Grants talk:APG/Proposals/2012-2013 round1/Wikimedia CH/Proposal form

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Wikimedia CH received a funds allocation in the amount of 362,000 in 2012-2013 Round 1. This funds allocation was recommended by the Funds Dissemination Committee on 15 November 2012 and approved by the WMF Board of Trustees on 1 December 2012.

Please note that the proposals are now closed to community response. Thanks to all for your engagement with the Community Review process, and for your questions. FDC members, FDC staff, and entity representatives will still be communicating on these discussion pages over the next few weeks, but entities will not be responding to questions from anyone other than the FDC or FDC Staff.

This page should be used to discuss the entity’s submitted proposal. This includes asking questions about the content of the proposal form, asking for clarifications on this proposal, and discussing any other issues relating to the proposal itself. To discuss other components of this proposal please refer to the discussion links below.
  • This proposal has not yet been created.
  • This proposal form has not yet been created.
  • Staff proposal assessments have not yet been published for this round.
  • FDC recommendation discussion page: discuss the recommendation that the FDC gives to the Board regarding all requests.
  • Board decision discussion page: discuss the board's decision.
  • An impact report has not yet been submitted for this funds allocation.

Clarifying questions from FDC staff[edit]

Please confirm the following information (amounts are approximate since they are quoted in USD):

  1. Current year budget: USD 460,000  Confirmed
  2. Proposed year budget: USD 758,050 Confirmed
  3. Current year grants received from WMF (includes annual grants and project grants): USD 194,628 Not OK Not OK
    there must be a mistake : we received 250 000 USD
    Thanks for letting us know. We'll work with WMF to verify and correct the amounts reported. Wolliff (talk) 22:54, 21 October 2012 (UTC)[reply]
    In fact you should read 250 000 CHF, that means 262 000 USD at the time of the decision.--Charles Andrès (WMCH) 13:43, 24 October 2012 (UTC)[reply]
    Thanks for the clarification, Charles. I think this discrepancy may be a result of different time periods used to calculate this amount: the amount we provided was an estimate based on your 2011 financial statement. Would you please verify the time period over which these funds were raised and retained by WMCH, and that you are using these revenues to finance your plan during 2012? Thank you! Wolliff (talk) 17:51, 24 October 2012 (UTC)[reply]
    Yes, the 250 000 CHF were raised during November and December 2011 and are actually used for our 2012 Projects. Please note that WMCH is actually in a transition phase with important modification regarding accounting. We can say that before we had a "financial accounting" and than we will add now a layer of "managerial accounting". This additional layer will be especially important for the FDC. Also please note that the fundraising figure does not appear directly in our accounts; it's included in the "revenues from earmarked donations", and the share that was transferred to the WMF is included in the expenses under "Wikimedia Projects".--Charles Andrès (WMCH) 09:32, 25 October 2012 (UTC)[reply]
    Hi, Charles: Thank you for clarifying. The accounting transition is noted.
    Would you please clarify if the quoted amount of CHF 250,000 includes amounts raised during November 2011 and December 2011 only, or amounts raised throughout the entire duration of that fundraiser, through January 2012? Thanks again, Wolliff (talk) 15:39, 26 October 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  4. Proposed year funds requested (from FDC): USD 560,000 Confirmed

Please explain your entity’s cash reserve position.

  1. How much do you have in your reserves now?
    CHF 168 000
  2. How much do you expect to have by the start of the planning year period?
    CHF 200 000

Please explain here how WMCH defines "cash reserve". Thanks, Wolliff (talk) 21:37, 23 October 2012 (UTC)[reply]

According to our accounts, the amount of money available on WM CH's accounts at the end of 2011 was 418'000 CHF (rounded), not including deferred payments (e.g. fundraising money received at the end of 2011 that was transferred to the WMF in early 2012) or earmarked funds (which represent only 26'000 CHF). Out of this amount, 250'000 CH were attributed by the WMF for our projects in 2012. The remaining amount, 168'000 CHF, is what we consider as our "cash reserve" (money that has not been attributed to a given project and can be used freely to achieve our goals).
We do not have figures for 2012 yet. Given our current spending and the direct donations received so far, our best bet is that the amount of cash reserve has not changed much until now. However, we will likely receive donations directly through our website during the fundraiser period; we do not have a precise estimate, but believe that this is likely to reach about 30'000 CHF, bringing our cash reserve to around 200'000 CHF at the end of the year.--Charles Andrès (WMCH) 11:47, 24 October 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks for clarifying, Charles. Wolliff (talk) 15:29, 26 October 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Questions from FDC staff about the content of WMCH's proposal form[edit]

Questions about WMCH's proposed budget, staffing plan, and definition of success[edit]

  1. Please explain why WMCH would prefer to hire two 50% full time employees instead of one full time employee, and explain how WMCH has evaluated the pros and cons of each approach.
    WMCH has to deal with at least 3 language community, it's not possible to find one people that can handle that efficiently, we want community managers that are really close to the communities
    We want to take two different persons because they will be in different geographic and linguistic areas : one will be more oriented with german speaking contributors and the other one with french and italian ones. Their role will be clearly to support the contributors and the projects, so they need to be close to the persons they will support.
  2. Would you confirm that you are in fact drawing down your entire reserve to fund the plan?
    not totally,it's not our objective to make reserves but we want to keep 1) coverture of 12 month salary and office renting fees, as it is usually the case for swiss NPO 2) the capacity to funds project that arise during the year
  3. Thank you for your definition of WMCH's success. It seems that very few of the statements made in this section are measurable. What mechanisms are in place to measure the success of WMCH's work and define its success?
    It's true that the success in this part are hard to measure, we define past project as success because we have been able to complete them and use them as reference to create new project. For exemple the Herbarium project give us a credibility that allow us to sign an agreement with the major natural history museum in the french part and another one with two botanical garden.
    The credibility may be measured counting the number of partners proposing us new projects or introducing us to other potential partners. This means that the projects have satisfied both parties and they "endorse" us for other partners. This may help us to participate in future also for biggest projects financed with public funds.
Thank you for clarifying all three points. Do you therefore have a plan in place for measuring increased credibility in this way over time and reporting on it? Thanks, Wolliff (talk) 22:52, 21 October 2012 (UTC)[reply]
We don't have a plan for this type of measure, only time can decide if the credibility increase. We have therefore strong evidences of this increase of the credibility with new projects or joint fund request with former GLAM partners. One of the main challenge of 2013 for Wikimedia CH will be to document past activities and improve the reporting to the community. --Charles Andrès (WMCH) 06:43, 23 October 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Questions about WMCH's strategy[edit]

  1. Question about strategy: Would you please clarify how the Staff and office initiative relates to the strategic goal of encouraging innovation?
    WMCH has the chance to have members really good in specific area. But they need time to built strong projects and partnerships. Our staff give to our members the freedom of thinking only to the project itself, on the inovation part, and so to take less care of the administrative aspects (agreements, budgets, ...).
  2. Question about strategy: How is supporting foreign entities related to WMCH's mission of supporting the dissemination of free knowledge in Switzerland?
    the problem if WMCH deals only with swiss entities is that we restrain the "free knowledge" to the "knowledge available in switzerland"; it is also our ambition to help foreign entities to collect the knowledge in their area, in order to make it available to the swiss population and by extent to everybody in the world. The collaboration with WMID on java language is a good illustration, a later stage of this collaboration will be the translation of the java article in the swiss languages.
    The free knowledge in Switzerland is deep-rooted. There is no difficulty to disseminate the concepts of the free knowledge, the real problem is explain the advantages of the free knowledge and to disseminate them also outside Switzerland. Switzerland has not a single national language but we use three national languages of the biggest wikipedias (German, French and Italian). It means that we can easily widespread our experience also outside the Swiss borders.

Thank you for clarifying. Regards, Wolliff (talk) 22:48, 21 October 2012 (UTC)[reply]
I have a follow up question here as well. Would you offer some insight about how you determine your areas of focus outside of Switzerland and how that process aligns with WMCH's strategy and / or with your comments above regarding the potential for work outside of Switzerland to contribute to improved content? Thanks, Wolliff (talk) 23:40, 21 October 2012 (UTC)[reply]
We have to main parameter 1)is it a WMCH volunteers driven project 2)is it a project that WMCH want to support. In the first case we consider that early involvement of swiss volunteers will guarantee that the project will run, and then WMCH can support it. Obviously we evaluate if it is in the scope of the wikimedia movement, but this last point is really permissive, we look if the project respect "Wikimedia is a global movement whose mission is to bring free educational content to the world". We consider as really important that WMCH do not create "editorial guidelines" for the project, we are more looking for the feasibility, way to founds by other mean that donors money and synergy between projects. If the project do not respect point 1 (project proposed by an entity, or only a foreign wikimedia) we evaluate it to consider if the project is valuable for the Wikimedia Movement and worth the involvement of the board. For the moment "WMCH project" (not members driven) are mainly took in charge by the board, we do not have infinite time, we do not want new staff each time a project is proposed, so we have to be cautious about this type of project.--Charles Andrès (WMCH) 06:55, 23 October 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Questions about the impact of WMCH's key initiatives[edit]

  1. Question about impact: Have you found that there are significant advantages to supporting program activity abroad directly rather than through a grants or microgrants program? If so, would you share with us some of the successful results of these programs abroad in the past?
    The problem of the grant approach is that you are not creating links if they are not already present. For example we can support WMID by grant because we already have a relationship, we know that we will build something on the result of this grant. in other case it's better to be implicated on place, and then create personal content that will help in the future. It's also easier to support by grant once you know the people or the entities you are supporting because you can really imagine concretely what will be the usage of the grant. In the past, we have supported african wikimedians for the acquisition of photographic material, lot of really good pictures have been done by this means, but it remains a one shot initiative. In 2013 we want to help to run wikiLovesMonuments contest in african country, by being involved locally we know that this will lead to other project in 2014.
  2. Question about impact: Please provide more information about the QRpedia projects and the expected impact of these projects.
    QRpedia will be used in botanical gardens in at least three cities, the goal is to display at least 100 QRpedia per botanical garden. This project will be also a laboratory for a new system of QRpedia linked to a Kiwix server system, ie having QRpedia and offline solution working together.
  3. Question about impact: Please clarify WMCH's role in supporting the WCA and Chapters conference referenced in the community support initiative and its expected impact in relation to WMCH's goals.
    WMCH is involved in the WCA and we have offered to help the registration of the WCA in Geneva in order to help the process [1]
    WMCH will help Chapters representatives to join the next Chapter Conference by financial support and or help to get a visa.
    Using our own experience, WMCH is willing to support the Chapters incubator activity of the WCA (IT support, financial support, etc...)
  4. Question about measuring impact: Regarding the measures of success for the GLAM initiative, how do you plan to collect the feedback of the people involved in GLAM projects?
    We planned to make evaluations with the GLAM people involved in the projects each 6 months. The agreements we sign with the GLAM partners usually indicate it.
  5. Question about measuring impact: Are there mechanisms in place to track quality of content produced through the Education program that would link it to the stated strategic goal of improving quality?
    For the moment the content produce by the equivalent of the education program are in specific fields where the improvement of the content is obvious. At our level mechanism to track the quality of content will be required when we will meet new contributors contributing in fields we do not know or follow on wikipedia.
  6. Question about measuring impact: Do you plan to track the future activities of any of the participants in the Education program to link the results more strongly to your strategic goals?
    Not at this time, but it would be easy and interesting to make statistics about the activities of the new contributors.

Thank you for taking the time to read and respond to our comments. Please let us know if any of the questions above are unclear, and we will be happy to clarify. If any changes to WMCH's proposal form itself are required, please let us know so that we can make sure any changes to the form during this stage of the process are properly documented. Regards, Wolliff (talk) 19:27, 12 October 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Follow up questions regarding key initiatives[edit]

Thank you for providing some more information about your key initiatives. I have a few follow up questions:
  1. Regarding the QRpedia project with the botanical gardens:
    Please provide an estimated number of people you think may actually view, and may actually use the QRcodes based on the number of visitors to these gardens annually.
    We do not have these numbers yet, but hope we will have them soon. The overall number is 825‘500 visitors per year for botanical gardens in the whole Switzerland.
    Please elaborate upon the expected impact of the offline QRpedia project. Whom does WMCH expect will be benefiting from this project most and why?
    When I add the idea of offline QRpedia, I talk with several other wikimedians implicated in GLAM partnership, and they always have experience of a partner that could benefit of this solution. The Offline QRpedia solution is suitable for all situation where a free wifi hotspot cannot be offer, because you need only a power supply. The development of this solution will be then beneficial for Wikimedians and GLAM partners. We have great expectation for application in Africa.
  2. Regarding the education program and metrics,
    You mention that the improved quality of content "is obvious". Please offer a few examples that illustrate this so that we might better understand what you mean. Also, to whom is the improved quality of content obvious? (For example, is it obvious to WMCH? To experts in the field? To the FDC?)
    Our actual initiatives are volunteers driven, and targets fields that are poorly develop in Wikipedias. It means that the initiatives comes from people who know that the subject is really badly treated in wikipedias. One example is in Biology, the protist world, it's a really difficult subject, so we are training and motivating expert in the field to improve the articles and help regular wikipedians. I would say that the improvement is obvious for the communities in first place.
    You states in measure of success for the education initiative that WMCH will "track participants' satisfaction"? Please let us know specifically how WMCH intends to track satisfaction.
    At this time we do not plan to do other things than survey at different time point after the event.

Thank you for your responses! Wolliff (talk) 22:46, 21 October 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Request for additional information about WMCH's education programs[edit]

Please provide a link to more detailed information about WMCH's Ambassador Program if it exists, or provide a short summary of the program and WMCH's involvement here. Thanks! Wolliff (talk) 23:58, 21 October 2012 (UTC)[reply]

The WMCH Ambassador Program is exclude from the FDC proposal. For the moment we are setting up a "WMCH tour of swiss universities" for 2013, The main target of this swiss tour will be the association of etudiant. Because the Ambassador Program is already well developed in the wikimedia Movement, and has his own guidelines, we plan to apply for a dedicated WMF grant if needed. The swiss program will be improved with the result of the master thesis of a student in the University of St-Gallen currently working on the subject.--Charles Andrès (WMCH) 07:22, 25 October 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Charles, thank you for providing this additional information. Please do note, however, that entities that receive FDC funding may not receive funding through the WMF Grants Program except for political and legislative activities. See, the FAQ. Wolliff (talk) 17:29, 26 October 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks, we had this doubt but do not look too deep to fix it. Anyway, it's WMCH willing to ask only for a part of activity budget through the FDC, and find additional fundings. Our ambassador program is really in the set up phase, so it's hard to give a clear picture for now, but you may note that in addition to the information above, we also have two request for an ambassador at the EPFL and one in a journalism school. --Charles Andrès (WMCH) 17:48, 26 October 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Question about volunteer participation[edit]

Hello WMCH, These are some general questions that I am asking to all the EEs regarding volunteer participation. All the entities have stated in their proposals that low turnover of volunteers in both online and offline activities have been a major obstacle for them. Most of them have also expressed concerns that reducing number of volunteers is a threat to their organizational effectiveness and to the movement as a whole. I feel we need to have short term, midterm and long term plans to tackle this problem.

Does your organization have -

  1. Any short term plan to recruit new volunteers for both online and off line activities?
  2. Any midterm plan to train, motivate and convert them into regular contributors?
  3. Any long term plan to retain them and continue the growth?

If you already have any such plans, please mention them and elaborate how your plan/s is (are) going to achieve the goal of recruiting new volunteers, converting them into regular contributors and retain the volunteers as well as maintain the growth? - Ali Haidar Khan (Tonmoy) (talk) 16:59, 15 October 2012 (UTC)[reply]

  • several projects of the request have the goal to recruit new contributors or volunteers :
  1. wikisenior project, for example, that should allow us to gain new senior editors
  2. participation to the international programme Wiki Ambassadors, to gain new and qualified editors in the swiss universities and highschools.
  3. Hire 2 community managers : their role will clearly be to recruit new contributors or volunteers as well as retain the actual ones.Chantal.ebongue (Chantal.ebongue) 14:27, 18 October 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Thanks for specific measures in Table 4[edit]

"How do you measure success?" is a very important question and I'm happy to say that your measures in Table 4 seem to be the best of any chapter's proposals I've seen so far. For example, following "GLAM" you've put "About 30'000 digitalizations in Herbarium, 1000 QR codes in 3 botanic gardens in 2013. At least 2 new botanic gardens in 2014" Fantastic! Smallbones (talk) 22:17, 18 October 2012 (UTC)[reply]

In general, SMART criteria are good :) Pundit (talk) 20:46, 19 October 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Question about WMCH's program expenses[edit]

In Table 9, WMCH lists a total of USD 566890. However, the expenses listed seem to add up to USD 566390. Would you please explain the discrepancy? Please feel free to correct me if I am missing something. Thanks! Wolliff (talk) 22:48, 22 October 2012 (UTC)[reply]

should be a typo, the master sheet list USD 566390 as you calculate. I correct it in the table. Thanks --Charles Andrès (WMCH) 07:00, 23 October 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Questions about current cash positions and monthly spending patterns[edit]

Please clarify WMCH's cash position and usual monthly expenditures.

  1. What is WMCH's current cash position (as of 30 September 2012)? In other words, what is the total balance in all of WMCH's accounts (including operating reserves and cash for WMCH's programs and operations)?
  2. What are WMCH's typical monthly expenditures? We would like a sense of about how much money WMCH spends in an ordinary month during the current fiscal year.
    It is quite difficult to answer to this question. Our chapter is in a growing phasis (hiring of employees, raise of projects, …) so that the answer is very different in 2011, 2012 and 2013, which is the basis for FDC request. We can answer that our regular expenses since July 2012 are about 8500 CHF (salary and social insurances) + 1000 CHF (office renting) + 300 CHF (phone and office stuff). For the moment, our IT support is made by a volunteer, but the burden is to high (about 60 % job) and we plan to outsourced it in 2013. The rest depends of the projects and there is no regular amount each month.--Charles Andrès (WMCH) 17:16, 26 October 2012 (UTC)[reply]
    Thank you for providing that information: that gives us an approximate idea of what your regular expenses may be. Regards, Wolliff (talk) 17:31, 26 October 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Let us know if the questions above require any additional clarification. Thank you, Wolliff (talk) 21:29, 23 October 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Charles, did you also note the question regarding cash position or is it answered elsewhere that I haven't noticed? Thanks, Wolliff (talk) 17:32, 26 October 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Ratio salary/non salary cost[edit]

In 2013 budget you intend to spend 191 KUSD on salaries in a total budget or around 560 KUSD (ie 25% of your cost is related to salary). Could you elobarate what the other type of costs (?office space, travel?) is intended to be spend on?.Anders Wennersten (talk) 07:56, 25 October 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Hi, our total budget is 758 KUSD, 560 is the part request to the FDC.Our detailed budget is available here, with the mention of which part is asked to the FDC and which is not. Hope this will answer your question. Please note that a part of our staff job is to get external fundings for our project. --Charles Andrès (WMCH) 08:05, 25 October 2012 (UTC)[reply]
It seams That I may have misinterpreted your question, I apologize for the inconvenient. In our detailed budget you can see that we split our expenses between "association cost" 328K and "project cost" 430K. The first correspond to the salaries, office rent and the fixed expenses. The salaries indicated in our budget (145'860 CHF in total) concern only our core employees (administrative staff in particular). For project, especially for short-term projects, it is not worth hiring employees directly. In some case, we are currently using temporary placement agencies: even though the person works for us, it is employed by the agency, and we do not pay any direct salary. In other cases, we will outsource the work to our contractors or companies, in particular for very specific tasks (e.g. IT development or book scanning; WCA would also fall within this category). In other cases, for projects conducted with a partner (as we did in 2012 with Universities), it may be the partner who hires the person conducting the project (but in most cases, this has not been decided yet). The bottomline: a significative proportion of the budget will go into paying people, but since they won't be directly hired by WM CH, they do not appear under our "Salaries" heading. We do not currently have more detailed information, until the projects actually start. --Charles Andrès (WMCH) 17:13, 26 October 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Thx for you clarifying answers.Anders Wennersten (talk) 17:45, 26 October 2012 (UTC)[reply]