Wikimedia Conference 2014/Documentation/2

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2 Grantmaking and funds: Grant programs offered by the WMF and by chapters

tl;dr: Small grants improve participation! Talk to grantees, help and guide them. Grantees don't want to fill out forms, but it's the only way to achieve transparency and accountability. Hard questions need to be part of the decision making process.


Wikimedia Poland (Marek)[edit]

  • Since 2006: small grants for ressources for articles such as books etc.
  • Budget per year: 10000 zloty (~2500€)
  • don't use FDC funds but Polish tax payers money
  • Smaller grants (<50€): very fast; application via email etc.; no documentation needed
  • How do we make sure money is well spent?
  • We don't give money in advance: once grant is approved, people pay for stuff with their own money and then get reimbursed
    • -> no risk if things go wrong
  • These kind of grants greatly improves participation!
  • Bigger grants: proper application and documentation required, have to be approved by grant committee
  • weekly (open) board meetings (on IRC) -> make for fast decisions
  • annual reports

WMF Travel and Participation Support (funding for going to non-WP events) (Charles)[edit]

  • short applications (+response within a week) and reports but people are encouraged to blog/share their experience (framework for knowledge transfer)
  • representing and promoting Wikipedia, inspiring people to participate
  • not limited to specific countries -> all community members can apply!
  • great opportunity for Wikipedians from different countries to meet

What do grantees (not) want? (Asaf)[edit]

  • + People applying for grants are already on the same page with the WMF and its principles
  • - People are sometimes overeager to start with their projects so they have an inadequate planning phase
  • Grant givers like saying yes to promising, impactful projects! -> Dialogue as a means to make them more likely to be successful and sustainable
  • Decision makers have the duty to ask difficult questions that are not meant to discourage people but contribute to the success of a project.
  • Hard questions need to be part of the decision making process!
  • Grantees to not want to fill out forms and write reports (duh!)
  • But they are the only way to achieve: transparency, sustainability, not repeating mistakes
  • WMF are trying to provide ongoing support (programme officers)