Wikimedia Conference 2014/Documentation/1a

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Session 1a Grantmaking and funds: APG/FDC process ("Demystifying the FDC")

Speaker: Winnifred Oliff (WMF FDC staff), Mike Peel (FDC member), Cristian Consonni (FDC member)

tl;dr: The FDC process is becoming more usual to the affiliates, they adapt themselves to it. However, there are some problems regarding the community input for the proposals, some language bareers and handling major changes during the year. In May, there will be a meeting of the FDC advisory group, changes will be discussed (like multi-year proposals). The FDC asks for input for WMF's proposal.


slides (pdf)


[Presentation, see the slides here]


Emphasizing the FDC?[edit]

  • Balazs (WMHU): Is the FDC the primary source of funding of the WMF?
  • Mike: There is a presentation about this tommorrow, it's not the only one. There are project grants, the IEG grants.
  • Balazs (WMHU): But is it the primary one? Does the WMF emphazise it?
  • Cristian: No. Before applying, Chapters communicate with the FDC, to see if an Annual Plan grant is the best for them, sometimes grants from the GAC are better.
  • Mike: It depends on what you want to do.

Restricted / unrestricted funds[edit]

  • Winnifred: Does everyone the difference between restricted (Prroject / Events grants) and unrestricted (Annual Plan grant) funds?
  • Sandra (WMNL): You submit basically your entire plan for the whole year, then the FDC will say it will cost approx. less. As is not as you actually to have spend them. You have the sum, but you don't have to spend actually on this or that project. You could change the plan totally. On a restricted plan you have spend the money only for that project.

Re-writing proposals?[edit]

  • Ido (WMIL): Not a question, it's more a shout out for better a communication at the the deliberations phase. We had to explain a lot at the letter of appeal, after the decision was taken. Is there any way of "rewriting" the proposals?
  • Mike: We will discuss this tomorrow at the FDC feedback session. Furthermore, there is a talk page of every application, that should be the place to explain things.

Major changes?[edit]

  • Itzik (WMIL): We were critized of hiring further employees. Do we have to ask for every time we want to hire?
  • Mike: You can change your plans, but it can lead to problems.
  • Winnifred: Actually, there are some restrictions to Annual Plan grants. If you have major changes, you have to notifiy the FDC.
  • Mike: If it's only a part-time staff, or only for a limited time, it's okay. But hiring long-term staff is something different, it's a major change.

Taking cultural differences into account?[edit]

  • Samuel (WMHK): There are huge different cultural differences, are you taking different cultures and environments into account? The costs are really, largely different from country to country.
  • Cristian: When we're evaluate proposals, we don't look only at the raw numbers. We are aware that contexts are really different.
  • Mike: The FDC has people from really different countries, we have FDC staff with a good expertise. And, furthermore, FDC staff is visiting the organisations to understand the environments, to build up experienes.

Hints & tips for documentation[edit]

  • Àlex (Amical): Do you have a couple of hints & tips how we should document?
  • Mike: Get the staff to document, if the volunteers don't want to do it.
  • Àlex (Amical): How the FDC reads the reports? What they do they want to know?
  • Winfried: In the case of the FDC committee it is more focussing on the proposals, the staff more on the reports (but not entirely!). While FDC member don't read all the reports at the moment, they read them for sure for the next proposal. My major tip: get your point accross! Tell the FDC about the work you're doing, what you're bringing to the movement. Sometimes it helps to tell the stories in a different way, not only numbers (e.g.), but also pictures, videos, whatever. Use different tools!

Huge amounts of information[edit]

  • Sandra (WMNL): There is a huge amount of information coming bothways. Is that still managable?
  • Winnifried: That's the reason why we have staff, to make sure our volunteers don't burn out (that's the main way of preventing it).
  • Mike: Use your community!
  • Claudia (WMAT): Well, most of our community don't read our proposals, they don't want to read it in English.

Changing the FDC[edit]

  • Balazs (WMHU): Are there any changes in the pipelines for the FDC process? Is there the possibility in the future to get funded for more than one financial year?
  • Mike: Next step for the FDC is a review by the FDC advisory group, and they then we will see if there will be changes.
  • Cristian: Regarding getting funded for more than one financial year: we're discussing it.

Local languages[edit]

  • Arlend (WMNO): Do you understand our strategies in local languages? Do we have to translate it?
  • Winnifried: What we're going for is that the process is accessible for everyone, so it has to be in English (at least for the main materials). Further background material might be in local language.
  • Marek: Let's use the Translate Wiki!

Input from the community[edit]

  • Osmar (WMAR): one interesting point of the process is that there could be input from the community. We didn't have it. Does some chapter have good input from the community?
  • Mike: Not really, it would be lovely, take care of that!
  • Winnifried: We looking forward to change that, but it's also your responsibility. Motivate them to give input.

WMF's proposal[edit]

  • Itzik (WMIL): How the FDC is going to evaluate the WMF's proposal?
  • Cristian: Yes! There are like 100 problems. The WMFs proposal is different, it doesn't have an amount, there is no detailed budget, there is a COI. We we're sending an email to the community to help to evaluate the proposal, we asked Wikimedia Deutschland (WMDE) to provide some staff assessment. But yes, it's difficult, we know, but we think it's important.
  • Itzik (WMIL): What's going to be the role of the FDC to that proposal? What's going to be their feedback?
  • Cristian: We had a lot of discussions about that. We will do our best to evaluate it, even without raw numbers. Not having numbers is different, but that's not the point. The point is to assess the given programme.
  • Mike: please! comment on the proposal of the WMF!
  • Winnifried: It was an hour now! But we're always available for question and please attend the Feedback Session (1b) tomorrow!