Requirements for future thematic organizations

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Below are minimal requirements that an organization must fulfill in order to apply to become a Wikimedia Thematic Organization. These requirements form part of – in conjunction with the guidelines and the organization creation guide – the conditions an organization must fulfill in order to be recognized as a Wikimedia thematic organization.


The mission of the organisation must be in line with the mission of the Wikimedia Foundation.

Regardless of the chosen legal form or incorporation method, the thematic organization must have goals that echo those of the Wikimedia Foundation, and its activities should not stray from them.

For more information on this see vision and mission statement.

Thematical focus[edit]

The thematic organization has a clear cultural, linguistic or otherwise thematic focus.

Thematic organizations need a clearly defined scope. Wikimedia is an international movement, therefore, when setting up a thematic organization questions of language, geographic area of operation and membership criteria need also be discussed.


The thematic organization must have a legal structure/corporation that is legally independent from the Wikimedia Foundation.

Thematic organizations are meant to give a real-life structure to projects that might arise from contributors or external parties in line with the goals of the Wikimedia Foundation. However, thematic organizations are not meant to operate the Wikimedia projects nor to be legally responsible for the content of the projects. In order to achieve that, it is necessary that the legal structure chosen for the creation of a thematic organization is clearly independent from the Wikimedia Foundation.

Contributor involvement[edit]

The thematic organization must involve contributors to the Wikimedia projects.

While thematic organizations should welcome the input of people who are not active contributors to the Wikimedia projects, they should not stay too far from the community. The active involvement of contributors to the Wikimedia projects is necessary for a thematic organization to be able to bring real-life initiatives tied to the Wikimedia projects to life.

Wide outreach efforts to encourage participation and involvement in setting up and shaping the organization are necessary. Initial membership should broadly reflect the intended scope, thematic and geographic area of activity and chosen languages of operation of the organization.

For more information on contributor involvement see the Guidelines for future chapters.

Critical mass[edit]

The thematic organization must involve a critical mass of participants.

A thematic organization is usually a group of users getting together. For a thematic organization to be taken seriously, it needs a critical mass of people ready to involve themselves. One or two persons is definitely not enough. Ten to twenty active participants is more like it.

See also[edit]