Wikimedia user groups/Requirements

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Wikimedia user groups are intended to be simple and flexible affiliates with far fewer requirements than chapters and thematic organizations. Even affiliates hoping to become a chapter or thematic organization are not expected to meet the requirements for those affiliate models to apply for Wikimedia user group recognition.


Eligibility requirements

The requirements to set up an officially recognized Wikimedia user group are meant to be light-weight and easy to follow.

  1. Three active Wikimedia editors
    At least three active Wikimedia project editors in good community standing (meaning they are not currently suspended or otherwise prevented from participating). While user groups should welcome the input of people who are not active contributors to the Wikimedia projects, and are required to allow new members to join, they should not stray too far from the community. An active involvement of contributors to the Wikimedia projects is necessary to enable a user group to bring its real-life initiatives to life in the Wikimedia projects.
  2. Information published on-wiki
    Your groups should have a page on Meta-Wiki or other relevant Wikimedia projects (e.g. Wikipedia) where the public and interested volunteers can learn about who your group is, what your group does, and how to join.
  3. Clear purpose and scope
    Your group should have a clear definition on what your scope and what you would like to do (e.g. "we would like to organize a lecture series on Wikipedia in local schools" or "we would like to start a meetup group in our town").
  4. Clarity on structure
    Simple unincorporated user groups are the preferred form for new Wikimedia user groups and do not require by-laws or other legal formation documents. However, incorporated user groups may exist if it is essential for impact. Only if a legal structure is chosen for the creation of a user group, it should be clearly independent from the Wikimedia Foundation and the by-laws will require Affiliations Committee review.
  5. Two contact people
    Your group should have at least two primary contact people. You should indicate who the contact people are on your wiki page (e.g. with their username). When the user group signs a trademark or grants agreement with the Wikimedia Foundation, the contact people must be ready to provide their contact details and to be identified to the Wikimedia Foundation (for example by providing a copy or a scan of their ID to the Foundation).


Comparison of requirements for affiliation models
Requirement Chapters Thematic organizations Wikimedia user groups
Minimum active Wikimedia editors 10 10 3
Suggested minimum members 20 20 10
Focus Geographic Thematic Any which advances Wikimedia
Mission aligned with Wikimedia Foundation MW-Icon-CheckMark.svg MW-Icon-CheckMark.svg MW-Icon-CheckMark.svg
Compliance with naming guidelines and trademark policy MW-Icon-CheckMark.svg MW-Icon-CheckMark.svg MW-Icon-CheckMark.svg
Information about group published on a Wikimedia wiki MW-Icon-CheckMark.svg MW-Icon-CheckMark.svg MW-Icon-CheckMark.svg
Plans for activities or efforts to advance Wikimedia projects MW-Icon-CheckMark.svg MW-Icon-CheckMark.svg MW-Icon-CheckMark.svg
Allows new members MW-Icon-CheckMark.svg MW-Icon-CheckMark.svg MW-Icon-CheckMark.svg
Two designated contacts for Wikimedia Foundation MW-Icon-CheckMark.svg MW-Icon-CheckMark.svg MW-Icon-CheckMark.svg
Legally incorporated MW-Icon-CheckMark.svg MW-Icon-CheckMark.svg
Amendable bylaws approved by Affiliations Committee MW-Icon-CheckMark.svg MW-Icon-CheckMark.svg
Two years of activities prior to applying MW-Icon-CheckMark.svg MW-Icon-CheckMark.svg
Requires approval by Wikimedia Foundation Board MW-Icon-CheckMark.svg MW-Icon-CheckMark.svg
Governing board elected by members, including new members MW-Icon-CheckMark.svg MW-Icon-CheckMark.svg
Activity and financial reports posted regularly on Meta-Wiki MW-Icon-CheckMark.svg MW-Icon-CheckMark.svg
Typical development time 2-3 years 2-3 years 2-8 months
Projected time for approval 4-6 months 4-6 months 2-4 weeks