Wikimedia Foundation GLAM team/Office Hours/January 2021

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January meeting: Project Grants for Community Organizing[edit]

The first meeting of 2021 was on Monday 25 January 4.30-5.30pm UTC. It was repeated on Tuesday 26 January 9.30am-10.30pm UTC. We introduced Project Grants, a program that funds Wikimedia community members—individuals, groups, or organizations contributing to Wikimedia projects such as Wikipedia or Commons—to organize projects that benefit the Wikimedia movement.

Presentation[edit]

Discussion[edit]

Can grant funds be used to pay individuals for their work?

There have been successful projects where the Foundation pays for time spent but Wikimedia is a volunteer movement and there is a preference for organizing volunteers. It’s important to justify why the work should be paid, for example, the cultural context around volunteering, or the need to support underrepresented communities.

How should I determine the rate to pay individuals for their work?

Use the local currency in your proposal and justify the amount you are requesting by linking to a local comparison.

Can grant funds be used to buy equipment?

Yes but it is necessary to explain how the equipment will be used for mission-aligned activities beyond the project term. For example, you might donate it to your local affiliate or cultural institution.

Is this the only round of Project Grants for 2021?

The overall grants program is being redesigned so it is not certain that there will be another round of project grants this calendar year.

I work at my local affiliate but we have created a new collaboration, or network, with other organizations. Can we apply for a project grant?

We always encourage people to align their project with the local affiliate or chapter, rather than creating cooperation or division. You should seek support on the project’s page from the people within the local affiliate or chapter.

A funded affiliate or chapter can’t also apply for project grants. One of the other partners in your collaboration may be eligible to apply.

My project is a hybrid of community organizing and software. Which round should I apply to?

Your project would be welcome in either round but choose one. The main difference is who will review the project and it might be good to consider that when choosing which one to apply to—does it require expert review by software developers, or is it more about community organizing?

Does preservation of Indigenous knowledge and dialects fall within GLAM?

Yes!

Wikipedia is not the only project to consider and the needs of various language communities might be better addressed in other projects such as Wiktionary or Wikimedia Commons. You should review the report of the grant-funded project, Strengthening Indigenous-Language Wikipedias in Latin America. An English translation of the full report is available.

We have the possibility of getting public funding for our project. Can we ask for a grant for the total cost and then return any unspent funds if we’re successful?

Yes, it is perfectly acceptable to ask for the full amount and then return unspent funds.

Is a project grant suitable for the production of a documentary?

It’s unlikely that such a project will be funded if the purpose of the documentary is to create an original knowledge product. The documentary would need to build community or lead to content contributions to meet strategic goals. Would the video be used as a recruitment tool? You need to have a plan for how you’re going to use it and how and what you expect the outcomes to be.

Can I mention a partner that isn’t completely confirmed?

It is normal to have some uncertainty around partnership building. The way to handle that in your proposal is to be transparent about it, noting that you don’t yet have a Memorandum of Understanding but that there is some interest and you will be pursuing it as part of the project. It shows your ability to think strategically and we would assume that if that particular partnership wasn’t realized you would use the same strategic thinking to cultivate other ways to meet your goals.

You could even set contingent metrics where you have two scenarios: one where the high-impact partnership is secured, and one where it isn’t.

How do you request a proposal review with a member of the GLAM and Culture team?

Send an email to glam@wikimedia.org