Each year, the Wikimedia Foundation conducts a grant making process to support the work of chapters around the world. We are happy to announce that 15 grants for ten different chapters have been awarded for the 2010-2011 fiscal year thus far. The Wikimedia Foundation is excited to help launch all of these great projects and we encourage other chapters (and organized groups of volunteers) to consider grant request as we have additional funds available.
We’d like to spotlight a grant from 2009/10 as an example of the work that chapters are doing. The Indonesian chapter ran a project Bebaskan Pengetahuan 2010 (Free Your Knowledge 2010) during 2009/10. The grant aimed to enrich the informational content of the Bahasa Indonesian language Wikipedia with the goal of increasing active contributions.
The highly anticipated competition included 10 universities on the island of Java, each appointing nine students to compete and one professor to evaluate the writing results for the largest quantity and highest quality of articles produced in the Bahasa Indonesian language. The top-five student winners received a laptop computer and free operating system. The grand-prize winner was awarded a trip to the 2010 Wikimania in Gdansk, Poland this past July.
While it is hard to directly attribute the impact of the project to the overall project growth, it is worth noting that the Bahasa Indonesia Wikipedia article count grew by over 20% to 130,000 articles between August 2009 and July 2010. In addition, page views on Indonesian Wikipedia grew by 100% in that time period – the fastest growing Wikipedia in the world.
The 2010/11 grants have been provided by the Wikimedia Foundation to further the growth of new chapters in the areas of Organizational Development, Digital Technology and Outreach Activities. This year will see chapter start-ups and kick-offs in Hong Kong, Estonia, Ukraine, the Philippines and in New York City. As a result of these grants, chapters will be able to register and host their own websites, secure government permits and non-profit status as well as pay necessary legal fees.
Organizational development is an important aspect in expanding individual chapters. Several Foundation grants have been given for materials such as laptop computers, projectors, and video equipment. This year, the Netherlands have been granted a forgiveness grant from their participation in 2009/10 fundraiser revenue sharing. These funds will be allocated towards sustainable organizational development and outreach activities.
Digital technology grants have been given to the Hungary chapter for a Free License Photo Competition, encouraging the photographer community to place their work under Free License for the Wikimedia Commons project. The Czech Republic followed up their successful photo project in 2009/10 and will continue their efforts to expand the site’s documentation of regional costumes and traditions and vernacular architectural landmarks project.
Outreach activities are an integral part of chapter work on behalf of the movement. Internship programs, Wikimedia conferences and academies, and educational programs in schools and universities are all a part of this program. New York City is setting a worldwide precedent by holding the first annual Wikipedia Day NYC 2011. In conjunction with several 10th Anniversary celebrations to commemorate a decade of Wikipedia, funds will go to logistics preparation and conference supplies for participants.
Sharing in Outreach Activities, Wikimedia Switzerland will be embarking on a three-year project to invite senior citizens into the world of Wikipedia editing. By fostering the life experience and collective knowledge of seniors, the Third Age Online (TAO) program will be used to bridge age and cultural gaps in the community. Likewise, our Hong Kong chapter will be working with a new mandatory liberal studies program in high schools, encouraging students to use and contribute to Wikipedia Hong Kong.
The grant process is open to all chapters and volunteer groups officially recognized by the Wikimedia Foundation. Proposals must be aligned with the Foundation’s shared mission statement and the core values that drive the Wikimedia project. Each of these project grants has been assessed by the Foundation for relevance based on the needs of individual chapters and the diffusion of Wikimedia language sites and Wikimedia projects worldwide. Once grants are approved, chapters are subject to reporting requirements that are then made available to the general public to enable knowledge sharing.
This year alone, the Wikimedia Foundation has awarded $82,000 in grants to international chapters and $115,000 in forgiveness funding for fundraiser revenue sharing. The Foundation is pleased to announce the availability of additional funds for the 2010/2011 fiscal year. We encourage all chapters to apply. For more information on our grant process please visit: http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:Index
Chief Global Development Officer