Thank you for the update, Alex.

I find it problematic that WMF would override a community grantmaking
committee that WMF previously had agreed to work with, especially if the
override is to approve a proposal. I understand that WMF might find a
reason to decline a grant after committee approval because WMF finds
something in its due diligence process that is unacceptable such as that
the grantee has overdue reports on prior grants, but if a grantmaking
committee develops consensus against a proposal and WMF approves it anyway,
I think that is a problem, it shows a lack of trust, and it suggests that
the WMF isn't serious about its own grantmaking process.

I appreciate the flexibility of GAC's process but apparently the current
system is not working, as everyone seems to agree. I am curious, what
alternatives are you exploring?

Thanks,

Pine


On Wed, Jul 9, 2014 at 3:51 PM, Alex Wang <aw...@wikimedia.org> wrote:

> Dear Pine,
>
> Thank you for your concern about the Grant Advisory Committee (GAC). You
> are correct that there is a consistently low level of participation by GAC
> members and we are seeking to address this issue through a revamp of the
> process and available resources.
>
> The Project and Event Grants (PEG) program accepts proposals on a rolling
> basis and we strive to provide timely responses to all requests. All GAC
> members are given notice and at least 2 weeks to comment on proposals.
> Often times, we work with requesters on improving their proposal to address
> GAC member concerns and accept it before the GAC goes back to change their
> initial assessments. Please note that the GAC is an advisory committee, not
> a decision-making body, and on rare occasions WMF staff's duty of care may
> lead them to disagree with their recommendations.
>
> We also welcome all community members to comment on PEG requests. This is a
> good opportunity to remind everyone reading this to not hesitate to comment
> on any open proposal.  Open proposals can always be seen here:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:PEG/Index/Requests#Open_submissions
>
> Best,
>
> Alex
>
>
> On Tue, Jul 8, 2014 at 10:56 PM, Pine W <wiki.p...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > Hi Tilman,
> >
> > 1. Would WMF please document in the FAQ that Global Education, excluding
> > the US/CAN program, is funded and managed through Grantmaking, and the
> > US/CAN Education Program is run through the independent Wiki Education
> > Foundation?
> >
> > 2. Would someone please produce a redline version of the AP that compares
> > the final AP to the version that was sent to the FDC?
> >
> > 3. I suggest that in the future that the Board be given at least one
> month
> > between their meeting for reviewing the AP and the proposed effective
> date
> > of the AP. Otherwise, if the Board's meeting date is within a few days of
> > the AP effective date, the Board may feel pressure to move quickly to
> > approve the AP, and if the Board doesn't pass the AP then unless I am
> > mistaken the Foundation has no spending or fundraising authority as of
> the
> > start of the next fiscal year.
> >
> > 4. The FAQ says that P&E grants are "reviewed by the 28-member Grant
> > Advisory Committee <https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/GAC> or GAC)".
> > However,
> > as far as I can tell, GAC is functioning at a very low level. This grant
> > [1] for about US$7000 received only one vote among all 28 GAC members,
> and
> > it was an oppose vote, yet WMF approved the grant. This grant [2] for
> about
> > US$9000 had no support or oppose votes from GAC members, yet WMF approved
> > the grant. This grant [3] for about US$30,000 received one oppose, one
> > abstention, and one "no comment" among all 28 grant members, yet WMF
> > approved the grant. Something seems wrong here. I have heard that GAC is
> > being revamped but in the meantime I am concerned about such large grants
> > being approved with so little community review. My worst-case scenario is
> > that WMF approves something with expensive and damaging consequences like
> > IEP or AFT5 that might have been refused or might have been better
> designed
> > if it had been subjected to meaningful community scrutiny. Because the
> > Annual Plan seems to assume that GAC is working well, I feel that this is
> > an issue that needs urgent attention.
> >
> > Thanks,
> >
> > Pine
> >
> >
> > [1]
> >
> >
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants_talk:PEG/Metro/Institutional_Growth_and_Community_Fellow
> > [2] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants_talk:PEG/WM_ZA/WLM-ZA-2014
> > [3] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:PEG/WM_AM/Wiki_Camp
> >
> >
> > On Mon, Jul 7, 2014 at 8:32 PM, Tilman Bayer <tba...@wikimedia.org>
> wrote:
> >
> > > Hi all,
> > >
> > > the Wikimedia Foundation's 2014-15 Annual Plan has just been published
> at
> > >
> > >
> > >
> >
> https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/File:2014-15_Wikimedia_Foundation_Plan.pdf
> > >
> > > accompanied by a Q&A:
> > >
> > >
> > >
> >
> https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/2014-2015_Annual_Plan_Questions_and_Answers
> > >
> > > The plan was approved by the Board of Trustees on June 29, 2014.
> > >
> > > --
> > > Tilman Bayer
> > > Senior Operations Analyst (Movement Communications)
> > > Wikimedia Foundation
> > > IRC (Freenode): HaeB
> > >
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>
> --
> Alex Wang
> Program Officer
> Project & Event Grants
> Wikimedia Foundation <http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Home>
> +1 415-839-6885
> Skype: alexvwang
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