This glossary is not a policy document. It is intended to be an aid to anyone participating in or trying to understand the FDC process. Please visit the information page for more information and links to other documents about the FDC process.


Affiliations Committee (formerly the Chapters Committee)
The Affiliations Committee Advises and makes recommendations regarding the recognition and existence of Wikimedia movement affiliates (Chapters, Thematic Organizations, User Groups).
A set of funds to be used for a specific purpose, which may or may not be a grant in the technical sense.
Annual plan
A 12-month plan that includes descriptions of an organization's programs and activities, and an annual budget; these are often formed in consultation with an organization and a local community or communities. An annual plan is a detailed document that can supplement the information in an Annual Plan Grant (APG) proposal, and is a required part of the proposal.
Annual plan grants (APG) program
Annual Plan Grants (APG) are Wikimedia movement funds allocated to support an organization’s overall annual plan to achieve mission objectives. The APG program is the mechanism through which these grants are requested, awarded, supported, and analyzed, with the goal of supporting the mission objectives of the organizations receiving grants.
An organization formally requesting funds through the APG process before a decision about a grant has been made.
Chapter or thematic organization agreement
A signed agreement between the WMF and a chapter or thematic organization describing the conditions under which the chapter or thematic organization can use the Wikimedia trademarks.
Currency requested
The currency in which the applicant would like to receive a grant (e.g., EUR, GBP, INR). Unless special circumstances are approved by WMF, this should be the applicant's local currency.
Due diligence
Research and analysis of an applicant's financial and organizational health and capacity that informs a funding decision. As part of the APG process, WMF staff must perform due diligence to make sure that every grantee can receive funds.
Eligible organization
Organizations are deemed "eligible" if they meet the following six requirements:
  1. They have been formally acknowledged by the Wikimedia Board of Trustees as a Wikimedia-affiliated organization;
  2. They have a signed agreement with the WMF (e.g., chapter or thematic organization agreement);
  3. They have a record of either:
  4. Successfully completing two grants from the WMF; or
  5. Successfully completing one grant and participating in one fundraising campaign as a payment-processor; or
  6. Participating in two fundraising campaigns as a payment processor;
  7. They have submitted a letter of intent to seek an allocation from the FDC;
  8. They comply with contractual obligations agreed with the WMF, such as those in chapter and thematic organization agreements, fundraiser agreements, grant agreements, or other formal agreements;
  9. They comply with all relevant US and local laws.
The WMF will inform organizations of outstanding eligibility gaps a few months before the proposal deadline.
Expenses (also, "costs", "expenditures", "spending")
The amounts an organization pays or plans to pay for its programs and operations.
FDC ombudsperson
An elected individual responsible for coordinating feedback about the FDC, and APG processes and outcomes. The ombudsperson is responsible for a developing an annual report to the WMF Board summarizing feedback about the APG process and the FDC from members of the community.
Fiduciary responsibility (or fiduciary duty)
The legal or ethical obligation of one party (the fiduciary) to act in the best interest of another. For example , the WMF Board of Trustees has fiduciary responsibility for the WMF, meaning that it is the trustee of the WMF's assets and must exercise due diligence to ensure that the organization is well-managed and that its financial situation remains sound.
Funds dissemination
Distributing funds raised on the Wikimedia websites to volunteers, groups, and organizations in the Wikimedia movement.
An individual or organization seeking funds for a specific program or set of activities, that has submitted an application for funding.
Funds Dissemination Committee (FDC)
A volunteer committee advising the Wikimedia Board of Trustees on funding decisions about Annual Plan Grants.
Fundraising agreement
An agreement that defines a fundraising partnership between the WMF and a Wikimedia organization, for Wikimedia organizations that process payments from the fundraiser.
General support
General support grants fund an organization’s overall annual plan to achieve mission objectives, including both program costs and operational costs. General support grants may be used at the organization's discretion, within the terms of the grant agreement.
An individual, group, team or organization receiving funds to do a project or annual plan.
Grant Advisory Committee (GAC)
A volunteer committee advising grantmaking staff on funding decisions about Project and Event Grants (PEG) program.
Growth rate
To understand how an organization is growing in budget, or in funds requested from the FDC as part of the Annual Plan Grants (APG) process, each year, we calculate an organization's growth rate as a percentage:
  • To calculate the annual growth rate, divide the current annual budget (or amount of movement funding requested) by the previous year's annual budget (or amount of movement funding received)
  • Then subtract 1.0 from this number. The result will be what we consider the organization's annual growth rate (or growth rate in movement funding).
For example, if an organization's proposed budget is 900,000 and its current budget is 850,000, the growth rate could be calculated as follows:
(900,000 / 850,000) − 1.0 = 0.05882352941 = 5.88% growth
The FDC may understand an organization's growth in other ways: for example, growth in programmatic impact, growth in activity, growth in number of staff, growth in FTEs, growth in proposed budget based on actual or projected spending for a given year. The growth rate showing the difference between the previous year's and the current year's budget is just one of many ways the FDC may understand an organization's growth.
Letter of intent
A written statement submitted by applicants at the start of the Annual Plan Grants (APG) proposal process, which states an applicant's intent to apply for funds and provides a non-binding estimate of the amount of funds that will be requested in the upcoming round. Only organizations submitting letters of intent by the deadline will be evaluated for eligibility and able to submit a proposal.
Long-term contractors
Individuals with contracts of at least six months' duration.
Operating expense
Operating expenses and operating activities are not directly related to an organization's programs. These include overhead costs such as legal fees, insurance, office administration, office supplies not for a particular program, office rent, human resources, and recruiting fees (if not included in staff costs), governance, fundraising, accounting, board or staff training (if not included in staff costs), and other organization activities. These expenses or activities should not be included in program expenses or listed as separate programs in the Annual Plan Grant (APG) proposal form.
Operating reserves
A safeguard allotment of funds defined by the Board of Trustees to ensure the WMF's ability to continue core operations in the event of unanticipated expenses or a shortfall in future revenues.
Other revenues
Sources of funding for the WMF or other entities that are not initiated from Wikimedia websites or grants raised from cultivated relationships. Examples include membership dues and endowments.
Payment processor
An organization (the WMF or a chapter) able to process donations directly from project websites as part of the annual fundraising campaign.
Project and Event Grants Program
Project and Event Grants (PEG) support organizations, groups, and individuals to undertake high-impact, mission-aligned projects that benefit the Wikimedia movement.
A group of related projects and activities that share the same objectives, are repeated on a regular basis, are based on a similar theory of change, and use similar processes and interventions to make that change happen. Please see the definition in the Evaluation Glossary.
Project funding
Project funding supports specific projects or programs in which funds are tied to specific line-item activities. An organization may apply for a project grant from the Project and Event Grants (PEG) program or other granting organization if the project involves no ongoing expenses such as staff, even if the organization is ineligible to apply for general funding through the Annual Plan Grants (APG) process or does not need it.
Reserve balance
The amount of net funds (revenue less cost) that an organization has accumulated.
Any funds earned by an organization. Revenues may include grants, membership fees, and earned income.
Full- and part- time organization employees or long-term contractors.
Supplementary documents
Documents submitted with an Annual Plan Grant proposal as subpages of the proposal form that provide additional information needed to understand the proposal (ex: a detailed budget). These will be considered by the Funds Dissemination Committee as part of the proposal.
Thematic organization
A Wikimedia-affiliated group that supports and promotes the movement with respect to a specific field or area, and that is not necessarily defined as serving within a nation-state jurisdiction.
Wikimedia Chapter
Wikimedia chapters are independent organizations founded to support and promote the Wikimedia projects in a specified geographical region (country). Like the Wikimedia Foundation, they aim to empower and engage people around the world to collect and develop educational content under a free license or in the public domain, and to disseminate it effectively and globally.