Grants:APG/Proposal process

Summary of this section

The FDC accepts proposals for funds twice a year from eligible organizations through a transparent proposal and decision making process. The process for funds request, release, and reporting can be summarized in eight steps:

  • Step 1: Organizations submit Letters of Intent (LOIs) for the round in which they will request funding.
  • Step 2: WMF confirms the eligibility of organizations for this round based on established criteria.
  • Step 3: Eligible organizations submit a complete APG proposal form by the proposal submission date for each round.
  • Step 4: Proposals are open for review and comment for one month, and staff proposal assessments are published.
  • Step 5: The FDC makes a recommendation to the WMF Board of Trustees.
  • Step 6: The WMF Board of Trustees makes final decision on funds dissemination.
  • Step 7: Grantees sign Grant Agreements with WMF, and WMF releases the first installment of grant funds within 30 days of the date the grant agreement is executed.
  • Step 8: Grantees submit progress reports within 30 days of end of the second quarter (for older grants, three progress reports are required), and WMF releases the second installment of grant funds.
  • Step 9: Grantees submit final impact reports within 90 days of the end of the grant's term, with audited financial statements.
  • Step 10: Congratulations! This Annual Plan Grant is complete.

Please go to Grants:APG to create your proposal hub page and your letter of intent, or visit your proposal hub page if you have already started this process.

The Funds Dissemination Committee (FDC) is a body that advises the Board of Trustees on how to effectively distribute funds to activities that will support the mission goals of the Wikimedia movement. Wikimedia organizations that may seek funds from the FDC include chapters, thematic organizations, and other groups that meet the eligibility criteria.

The FDC accepts public proposals for funds twice a year from eligible organizations through a transparent proposal and decision-making process. The deadlines for these funding rounds are 23:59 UTC 1 October and 23:59 UTC 1 April. Community members are then invited to discuss the proposals on the talk pages, and fund-seeking organizations are encouraged to respond to questions and comments from community members.

The FDC will strive to be a center of excellence in the movement by holding organizations to high standards in the plans they develop and in the implementation of their plans. To this end, the FDC will evaluate proposals based on their likely impact in helping the Wikimedia movement achieve its global priorities as outlined in the five-year strategic plan.

Proposals to the FDC must be in English. Applicants may request help from FDC staff in enlisting the community's assistance in the task of translation, but applicants are ultimately responsible for ensuring their proposal and supporting text are correctly and fully translated. Applicants should ensure that currency conversions are accurate at the time of writing.

Expectations of applicants

  • To participate in the APG process responsively and positively, including preparing and providing all required information in a format that meets APG requirements, and on time;
  • To plan and manage the proposal process to ensure sufficient time for proper internal review, quality control, and translation (if necessary) before a proposal is submitted;
  • To respond promptly to requests for information from the community, the FDC, and FDC staff;
  • To inform the FDC chair promptly if circumstances change in a way that may affect the fund-seeking entity's eligibility for funding, or the substance of its funding request;
  • To anticipate and plan for internal processes and controls to guarantee that the requested funding will be used in a way that is consistent with the entity's request, the terms of the grant agreement, and the mission goals of the Wikimedia movement;
  • To build the capacity to report back to the community, the FDC, and WMF on use of the funds;
  • To anticipate and plan for reviews or audits by the FDC and WMF of the use and success of the funding and funded activities;
  • To cooperate with investigations conducted by the FDC Ombudsperson at the request of the Board representatives on the FDC;
  • To work constructively and honestly with all parties involved in the APG process to meet the best interests of the Wikimedia movement, and to support and advance the mission goals of the Wikimedia movement.

Proposal steps


Applicant begins proposal

  • All applicants begin their proposal by using the button/form on the landing page of the portal. This button will be available for 30 days before letters of intent are due. Please do not begin a proposal or create a document in any other way.

Applicant submits letter of intent

  • All applicants must publish a letter of intent on Meta to state that they plan to apply in a particular round, and provide documentation to show that they meet APG eligibility requirements. Once published on Meta, the Letter of Intent (LOI) will be updated by staff.
  • The deadlines for applicants to submit Letters of Intent are 23:59 UTC 1 June (Round 1) and 23:59 UTC 1 November (Round 2)
  • To create/publish a letter of intent, applicants must begin the proposal process with the button/form on the landing page of the portal. All other documents and forms are created from the entity's own landing page, buttons/forms and instructions will be provided.

WMF staff determine if applicants are eligible

  • Letters of Intent and supporting documentation are reviewed by WMF staff according to the eligibility criteria. Applicants that are deemed non-compliant work with WMF staff to develop a compliance plan.
  • WMF staff will publish a list of applicants by the eligibility announcement deadline for each round.

Eligible applicants submit a proposal to the FDC

  • Applicants publish their proposals on Meta according to the instructions at Grants:APG. Their proposals must include:
  1. A completed Proposal form;
  2. A link to the entity's annual report from the previous year, including financial statements and an assessment of the impact of the previous year’s activities;
  3. A financial statement for the current year, reflecting the entity's year-to-date finances for the month ending not more than 90 days before the submission date; and
  4. The entity's complete annual plan for the funding period, including details about planned activities and finances;
  • There are special funding guidelines that the FDC will follow in the years 2012–2014 to ease the transition for Wikimedia organizations to the new funds dissemination process. Please refer to these guidelines.
  • Proposals for each round must be completed before the proposal deadline for each round, and may not be modified after submission without written approval from FDC support staff. Before the proposal deadline, applicants may request that FDC support staff confirm that a proposal is complete and provide feedback.
    • Before submitting a proposal, applicants may request a voluntary peer review from another Wikimedia entity (this entity may or may not be eligible for APG funding itself). Peer reviewers will ask for clarifications, make suggestions, and provide guidance.
  • The proposal submission deadlines are 23:59 UTC 1 October for Round 1 and 23:59 UTC 1 April for Round 2.
  • Incomplete or late proposals will not be considered: applicants may be able to submit their proposals in a subsequent round.

Complete proposals are open for public comment and FDC staff review proposals simultaneously

  • Immediately after the proposal deadline, there will be a 30-day open comment period for community members and subject-matter experts to provide input and ask questions about each proposal on the proposal form discussion page.
  • During this period, applicants are encouraged to respond to this input and to provide additional clarifications about each proposal on the proposal form discussion page. This community input and the applicant's responses are considered by the FDC.
  • Community members are free to provide comments or ask questions beyond this 30-day window, but it is likely that comments and questions will not be considered by the FDC, FDC support staff, or the entity.
  • At the same time, WMF staff will review proposals and organizations for compliance considerations under U.S. law (including, for example, restrictions on political activities as well as money-laundering and terrorism regulations). If there are concerns, the WMF will work withapplicants to address them.
  • FDC staff develop an objective report for each entity assessing each entity's ability to execute its plan, and the plan's potential for impact on the mission goals of the Wikimedia movement. See, this page for more details about the decision-making process.
  • This objective report may also include input from subject-matter experts. Input will be posted publicly on Meta unless exceptional circumstances require it to be kept private.

The FDC makes recommendations to the WMF Board

  • The FDC holds a meeting to deliberate and prepare a single slate of allocations in each round for the review of the WMF Board of Trustees. FDC staff will attend the meeting and provide information to the FDC when needed.
  • For each fund-seeking entity, the FDC will provide the WMF Board of Trustees with a recommended allocation, ranging from zero to the total amount requested. The FDC will prepare basic feedback for each fund-seeking entity, assessing its performance and ways to strengthen future funding proposals. This allocation and feedback will be linked to from each proposal.
  • Before the FDC formally presents its recommendations to the WF Board of Trustees, the Executive Director will certify that its recommendations have been reviewed and subjected to appropriate due diligence.
  • The deadlines for the FDC to recommend its slate of allocations are 1 December for Round 1 and 1 June for Round 2.

The WMF Board of Trustees makes the final decision on funds dissemination

  • The Board may choose to approve all, part, or none of the FDC's slate of recommendations, and may modify individual recommendations by increasing or decreasing the amount to be allocated.
  • The deadlines for the Board to approve final allocations are 1 January for Round 1 and 1 July for Round 2.
  • The Board's decision and next steps for funds release will be linked to from each proposal.

Grantees that receive APG funding sign grant agreements

  • The distribution of funds to a non-fundraising chapter is contingent upon a signed grant agreement with the WMF.

WMF releases funds to grantees

  • The deadline for funds to be transferred is 30 days after the publication of the Board's decisions or 30 days after the grant agreement is signed, whichever is later. Funds not transferred within 120 days of the publication of the Board's decision may be returned to the WMF reserves.




Milestone 2020-2021 Round 1 2020-2021 Round 2
WMF confirms eligibility 15 October 2020 15 March 2021
Proposals due 30 October 2020 1 May 2021
Decisions announced 1 December 2020 1 June 2021
Grant term starts 1 January 2021 1 July 2021
Progress report due 30 July 2021 30 January 2022
Grant term ends 31 December 2021 30 June 2022
Impact report due 31 March 2022 28 September 2022
Audited financial report due 30 April 2022 31 October 2022

This table explains important milestones for each round of the Annual Plan Grants (APG) process, from the submission date for letters of intent through the submission of audited financial statements at the conclusion of the reporting period. Each milestone links to process documentation about that event, while links to documents for each round may be found in the body of this table. For more information, you can review the proposal process documentation. See archived rounds.

NOTE: In 2018-2019, the process will follow a different timetable which will be shared with the organizations participating in the APG process. The process will not be accepting new FDC-APG organizations applicants before at least June 2019. Reporting requirements have not changed.

Milestone 2015–2016 Round 2 2016–2017 Round 1 2016–2017 Round 2 2017–2018 Round 1 2018–2019 Round 1
Letters of intent due 1 November 2015
1 July 2016
1 November 2016
1 July 2017
Error: Invalid time.
WMF assesses eligibility 15 January 2016
Eligibility checklist
15 July 2016
Eligibility checklist
15 January 2017
Eligibility checklist
15 July 2017
Eligibility checklist
15 July 2018
Eligibility checklist
WMF confirms eligibility 15 March 2016 15 September 2016 15 March 2017 15 September 2017 15 October 2018
Proposals due
Proposal form
1 April 2016
1 October 2016
1 April 2017
1 October 2017
1 November 2018
Community review until 30 April 2016 30 October 2016 30 April 2017 30 October 2017 {{{month}}}
Staff assessments due
Assessment form
8 May 2016
8 November 2016
8 May 2017
8 November 2017
Deliberations 13 May 2016 16 November 2016 1 May 2017 16 November 2017 {{{month}}}
FDC recommendation due 1 June 2016
FDC recommendation
1 December 2016
FDC recommendation
1 June 2017
FDC recommendation
1 December 2017
FDC recommendation
Board decision due 1 July 2016
Board decision
1 January 2017
Board decision
1 July 2017
Board decision
1 January 2018
Board decision
1 January 2019
Board decision
Appeals and complaints until 8 June 2016 8 December 2016 8 June 2017 8 December 2017 8 December 2018
Progress reports Q2 due 30 January 2017
30 July 2017
30 January 2018
30 July 2018
30 July 2018
Impact reports due 28 September 2017 28 March 2018 28 September 2018 28 March 2019 28 March 2020
Financial statements due [*] see notes 28 October 2017 28 April 2018 28 October 2018 28 April 2019 28 April 2020

[*] Notes

  • Dates in this line are indicative. As per the grant agreements, audited financial statements are due 120 days after the end of an organization's fiscal year. This may vary depending on the organization. As of June 2017:
  • Round 1: WMUK has a fiscal year ending on 31 January, so due date is 31 May
  • Round 2:
    • CIS has a fiscal year ending on 31 March, so due date is 31 July
    • WMAM and WMNO have a fiscal year ending on 31 December, so due date is, as per round 1, 28 April