The Funds Dissemination Committee (FDC) invites members of the Wikimedia community to comment on the four proposals it has received, until March 31. The four funding requests total over $1.2 million USD and come from Wikimedia Czech Republic ($ 14,085), Wikimédia France ($ 747,259), Wikimedia Hong Kong ($ 211,660), and Wikimedia Norge ($ 235,715). These organizations are requesting funding to support their annual plans, which cover both programs (e.g. community support and outreach) and operations (e.g. staff and office rent).

As many of you know, the goal of the Funds Dissemination Committee is to help the WMF Board make decisions about how to effectively allocate movement funds to achieve Wikimedia’s mission, vision, and strategy. This is a new process set up last year, following many thoughtful discussions about distribution of money within the movement. It marked a significant devolution of power to the global volunteer community of Wikimedians. The committee consists of seven volunteers from seven different countries, all with significant experience as editors on Wikimedia projects. Among them all, they speak 13 languages, and have founded or have been Board members of five Wikimedia chapters. They were chosen for their experience within and outside of the Wikimedia movement, including familiarity with grantmaking, finance and project management.

In the first round of funding in December 2012, the FDC recommended funding allocations of $8.51 million USD for 12 movement entities. On March 1, the FDC received proposals from four organizations (another one withdrew their proposal) for a second round of funding. Since then, the FDC has invited members of the community to review the proposals, to ask questions, and to share comments. By doing this, they can help ensure that the allocated funding has high potential for impact in reaching the movement’s goals. The FDC especially values comments by community members and will take them into account when they prepare their recommendations.

We’re well into the community review period, but this week there’s still time left for community members to join the conversations. We are seeing a lot of productive dialogue between members of the community and the applying organizations. Good questions and comments are emerging about programs, staffing, language, organizational goals, and much more. We very much appreciate the time and effort that has gone into creating these proposals. We also sincerely appreciate the review efforts and the questions and comments that have been posted so far.

We invite you to add your voice and join the FDC community review, if you have not done so yet. You can do so by examining the four funding proposals and tell us what you think about the proposed plans. After reading them, ask questions or share comments on the discussion page of each proposal. The community review period closes on March 31.

The FDC’s approach is transparent, participatory and community-oriented; those features make it a unique process. As far as we know, there’s nothing quite like this out there in the nonprofit world. So we encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity and have a say in how our movement’s funds are spent.

Katy Love, Senior Program Officer, Funds Dissemination Committee