Jump to content

Wikimedia Foundation Affiliates Strategy

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki
Wikimedia Foundation Affiliates Strategy

Wikimedia Foundation Affiliates Strategy is a blueprint that guides the Wikimedia Foundation's immediate work with the Wikimedia movement affiliates.



Wikimedia affiliates are a key and integral part of the Wikimedia movement and have knowledge and expertise to share. The Wikimedia movement’s success depends greatly on the Affiliates, and it is crucial for the Wikimedia Foundation to develop a clear vision regarding the affiliates, particularly to assess whether the Foundation’s investment in, collaboration with, and policy towards affiliates is promoting the right goals. A strategy will be crucial in informing and guiding the Wikimedia Foundation budget and support to affiliates, until some kind of Movement-wide Affiliates Strategy is developed.

In November 2022, Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees chair Nataliia Tymkiv announced the beginning of work on an Affiliate Strategy for the Wikimedia Foundation, in collaboration with the Affiliations Committee (AffCom), staff, the affiliates, and the broader communities. In order to ensure that there is continuity and institutional memory during this process, the Board announced a delay of the elections for AffCom until after the strategy is complete, and the terms of the AffCom members were prolonged to December 31, 2023.



Between November 2022 and November 2023, the Board conducted a review of the historical documents and interviewed Affiliations Committee members, advisors, and current and former supporting staff, to gain insight into the past and current situation of the Affiliates ecosystem. The Board also reached out to Affiliates to find out their thoughts about the revised Affiliate Strategy and assess whether the Wikimedia Foundation’s collaboration with and policy toward affiliates are promoting the right goals for our movement.


Wikimedia Foundation Affiliate Recognition Strategy Report (PDF, English)

In November 2023, the Board published a report on the Affiliate Strategy work. The report identified a need to streamline the role of the Affiliations Committee (AffCom) on Wikimedia Affiliates recognition, while identifying issues. After conversations with AffCom, Board liaisons identified two big areas for improvement in the current work with affiliates related to recognition:

  • requirements for affiliates
  • improving the workflows around the creation and recognition of user groups



Based on the report's recommendation, the Board proposed two proposals for communities to review:

  • Affiliates requirements: the Board proposed these requirements for all existing Wikimedia affiliates (recognised chapters, thematic organizations, and user groups) Some specific requirements might not be relevant to some affiliates.
  • Trial period for user group recognition: to Board proposed a trial period to improve the workflows around the creation and recognition of user groups, a type of Affiliate that was envisioned as a more straightforward first step to creating chapters or thematic organizations, but that has developed as a separate type of Wikimedia organization (there are legally incorporated UGs, there are UGs with boards, annual funding, etc).

Throughout February-March 2024, the Board held conversations with the wider movement regarding these proposals, both through live sessions and Meta-wiki discussions.



In June 2024, following the feedback process on proposed requirements for affiliates and user groups recognition changes, the following decisions were adopted:



The Affiliates Strategy process is driven by the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees, in collaboration with the Affiliations Committee. Interviews were conducted on behalf of the Board by Jon Huggett, a consultant on governance related topics, who previously worked on the Movement Roles project (2010–2011) and has completed other governance-related analysis for the Board of Trustees.

Major stakeholders throughout the process including the Wikimedia movement affiliates, individual project contributors, and other movement entities.

The Foundation's Committee Support team provided professional support for the Affiliates Strategy process.