While Sue's concerns about the overheads involved with some of the Wikimedia 
chapters seem well-founded, there would also be some pretty obvious problems 
with the WMF attempting to fund individuals around the world directly. A well 
run local chapter seems better placed to sort the wheat from the chaff when 
assessing country/region-specific proposals, and that might be a good angle to 
emphasise as part of WMAU funding applications - the chapter has a pretty good 
record in funding projects that result in additional content being added to 
Wikipedia and Commons (and other sites), and it's overheads are very low 
compared to some of the other chapters. The Committee might also want to 
highlight the kind of proposals it doesn't approve to demonstrate the 
advantages of local knowledge. 
As an aside, from having watched the video, it's notable that the WMF's grants 
team comprises 10 people. This is a large team to administer $US8 million in 
funding, most of which is apparently being provided to a small number of 
chapters with whom the WMF has long standing relationships and reporting 
arrangements - the overheads for the team alone would be in the order of 
$US1-$2 million. While it obviously costs money to assess and administer grants 
effectively (and this kind of work can be very labour-intensive when done 
correctly), this is relatively generous staffing compared to what NGOs or 
public service agencies would allocate to a program of this scale and type. If 
the WMF wants to allocate less money to chapters and more to individuals 
they're facing some major internal costs... 
From: kerry.raym...@gmail.com
To: memb...@wikimedia.org.au; wikimediaau-l@lists.wikimedia.org
Date: Fri, 4 Oct 2013 12:26:01 +1000
Subject: Re: [Wikimediaau-l] [Chapters] Fwd: [Wikimedia Announcements] Funds    
Dissemination Committee: Report on first year of operations

Further to this, I happened to be watching
to the WMF Metrics Meeting, which also reveals some interesting information on
the grants process.


with the relevant section commencing at 34 mins 20 secs.




Kerry Raymond [mailto:kerry.raym...@gmail.com] 

Sent: Friday, 4 October 2013 6:21

To: 'memb...@wikimedia.org.au';
'Wikimedia Australia Chapter'

Subject: FW: [Chapters] Fwd:
[Wikimedia Announcements] Funds Dissemination Committee: Report on first year
of operations



Chapters [mailto:chapters-boun...@wikimedia.ch] On Behalf Of Itzik Edri

Sent: Friday, 4 October 2013 5:49

To: Chapters mailing list

Subject: [Chapters] Fwd:
[Wikimedia Announcements] Funds Dissemination Committee: Report on first year of




I don't know how many of you had the time already to read Sue's report.


I'll give some Chapters Executive Highlights:


I am pleased by the first year of the FDC. That said, I also want to note that
I have significant
concerns about how our movement entities are


Disproportionate resources and influence of Wikimedia
organizations: I believe that
currently, too large a proportion of the movement's money is being spent by the
chapters. The value in the Wikimedia projects is primarily created by
individual editors: individuals create the value for readers, which results in
those readers donating money to the movement. We have over 40 Wikimedia
organizations today, 12 of whom received funding allocations through the FDC 
year. Of the US$5.65 million WMF gave out in grants last year, 89% or US$5.04
million were to affiliate entities, with US$4.71 million (83% of the total
grants) to these 12 entities for their annual plans. I am not sure that the
additional value created by movement entities such as chapters justifies the
financial cost, and I wonder whether it might make more sense for the movement
to focus a larger amount of spending on direct financial support for
individuals working in the projects.


High costs and unclear results: [...] I believe we're spending a lot of money, 
more than is
warranted by the results we've been seeing. I am concerned by the growth rates
requested by the entities submitting funding requests to the FDC: I believe
that in order to justify the size of grants that have been sought, the entities
involved should need to be able to say clearly how their plan will make an
important contribution to helping the Wikimedia movement achieve its mission.


Growing institutionalization of the movement: During the WMF strategic planning 
process, at the beginning of
2010, there were only three chapters with staff.
By the end of the first year of the FDC process, there are at least 15
Wikimedia affiliates with full or part-time staff and offices (not all of them
in the FDC process). [..]


FDC process dominated by chapters perspectives: I am also concerned that the 
FDC itself --the most significant
and powerful funding mechanism for our movement-- has very few
non-chapter-related members: the majority of its members are also Board/former
Board members of a chapter. [...]. But I do also believe that people who are
involved in chapter organizations (and other Wikimedia organizations) have a
particular worldview that is in some ways different from that of Wikimedians
who choose not to become involved with incorporated Wikimedia organizations,
and I think a healthy funds dissemination process would benefit from multiple





---------- Forwarded
message ----------

From: Sue Gardner <sgard...@wikimedia.org>

Date: Thu, Oct 3, 2013 at 3:47 AM

Subject: [Wikimedia Announcements] Funds Dissemination Committee: Report on
first year of operations

To: Wikimedia Announce Mailing List <wikimediaannounc...@lists.wikimedia.org>

Hi folks,

As you know, in July 2012 the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees asked me
to set up the Funds Dissemination Committee, a volunteer-driven advisory
committee created to make recommendations to the Board allocating funds for
chapters and other Wikimedia movement entities. I did that, and the FDC has now
been fully operational for a little more than a year.

As part of the FDC framework, I committed that after the FDC’s first year
of operation I would create a report for the Board that documented the state of
the FDC at that moment in time, and told the Board about any revisions we had
made to the process as a result of stakeholder input during its first year.

The purpose of this note is to tell you that report is now posted. It’s

If you’ve got comments on the report I’d suggest that rather than
replying to this list, you leave them on the talk page. And, my thanks to
everyone who contributed to the FDC's first year of operations, and also to the
report :-)





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