Hi Tara and Chris,

Well, if you have access to large quantities of no-questions-asked cash to
fund the chapter with, that would be a start ;-)

In all seriousness though, my advice and request would be to jump in and
comment boldly on the proposals on the chapter wiki.  If something doesn't
look right, question it.  If you have an improvement to suggest, then
suggest it!  It is far better to have these discussions on things that
don't add up now, rather than later when we're asking the Foundation for
money to fund it.  If you've got time and the commitment to take ownership
of one of the projects to make sure that it succeeds (keeping in mind that
most of that sort of work is pretty tedious), then get in touch with the
committee and we'll see if something can be arranged.

Craig Franklin

On 7 March 2013 20:52, Tara Macphail <tara.macph...@me.com> wrote:

> Thanks Craig - Just wanted to second Chris' thoughts/questions on
> this. Tara
> On 07/03/2013, at 1:04 PM, Chris Watkins wrote:
> Thanks Craig,
> Your efforts and the efforts of others in moving this forward are much
> appreciated. What can we, members and supporters, do to help?
> I don't want to make big promises (what with the cooking and the kids...
> metaphorically speaking) but is it possible to chunk down the key parts of
> the key projects and see where people are inspired to contribute?
> On 06/03/2013 10:25 PM, "Craig Franklin" <cfrank...@halonetwork.net>
> wrote:
>> Dear All,
>> As you may be aware, Wikimedia Australia has withdrawn its application
>> for funding from round two of the Funds Dissemination Committee’s
>> (FDC) application process.  John Vandenberg and Steve Zhang spoke
>> about this at length during our public meeting last weekend, and I
>> encourage you to read the transcript of the meeting below for their
>> thoughts on the matter:
>> http://www.wikimedia.org.au/wiki/Meeting:Public_(2013-03-03)/Transcript
>> This email is a summary of some of my thoughts on why we did this, and
>> what direction the organisation should take from here.  These are my
>> thoughts only and not the official position of the chapter.
>> The nature of the FDC’s application process is that they have two
>> major grantmaking rounds every year, with the most recent round
>> closing on March 1.  It had been the intention of the management
>> committee to apply for annual funding for the 2013 calendar year
>> through this process.  As March 1 came closer, it became apparent to
>> me and the rest of the committee that we simply weren’t going to be
>> ready for this date.  The reasons for this were:
>> * We were still in the early stages of planning the World War One WiR
>> programme, a major initiative of the chapter that is tentatively
>> budgeted at over $150,000.  However, we felt that it was unlikely we
>> would be successful in getting funding for this initiative until we
>> had a more concrete idea of which institutions would be participating,
>> how many Wikimedians in Residence we could realistically support, and
>> what the overhead costs of running the program would be.
>> * Other programmes that the chapter has on the table need further
>> detail and costing to be performed before they’re ready to go. The
>> outcomes of these programmes are positive, and they align with the
>> strategic plans of both the chapter and the Wikimedia Foundation, but
>> we need to get better at articulating how we’ll get from vision to
>> implementation, and how much money we’ll spend, and what we’ll spend
>> it on.
>> * The FDC in the last round recommended that we establish a more
>> consistent record of programme success, and while we have had
>> successful programmes in that time (our presence at the New
>> Librarian’s Symposium and ALIA Information On Line events, workshops
>> in Toowoomba and Bendigo, and the beginning of a relationship with the
>> State Library of New South Wales), another six months of solid
>> achievement will give us a better foundation upon which to ask for
>> further funding.
>> The other major factor in making this decision is the significant
>> amount of administrative overhead that is involved in preparing and
>> submitting an application to the FDC.  As you are probably aware,
>> Wikimedia Australia has no paid staff, and the bulk of the work is
>> done by members of the management committee, whose time is taken up
>> with their own jobs, families, and other commitments.  Our limited and
>> precious Wikimedia time is usually best served advancing the interests
>> of the community and the movement by doing the things that we are good
>> at – running workshops, talking to GLAMs, and bringing the community
>> together, rather than filling out paperwork for the Foundation.  I
>> have observed that most if not all of the entities who have thus far
>> been successful in obtaining funds from the FDC have been those
>> entities who already have paid staff and other resources who can write
>> a quality application without having to worry about looking after the
>> kids and cooking dinner at the same time.
>> My other observation would be that lodging an FDC application
>> effectively bars an organisation from requesting funding from the
>> Wikimedia Foundation through their other funding processes.  I do not
>> see any logical reason for this; surely a request for funding ought to
>> be judged on its merits and positive impact on the movement, rather
>> than on decisions made in a separate programme by a separate body.  If
>> we applied to the FDC and got another disappointing offer, it would
>> more or less preclude the chapter from being able to take advantage of
>> any other opportunities that presented themselves for a whole year.
>> Having been on the committee of management for over two years now, it
>> has been my experience that such opportunities often present
>> themselves at very short notice, and tying ourselves to an annual
>> funding model with no opportunity to make supplementary applications
>> would not be in the best interests of the movement.
>> So, where to from here?  At the moment, the plan is to apply for
>> funding on a per-project basis from the WMF Grants Program (a separate
>> avenue to the FDC).  This will be done when the planning for each
>> project is ready, and has a reasonable prospect of success.  I hope
>> that the Foundation will also be willing to come to the party and
>> provide meaningful technical advice on the grant applications we make
>> this way, not only so that we are successful in getting the
>> applications improved, but also to try and spot any potential flaws or
>> opportunities that we haven’t seen, and make sure that our programmes
>> are the best that they can be.
>> That’s all from me for now, I’m very happy to answer any questions
>> that you might have on this topic.  In the interests of transparency
>> and openness, I would prefer if these questions are asked on the
>> public wikimediaau-l mailing list
>> (https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimediaau-l) rather
>> than the private WMAU members list, and I will provide my responses
>> there.
>> Regards,
>> Craig Frankin
>> Treasurer – Wikimedia Australia
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