Wikimedia user groups

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Wikimedia Cairo Meetup at LeCaire.jpg
Wikimedia user groups are intended to be simple and flexible affiliates with far fewer requirements than chapters and thematic organizations. Even affiliates hoping to become a chapter or thematic organization are not expected to meet the requirements for those affiliate models to apply for Wikimedia user group recognition.


Arrow icon.svg What are Wikimedia user groups?
Arrow icon.svg Existing Wikimedia user groups
Arrow icon.svg Why should we apply?
Arrow icon.svg What are the eligibility requirements?
Arrow icon.svg How do we apply for recognition?
Quick links


What are Wikimedia user groups?

Wikimedia user groups are intended to be simple and flexible affiliates that are an alternative to chapters and thematic organizations - which require more formal requirements. User groups are highly valued as equal players in the Wikimedia movement. They are meant to empower and engage people around the world to collect and develop educational content under a free license or in the public domain, and to disseminate it effectively and globally.

Recognition from the Affiliations Committee allows a group to apply for using the Wikimedia trademarks and to get certain grants; however, recognition is not required to do any of the work typical user groups do or might do, it is an optional extra step with connected benefits and some requirements.


User groups are open membership groups with an established contact person and history of projects, designed to be easy to form.


Why should we apply?

Recognition from the Affiliations Committee allows a group to apply for using the Wikimedia trademarks and to get certain grants; however, recognition is not required to do any of the work typical user groups do or might do, it is an optional extra step with connected benefits and some requirements.

Benefits of becoming a recognized Wikimedia user group includes:

  • Use the Wikimedia logos consistent with the Wikimedia Foundation's Trademark Policy without any additional approval. User groups may use other logos not part of the Trademark Policy (such as the Wikimedia Foundation logo) pursuant to a trademark license with the Wikimedia Foundation and approval by the Wikimedia Foundation legal team.
  • Receive large, but limited, quantities of Wikimedia merchandise for use in activities and outreach efforts.
  • Public recognition of the group's affiliation with the Wikimedia Foundation.
  • Affiliations Committee Liaison support during and after the approval process.
  • Apply for Annual Plan Grants after successfully completing two other Wikimedia Foundation grants and meeting other eligibility requirements.

Without recognition, groups may still:


What are the eligibility requirements?
Main page: Wikimedia user groups/Requirements

Wikimedia user groups are intended to be simple and flexible affiliates with far fewer requirements than chapters and thematic organizations. Even affiliates hoping to become a chapter or thematic organization are not expected to meet the requirements for those affiliate models to apply for Wikimedia user group recognition.

The requirements to set up an officially recognized Wikimedia user group are meant to be light-weight and easy to follow.

  1. Three active Wikimedia editors
    At least 3 members with 300 or more contributions to a Wikimedia project on a registered account that has existed for more than 6 months in good community standing (meaning they are not currently suspended or otherwise prevented from participating). While user groups should welcome the input of people who are not active contributors to the Wikimedia projects, and are required to allow new members to join, they should not stray too far from the community. An active involvement of contributors to the Wikimedia projects is necessary to enable a user group to bring its real-life initiatives to life in the Wikimedia projects.
  2. Agree to Wikimedia user group agreement and code of conduct
    Your group must agree to the Wikimedia user group agreement and code of conduct - which outlines basic expectations of Wikimedia user groups, such as on-wiki documentation of activities, operating within Wikimedia guiding principles, and compliance with the Trademark policy.

If your user group application is not able to meet these criteria you are still welcome to apply but we would like to have a small motivation on why you think these criteria are not important to your initiative. Please address these two questions in your motivation

  1. How would your user group contribute to the mission of the Wikimedia Movement
  2. How does the background of the founding members contribute to the success of your user group

Examples of applications that could have good reasons for not meeting the criteria are things like research groups or other initiatives which do not require you to be an active contributor.

Please be aware that if you do not meet the three criteria outlined above, the Affiliations Committee will need more time to discuss your application (and hopefully approve it), this might also involve some more communication with the founding members of the user group application, so please watch your inbox for mails on this topic so that you can respond to them quickly.


How do we apply for recognition?
Main page: Wikimedia user groups/Creation guide

Once you've gathered the group, the wiki page, and the big ideas on what you want to do, visit the Wikimedia user group application page and apply for recognition. The Affiliations Committee may ask you some questions, review your applications, and if appropriate will submit them to the Wikimedia Foundation to recognize your group as an official Wikimedia User Group. Initial recognition is normally for one year, and is then reviewed. Recognition can be suspended or removed if necessary of if a group becomes inactive.

Delays during the application approval process most often arise from incomplete applications or applications that need to be modified before they can be approved. To prevent this from happening and help expedite your group's approval process, please double check this list before submitting your application:

  1. Does your name meet the affiliates naming requirements? Group discussions amongst Wikimedia user groups regarding their name can take time, and generally you want to avoid having to re-engage in that conversation after your application has been submitted. You may contact the Affiliations Committee to seek input on your name before submitting your application.
  2. Does your group have a clear scope and purpose that is consistently and clearly explained? If your Meta page explains your user group in a way that differs from your application, and if those differ from the activities your group is undertaking - that may delay the application's approval as a clear scope and purpose is required for the resolution to approve the user group and the user group agreement which the two primary contacts will be signing with the Wikimedia Foundation. Your scope and purpose statement should clearly and concisely explain what your group hopes to accomplish and who would be interested in joining. We recognize this may evolve over time, but you should have a clear commitment to a specific statement at the time of your application.
  3. Are your two primary contacts willing to identify themselves with the Wikimedia Foundation? Sometimes privacy concerns might cause someone to change their minds, which can delay the final steps in the user group recognition process.
  4. Is your group ready to accept new members and already include at least three Wikimedia editors in good standing? Groups which have a closed or limited membership model may require more discussion and review. Groups which do not have at least three active members who are also active Wikimedia editors in good standing will not be approved.