Hi everyone,

I wanted to share the following email. I send this to all current Wikimedia
conference grant recipients earlier today.


   - All conferences funded by Wikimedia Foundation grants must be
   cancelled or postponed until further notice
   - Cancellation fees and other penalties can be covered through grant
   - Not complying with these instructions might affect future grant
   - Please contact your program officers for further guidance
   - We will not be approving grants for conferences until further notice

Thanks for your understanding, and stay safe!



Hi all,

I’m writing to you as applicants and recipients of funding for Wikimedia
movement conferences scheduled or planned before December 2020. You will
not be surprised to learn that we are making some changes to our support
for movement conferences during the 2020 global COVID-19 pandemic.[1][2]

Two weeks ago, I sent all Project, Rapid, and Annual Plan grantees a
request to cancel or reschedule all public programs, and last week, we
canceled Wikimania[4]. Today, I want to provide clarity for recipients of
conference grants.

*== Cancelling or postponing events: next steps == *
We are asking all grantees with previously-approved and funded conferences
to postpone or cancel their conference until the World Health Organization
declares the COVID-19 pandemic over.

We recognize that you have already put a lot of effort into organizing and
planning your conference. However, our first priority is the health and
safety of you, your Wikimedia community, and the general public. We thank
you for modeling social responsibility and leadership by postponing your

Global public health guidance indicates that the more quickly the world
responds to a pandemic, the better off the outcomes. In order to safeguard
free knowledge, we must also prioritize the well-being of the people who
make it possible.

*To facilitate postponing* the events and rescheduling them to a date *after
15 September 2020*, we ask the following:

   1. Gather the data regarding all prepaid expenses, and report on any
   unused funds. Any incurred costs due to cancellations will not be deducted
   from your total grant. In due time, we will review any increase requests on
   a case-by-case basis.
   2. Determining the new event date should be done in collaboration with
   your program officer (Chen Almog, cal...@wikimedia.org) to ensure your
   new event date does not overlap with other movement events or other
   potential constraints.
   3. Please hold the grant funds until they can be repurposed to cover the
   rescheduled event. Those funds should not be repurposed to accommodate any
   other activity without your program officer’s approval.
   4. If you have a proposal for repurposing the grant funds that is
   different than simply postponing your event, please discuss this with your
   program officer.
   5. Our hope is that we will have better insight into the future by June.
   We will reach out to you by June 30th to revisit the situation. Please feel
   free to reach out if you think you are ready to discuss this earlier.
   6. If you wish to* cancel* your proposed event, we ask you to
   communicate this to us soon so we can specifically work with you on
   returning the funds to the Wikimedia Foundation for other use.

*== Thank you == *
We know how important it is to support one another and keep our communities
connected right now. We also know how important it is that you are able to
take care of yourself, your family, and other aspects of your life. If you
want to continue planning Wikimedia activities appropriate for this moment
(such as online, distributed events), we support you. Hosting online events
will be new for many of us, but we have already seen Wikimedians around the
world working on new approaches. We encourage you to connect with them, and
review this growing collection of resources on Meta-Wiki.[5]

We also recognize some people may need to pause in their volunteer efforts
in order to take care of those around them. That’s also okay. You should
not feel pressure to redesign your activities in order to meet previous
goals. There is no penalty for canceling.

Your program officer can work with you to discuss any ideas or answer
questions, so please reach out to us if you would like to talk. We’ll also
keep sharing more information and resources in the coming weeks via usual
community channels and this Meta-Wiki page:
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/COVID-19 [6]

We are all here to support you and your communities right now. If you have
any questions about this email or your grant, please contact your program
manager, or send an email to eventst...@wikimedia.org.

Stay safe and take care!

With thanks,

Katherine Maher - Chief Executive Officer,
Janeen Uzzell - Chief Operating Officer,
Joël Letang - Events Team Manager

[1] https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019
[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2019%E2%80%9320_coronavirus_pandemic
[3] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Community_Resources/COVID-19_Notice
[4] https://wikimania.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimania
[5] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/WikiProject_remote_event_participation
[6] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/COVID-19


Katherine Maher (she/her)

Executive Director

Wikimedia Foundation <https://wikimediafoundation.org/>


Katherine Maher (she/her)

Executive Director

Wikimedia Foundation <https://wikimediafoundation.org/>
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