Wikimedia Blog/Drafts/IdeaLab is an experiment in user-friendly grantmaking

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Applying for a grant can be an intimidating process. There are forms to fill out, rationales and explanations to give, project plans and budgets to lay out. This process can be particularly intimidating for individuals who may have great ideas for exciting new projects that can improve Wikipedia or her sister sites, but who may not necessarily have lots of experience with project planning or grant proposals.

We want to find ways that make it easy to get started in the proposal process in a friendly, collaborative learning environment. We also want to find ways to ask what might be the most important question for grantmakers in the Wikimedia movement. That question is not “what is the best way to spend this money,” but rather “what are the best ideas and what support is needed to turn them into action?”

IdeaLab is a new space we've built to help answer this question by crowdsourcing ideas, connecting projects with potential collaborators, and offering a pathway to funding in cases where financial support is needed to turn ideas into action. In the IdeaLab, Wikimedians are invited to introduce themselves and offer up their skills and interests as collaborators, to share new ideas, and to help each other turn good ideas into project plans and grant proposals.

Do you have an idea for a project that might be eligible for an Individual Engagement Grant? Need help turning it into a grant proposal? Or do you just want to help other’s ideas succeed? Wikimedia grantmaking staff are present in the IdeaLab, as are volunteers from around the world. Come visit us and let's turn ideas into action.

The Wikimedia Foundation is currently accepting proposals for Individual Engagement Grants, due February 15th.

Siko Bouterse, Head of Individual Engagement Grants