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User:Tjane Hartenstein (WMDE)/Sandbox2015

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Basic entity information


Table 1

Entity information Legal name of entity Wikimedia Deutschland e.V.
Entity's fiscal year (mm/dd–mm/dd) 01/01-12/31
12 month timeframe of funds awarded (mm/dd/yy-mm/dd/yy) 01/01/14-31/12/14
Contact information (primary) Primary contact name Jan Engelmann
Primary contact position in entity Executive Director
Primary contact username User:Jan Engelmann (WMDE)
Primary contact email jan.engelmann@wikimedia.de
Contact information (secondary) Secondary contact name Kasia Odrozek
Secondary contact position in entity Consultant to the Executive Director
Secondary contact username User:Kasia Odrozek (WMDE)
Secondary contact email kasia.odrozek@wikimedia.de

Overview of the past year


HIGHLIGHTS: What were 2–3 important highlights of the past year? (These may include successes, challenges, lessons learned. Please note which you are describing)

2014 was a year of change for Wikimedia Deutschland. We have experienced setbacks and stakeholder criticism regarding our programmatic work. We have been challenged by the transition of our Executive Director as well as our Supervisory Board. Our governance systems came under scrutiny, and our ability to demonstrate impact was questioned.

We have used the previous months to face these challenges and criticisms and to generate solutions: We have acknowledged and incorporated the concerns voiced by the FDC and have made several adjustments to our plans and programs. We strive for a better and more continuous conversation with the FDC and the respective WMF staff, including discussing ideas and concerns around Global Metrics, restricted funding and improved reporting. We are reflecting on past processes, successes and failures and are sharing these learnings with the movement. We are building on our strengths and long-term, strategic accomplishments. We are focusing on the impact of our work. We are building an innovative monitoring system. We are quickly reforming our volunteer support approach and systems. We are strategically developing Wikidata. We underwent a governance review and have started to make improvements. In short: We are embracing and implementing many exciting changes.

A shift in strategy: From supporting volunteers to building capacity for innovation


In 2014, we began the realignment of our volunteer support program. This was based on the recognition that our previous approach had been too limited in terms of leading to scalable, sustainable impact, and in terms of providing shared learning for the Free Knowledge movement. The future of volunteer support will be increasingly based on supporting ideas: by empowering groups of volunteers to implement projects together, projects that have potential to be scaled, have a sustainability component, that are impact oriented and that generate shared learning. We will do this through supporting the building of local capacities and partnerships.

In Q4, we introduced further changes following this new strategy, also partially inspired by the feedback on the 2015 proposal we received from the FDC:

  • Rather than providing mostly serial ad-hoc support of individual volunteers, we are now focusing on supporting the transformation of ideas into projects, implemented by local and thematic groups.
  • We are promoting the creation of learning patterns and how-tos and encouraging the exchange of knowledge among volunteers.
  • In previous years, we often supported individual volunteers to travel the country or even the world to take photos. We are now shifting towards supporting local photo tour organizers, creating local infrastructure, newbie trainings, on-wiki and off-wiki. The vision is to create local capacity so that future projects can be conducted independently and without direct support by WMDE.
  • We are moving from sending out individual books towards supporting volunteers in building local “Wikipedia Libraries”, a collaboration with selected German publishing houses.

While we continue to support individuals with travel and other funds, this does mean a shift towards focussing on ideas generated by groups or volunteers that lead to scalable projects, which in turn could generate learning patterns and new partnerships.

In the spirit of empowerment and capacity building, WMDE supports local community groups with grants, knowledge, local partnership strategies and small spaces for local bases. The pilot project stage takes place with eight groups across Germany (Cologne, Hamburg, Berlin, Hannover, Bremen, Munich, Stuttgart, Dresden). The first reports and outcomes are very promising: More content driven community activities like regular edit-a-thons, better planned projects, serial formats instead of isolated individual actions, new partnerships with local institutions and “open spaces” for new contributors are now organized by local volunteers under the new strategy.

All the new approaches have emerged in collaboration with various community groups. Every six months, we hold a collaborative workshop, further developing volunteer support guidelines, structures and programs. The efforts are connected over time through continuous on-wiki participation formats.

Finally, the WMDE volunteer support and software development departments have begun to implement a joint approach to supporting volunteer technical requests that links community consulting tasks and integrates supports through grants, knowledge, software and tools.

Wikidata: Structured data for the future of the movement and beyond


Wikidata has quickly become an essential component of the Wikimedia universe, and is considered increasingly crucial for enabling more people to access more knowledge. Since its inception in 2012, Wikidata has grown quickly in many ways: functionally, in terms of the number of items and statements represented, and in terms of its community of users and contributors. The project currently has approximately 16,668,000 items and 53,020,000 statements. Additionally, over the last year Wikidata has attracted increased interest and recognition from entities outside of the Wikimedia movement: We have been awarded with the Open Data Award of the Open Data Institute. Google is closing Freebase in favor of Wikidata. We have been contacted by a variety of large companies relying on data for their products and GLAMs are working with the community to get their collections connected with Wikidata.

We view structured data as a major driver, if not a pre-condition for free and open knowledge. In our view, the best way of sharing in the sum of all knowledge is making knowledge processable by both humans and machines. Wikidata is our response to this challenge.

Over the last three years, Wikimedia Deutschland has taken the lead in developing Wikidata, closely collaborating with the Wikimedia Foundation, and supported by a mix of external and movement funds. We consider Wikidata the data infrastructure for the Wikimedia movement in the 21st century. Our aim is to develop Wikidata into a crucial driver and central hub of the open data web beyond the Wikimedia projects. Being awarded with the Open Data Innovation Award again proves that the world beyond Wikimedia is starting to notice that we have something big with Wikidata. This is a recognition of all the work we put into Wikidata together. We are delighted that the Open Data Institute especially recognized the breadth of topics Wikidata covers and that it has been developed in the open from the beginning.

Wikidata was the first successful software development project at that scale built by a Wikimedia organization other than Wikimedia Foundation. Wikimedia Deutschland is strongly committed to continuing development and maintenance of Wikidata in the future.

To date, most of the data in Wikidata originates from Wikimedia projects. But its potential and performance have started to be recognized by third parties. Google’s announcement to enable the import of Freebase data into Wikidata is just one demonstration of the enormous attraction Wikidata already has for anyone working in structured data (see blogposts on Wikidata research grant and linked open life science data for more examples). Based on this experience, we will shift from being reactive towards proactively approaching potential partners and encouraging them to release their data.

Developing Partnerships and Resources


In November 2014, the WMF ED encouraged movement affiliates to diversify their monetary resources. Northern chapters specifically were called upon to develop funding sources ‘locally’. Our annual plan 2014 had already contained a strong emphasis on diversification of funding sources. In June we began to build our internal capacity by hiring an expert to serve as Manager of Resource Development and Partnerships. Towards the end of the year, this position was merged with our evaluation team to form a new organizational unit, Partnerships and Development (ZEN) that supports all programs as well as the organization as a whole in the areas of fund development and collective impact. Combined with WMDE’s highly professionalized online fundraising unit, we now have the basic capacities to develop impact-oriented partnerships and a diversity of small, medium and large donors, as well as grants from public and private funders. 2014 achievements that are apparent in early 2015 are:

  • Our dependency on FDC APG funding has decreased: Expected membership fees and third party funds exceed the sum of the FDC funding for 2015 by 90,5 percent.
  • Our growing member base (March 2015: ~19,000 members) is not only a reliable funding source but also provides us with opportunities to gain multipliers for our mission throughout Germany. In 2015, we will increase our efforts in membership engagement.
  • We are creating long-term strategic partnerships with the academic partners, GLAM institutions, NGOs in the Free Knowledge and open source movements, and key public funders and stakeholders. These partnerships are built within the collective impact framework, all serve movement goals and create additional revenue for WMDE.
  • Our Brussels network with other WM Chapters (FKAGEU, see the story below) is now well positioned to apply for EU and other grants to support the collaborative advocacy work around copyright reform and other policy issues crucial to the future of the movement.
  • The development of partnerships is having a significant impact on our work and our organization. The ZEN unit is working with a committee of the board to develop criteria and organizational policies for resource and partnership development. Our financial systems have been enhanced to allow for fund accounting. In 2014, ZEN began developing an organizational monitoring system, which will support reporting, internal knowledge transfer and the preparation of proposals with sound, continuously collected data. Program staff has been assessed on competencies and trained as well as coached on collective impact and grant writing.
  • The Wikimedia Fördergesellschaft (WMFG) fundraising team’s steady testing and donor cultivation have paid off: The 2014 fundraising campaign has been the smoothest and most successful campaign to date, resulting in € 9.3 Million of donations from 390,000 donors.

Leadership Transition


The sudden decision of the board to separate from WMDE's Executive Director and the associated high costs created much upheaval for WMDE in 2014. However, the subsequent transition was conducted in a professional, thoughtful manner. Now, in early 2015, we are embracing this change as an opportunity for renewal, building capacity and re-alignment with stakeholders.

  • The handover from Pavel Richter to our interim ED Jan Engelmann was well prepared and smoothly managed. Pavel stayed on board until January 31, 2015 as a consultant for Jan to ensure knowledge and relationship transfer.
  • The transition team has planned, led, and completed the executive search process within eight months. The team was constituted in June 2014, included members of our board as well as representatives of staff, members and the German Wikimedia community. The work of this multi-stakeholder team has been focused, effective and on-deadline. We believe that their experience in collaborative transition management is also valuable for the broader movement. Therefore, the team is planning to share their insights and learnings at the upcoming Wikimedia Conference.
  • With Christian Rickerts coming on board in in May 2015, we will have a new ED with profound knowledge of the intersection between voluntary and paid work as well as with value-driven thinking, methodological diversity and experience in strategy consultation and organizational development. Movement partners will have the chance to meet Christian at the Wikimedia Conference (May, Berlin) and Wikimania (July, Mexico).
  • A new board was elected in November. In December, this board drafted new work structures and processes that create the foundation for effective, transparent deliberation and decision making, as well as smooth collaboration with staff, executive office and membership. The board is now refocusing on its statutory role of oversight and strategic governance, rather than the operational approach that had at times interfered with the responsibilities of paid staff in previous years.
  • In November 2014, the general assembly voted for the establishment of an independent committee to examine the proceedings around the separation from the ED. Its purpose is to uncover possible misconduct or other discrepancies in the overall process. The committee will present its results and recommendations at the next general assembly (April 2015).
  • In spring of 2014, board and executive level staff initiated a governance review. This came out of the awareness that some organizational structures and processes had not evolved along with the size and scope of the organization. We hired a consulting firm to provide a neutral assessment and recommendations on how to shape our governance structures for the next decade to come. The draft report was just released, and we are now outlining ways to implement the recommendations. An English version will be available shortly.

In summary, despite many challenges, WMDE is learning to manage change, while continuing to develop our programs, grow our funding base and improve our organizational structure.

WIKI-FOCUS: What Wikimedia projects was your entity focused on German-language Wikipedia, Wikidata, Wikimedia Commons, Wikimedia projects involving the German and European legal areas

GROWTH: How did your entity grow over the past year (e.g., Number of active editors reached/involved/added, number of articles created, number of events held, number of partipants reached through workshops)? And what were the long term affects of this growth (e.g. relationships with new editors, more returned editors, higher quality articles, etc)?


Growth in memberships:

Growth in events and participants:

Growth in networks/ partnerships:

Growth in volunteer activities:

Financial summary


The FDC requires information about how your entity received and spent money over the past year. The FDC distributes general funds, so your entity is not required to use funds exactly as outlined in the proposal. While line-item expenses will not be examined, the FDC and movement wants to understand why the entity spent money in the way it did. If variance in budgeted vs. actual is greater than 20%, please provide explanation in more detail. This helps the FDC understand the rationale behind any significant changes. Note that any changes from the Grant proposal, among other things, must be consistent with the WMF mission, must be for charitable purposes as defined in the grant agreement, must be reported to WMF, and must otherwise comply with the grant agreement. The WMF mission is "to empower and engage people around the world to collect and develop educational content under a free license or in the public domain, and to disseminate it effectively and globally."

If you'd prefer to share a budget created in Google or another tool and import it to wiki, you can do so in the tables below instead of using wiki tables. You can link to an external document, but we ask that you do include a table in this form. We are testing this approach in this form.

Revenues for this quarter


Provide exchange rate used:

1EUR = $1,35

Revenue source Currency Anticipated Anticipated - Revised budget Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Cumulative Anticipated ($US)* Cumulative ($US)* Explanation of variances from plan
Transfers from the Wikimedia Fördergesellschaft (direct donations to WMDE) EUR 2,104,000 1,929,860 1,600,575 192,490 136,795 0 1,929,860 2,605,311 2,605,311 -
Funds from the FDC EUR 1,296,000 1,296,000 1,296,000 0 0 0 1,296,000 1,749,600 1,749,600 -
Carry forward from 2013 EUR 500,000 500,000 500,000 0 0 0 500,000 675,000 675,000 -
Membership dues EUR 490,000 516,371 386,662 12,105 116,991 16,818.05 532,576.05 697,100.85 718,977.66 -
Third-party funding EUR 390,000 87,108 0 0 20,186.2 101,149.08 121,335.28 117,595.8 163,802.62 Various subsidies, mostly for the OER conference.
Other EUR 90,000 370,661 48 134,808.96 221,585.2 7,873.89 364,316.05 500,392.35 491,826.66 Among others: final EU grants (TAO, RENDER) disbursements, revenues from the event space, Fundraising management overhead, reimbursement of Wikimedia Conference costs.
Total EUR 4,870,000 4,700,000 3,783,285 339,403.96 495,557.4 125,841.02 4,744,087.38 6,345,000 6,404,517.96 -



Table 3 Please report all spending in local currency unless US$ is requested.

(The "budgeted" column should reflect the total anticipated for the year, the "cumulative" column refers to the total spent to date this year, and the "percentage spent to date" is the ratio of the cumulative over against the budgeted.)

Expense Currency Originally budgeted Revised budget Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Cumulative Budgeted ($US)* Cumulative ($US)* Percentage spent to date Explanation of variances from plan
Volunteer Support: More attractive funding mechanisms EUR 30,000 3,196 413.5 0 2,145.68 431.2 2,990.38 4,314.6 4,037.01 93.57% -
Volunteer Support: Free content from volunteer projects EUR 110,000 268,637 46,089.08 52,592.95 69,199.79 91,538.84 259,420.66 362,659.95 350,217.89 96.57% -
Community Empowerement: Stronger initiatives and social processes EUR 595,000 259,769.72 8,273.01 61,938.3 93,837.71 167,879.72 331,928.74 350,689.12 448,103.79 127.78% The overspending resulted from additional costs that arised for the WikiCon (yearly conference of the German-speaking communities).
Community Empowerement: Proccesses for improvement of structures EUR 7,000 1,030 618.8 411.6 0 0 1,030.4 1,390.5 1,391.04 100.04% -
Institutional Partnerships: Declarations of intent to making free content available EUR 41,500 14,476 99,76 1,874.48 1,416.80 1,720.02 5,111.06 19,542.6 6,899.93 35.31% Underspending resulting from an early completion of the HIVE project.
Institutional Partnerships: Free content and best practises from institutional partnerships EUR 25,000 21,500 49.95 15,100.67 5,923.4 0 21,074.02 29,025 28,449.92 98.02% -
Legal and Social Framework: Strengthening advocacy capacities EUR 38,000 38,100 8,069.97 16,259.70 8,739.4 11,210.27 44,279.34 51,435 59,777.1 116.22% -
Legal and Social Framework: Being perceived as an advocate EUR 135,000 122,688 1,322.14 12,617.18 82,313.56 11,486.25 107,739.13 165,628.8 145,447.82 87.82% -
Legal and Social Framework: Regulations and incentive systems EUR 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 - Only personell arised for this item.
Wikidata EUR 29,000 33,000 6,810.85 12,787.55 12,756.3 4,090.84 36,445.54 44,550 49,201.47 110.44% -
Cross-departiamental projects EUR 42,500 56,595.28 13,659.03 27,483.1 12,043.38 13,440.23 66,625.74 76,403.62 89,944.74 117.72% -
Community Project Budget rest disbursement from 2013 EUR 12,000 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 - No more costs were generated.
Project Overhead Team Community EUR 15,000 14,000 3,330.43 651.4 3,538.28 3,966.78 11,486.89 18,900 15,507.3 82.05% -
Project Overhead Politics & Society Department EUR 15,000 6,104 684.55 2,293.57 2,923.22 11,113.14 17,014.48 8,240.4 22,969.54 278.74% Overspending resulting from additional costs accociated with GLAM-activities coordination (travel costs, promotion material).
Project Overhead Education & Knowledge Department EUR 15,000 17,000 1,247.77 3,308.61 4,249.31 6,450.95 15,256.64 22,950 20,596.46 89.74% -
Project Overhead Software -Development EUR 5,000 5,897 267.5 483.16 2,844.07 1,263.51 4,858.24 7,960.95 6,558.62 82.38% -
Administration EUR 700,000 1,083,612 170,648.71 235,240.3 330,996.19 238,399.13 975,284.33 1,462,876.2 1,316,633.84 90% -
Public relations EUR 220,000 104,021 13,555.37 36,023.06 46,171.2 31,953.45 127,703.08 140,428.35 172,399.15 122.77% A slight overspending resulting from various additional costs, among others: translation and member related costs.
Fundraising EUR 240,000 240,000 46,035.57 78,302.35 16,953.12 235,534.52 376,825.56 324,000 508,714.50 157.01% The very successful fundraising campaign led to higher costs e.g. due to a bigger number donation receipts, transaction costs etc.
International affairs EUR 130,000 95,393 7,052.82 68,341.21 9,909.32 7,723.78 93,027.13 128,780.55 125,586.62 97.52% -
Evaluation EUR 80,000 9,559 2,268.16 3,870.49 1,993.86 668.87 8,801.38 12,904.65 11,881.86 92.07% -
Eventmanagement EUR 10,000 7,208 4,265.22 1,617.25 1,472.46 6,000.47 13,355.4 9,730.8 18,029.79 185.29% A slight overspending resulting from additional training and event equipment costs.
Supervisory Board EUR 90,000 114,322 10,746.74 32,075.18 4,551.76 27,998.96 105,372.64 154,334.7 142,253.06 92.17% -
Personnel costs WMDE EUR 2,525,000 2,423,891 591,238.24 566,886.17 628,661.34 682,498.43 2,469,284.18 3,272,252.85 3,333,533.64 101.87% -
Personnel costs WMFG EUR 200,000 200,000 29,629.68 46,543 55,401 62,721.13 194,294.81 270,000 262,297.99 97.15% -
Total with Fundraising costs EUR 5,310,000 5,140,000 966,376.85 1,260,441.58 1,428,041.15 1,618,090.49 5,289,209.77 6,939,000 7,140,433.18 102.9% -
Total without Fundraising costs EUR 4,870,000 4,700,000 890,711.6 1,151,855.93 1,355,687.03 1,319,834.84 4,718,089.4 6,345,000 6,369,420.69 100.38% -

Comments on the finance section:

  • Note that in October 2014 the Supervisory Board approved a revised budget for WMDE. We have revised the figures in Q3 report based on our then expectations. The percentage spent to date refers to this revised budget.
  • Note that fundraising costs are reported here for transparency reasons but are not part of the WMDE budget.

Progress against past year's goals/objectives



The narrative sections of this report follow a structure that has been slightly altered from the form provided by FDC staff. The current impact and quarterly report formats, completed by an organization of our size, with the sheer number, complexity and diversity of programs and projects, lead to an unreadable, repetitive, lengthy document with terrible flow. Instead, in the spirit of ‘tell your story’ we chose to address the questions regarding progress, key activities, metrics, lessons learned and changes in objectives through telling the detailed stories of a limited number of exemplary projects. This includes our work with volunteers (which has raised much criticism in the past), our policy work in Brussels, Wikidata, Open Educational Resources, as well as a few smaller, less publicized stories.

Should we have failed to address any other activities of interest to the FDC or its staff or the communities, our staff will be more than happy to respond to further questions.

Detailed metrics on all programs can also be found in our 2014 quarterly reports: Q1, Q2, Q3

What were the stated objectives of this program? Please use SMART criteria to explain these goals.

All the activities within the Volunteer Support Program pursue the goal of enabling volunteers to create Free Knowledge as part of the Wikimedia movement. To that end, the community support needs are easily assessed by Wikimedia Deutschland and met as reliably and quickly as possible. As a result content is obtained and volunteers are motivated in their activities. In 2014 Wikimedia Deutschland will achieve these goals:

  • Existing funding opportunities will have been taken up more readily in the Wikimedia movement because they are simple, quick, and easy to understand. The number of funding requests will have increased from around 850 (number of tickets in the OTRS queue from 08.31.2012 to 09.01.2013) to 1,900 (in the same period).
  • The funding opportunities will have attracted more volunteers, both in Wikimedia projects and beyond. The number of volunteers receiving funding will have increased from 250 to 400 per year. (Please note that this number does not include the participants in the projects organized by the volunteers receiving funding).
  • The need for support for social processes in Wikimedia communities will have been analysed and met. In 2014, the number of supported processes leading to long-term improvements in the conditions in Wikimedia communities will increase from four (in the period from 01.01.2013 to 12.31.2013) to ten (in the same period).
Which Wikimedia movement strategic priority (or priorities) did this program address and how?
  • Improve quality (main long-term outcome as explained in the change model)

"Support our volunteer community through technology improvements."

  • Encourage innovation

"Increase access to information that drives community, decision-making and action." "Promote the adoption of great ideas."

  • Increase participation

"Develop new features and tools." "Support the recruitment and acculturation of newer contributors." "Encourage diversity." "Support offline and social events." "Reward excellent contributions." "Create products and services that support affiliation and excellence among Wikimedians." "Support volunteer initiatives that fuel the growth of communities and projects around the world, including meet-ups, public outreach activities and other volunteer innovations."

Progress, Metrics, Activities, Changes, Lessons learned

2014 was a year of big changes for the volunteer support team of Wikimedia Deutschland. We went through a shift in management and also a shift in the general approach to how we work with communities and within our own headquarters. In the second half of 2014 we transformed from a siloed "community support team" to an impact driven "idea support lab", that works in an integrated manner with software development and the other WMDE units.

WMDE video on Volunteers

Our analysis of recently supported projects showed a significant gap in results and impact between two different clusters of projects. Occasionally supported small projects resulted in some interesting content, but barely ever created learning patterns, sustainable results, nor did they support the on-boarding-process for new community members. On the other hand, community-lead thematic or local projects from groups or highly active volunteers were more successful: They made it easier to hop on for additional volunteers, shortened the time from idea to project-realization and provided other volunteer groups with documentation and learnings.

Over the last few years, WMDE had tested a number of ways to support social processes in the Wikimedia communities, with the idea being that people who have met face to face, or who are guided in their online interactions will better collaborate online. Although the newly developed tool set "Wiki Dialog" showed promising results, other approaches (referred to in the 3rd objective in the proposal) did not, or did not have a good return on investment. Some community feedback expressed dislike of methods that were perceived as patronizing, and we saw decrease in engagement when paid staff took over community work. In 2015, we will support these activities with less direct investment from our budget, and rather than conducting them ourselves, we will encourage community members to take the lead.

Beginning in the last quarter of 2014, these lessons learned led to a shift from supporting individuals and social processes, to a focused support towards the capacity building of local and thematic groups. The theory of change is: Empowering volunteers to contribute to Free Knowledge, and letting them decide the why, what and how will lead to more contributions and a more efficient use of movement resources.

To roll out this new approach we focused our work on following areas.

  • The foundation for making changes continues to be a streamlined consultation work with the community. Together with the community members, we are developing the support guidelines, structures and support packages.
  • We started a transition from all our slightly different support programs into one single process.
  • We consolidated our many different support pages into one support portal WP:FÖ.
  • We began supporting local community groups in hubs, by improving the conditions under which they are able to create content.

Activities, Milestones and Key Metrics


Although the team underwent a number of personnel transitions and the shift in approach described above, we received nearly double the number of requests for support, doubled the number of people receiving direct support through WMDE, as well as the number of media files tagged as directly supported by WMDE:

The increases were as follows:

Implementing the New Approach: Local Hubs


Local hubs have evolved as a low-cost path to empowering volunteers, facilitate their access to resources, and encourage face-to-face collaboration. With the local offices the local community has easy access to workshop and event facilities, project support and supportive items like books and photo equipment. Volunteers in hubs are also encouraged to develop local partnerships, and to raise their own funds and non-monetary supports. In Cologne and Hamburg local community groups created local community hubs; in Hamburg and Munich partnerships providing a regular local Wikipedia consulting hour in the central library have been launched. In Hannover, a local community room in partnership with the local city club opened.

Volunteers from local hubs are building a “Wikipedia Library” with selected German publishing houses. Small reference libraries at the local offices, combined with new partnerships with local libraries and with publishers, all initiated by the local groups, make it much easier now for Wikipedians to get access to needed literature locally.

After the WikiCheese Crowdfunding in France gather big media attention, the local community in Cologne started a WikiCheese project which provided the first amazing results a few days later. A year ago, WMDE gave a funding commitment for a bigger WikiCheese project which sadly never happened. But later, the local hub Cologne provided comprehensive support for a very quick start, resulting in delicious WikiCheese content:

Additional Examples for the New Approach


We started the prototype of our Idea Lab portal (now ideen.wikimedia.de ) with more than 15,000 visits in the last two quarters of 2014. The portal will be a bridge between on-wiki and off-wiki volunteer projects and supporters. Innovative projects can be communicated, collaboratively developed, positioned for financial or non-monetary support, and attract further volunteers.

For the fourth year, Wikimedia Germany supported the largest gathering of community members of the German language Wikimedia projects, the WikiConThis year’s event in Cologne drew over 220 participants. This is one of the ‘social processes’ that will be closely reviewed for its impact and its cost.

Some promising practices and projects illustrate the impact of our new approach:

All of these project examples have in common that they included a volunteer on-boarding process and a shared learning approach, including in some cases the generation of learning patterns (Videos for WP).

video Big Data

Outlook for 2015


As of March 2015 we are working with eight local groups (Cologne, Hamburg, Berlin, Hannover, Bremen, Munich, Stuttgart, Dresden (in development) who are conducting a broad range of sustainable local activities, such as regular edit-a-thons and open local Wikipedia consulting hours to local content partnerships. These volunteers activities are based on the the new approach and are effectively enabling local outreach, connections, and on-wiki work.Based on local data we collected for Q1, we have around 200 supported activities 2015 registered by mid of March.

In Q2 we will launch the next stage of our Idea Lab - ideen.wikimedia.de - connected to our on-wiki WP:FÖ support portal through Wikimedia SingleUserLogin and content syndication.

Eight of at least ten learning patterns are in development right now.

Any additional details:

What were the stated objectives of this program? Please use SMART criteria to explain these goals.

All the activities within the Institutional Partnerships Program pursue a joint goal: Institutions are enabled to contribute Free Knowledge to the Wikimedia movement. To this aim, Wikimedia Deutschland supports the formation of sustainable relationships between Wikimedians and cultural, educational and academic institutions. On the basis of these relationships, institutions actively contribute free content to the Wikimedia projects.

In 2014 Wikimedia Deutschland will achieve these objectives:

  • We will have identified content gaps in the Wikimedia projects in cooperation with the communities and suitable partner institutions. We will draw up a list of missing content during networking meetings and by contacting specific editorial teams and individual authors.
  • Institutions will be in dialogue with volunteers and meetings will have been held to coordinate local activities. We will document successful joint projects and make them available to the Wikimedia movement.
  • We will have ensured the implementation of pilot projects by institutions by providing education and participation opportunities, software resources, and clear guidelines on content release. We will document successful joint projects and make them available to the Wikimedia movement.
Which Wikimedia movement strategic priority (or priorities) did this program address and how?
  • Improve quality (main long-term outcome as explained in the change model)

"Provide support to the Wikimedia movement in the development of institutional partnerships and alliances." "Provide project funding for efforts to connect the Wikimedia projects with the work of institutions of culture and learning." "Give global visibility to these efforts through our communication channels." "Develop and maintain documentation of best practices, blueprints, standards, and metrics associated with institutional partnerships."

  • Stabilize infrastructure

"Help people better understand our work, and motivate them to help us do it."

  • Encourage innovation

"Promote the adoption of great ideas."

Progress, Metrics, Activities, Changes, Lessons learned
WMDE video on Wikipedia and cultural institutions

The objectives in the proposal were achieved through a number of projects implemented by the WMDE Department of Culture and Politics (in 2015, this unit merged with Education and Knowledge), including Coding da Vinci, Glam on Tour, and the publication of Open Content – A Practical Guide To Using Open Content Licences. Three staff members participated in these initiatives. Overall, WMDE made great strides in demonstrating how volunteers and institutions can work together effectively, produce outputs and lay the groundwork for future collaboration. We also put special emphasis on communicating successes and sharing learnings with the movement (see the links below). Details on activities, outcomes and learnings can be found in the three projects stories that follow:

Coding da Vinci


Cultural data wants to run wild
Of all of mankind’s collected cultural treasures only a small part can be shown at the same time during exhibitions. Most of these treasures are hidden away in archives of museums, libraries and other cultural institutions. Many of them already in a digital format. Amongst high-resolution scans of paintings of Old Masters these include digitized documents, translations or thousands of audio-files of animal voices. To avoid those data treasures lying dormant, together with partner organizations Wikimedia Deutschland created the biggest German programming competition with cultural data – Coding da Vinci (CdV). In 2014, during this cultural hackathon, 150 enthusiastically programming volunteers transformed the data-sets provided under a free license by the participating cultural institutions into new web services, mobile apps and games.

The biggest German cultural hackathon
With Coding da Vinci we carried out a pilot project in 2014. Never before had there been a hackathon that brought together coders and cultural institutions. The event made it possible for GLAMs and hackers to get together and start a conversation. In doing so, both were able to view the respective cultural data in a new light. During the hackathon, cultural institutions were also able to get to know the volunteers’ way of working as well as free licenses and the demands that their data needed to meet. With Coding da Vinci, the participating cultural institutions also had the chance to get access to the open source community. They learned what is expected of their data in order to be considered as Free Knowledge and which opportunities ensue when data is set free, e.g. “unregulated” re-use by means of apps, websites etc.

We provided the Wikimedia movement with our learning via a number of blog posts and mailing list postings. In addition, we gave talks at various conferences, e.g. Wikimania. Coding da Vinci also served as a role model for the culture hackathon which just took place in Switzerland.


In addition to the above mentioned 17 apps that were developed under free licenses during the hackathon, other important outcomes are many sustainable relationships to cultural institutions and a broad publicity for the topic. Coding da Vinci will take place in 2015 again, this time with GLAMs from all over Germany (focussing less on Berlin).

Coding da Vinci exemplified how fruitful and exciting collaborations with volunteers from the hacker community can be. The applications that were developed are suitable for daily use and can be understood by laypersons. They showed that cultural data is essential for the development of creative applications and that using free licenses plays a big role for their development and distribution. Only in doing so can they be reapproriated and re-used. At the same time, these apps showed that data doesn’t have to be boring. Coding da Vinci brought forth approachable cultural data such as the Chirpy Clock or Cyberbeetle. This could also be seen during the award ceremony where more than 200 people attended to see all project presentations. After the event, the press highlighted the importance of free cultural data in their reports.

Much of the data is potentially interesting for Wikimedia projects (e.g. Wikidata, Wikimedia Commons) as well and could be integrated with some effort.Thus, they could have a sustainable effect on free knowledge.

It became clear quite quickly that Coding da Vinci is an interesting format for cultural institutions too. For the 2015 edition we were able to attract many new partners in a short time. Until today, 15 of them have registered as data donors.

Did we achieve what we set out to do?
Before Coding da Vinci started, we hoped to find five cultural institutions willing to take part in the hackathon and donate data. We tackled this goal after just a short amount of time - at the end we even found 17 of them. With most of them we are still in contact and many of these take part in Coding da Vinci 2015. Furthermore, we reached a new group of volunteers which we did not focus on before when cooperating with GLAMs: coders. More applications were developed than expected but we were most of all surprised by the creativity of the finals products.

Unfortunately, we didn’t achieve to make the donated data available via Wikimedia projects. Even though all the donated data is now available under a free license it was not possible to integrate all of them as a set/package to the Wikimedia projects. Also, the data that could be uploaded to Wikimedia projects could not be downloaded as a bundle. This complicated the workflow of the participants during the hackathon and they had to fall back on other platforms. Because of that, the participants needed to invest too much time in maintaining the data instead of using the time for programming.

Learnings and Outlook on 2015
Coding da Vinci will take place in 2015 again. This was obvious quite quickly due to the number of participants, developed applications, publicity and participating GLAMs.

In 2014, we learned that it is important to offer data in an easy-to-use mode, most of all because the participants use their free time for such an event. It was most possible to download the data files as sets, most of all from our very own platforms. The participants thus had to use too much time to maintain the data.

The quality of the data sets differed a lot which means that in 2015 we need to work towards a shared understanding of the necessary data quality with the GLAMs

Since mostly GLAMs from Berlin took part in Coding da Vinci we are looking for national partners in 2015. The same is the case for participants. These mostly came from the Berlin area in 2014 even though we offered travel scholarships. In 2015 we would like to attract participants from all over Germany.

GLAM on Tour


With the project GLAM on Tour (GLAM=galleries, libraries, archives, museums) we support collaborations between cultural institutions and GALM-volunteers on a local level. The long term goal of this project is to encourage both volunteers and cultural institutions to initiate partnerships, thus improving the conditions for Free Knowledge. In 2014, we also wanted to document best practices to illustrate the benefits of Wikimedia volunteers and cultural institutions working together.

In 2014, we carried out seven GLAM on Tour events, all of which are documented on the project page. WMDE’s activities were the following:

  • We identified suitable institutional partners for the cooperations.
  • We facilitated communication between community members and the institutions they preferred to work with
  • We provided advice, professional support and also organized and coordinated the events.

The projects show very encouraging results in growing numbers of both volunteers and cultural institutions interested in working with the Wikimedia movement:

Things that did not work as planned:

  • Interested volunteers come from all over Germany to participate in GLAM-events. Although this is great, the original focus of the project was on local cooperation.
  • Over the year it became clear that follow-up cooperations to the GLAM-events often need additional support instead of being an automatic success.

Learnings for 2015:

  • The local communities must be addressed more efficiently and need to be empowered to carry out GLAM-events on their own.
  • To evaluate all requests in a neutral and targeted way, we need to develop standardized support criteria for Wikipedia on GLAM-Tour. At the moment we are dealing with an excess of demands.

Open Content – A Practical Guide To Using Open Content Licences

Open Content A Practical Guide to Using Creative Commons Licences

In 2014, we published a guide on how to use open content licenses. This guide has been created in a cooperation with two partners: the German Commission for UNESCO and the North Rhine-Westphalian Library Service Centre. We were able to win renowned lawyer Till Kreutzer as the author of the guide. He specializes in copyright, trademarks, privacy and personal rights.

This extensive guide is the first one worldwide to include the just released 4.0 version of the Creative Commons licenses. In addition, we published the guide in English so that the whole Wikimedia movement is able to use it or adapt it into their own languages and thus widen the readership and impact.

“Open Content – A Practical Guide To Using Open Content Licences” tackles free licenses, especially Creative Commons licenses, from a very practical point of view. It explains each module of the licenses in order to help users and re-users understand the legal ramifications of these licenses. The chapter about the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license, for example, explains in great detail the legal concept of Wikipedia with its many authors. As practical guidelines, the publication encourages content creators to use free licenses and in doing so grow the global commons.

In order to make sure the Wikimedia movement learned about the release of this publication we set up a communication strategy which included a project page as central contact point, blog posts, mailing list contributions and addressing multiplicators of the movement. The project page has been accessed almost 3,000 times since the release of the guide in November 2014. The PDF of the guide itself has been visited more than 1,000 times.

GLAM on Tour movie illustrating cooperations between Wikipedians and cultural institutions

We learned from the success of the guide how important it is to include a communication strategy in the planning of such a project. Wikimedia is a worldwide movement which makes it essential to include all potential stakeholders when addressing a topic that they can use, share and build upon in their programmatic work.

Because our strategy regarding movement-distribution for this publication worked extremely well, we created a learning pattern on that subject.

Any additional details

Coding da Vinci:

GLAM on Tour:

What were the stated objectives of this program? Please use SMART criteria to explain these goals.

All the activities within the Legal and Social Framework Program pursue a joint long-term goal:

The general conditions for promoting Free Knowledge must be improved. Decision-makers in society can change the general conditions for the creation, collection and dissemination of free content through legislative acts, institutional rules and specialist recommendations. WMDE wants to help increase the influence that the Wikimedia movement has on these decision-makers, so that the conditions for promoting Free Knowledge do not worsen, but that, in the best case, they improve. In this way, we want to ensure that people are able to increase the quality and quantity of content in the Wikimedia projects in the long term. In 2014 Wikimedia Deutschland will achieve these objectives:

  • The Wikimedia movement will have established binding decision-making processes, regular discussions, and contacts in order to position itself at EU level. There will be guidelines for writing EU statements, as well as designated contact people within the Wikimedia Foundation and in at least 70 percent of the EU chapters.
  • We will have achieved visibility for Wikimedia-related issues by enhancing our networks, monitoring, materials, and events. We will create collaborative products (events, pilot projects) and intensify cooperation (frequency of contact, communication intensity).
  • Our argument for why more state-owned works should be in the public domain will have been finalized and recognized within the Wikimedia movement. By working together to formulate key concerns and recommendations for action, we will increase the number of specialist skills within the Wikimedia movement.
  • Our position on OER will have become clear and recognized within the Wikimedia movement. By working together to formulate key concerns and recommendations for action, we will increase the number of specialist skills within the Wikimedia movement.
Which Wikimedia movement strategic priority (or priorities) did this program address and how?
  • Stabilize infrastructure (main long-term outcome as explained in the change model)

"support the advancement of (...) conditions that enable unimpeded access to information online, worldwide" "Help people better understand our work, and motivate them to help us do it." "Build internal capacity to better support the movement and achieve its strategic goals."

  • Encourage innovation

"Increase access to information that drives community, decision-making and action." "Promote the adoption of great ideas."

Progress, Metrics, Activities, Changes, Lessons learned
WMDE video on responsibility in Europe

The legal and social framework program has been one of WMDE’s fastest growing and most active endeavors in 2014. Some of the objectives, formulated in the summer of 2013, have shifted in 2014, to align with external opportunities and policy developments. State-owned work, for example, have not received the focus we had anticipated, however, they have been part of the policy statements developed with our Brussels allies. Copyright reform has certainly taken the center of the Brussels stage. The following two stories showcase activities, achievements, and learnings. They are about our policy work in Brussels and about our work furthering Open Educational Resources in Germany.

Free Knowledge Advocacy Group


In 2014 we reinforced our advocacy efforts to improve the legal and social framework for Free Knowledge on the European level. We started the initiative towards shaping a modern copyright law by combining the European Chapters’ endeavours within the Free Knowledge Advocacy Group in 2013. Now the group consists of 15 Wikimedia Chapters and over the past year we experienced the benefits of joining forces to improve Wikimedia’s visibility at the EU level and be recognized as an important stakeholder by political decision-makers. The financial burden sharing between the chapters allows us to maintain our local structure in Brussels and report progress in line with each other. All Chapters involved – including WMDE – now face the challenge to set up complementary activities on the national level since the European Council is in fact a “consensus machinery” of the national governments.

Dimitar Dimitrov – ‘our man in Brussels’ – tells this story of success from his point of view.



From an open encyclopedia to an open society

WMDE video on Wikipedia in the classrooms

Our goal is for the idea of Free Knowledge to become part of our daily lives. This includes the right to education, which needs to be translated into our modern digital society. In accordance with the principle of Wikipedia, we want collaborative learning with freely usable content to become the norm in classrooms and lecture halls. To achieve this goal, we set out to put the topic of Open Educational Resources (OER) on the political agenda in Germany.

In 2013 we started our efforts to bring political decision-makers, educational institutions and other interested parties together by organising the first ever conference on OER in continental Europe. As, prior to that, the subject of OER was mainly unknown in Germany, we set up a network and exchanged ideas about the transformative potential of collaboratively created educational material under free licenses.

Due to the impact of our 2013 OER Conference, high-level institutions from the educational policy sector wanted to become our partners for the second conference on OER in 2014. With partners such as the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, the Federal Agency for Civic Education, the German Commission for UNESCO and many others, we were able to double the conference in participants and increase our range significantly. We expanded the variety of represented stakeholders: educational publishing houses as well as internationally operating NGOs were equally interested in discussing the future of OER.

We were also able to diversify our monetary resources for the 2014 OER conference. Almost half of the funding for the conference came from partner institutions who share our views on the importance of open educational resources for society.

After our successful agenda-setting with the 2013 conference, the subject of OER was widely discussed amongst political decision-makers. In 2014, we intensified our efforts to join forces with key stakeholders on the subject and initiated the Bündnis Freie Bildung(BFB) with Creative Commons and the Open Knowledge Foundation Deutschland. Together with other partners we formulated a clear position with recommenced action on OER. We communicated our position on a large scale, thus keeping political decision-makers informed. More and more important stakeholders are joining the BFB, bringing numerous experts and institutions together, thus lending the group a pioneering role on the subject.

We were very happy to observe the concept of OER becoming more and more important on the political agenda. Not only did the Berlin Senate decide to find ways to implement OER within Berlin schools, but also the The Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Länder in the Federal Republic of Germany (KMK) and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) formed an expert group to formulate recommended actions for the implementation of OER into the educational system throughout Germany. Prior to their decisive meeting, members of this expert group were guests at the OER conference – we took this opportunity to provide our input and expertise on the subject, for example on correct free licensing.

Since then, the expert group has delivered their statement and recommended action, suggesting educational measures to put OER into practice. For 2015, WMDE was able to win those two prominent political institutions (BMBF and KMK) as partners for the first support programme for Free Knowledge in the educational sector. WMDE will play the key role in this project, supported by a significant amount of external funding. All activities for this high-profile project are targeted towards 2016, which means that we will continue to consolidate our position as the most important stakeholder on the subject of OER, securing and expanding further external funding and reputation.

Thus, in 2015, we will be able to move from one individual OER-conference towards a wide range of events, conferences, expert groups and position papers focussing on the practical implementation of OER into the educational system.

Any additional details: OER-Conference 2014:

Partner Websites:


Pictures on Commons:

Conference Survey:

While Software Engineering was not considered a full-fledged program at the time the 2014 APG proposal was submitted, over the past year it has certainly evolved into a central organizational unit, running several programs with goals and objectives, and using agile planning and development processes. Software Engineering supports the other programmatic teams and projects, including fundraising. The main focus of the team has been the further development of Wikidata.


WMDE video on Wikidata

Wikidata – Giving more people more access to more knowledge

With one of the youngest Wikimedia projects – Wikidata – we developed a collaborative central knowledge base and effective tools to make the sum of all human knowledge machine-readable, widely-accessible and easily shareable. Wikidata is becoming more successful and growing in numbers every single day: More editors join the Wikidata community, more topics are covered and thus more data needs to be handled by Wikidata. Therefore, in 2014 WMDE’s software development team focused on data quality and trust regarding Wikidata and its community.

The key to Wikidata’s success

The key to Wikidata’s success is fairly simple: We have a great community with which we collaborate very closely. The key principle is openness and equality:

  • our developing plan is public online and we provide a weekly summary on our progress in Wikidata
  • from within Wikidata we get input and suggestions on features that the community needs, which we take to heart
  • we listen to and communicate with the community e.g. via social media, irc-chats, mail and in person: especially our product manager Lydia is always happy to listen, explain and exchange ideas
  • the community and WMDE’s software development team work in close collaboration on the same goal: to make Wikidata the best it can be
  • The feeling of working towards a mutual goal and the transparency of the work being done ensures that both full-time developers at WMDE and volunteers that work on Wikidata see themselves as a team: it is precisely for this reason, that the Open Data Award was accepted both by Lydia Pintscher (WMDE’s Wikidata product manager) and Magnus Manske (representing the community)

Effective tools

One of Wikidata’s goals is to make life easier for editors of Wikipedia by facilitating tedious copy-and-paste-tasks such as data maintenance via info-boxes or linking articles to Wikipedias in other languages and sister projects, thus allowing them to focus on creating content for their articles. We also worked on tools to facilitate the user experience for Wikidata users, for example with Wikidata’s query service, offering users the ability to run complex queries on items within Wikidata. More examples are to be found on the project page.

Encouraging new editors to contribute

Wikidata is also a great project to encourage new editors to contribute to Free Knowledge. A year ago, we had roughly 12,000 active editors (i.e. at least one edit per 30 days) of Wikidata, now we have over 15,000. One way of helping new volunteers to contribute to Wikidata is by showing them how easy it is with guided tours that explain the basic functions of Wikidata. Another way we found works really great is to make editing in Wikidata fun: i.e. with the Wikidata-Game, where you solve small tasks like deciding whether the name of a Wikipedia article refers to a person.

More data is not automatically better data

In 2014, Wikidata’s story of success has been acknowledged by numerous institutions outside the Wikimedia world. Google’s donation of their knowledge base Freebase goes to show that Wikidata’s potential and the trust in our project is being recognized on a large scale. With these growing numbers in data, we decided to make data-quality our priority. We are very lucky to work with excellent partners. One example is the Wikidata Quality Team, a team of students of the Hasso Plattner Institute, who are working on tools to check and improve the data quality within Wikidata. For example, those tools compare the data within Wikidata to other knowledge bases or run constraint violation checks, identifying mistakes within the data, for example showing entries of people over 150 years of age, allowing us to get those mistakes fixed easily.

Wikidata in the future

We see Wikidata as the backbone of the Wikimedia universe and a hub for the open data web with immeasurable potential. More and more language versions of Wikipedia and more and more other Wikimedia projects use our central knowledge base. At the same time, also entities from outside the Wikimedia movement show their interest in the possibilities to work on new tools on the basis of Wikidata. Examples are Histropedia (a visual timeline of history), askplatypus (an open source question answering framework) and Inventaire (project on book inventory). These examples all show that Wikidata and its focus on close collaboration with the community and other stakeholders, we are building a great way to learn new things and are providing more access to more knowledge for more people.

Open Access Signalling


The Open Access Signalling project is a great example for a primarily volunteer-driven initiative supported by Wikimedia Deutschland that resulted from previous cooperations with scientist Daniel Mietchen. The project coordinates the implementation of a system that uses information from Wikidata to signal whether references cited on Wikipedia are free to reuse. The project was funded by the Open Society Foundations, and the follow-up project to continue this work will take place with further OSF funding in 2015. Mietchen worked independently, WMDE support was focused on project supervision, by the head of software development, and the accounting and managing of the grant budget. A number of new projects are growing out of this collaboration, including WMDE’s participation in a proposal to the EU Commision under der Horizon 2020 Research program. With our support Mietchen submitted the EU proposal to explore ways of integrating Wikidata into scientific research, so that it can facilitate fruitful interactions at scale between professional research institutions and citizen science and knowledge initiatives. This is just one example illustrating the potential of long term impact resulting from our focus on creating sustained partnerships with institutions and volunteers. We are currently partners in a number of additional EU Research proposals at the intersection of Free Knowledge, Open Science and building IT Infrastructure.

An Inquiry into the Movement: Chapters Dialogue


The Chapters Dialogue, conducted in 2013-14, provided the Wikimedia movement a first-ever comprehensive overview of roles, interrelationships and responsibilities within and among the Wikimedia organizations, the Chapters and the Wikimedia Foundation. We interviewed 94 key persons from movement’s organizations and committees and used the Design Thinking methodology to synthesize and visualize the findings. The insights of the Chapters Dialogue project were presented to the movement at various occasions and in different formats: Presentations were given at the board workshop in London, the ED meeting in Berlin, the Wikimedia Conference and Wikimania, to a total of around 180 movement members. Along with those offline activities, we published an extensive dossier (58-page PDF, MetaWiki portal) and the concluding film (30 min.). All 94 interview partners were personally informed about the publication, and the movement-relevant information channels (mailing lists, dedicated Facebook page with 300 fans, Twitter, WMDE blog, movement blog) were utilized to disseminate the results as broadly as possible.

The Chapters Dialogue revealed that the current situation is hindering the Wikimedia movement's ability to effectively work to further Free Knowledge. Instead of realizing its full potential, of properly defining and achieving impact, the movement is revolving around itself and getting in its own way. Organizations build local redundancies rather than to think out of the box and concentrate on their own and unique competencies or local givens. Every Chapter has their own GLAM, education, outreach and community efforts, all built from the scratch, not really connected to one another, and not consequently learning from the others’ mistakes and experiences. This is even getting to a point where Chapters become rivals, for example regarding the support of overlapping language communities. The know-how which Wikimedia Deutschland is able to mine from this project for the movement forms a basis for downstream processes and informed strategic decision-making regarding cooperation, structures and responsibilities within and among the Wikimedia organizations.

Since its publication, the tough questions presented in the conclusion of the project dossier have not been addressed thoroughly. This again reflects the unresolved situation in terms of responsibilities, the fear of change and the gap in leadership. It is now up to the Wikimedia leaders to define what the next steps should be. The upcoming Wikimedia Conference should be a forum for conversations and for defining next steps with regards to movement roles strategy.

Any additional details:

Lessons from the past


A key objective of the funding is to enable the movement as a whole to understand how to achieve shared goals better and faster. An important way of doing this is to identify lessons learned and insights from entities who receive funds, and to share these lessons across the movement. Please answer the following questions in 1–2 paragraphs each.

1. What were your major accomplishments in the past year, and how did you help to achieve movement goals?
  • The projects we chose for discussion in the program section are those that we see as major successes. See program sections on EU policy work, Wikidata, OER, and Coding da Vinci.
2. What were your major setbacks in the past year (e.g., programs that were not successful)?
  • Please refer to the discussion of our shift in approach to volunteer support in the overview and program sections. Rather than a major setback, these were corrections to how we work with and for the community, in order to make this work more cost-effective, outcome-oriented, and sustainable. They are also the reaction to diametrically contrary criticisms from two stakeholders: the WMF/FDC and the German Wikipedia Community. Accommodating contrary stakeholder wishes in itself was a major challenge.
3. What factors (organizational, environmental) enabled your success?
  • Building long-term partnerships and alliances enabled us to expand the reach of our impact, share resources and have a more powerful voice. In the OER field specifically, towards the end of the year it was apparent that years of investing in partnerships were paying off both in terms of the policy impact, public and stakeholder awareness of the issue, and consequently the lining up of significant funding for OER work in 2015.
4. What unanticipated challenges did you encounter and how did this affect what you were able to accomplish?
  • The leadership transitions WMDE underwent this year certainly did not help us to move forward in the areas of developing partnerships with large funders, or to strengthen our position within the movement. On the other hand, transitions are a natural and necessary part of organizational development. They take time and careful change management, but they are also opportunities for renewal, positive change and capacity building. Whilst undergoing leadership and organizational changes, program work continued largely unaffected.
5. What are the 2–3 most important lessons that other entities can learn from your experience? Consider learning from both the programmatic and institutional (what you have learned about professionalizing your entity, if you have done so) points of view.
  • The executive transition process WMDE went through in 2014/15 was a success (see discussion in overview section).
  • We are also proud of the volunteer-centered approach used for the development of Wikidata. See details in the software development section of this report.
  • The growth in membership is a result of the successful work of our online fundraising team. Membership dues will provide WMDE with a steady source of revenue that is complementary to other, less predictable revenue sources.



Is your organization compliant with the terms defined in the grant agreement?

1. As required in the grant agreement, please report any deviations from your grant proposal here. Note that, among other things, any changes must be consistent with our WMF mission, must be for charitable purposes as defined in the grant agreement, and must otherwise comply with the grant agreement.
  • As mentioned above, in October 2014 the Supervisory Board approved a revised budget 2014 for WMDE. We have revised the figures in Q3 report and in this impact report accordingly.
2. Are you in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations as outlined in the grant agreement? Please answer "Yes" or "No".
  • Yes
3. Are you in compliance with provisions of the United States Internal Revenue Code (“Code”), and with relevant tax laws and regulations restricting the use of the Grant funds as outlined in the grant agreement? Please answer "Yes" or "No".
  • Yes

Financial information

1. Report any Grant funds that are unexpended fifteen (15) months after the Effective Date of the Grant Agreement. These funds must be returned to WMF or otherwise transferred or deployed as directed by WMF.
  • All FDC grant funds were spent in 2014.
2. Any interest earned on the Grant funds by Grantee will be used by Grantee to support the Mission and Purposes as set out in this Grant Agreement. Please report any interest earned during the reporting period and cumulatively over the duration of the Grant and Grant Agreement.
  • We earned 50 Euro interest on the FDC grant funds (calculated as 27% of the total interest).



Once complete, please sign below with the usual four tildes.

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