.g: This year Amical Wikimedia organised for the 2nd year Wiki Loves Earth. Participating results where lower in amount of images but bigger in quality. We spent some time explaining our partner (Catalan Goverment) why these metrics where very good, otherwise they had thought 2nd edition was a failure on participation, which was precisely the contrary."|
|Partners as expert judges|
|"This judging system is another thing that gets a lot of people involved in WP. We have 40 scientists throughout Israel that participate by reading and commenting on just one article. It is not a lot of work because they are reading something from their field that may only take 30 minutes of time. Usually these judges haven't contributed to Wikipedia before. This is very helpful because afterwards, if people want to improve a page they have specific feedback from a subject area expert.” PhysiWiki Contest on Hebrew Wikipedia|
|“For big contests, we ask partners who have expertise to act as judges. This brings prestige to contest and to the judges organization. We try to make sure that it is a small task for them to judge, no more than 10 or 20 minutes in a week."|
|Example of photo event partnerships|
|BeLux WLM had 111 new participants in 2014, who were reached through central notice banner, social media and partners also published news about the contest on their websites. In addition to the resources below, Creative Commons Belgium is certainly interested in supporting other projects in future, as Wikipedia/Wikimedia is the largest user of the licenses. The Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage is working on an image donation for Wikipedia. In Belgium still the best way to build trust and work together with organisations."
Estimating and evaluating in kind resources: Simple guidelines for obtaining data about the value of in-kind resources donated for events.
Dealing with authorities for institutional parnterships: goes into further detail about how to initiate partnerships and discuss how both groups can benefit from partnership.
How to give partners credit: shares details on how, when and where to give credit, show logos or list partners for projects.
- “It is best to ask a partner for a prize at the end of the year because this is when they are making their budget and promotional plans for the coming year. There are usually more queries going out than prizes coming in. If you are not asking soon enough you get more negative answers. ” - Kaarel
- "Partners want to help because they like free knowledge, have contact or personal relationships with members of the Wikimedia Estonia community. We explain why supporting Wikimedia is good, but usually [they have] personal interest around topic, i.e. the Greek embassy supports the Greek competition." - Kaarel
- “It is very easy to get funding from people in the scientific community because they recognize the value of Wikipedia and because they want the prestige of being associated with the competition.” - Yoni
- "If you reach out, good idea to know what you want and why it is related to your competition. It is good to have repeat partners, since they are easier to organize and work with." - Kaarel
- Grants talk:Learning patterns/Adapt Wiki Loves contests to prevent burnout
- "We send tweets to partners or groups who will benefit. We try to match our communication to the audience we want to reach, but reach out beyond traditional user groups and it really works for us. We reach new communities by contacting new audience leaders, for example, sending a press release about a week before a contest to organizations who have a large following of people who might be interested in the topic." - Alex Amical
- "Depending on size of partner, they can provide the prizes. If partner is a tourism company, they can provide travel packages (hotel on beach, kayak trip, etc.)." - Alex
- “We are mostly targeting undergraduate students, 1st prize is 1,200 USD, so that is a lot of money for them. For a physics department, this is not a lot of money, but for a student it is very motivating.” - Yoni
- “For big contests, we ask partners who have expertise to act as judges. This brings prestige to contest and to the judges organization. We try to make sure that it is a small task for them to judge, no more than 10 or 20 minutes in a week." - Alex
- "This judging system is another thing that gets a lot of people involved in WP. We have 40 scientists throughout Israel that participate by reading and commenting on just one article. It is not a lot of work because they are reading something from their field that may only take 30 minutes of time. Usually these judges haven't contributed to Wikipedia before. This is very helpful because afterwards, if people want to improve a page they have specific feedback from a subject area expert.” - Yoni
- "Good promotion most important, good partners who can promote and support beyond prizes. We have scarce human resources, so having a partner promoting works better."- Kaarel
- Grants:PEG/WM EE/2013/Report#EESTI LOODUS PHOTO COMPETITION
- Grants talk:PEG/Romaine/WLM BeLux 2014/Report
- Public events are particularly important for smaller and newer Wiki-communities to get attention, wider acceptance and participation among respective language speakers communities. This kind of knowledge can very much support efforts their small volunteer teams are making to get them take off and keep flying. Frhdkazan (talk) 05:46, 10 December 2015 (UTC)