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Third time's the charm: the FDC's newest round of funding requests

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By The ed17

The Funds Dissemination Committee (FDC), the volunteer-led body that evaluates chapter and (for the first time) thematic organizational annual plan grant requests to the Wikimedia Foundation (WMF), is preparing for its third round of public proceedings to deliberate on the distribution of several million dollars of Wikimedia movement funds.

15 WMF-affiliated organizations are eligible to apply for this form of non-project-specific funding; project funding continues to be expanded through the WMF's Project and Event Grants Program, advised by the Grant Advisory Committee. Each fiscal year sees two rounds of fund dispersal by the FDC; last year's March round saw far higher numbers of requests than the October round (see Signpost coverage), and 2013 may see the same phenomenon. Two entities, Wikimedia Hong Kong and the Wiki Education Foundation, which conducts the WMF's US education program on Wikipedia, did not reach eligibility status this time. The former has not repaid unused grant funds from a prior dispersal, while the latter has not been recognized by the Foundation.

The Amical Wikimedia proposal stands out from the other applications as the first thematic organisation to apply for funds from the FDC. The group, which promotes free knowledge in the Catalan language, intends to ask for €90k to finance its programs. The largest affiliate request will come from Wikimedia Germany—by far the biggest Wikimedia chapter; it is currently considering asking for either €1.7M or €2.55M. The higher option would include support for the chapter's software development department, which in the past has delivered projects like Wikidata and RENDER, and is the only major institutional non-Foundation source of widely used Wikimedia tech projects and tools.

Good governance was a central question surrounding Wikimedia UK's last application in 2012–13, and the chapter, currently eyeing £780k, has recently found itself in another conflict-of-interest debate that has drawn media coverage.

Another application facing governance issues is the first application to be filed by Wikimedia India, seeking $200k. A community member publicly raised concerns over alleged employment dependencies among sitting executive committee members, and the last chapter election in August saw procedural uncertainties, with one candidate withdrawing in protest.

Applicants have until 1 October to finalize their proposals, after which the community can review and debate submissions for a month. FDC members, either WMF-appointed or community-elected, will consider both the applications and their related discussions in making their recommendation to the WMF board. Progress reports arranged by entity from the last early funding round (2012–13) can be viewed on Meta.

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  • I wrote to the Kickstarting Chopin people when they started their campaign and they are Wikipedia friendly. If their Kickstarter passes they are interested in using Wikipedia as a platform to promote interest in Chopin. If anyone would like to join me in following up with this then get in touch with me and also consider posting support for them and Wikipedia on their Kickstarter comments page. Blue Rasberry (talk) 17:52, 20 September 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  • WMF should stop funding local user groups, by which I mean the various pseudo-national entities such as Wikimedia UK, et al. Funds should be centrally allocated, with a view to building useful stuff that works, like a WYSIWYG editor, and improving storage and distribution of the database. Leftover funds? Bank them and start building and endowment... Carrite (talk) 01:14, 21 September 2013 (UTC)[reply]


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