Template talk:FDC proposal form v1

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Few comments/suggestions/questions on FDC proposal form[edit]

Hi everyone, I have gone through the entire FDC proposal form. Though it seems quite ok to me, I would like to make few comments and have some questions & few suggestions on the proposal form as follows:

Basic information[edit]

  • The item "total annual budget (spending) of entity" - is sufficient for understanding. The later part "for funds request" - creates ambiguity.

Background, history, and mission[edit]

  • Last part of the second question: "how does it support the goals of the Wikimedia movement?" seems redundant to me since alignment with the goals of Wikimedia movement is a prerequisite for eligibility and it would be determined by FDC support staff before each round of FDC funding.
  • The last question of this section can be rephrased for better understanding as: "what is the number of members in your entity/how many members does your entity have?"
  • Additionally, we may ask the entities to give an organogram of their organization (organogram is very simple to prepare but would be a very useful tool for FDC decisions).

Reflection on past activities and innovations[edit]

  • The 3rd question of this section, "What did not work", can be misleading. Preferably it should be clearly stated as: "what are the plans/activities that did not work for your entity in the past?"

Year-to-date progress[edit]

  • I think this section needs further clarification. Does it (Year to date) mean: from the first date of current (running) fiscal year for the entity to the date of application with FDC?
  • Should the planned revenue/spending be mentioned for 1 years or fraction of a year till the date of application?

Key initiatives and objectives of the upcoming year annual plan[edit]

  • Didn't clearly understand this part - "please give 1-3 points for each initiative in the table below". Does 1-3 indicates weightage?
  • What would be the basis for assigning points to an activity? (perhaps importance of the activity or as per yearly schedule)
No, not at all - this is not about weightage, just a way to describe what we would like in this overview: '1-3 bullet points', to clarify that we are asking for short phrases that provide details of each initiative, strategies used and measures of success. --ASengupta (WMF) (talk) 20:24, 1 August 2012 (UTC)

Additional context for the upcoming year annual plan[edit]

  • Since this is actually the SWOT analysis, it can be mentioned (may be in a bracket).

Financials for the upcoming year annual plan[edit]

  • Current entity staff/Proposed new staff for upcoming year annual plan: Didn't understand the use of putting "1" for full time staff and fraction for part time staff.
  • For example, an entity has 2 full time staff and 3 part time staff. As per my understanding, it should be written as 3.5 (assuming weight of each part time staff as 0.5). But how would we interpret this number? 3.5 can alternatively be interpreted as 3 regular staff and 1 part time staff or as 1 regular staff and 5 part time staff and so on.
  • Again, what would be the basis for assigning a fractional value for a part time staff (say 0.45 or 0.30 or 0.50)?
I am familiar with the methodology of FTE counts, but I agree with the above sentiments: this column regarding the fraction of employment will cause confusion for people. I think also people will be confused about what the rows are supposed to be: should a separate row be created for each separate role/staff member, or is it just supposed to be rolled up into departments? If the rows are for different position, could the column simply have text in it stating "Full time" or "Part-time"?
Finally, I may have missed this, but what about short-term, full-time employees? For example, what if they want resources to hire a researcher for 3-months, who will work full-time but not necessarily for the full year? (This is a common hiring methodology at WMF, but it could be irrelevant here. Just a thought.) Jwild (talk) 17:15, 30 July 2012 (UTC)

Finally, we may have a sample filled out FDC proposal form as a guideline for completing it. Would love to hear what others have to say about it. Thanks. - Ali Haidar Khan (Tonmoy) (talk) 18:56, 29 July 2012 (UTC)

Hi Ali, thanks for the time you put into this and for all the great suggestions! We've incorporated most of them, and are working on the remaining right now. --ASengupta (WMF) (talk) 20:01, 31 July 2012 (UTC)

Variance[edit]

There isn't much point calculating the variance between full year budget and year-to-date actuals. It doesn't tell you anything, since you don't know what percentage of the budgeted amount was expected during that part of the year. If you want to see variances, you need to ask for projected year-end values (or get budgets broken down into quarters, or something - you would need to ask that a year in advance, of course, so it can't be used this year). --Tango (talk) 16:39, 30 July 2012 (UTC)

Exchange rates[edit]

A simple point, but it might be helpful to list a source for exchange rates that people can reference. I would also make sure they list the date it was referenced. Also, it may be stated somewhere else, but we should be really explicit in stating which amount is the one up for consideration by the FDC: the local currency or the $USD amount. Jwild (talk) 17:18, 30 July 2012 (UTC)

Agree: The currency requested must be specified in the form under basic information. Additionally, we should refer to "currency requested" rather than local currency unless we do in fact find "local currency" relevant. There may be cases in which the organization request funds in a currency that is not their "local currency". We should be using the same exchange rate to USD throughout the entire application form and make that explicit at the beginning of the application form. Wolliff (talk) 17:43, 30 July 2012 (UTC)

Suggestions for basic information[edit]

  • It may be helpful to break out the sections "Contact name and position in entity" into 2 separate lines and "Contact username or Email" into 2 separate lines: both to ease processing and to ensure that we receive a complete form. Is there a concern that this would make that section too long?
  • Do we need to request the amount of FDC funds received last year from the applicant? Don't we know this information?
  • Suggest adding a note to clarify the term "realized" as it may seem ambiguous (though I agree that it is a useful word).
  • Suggest changing "local currency" to "currency requested" and adding a column listing the exchange rate (or requesting the use of a consistent exchange rate with a referenced source at the beginning of this form, possibly in this section). Also, update table in "year-to-date progress".
  • You might add a line here for "currency requested".

Wolliff (talk) 18:08, 30 July 2012 (UTC)

Instructions that may be confusing[edit]

  • This section provides the FDC an overview of your entity's background and history. Please provide a response of 1-2 sentences to a maximum of a paragraph.
    First, it is not clear if the FDC is requesting a 1 sentence to 1 paragraph response for each question, or in total.
    Second, is there a reason the form is using the wording "1-2 sentences to a maximum of a paragraph"? It seems like "up to 1 paragraph" would be clear.
  • The table is intended to provide an overview of your entity's upcoming year annual plan and its alignment with the movement's strategic goals; please give 1-3 points for each initiative in the table below.
    Agree with Ali that "point" may be a confusing word to use here.

Wolliff (talk) 18:08, 30 July 2012 (UTC)

Instructions for publishing this form on Meta[edit]

The completed document must be published on Meta by the deadline for each round (23:59 UTC 1 October for Round 1, and 23:50 UTC 1 March for Round 2).

It would be a good idea to specify exactly how or where it should be published. Wolliff (talk) 18:35, 30 July 2012 (UTC)

Won't bother then[edit]

Having wasted two hours of my time on the other page, which was not marked properly as having been superseded, I started on this one, only to be reverted. I won't bother any more. But be assured I'll be critical of the product. Tony (talk) 13:06, 31 July 2012 (UTC)

Hey Tony, sorry about that! I've reverted myself and restored your edits. I wasn't aware you'd spoken to Meera and Anasuya. We're making efforts to keep a bunch of different pages and forms in agreement with each other, I'm sure you can appreciate the effort of that sort of thing and the difficulty on a wiki with short time frames. Thanks for your patience! heather walls (talk) 15:40, 31 July 2012 (UTC)
Hi Tony, thanks again for your edits - and apologies that we didn't mark the previous version correctly. I'm still coming up to speed on all the documentation generated so far, and trying to put in place good documentation for the future, and I hope you'll be patient with a really complex (and new) process as we learn together. Please do continue to give us your suggestions - if they're substantive, on the Talk page, and if copy edits, as you've already done (and Heather has confirmed). By eod August 1, 2012 (PST), we'll have to agree to put all suggested edits on this page, though, just to be thoughtful of the chapters/entities who will start using this to fill out their proposals to the FDC; it will not help them to have a constantly changing form; we'll have to balance that while being responsive to good suggestions as we're already doing. Thanks--ASengupta (WMF) (talk) 19:59, 31 July 2012 (UTC)

Comments[edit]

Here's some comments, apologies if they duplicate any that have been mentioned above.

  1. "Currency requested" - currently a little confusing, I think you're after what the local currency is here (e.g. Euros, GBP, etc.), but could be read as 'amount of currency'.
  2. "Background, history, and mission" - the mission question isn't really relevant, since it will be fairly obvious by the pre-selection of those that can apply to the FDC (e.g. Funds Dissemination Committee/2012 Round 1 Eligibility Status). The founding year won't be changing from year to year, so doesn't really need to be asked in every application... It might be worth splitting these out into a more detailed page describing the organisations that can apply to the FDC, rather than putting it into each proposal.
  3. Some of the questions in 'Reflection on past activities and innovations' aren't really relevant to the funding request, although they are good questions to ask in general. E.g. "What else has your entity learned or innovated upon that could benefit the broader Wikimedia movement?" - that's more reporting than applying. Couldn't this section just ask for links to reports on key activities, rather than original content?
  4. "Year-to-date progress", there's a risk that this could run into a zeno paradox if this needs to be completely accurate as of the minute of the deadline. Providing an expected level of accuracy would be good (it shouldn't be to the last cent, but it should probably be accurate to ~2% or so).
  5. There doesn't seem to be an obvious place to put budgets for long-term projects that aren't employing people. E.g. WMUK has a GLAM program and corresponding budget lines that is long-term, covering many different aspects of GLAM - it's not staff, and it's not operating expenses, it's project budget.
  6. Where would staff expenses that aren't salary go (e.g. office space, staff travel, etc.) - into '

Summary of staff expenses' or 'Non-staff operating expenses by program/initiative' or elsewhere?

  1. I'm a bit surprised that a translated detailed budget isn't requested, since that's precisely what I would have expected to be needed in order for the FDC to make a decision. Perhaps I'm misunderstanding what the word 'detailed' means in this context, though - I would count wmuk:2012 Activity Plan as being reasonably detailed.

Hope these help! Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 00:08, 1 August 2012 (UTC)

Hi Mike, thanks very much for your suggestions. As we talked in person, many of your suggestions have been addressed (e.g. currency, budgets, translated budgets, initiatives that don't employ staff, etc) in the revised version. Since the FDC proposal is to support an entity's annual plan, the reflection on past activities and innovations is very relevant. While other documentation can be linked to, the FDC members will be looking at an entity's overall strategic alignment and ability to positively impact the Wikimedia movement, in order to come up with appropriate recommendations. Given the volunteer nature of our movement and its growth across the world, mission statements can also change over time (in nuanced degree, if not in radical substance). Finally, the proposal format is also meant to be easy to review by community members who are not always familiar with every entity; simple details such as founding year are therefore helpful to reiterate, while not being burdensome on those going through the proposal process. --ASengupta (WMF) (talk) 17:28, 13 August 2012 (UTC)

Current entity staff (e.g., Included in year-in-progress budget)[edit]

There's a hanging table here that is missing a border at the bottom. Wolliff (talk) 23:18, 1 August 2012 (UTC)

Did anyone see this yet? It hasn't been fixed. Wolliff (talk) 01:28, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
I find that they come and go with scrolling. I've seen it elsewhere so I don't think it's something we can fix though if someone has an answer that would be great. heather walls (talk) 01:34, 2 August 2012 (UTC)

+Please include estimates of the percentage allocation of staff members. For example, for full time staff, you would put 100% in this column. For half time staff, you would put 50% in this column.

This is a bit confusing. For example, if I am an entity and I have 2 staff working on program administration, one fulltime and one halftime, would I write 150% in this column? Wolliff (talk) 23:21, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
Thanks-- I understand your point. I think what we'd want is one row with the full-time staff (with 100% in that column) and one row with the halftime staff (with 50% in that column). We're putting together an example that will show what this looks like, so hopefully it'll be clearer. Meerachary TBG (talk) 23:26, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
I usually see staffing information recorded as number of persons and w:full time equivalent (FTE). In Wolliff's example, this would be 2 persons and 1.5 FTE, which keeps the information on one row yet allows the reader to quickly see part-time allocations. John Vandenberg (talk) 03:03, 7 October 2012 (UTC)
Agree. And expressing part-timeness as a percentage is very unusual. I wonder whether 0.6 FTE, etc, could be the standard formatting. Tony (talk) 04:34, 7 October 2012 (UTC)

Broken links[edit]

  • Key initiatives and objectives of the upcoming year annual plan / [[wmf:Wikimedia_Movement_Strategic_Plan_Summary/The_Opportunity#Strategic_priorities|Wikimedia strategic goal]]
  • Intro section / [[User:ASengupta_(WMF)|FDC support team]] should link to [[FDC_portal/Questions_for_FDC_staff]]

Wolliff (talk) 23:30, 1 August 2012 (UTC)

the link for the Wikimedia strategic goals is still dead....--Chandres (talk) 17:44, 30 September 2012 (UTC)
This link above table 4 is still broken. John Vandenberg (talk) 02:47, 7 October 2012 (UTC)
Fixed This should be correct now. heather walls (talk) 03:02, 7 October 2012 (UTC)

Number of key initiatives[edit]

The current templates limits the number of (key) initiatives to six. This is quite limited. Some chapters might want to submit a plan with greater detail. Please accept an increase in the number of key initiatives. Ad Huikeshoven (talk) 13:53, 23 September 2012 (UTC)

(These have been increased to 20 and will be implemented differently in future rounds.) heather walls (talk) 12:54, 2 October 2012 (UTC)

Limitation to only 6 positions in the tables[edit]

  • Why are the tables limited to only 6 positions (lines)?I got stuck at this point while filling out the proposal as we have many more posistion for almost every table. Please increase the accepted number of positions as the limitation makes it impossible to fill in the proposal--Kasia Odrozek (WMDE) (talk) 09:08, 24 September 2012 (UTC)

(These have been increased to 20 and will be implemented differently in future rounds.) heather walls (talk) 12:54, 2 October 2012 (UTC)

Why noeditsection?[edit]

This form is a small form you can fill on your smartphone during a travel, it would be really usefull to change to a page with section editable. --Chandres (talk) 17:10, 30 September 2012 (UTC)

Hi Chandres, because when you edit the sections from each entity's proposal form it begins to edit the original template and not the form. If someone knows a way to prevent this, the sections would be great. heather walls (talk) 19:04, 30 September 2012 (UTC)
Ok I see, but I don't know why nobody object before that this type of form could be filled by person not use to the wiki syntax (chapters or entities staff), and having to go through the whole document is hard! And what about having a template per section? The from page could be initiated with section coded in "hard" and content of the sections created by the templates--Chandres (talk) 19:40, 30 September 2012 (UTC)
That is a very good point and we should definitely make some changes after this round of proposals. Thank you, heather walls (talk) 19:50, 30 September 2012 (UTC)
Just to agree with Chandres here: the table was very difficult to edit, even for long term Wikipedians! Richard Symonds (WMUK) (talk) 12:45, 2 October 2012 (UTC)
One template per section would be a great improvement. John Vandenberg (talk) 02:48, 7 October 2012 (UTC)

Notes and details from each table[edit]

There is now a section allowed-for below tables 3-10 in the template. If someone has already begun a form, they need to add the following:

| table 3 details=

to their document and add any information after the equals sign, the same goes for the rest of the tables up to 10. Text will show up below the table after Table 3 details: and so on. heather walls (talk) 00:45, 3 October 2012 (UTC)

Summarized proposal feedback from WMDE[edit]

As to content:

  • The question "Approximately how many volunteers participate actively in your entity?" is difficult to answer if you don't define what do you understand as "active participation".
  • In Table 4 we have encountered some problems with describing detailed activities and accurate indicators as our detailed program planning for 2013 will take place just in Nov/Dec. Maybe in the future you could point out what is the required level of detail and if it's OK to give some general examples.
  • I think the proposal made sense as a whole and most of the questions were very accurate.

As to technical diffculties:

  • The wiki-tables were a killer. Especially in our case they were so large that it was really difficult to a) create them and b) to fill them in and keep an overview of the code once you wanted to introduce some changes.
  • Not being able to edit individual sections of the proposal made it extra difficult as well.
  • The initially limited number of table entries (max. 6) was very problematic when you consider that in some tables we had 15 or more entries. This problem has been fixed but I would recommend reconsidering any entry-limitation in the future. --Kasia Odrozek (WMDE) (talk) 09:25, 8 October 2012 (UTC)

Some proposed changes in the form[edit]

Since the plan is not to have any major/substantial change in the form (and in the FDC process as a whole), I feel following minor changes might ease up the use & understanding of the form:

  1. Contact person: In the first round of FDC, the feedback from the entities often took long time to come; which broke the tempo of the discussion quite often. There is one contact person in the form which is common for a process like this. However, though there is no mention or restriction that no other member of the EE may reply the questions/queries posed, most of the times only the contact person gave the replies (there were exceptions though). I think, since one contact person is mentioned on the form, so other members of the EEs might have thought that all the replies would have to come from the contact person only (though applying for the FDC funding is ought to be a collective effort by the EEs). And since mostly volunteer members are involved in this process, that might have created the inertia in between the discussions. So, I feel the need for having a pool of members from the EEs (to be mentioned on the form) who would reply the questions/queries along with the contact person.
  2. More specific year-to-date progress: In round-1, the responses we got in the year-to-date section were not comparable since different EEs perceived differently. It is mentioned on the form to give the year-to-date progress as close to the submission date as possible which EEs perceived differently. That made the figures for different entities incomparable. Again the variance percentage column doesn't clearly say anything. So, I propose the time frame be mentioned along with the year-to-date progress figure (i.e. from this date to that date). We then get a percentage figure as variance from actual budget. We should also include anther item as projected total final expenditure amount for the current year & a variance of that amount from the total budget (along with explanation of that variance as well).
  3. The summery of staff expenses can be elaborated a little more for better understanding and interpretation. We assume that most of the EEs applying for FDC funding already have staffs and are expected to have increase in staff positions. So, it is obvious that most of them would have increase in staff expenses in two forms - 1. increase in staff expenses for current staff positions (as pay increases) and 2. increase in staff expenses for employment in newly created posts. So, proposed increase in staff expanse can be broken down into two parts - increase of expense in current staff positions (along with % increase) and increase of expense in newly created posts (along with % increase).

Cheers

- Ali Haidar Khan (Tonmoy) (talk) 14:20, 25 January 2013 (UTC)