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FDC portal launched

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By Jan eissfeldt

FDC under way

On August 1, the Funds Dissemination Committee (FDC) portal was launched on Meta. The FDC will implement the Wikimedia movement's new grant-orientated finance structure in accordance with the WMF board's recent resolutions (Signpost coverage). As a volunteer committee, the FDC will make recommendations to the WMF board on a $11.4 million budget for 2012–13.

Movement organizations can apply for FDC funds when they meet transparency criteria and have a successful WMF grant track record of at least two years or take part in the annual fundraiser payment processing (detailed criteria catalogue). To date, only two entities meet these criteria – the foundation itself and Wikimedia Philippines – and can submit grant application proposals. Sixteen chapters are eligible in principle but have yet to make transparent all required reports on financial conduct and grants. Twenty-two chapters, most of them recently established – are ineligible under the criteria, in particular the two-year track-record requirement.

Non-FDC funds can be requested through the WMF grant program. The foundation will make its own non-core programs subject to the FDC's volunteer review and recommendation process and will request FDC funds for its own grant program. This program budget, advised in turn by the volunteers of the Grant Advisory Committee (GAC), will allocate $400k in 2012–13 to support organizations and individuals that are not eligible to apply for FDC funds. Other resources available to individual Wikimedia volunteers are the participation support program, which has a wide non-Wikimedia centered scope, and the Wikimania-focused scholarship program, currently under review (Signpost coverage).

The early start of the FDC portal on August 1 drew some criticism due to the not-yet-concluded corrections of key documents such as the application form, and continuing work on other parts of the portal. To improve the community participation process in these efforts, the FDC staff has set up a central input page on Meta, where community members can leave their notes and get responses by the staff.

Volunteers interested in serving on the committee can submit (self-)nominations on Meta in accordance with the FDC membership criteria until 23:59 UTC August 15. The community can ask the candidates questions.

The WMF board will appoint the seven inaugural FDC members and an ombudsperson (nomination page) later this quarter and FDC eligible entities can submit their application proposals for funds until October 1. Subsequent FDC members will be partly community-elected (5) or WMF board appointed (4) and the membership will therefore be extended to 9 members.

In brief

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