Grants:APG/Proposals/2017-2018 round 1/Wikimedia Deutschland e.V./Proposal form

Proposal by Wikimedia Deutschland e.V. to support its annual plan with 0 EUR.

Wikimedia Deutschland will build upon and expand the programs from previous years: volunteer support, software development and improving the conditions for Free Knowledge. This is the first year in which WMDE does not apply for APG funds. The work is funded by a mix of direct support from the Wikimedia Foundation for Wikidata, donations, member dues and external funds through grants and contracts.

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1. In order to support community review, please provide a brief description of your organization's work in the upcoming funding period.

Wikimedia Deutschland will build upon and expand the programs from previous years: volunteer support, software development and conditions for free knowledge. This is the first year in which Wikimedia Deutschland does not apply for APG funds. The work is funded by a mix of direct support from the Wikimedia Foundation for Wikidata, donations, member dues and external funds through grants and contracts.

2. Name, fiscal year, and funding period.

Legal name of organization: Wikimedia Deutschland e. V.

Organization’s fiscal year: Jan1- Dec 31

12-month funding period requested:N/A

Currency requested: N/A

Name of primary contact: Abraham Taherivand

3. Amount requested.

No funding is requested. However, Wikimedia Deutschland recognizes the importance of ensuring accountability and sharing successes, failures and lessons learned with the movement and its stakeholders.

Therefore Wikimedia Deutschland has been continuing to participate in the APG process through providing real time updates on our 2018 plan, in accordance with an agreement with the FDC. We posted the areas of activity and the goals on October 1, 2017, and added objectives and short explanations and the budget in November, as plan and budget, approved by the board, were submitted to our members for review. On November 18, our member assembly approved the budget for 2018. This current version with more detail and learning points was posted on December 15, 2017. Wikimedia Deutschland will provide progress and impact reports in accordance with the FDC schedule.

4. How does your organization know what community members and contributors to online projects need or want? Does your organization conduct needs assessments or consult the contributors and volunteers most involved with its work?

Wikimedia Deutschland has a number of ways in which community is involved in decision making: We improve and redesign our community support guidelines and processes with community on an annual basis. Each community project that receives our support is invited to report back on their satisfaction with the services and with suggestions for improvement after the project is completed. In software development, Wikimedia Deutschland has pioneered the community wish list process. We work with our institutional partners based on thorough examination of their needs, and by identifying shared vision and aligned activities. Increasingly, we test and implement ways to communicate to, solicit feedback from our membership base, and engage interested members directly in our work.

5. Please provide a link to your organization's strategic plan, and a link to your separate annual plans for the current and upcoming funding periods if you have them.

The current version of goals for 2018 and beyond, as well as an overview of the improved planning process can be seen here.

A more detailed version of the WMDE Plan that includes financial information is published in German and in English under: Meta: Wikimedia Deutschland/Planung 2018/Plan and Budget 2018/en

In 2018, WMDE will continue to provide reports to the FDC and the movement, assuring accountability and sharing our successes, failures and lessons learned with the movement and its stakeholders.



Wikimedia Deutschland’s programs are identified as ‘Fields of Action’ in the Plan 2018. They are (1) Attract, support and retain volunteers, (2) Software development: expand Wikidata and further develop MediaWiki, and (3) Strengthen conditions for free knowledge.


Without question, this key area of activity is and will be central to Wikimedia Deutschland’s work and very essence. Volunteers are at the heart of all Wikimedia projects, and constitute the main group of stakeholders for our organisation. Volunteer communities also overlap with our members and our donors. Volunteers assure that the German Wikipedia continues to develop in terms of quality and scope. This in turn assures that donors continue to support the work of volunteers, our organisation and the movement. It is essential, that the German-speaking volunteer community stays viable, stays involved with Wikimedia Deutschland, resumes growth, and continues to develop in terms of diversity and equity of access.

We distinguish two main foci, reflected in respective goals and objectives detailed below: Attracting new volunteers, and continuing to support volunteers, while continuously improving our services.

What we did before

In 2016 and 2017, we began to put a major focus on the problem the German Wikipedia, along with some of the other more mature Wikipedias, is facing: shrinking numbers of active editors. While there is no holy grail type solution to this problem, Wikimedia Deutschland is committed to testing approaches, to learning, and to creating an evidence base that the whole movement can benefit from.

In 2016 we gathered basic information, consulted community and invited external expertise. In 2017, we ran a series of banner campaigns on Wikipedia, combined with onboarding activities and materials provided to new editors. All activities were extensively documented, communicated to community, and incorporated continuous feedback. In the process we also improved our capabilities around tracking the response to campaigns, and to analyze the impact they have on editor numbers.

What we learned

In 2017, we honed our skills in designing and running campaigns, in tracking results, and in communicating what we learn to communities and the movement. This also contributed to making the issue of declining editors much more salient in the German community, resulting in turn in a number of community-initiated activities.

The banner campaigns did not lead to an increase in the total number of active editors. However, the banners did directly result in the creation of 1,582 new accounts.

We also learned that becoming an active editor doesn’t happen overnight. New editors do edit, but often initially only once every couple of weeks, or a significant time after having registered their new account. Newbies who jump right in and edit a lot are the exception to the rule. Finally, we are learning which factors affect retention of new editors. Offering onboarding support is crucial, as is community culture, and to what degree it welcomes new editors and maintains an overall friendly climate.

The overall number of active editors is subject to many others factors, many of which are outside our sphere of influence. Further, the global metrics provided for editor numbers at are not reliable enough for several reasons and thus not useful for measuring results. For measuring the impact of further activities, we have adjusted the baselines for new authors and will be using our own tracking system.

What we plan to do in 2018

We will continue to test and learn about strategies that will motivate more people to actively contribute to the German Wikipedia. In addition to creating awareness and causing readers to create new accounts through the banners, we need to assure that both newbies and current editors feel welcome and appreciated. To meet the dual challenge of growing the community and maintaining positive communication within the project, we will continue to develop onboarding activities, and help improve social coherence in the community through offering trainings and local offline activities, closely integrated with the online campaigns.

What we hope to learn

We have learned how to do things that increase the number of new accounts created. Our main challenge, going into the future, now will be to learn how we can turn these new account holders into active editors and retain them. We would like to understand more about the barriers that new editors encounter as they begin to become active in Wikipedia. These might include social as well as technical hurdles. Based on an analysis of barriers, we will gather ideas and explore which ones we can address through concrete activities. We have already started this work in late 2017, starting with a community-initiated workshop at which community members gathered concrete ideas around improving the entry experience. Ideas included improving the participation links on the main page, streamlining the entry pages and reducing the number of links on each page, aligning the video tutorials with the availability of the visual editor, tailoring banners to specific target groups and themes, and creating a left sidebar tailored specifically to newbies.

Example Activities

  • We will test ways of attracting new editors through online campaigns.
  • In addition we will strengthen onboarding tools and integrate offline activities into campaign planning.
  • We will develop an offline training program for social skills for the existing community which will be evaluated.
  • For a better understanding of the relevance of technical barriers for newbies we will conduct a survey targeted at newbies and another one targeted at the existing community.

What we did before

In 2017, we were able to increase the number of supported volunteer projects by 19% (as of third quarter). While WikiCon and Wikimania involved increasing numbers of active volunteers being supported, the participation in Wiki Loves Monuments saw a decline. In 2017, we began a focus on supporting projects involving non-German speaking Wikimedians. In this context we supported a number of activities, the largest of which was Wikipedia for Peace.

All supported projects over 500 EUR can be viewed at the portal of ideas, which saw an increase in usage in 2017. We improved the cost reimbursement process and related help pages and resources, in particular through providing an FAQ page.

Our work with digitally engaged volunteers also bore fruit in the political realm: Together with research partners, we published a white paper on digital engagement, which included recommendations for public funds and political awareness in this area, and which is now the basis for discussions with staff at federal ministries. In addition, Wikimedia Deutschland hosted a workshop around digital engagement with a diversity of public and private stakeholders, which will result in further research and advocacy activities, aimed at providing Wikimedians and other digital volunteers with better recognition and political conditions.

What we learned

In 2017, we began to monitor the satisfaction of volunteers receiving support services from Wikimedia Deutschland with a new tool, the “Support Barometer”. The results of the first two rounds are overwhelmingly positive: the overall rating (on a scale of 0–10) for satisfaction with project support was 9.53, for usefulness 9.53 and willingness to use support again was rated 9.66. We also measure the same indicators for each individual service program, and gather concrete feedback for improvements from the respondents. From this feedback, we have learned, for example, that there is a need to simplify and communicate more clearly the process for cost reimbursement (see above), and that community members would like to see more tailored and intensified technical/organizational assistance for large, complex projects.

What we plan to do in 2018

Community and project support and funding is one of the central tasks of Wikimedia Deutschland, so that volunteers do not have to face financial and organisational barriers to engagement alone. Our support for volunteer participation in the Wikimedia projects is guided by principles established over many years of practice. These include volunteer appreciation, developing the program and projects through dialogue with community members, and providing useful support and high quality services. Our support for online activities is provided with a focus on maintaining and increasing quality and diversity of content in the Wikimedia projects. Offline activities aim to increase motivation, reduce conflict and provide information about free knowledge to the public. In 2018, we want to further increase the reach of our services, encouraging more, new and increasingly diverse groups of people to apply for project support services. We want to keep up the current level of volunteer satisfaction and usefulness of services and continuously improve quality based on the feedback gathered through the Support Barometer.

What we hope to learn

We hope to develop and test ways to better support the larger volunteer-based projects, those that require a major effort in terms of coordination, organization and outreach. These have a tendency to overwhelm and burn out volunteers. We aim to find new ways to structure the support in these cases, allowing volunteers to engage in the ways that are possible and appropriate for them, while staff provides the necessary organizational foundation for each project. Here we hope to learn to plan and implement the appropriate division of labor and the balance between doing too much and too little. Finally, we hope to learn more about cross-community collaborative projects, how we can best support them, and what their impact might be for diversity and alignment with the movement strategic direction.

Example Activities

  • We will continue the broad variety of community support for the huge number of small projects (500+ individual projects) and will intensify the support of larger projects through a singular staff member assigned for each project. Especially the larger and more complex projects benefit from a close collaboration between volunteers and staff members. This has proven successful for example with WikiCon, ensuring a smooth and professional project management. In all cases, both sites benefit from such close collaboration: volunteers gain experience in managing larger projects, Wikimedia Deutschland can provide immediate support where it is necessary and requested.
  • We will focus on bringing cross-community collaborative projects together, e.g. with organizing the first WikiCon in Switzerland for all German-language community members.
  • We will initiate new formats for community members from sister projects, and with international and other free and open communities (for example, an exchange between the German-language and African community around Wikimania, by supporting both groups to attend the conference).
  • Wiki Loves Monuments will be enhanced by a focus on the European Year of Cultural Heritage. The federal funds supporting this activity will also enable us to increase outreach and other resources that go into WLM. Project components incorporating several ideas from the community are aimed at stopping the decrease of interest in the contest. These activities will also connect German and European WLM activists as well as create synergies between European Wikimedia affiliates and Wikimedia Deutschland by establishing a contest focussed on joint European heritage. This could also be a project model for similar events on other continents in the future.

Software development: Expand Wikidata and further develop MediaWiki


Software development is a core initiative for Wikimedia Deutschland, with Wikidata as the continued focus. Wikidata changes the way volunteers collect, process and consume information in Wikimedia projects. The community is constantly growing and so is the interest in using Wikidata and its software Wikibase from open data projects in media, education and culture. Wikidata also plays an important role in the future strategic direction of the entire movement.

With our methodical approach to community centered software development, we are an innovative pioneer in the further development of MediaWiki together with the Wikimedia Foundation and the community.

What we did before

In 2017 we worked on ensuring the technical and social sustainability of Wikidata in a number of ways - by building new features that make it easier for Wikimedia projects to integrate Wikidata. The highlights of the activities this year are:

  • Constraints Checks: These are checks to find rule violations in the data. Editors can now better prevent vandalism and improve data quality.
  • Support for lexicographic data: We built and presented a prototype to support lexicographical data in Wikidata at Wikimania. Based on positive feedback received we started implementing the functionality in the actual product. The first release will happen by the end of Q1/2018.
  • Multi-Content Revision: Our work on multi-content revision as a basic building block for structured data on Wikimedia Commons was started this year and will be completed by the second half of 2018.
  • WikidataCon: The first ever Wikidata conference WikidataCon in the fall of 2017 gathered over 200 participants (and generated a long waiting list). The Wikidata community played a vital role in creating the program, and participants left the conference with a strengthened sense of community and much enthusiasm.

Key performance indicators for Wikidata show a robust growth in both contributors (> 8k active editors) as well as in usage (+60% usage in Wikimedia projects; 8.5M SPARQL queries per day) and content (>40M items; >438M item statements).

Wikidata: State of the project presentation

What we learned

Through our daily work we see that there are currently still social and technical barriers to a broader and more beneficial use of data from Wikidata in the other Wikimedia projects. These include lack of editability of data directly from Wikipedia, lack of trust in data quality, problems with usability, and lack of support for lexicographical and media data. These barriers have to be continuously addressed for Wikidata to reach its full potential for the Wikimedia movement.

While there is much interest in lexicographical data on Wikidata, there are also many concerns in the Wiktionary community, similar to the early days of Wikipedia projects adopting Wikidata. We will have to continue to work closely with Wiktionary communities to listen to concerns and address them.

What we plan to do in 2018

In 2018 we aim to increase the constant updating, diversity and amount of content on Wikimedia projects, while enhancing the impact of contributors’ work. We will do this by focussing our work on the following areas:

  • Increase data quality and trust through increased exchange with data users and data donors, and development of more dedicated quality management features.
  • Enable more diverse data e.g. through supporting Wiktionary/ lexicographical data and Commons/ media data.
  • Enable more users e.g. through mobile statement editing support, easier integration of Wikidata-fueled infoboxes in smaller Wikipedias and further roll out of the ArticlePlaceholder.
  • Encourage more data use e.g. through automated list generation in Wikipedia, enabling editing from Wikipedia, better support for infoboxes in larger Wikipedias and easier ways to build queries for Wikidata.

What we hope to learn

We will focus on how to best help our communities work on lexicographical data and co-create the tools they need.

What we did before

Wikidata and Wikibase were developed for Wikimedia. However, there is an ever increasing amount of users and use cases outside of the Wikimedia projects. In 2017, we streamlined the process for data donations, improved the respective portal and presented on the opportunities at various events. We worked with a large number and variety of institutions on data donations, and on assisting them to use Wikidata for their applications. The much-utilized Wikidata query service played a major role here, allowing external parties to tailor specific queries and create compelling visualizations. Success stories will be listed in the impact report for 2017.

What we learned

Wikidata should not be the only place where open data happens. We need a healthy ecosystem of open data projects around Wikidata. We need to take the pressure off Wikidata to store all the data people can possibly collect.

What we plan to do in 2018

We would like to move away from data donations towards data partnerships. Given the exponential growth of interest in Wikidata by external parties, we would like to see the Wikidata community strengthened to accommodate new partners and organically develop data partnerships, with the Wikimedia Deutschland team playing less of a role. Additionally, we will have to enable new partners to use Wikibase, and develop code, processes and materials in ways that support the development of an open data ecosystem.

The knowledge ecosystem, with its abundance of data, if working properly and organically, has potential to enrich Wikidata in many ways. This will in turn benefit the other Wikimedia projects as well. Through an increase in Wikibase installations by external partners we plan to enrich Wikidata with additional data, enhance the data quality and improve the Wikibase software. In addition, this enables specialized applications outside of the core Wikidata project scope.

With a longer-term perspective, and in the sense of ‘knowledge as a service’, we envision Wikidata/Wikibase to become the open data infrastructure for free knowledge. The service we provide will manifest itself in the data model, the interfaces and tools that enable the players in the knowledge ecosystem - data providers, data curators and users - to create and distribute knowledge.

Example Activities

  • Empower multiplicators in the community to be able to carry out cooperations on data donations and data re-use
  • Improved installation and documentation of the Wikibase software
  • Partnerships, e. g. with the German National Library and Mozilla

What we hope to learn

We envision a strong ecosystem for open data that helps us collect, maintain and disseminate free knowledge. Consequently, in 2017 we hope to learn more about what role Wikidata and Wikimedia Deutschland can play in the knowledge ecosystem to effectively facilitate more access to more free knowledge for more people.

What we did before

In 2017 the team continued its work on technical wishes. We have provided a solution to include tables in PDF, deployed RevisionSlider as a default feature on all wikis and have worked on a major improvement of the highly complex diff code, so that text changes within moved text paragraphs can now easily be detected. As of December 2017, the change is deployed to German Wikipedia and Furthermore, we have provided two features as beta-versions: AdvancedSearch and the Two Column Edit Conflict view. We conducted a new survey, and during May-July, 450 community members discussed and prioritized the new wish list. The response to wishes and the resulting work in some cases is shared between the WMDE and WMF Teams and volunteer developers.

What we learned

Wishes often relate to neglected areas of the MediaWiki software (e.g. pdf rendering, edit conflict handling, diff engine, watchlist backend), where there are few maintainers. Therefore our projects tend to work with code that needs signigicant improvement, and in the end we do not only have a new feature, we also have new experts of a core area. This is beneficial to the movement, but it also tends to slow down the speed of a single feature’s development.

What we plan to do in 2018

Through the continuous development of MediaWiki, we assure that the technical improvements we provide are useful for a maximum number of Wikimedia projects, and that they solve concrete usability problems of contributors. To achieve this, we continue to jointly solicit, collect and prioritize technical needs, and consider the perspectives of diverse user groups during technical development and implementation.

Example Activities

  • Continuous implementation of technical innovations based on community needs
  • Local and international workshops and onwiki feedback sessions
  • Expanding networks into other language communities
  • Local and international release announcements, providing feedback and help pages, and organizing translations for the international communities
  • Creation of a follow-up paper for the Technical Wishes Concept

What we hope to learn

In 2018 we want to learn more about the diverse needs of our users so that our software works well for different user groups.


To acknowledge the connection between working with institutions on the one hand and policy makers on the other had as we establish legal, political and institutional conditions favorable to free knowledge, the two previously separate programs are joined under one Field of Action starting with the 2018 Plan.

In 2018, Wikimedia Deutschland increases its activities to assure that knowledge, opinions, skills, practices, policies, regulations and laws are increasingly favorable to allowing more people more equitable access to more free knowledge. In the political realm, this includes targeted strategies and goals, addressing very specific policy developments at the German and the EU level. In the realm of institutions in education, science and culture, we plan to build on existing relationships and joint programs, work with these these partners to develop them into champions and co-advocates, and build knowledge and capacity at those institutions that are not fully ready to embrace free knowledge, yet.

Political work, while rooted in strategic goals as described below, is often reactive, inherently opportunistic and ad hoc. The Public Policy team now consists of four staff in Berlin and two staff in Brussels (working on behalf of all the Wikimedia chapters joined in the Free Knowledge Advocacy Group EU), who all have significant “unplanned” time built into their schedules to react to political developments, legislative emergencies and partnership opportunities.

What we did before

In our daily work around impacting regulations, policies and laws over the last few years, we have come into contact with many stakeholders in fields with crucial influence on the availability and accessibility of free knowledge. These are decision makers at public and private institutions, universities, GLAMs and scientific institutions, as well as policy makers at state, federal and EU level. Some of these stakeholders are already our allies, some of them represent positions that threaten free knowledge, and others are on the fence.

What we learned

We have learned that to be successful, our work must include not just advocacy for better regulatory and legal frameworks, but also the legwork of convincing potential allies, and, before that, better understanding the cultural, knowledge and communication barriers (in the political context), in addition to regulatory ones.

Recently, we notice that people from institutions such as museums, educational providers and foundations express opinions reflecting insecurity, fear and hesitation about using free content in general. Specifically, they feel that using open content is too complex, or that the liability risks are too great. Some of these perceptions are based on actual legal risks, but many stem from falsely interpreted experiences or from hearsay. Such misconceptions are usually propagated by word of mouth about anecdotal “evidence”.

What we plan to do in 2018

We want to research each of the more popular negative perceptions around using open content, real or imagined, and to get a clear picture of what is real and what is not. We will actively seek dialogue with those who disseminate those narratives that turn out to be myths, and attempt to clarify the issues. In this manner, we will slow down, stop and contradict the dissemination of falsehoods, and we will also facilitate a fact-based debate on the real risks. We will look for solutions leading to potential risk mitigation and management scenarios. We will deploy tailored educational materials, as well as further develop tools easing the use of open content, such as the attribution generator. If we are successful with this approach, we will not only save the (still mostly positive) reputation of open content, but we might even improve it.

What we hope to learn

We hope to gain a better understanding of the origin of (mis)perceptions, in order to be better able to address or mitigate them.

Example Activities

  • Researching origin and distribution channels of popular misconceptions about open content
  • Targeted networking (as part of various event formats and conference talks) to get in touch with relevant stakeholders in several communities such as OER, Open Science, Open Data, or GLAM
  • Direct communication with stakeholders who unintentionally spread myths and rumors about open content
  • Development and enhancement of tools to mitigate the actual usability problems of open content / open licenses, such as Attribution Generator or Public Domain Calculator [new].

What we did before

In 2017 we focused on a number of state elections, as well as the federal election through online voter tools, events and publishing positions (for example: election milestones) with our partners. We reached out to Wikimedia Deutschland’s membership and successfully engaged interested members in targeted political activities. We continued to build our network of allies and partners.

What we learned

Free knowledge activists are often perceived as a handful of people pursuing hobby and nonprofit projects, and our issues and demands are viewed as not having any major political or economic importance. We have learned how hard it is to move our advocacy past these perceptions and make it relevant to political decision makers. At the same time, “digital transformation” and anything perceived as connected to it are currently high-interest topics. We managed to successfully connect our political agenda to such topics, e.g. censorship, privacy, internet governance, digital awareness of cultural heritage and others.

What we plan to do in 2018

Now that the operational and thematic foundation is laid for systematic political work by the Wikimedia Deutschland office, we aim at specific parts of the legal framework: Two of the rules in German federal copyright law that regulate whether in certain situations copyright protection is in effect or not have especially ambiguous impacts in practice. As a result, it is often difficult to assess whether or not content coming out of public institutions qualifies as official works and thus as part of the public domain – which determines whether or not it can be used for free knowledge. One of these rules, sec. 5 of the Copyright Code, defines that official works are exempt from copyright, while the other, sec. 72, puts an ancillary right for non-original photos on the same level as copyright. Depending on interpretation, even verbatim photographic reproductions of works that are in the public domain can come under decades of copyright-like protection. We will explain the negative consequences of this situation for free knowledge and will try to put the reform of both paragraphs mentioned above on the agenda of the upcoming 18th lawmaking session of the German parliament, our goal being legislation that is more favorable to free knowledge.

What we hope to learn

We hope to learn who will be the leading figures in the German net politics and IP domains of lawmaking, now that the political spectrum has somewhat shifted and diversified after the recent federal elections.

Examples for Activities

  • Event series such as “Monsters of Law” and “Networks & Politics” to land certain topics in the public discourse
  • Campaigning around the upcoming Federal Supreme Court decision in the Reiss-Engelhorn case, involving images of public domain works on Wikimedia Commons
  • Background talks with politicians, their staff and stakeholders in general, possibly also smaller event formats that are invitation-only
  • Dedicated campaigns, press releases and parts of the next editions of the “Digital-O-Mat” (voter tool) covering the topics mentioned

What we did before

We already became involved in the general field of Open Data, and in particular in supporting volunteers with FOIA requests (funding for payment of fees charged for the requests, support for legal proceedings where requests were declined) as well as in the public civil society partnership that co-shapes the federal level of government data policies (esp. the GovData portal of the federal administration, but also the German federal government’s joining of the Open Government Partnership and the attached “national action plan” for Open Data in Germany). Relating to these activities we also gave legislative input for the federal “Open Data Act” (Open-Data-Gesetz) and counseled the administrations of the German states of Berlin and Thuringia.

What we learned

We learned that the broad field of stakeholders around Open Data is more or less aligned regarding the goal of making more public sector information (PSI) available more easily. What hinders the process are both the details of implementation and the division of responsibilities that are typical for federal structures and are especially strong in the German tradition of administration / administrative law. We also learned that the needs of free knowledge, i.e. the relevant features of any given framework around data use are seldom known by the institutions and decision makers involved.

What we plan to do in 2018

Similar to Goal 7 above, we want to focus on specific regulatory features we identified as relevant for free knowledge, and planned dedicated resources for achieving them: There are now several existing and developing rules that regulate how factual data can be used at both the EU and the German level. Factual data includes data that is not protected by copyright, and that is not related to a person or otherwise relevant under data protection or privacy laws. This includes for example data on weather and traffic (the rules in question do, however, also cover personal data, but we are careful not to hurt any pro-privacy regulation). The rules that are in the making now – namely those regarding text and data mining as well as attempts to establish a new IP right in data – depart from the previously applied principle which established that factual data may be used freely. As a result, these rules do or could have significant negative impact on data-driven knowledge projects such as Wikidata, and more generally on the use of open data for creating knowledge, also, for example, for the entire field of citizen science. We are setting out to influence these rules with a positive effect for free knowledge. Specifically, we will try to get the sui-generis right of database makers abolished or transformed into a register-based right. Also, there should not be a full-fledged intellectual property right attached to data (“Data Ownership”, sometimes sold under the label “Data Sovereignty”), and the exceptions and limitations that allow for text and data-mining need to be flexible enough to not impede open knowledge projects, while maintaining the integrity of privacy protection rules.

What we hope to learn

We hope to learn a lot about active, impactful agenda setting, in the sense that we manage to have a change in data-related rules implemented both at the EU as well as at the domestic level.

Example Activities

  • Establish coalitions of partners around the goals mentioned above, as these don’t exist yet for all of them.
  • Commission studies evaluating the consequences of various legislative options.
  • Events and talks at relevant conferences and similar venues, to popularize the need for change, especially amongst communities of experts.
  • Background talks with relevant authorities on the EU level (e.g. the EU Commission’s Directorate General (DG) Connect) as well as in Germany (Fed. Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection, and of Traffic and Infrastructure; Law Committee of the Fed. Parliament).

What we did before

In 2017, we implemented, scaled, evaluated and further developed the Fellow Program Open Science. We gained new financial and program partners, and doubled the number of fellows in the current cycle. Coding Da Vinci took place in the fall, with 180 participants including hackers, designers and GLAM-enthusiasts creating and showcasing innovative applications for cultural data coming from 19 cultural institutions. We supported, consulted or provided training to over 60 institutions around open data and free knowledge.

What we learned

The Theory of Change behind the fellow program Open Science appears to become reality: By the third quarter, changes to make scientific work more open were made in 70% of fellow institutions.

What we plan to do in 2018

Educational, science and cultural institutions are central places where knowledge is generated and disseminated. We want to win these institutions as partners to create conditions favorable to free knowledge in their respective spheres of influence, jointly with the Wikimedia Movement. We want to engage them to act as influential role models, convincing other institutions of the idea of free knowledge. Many of the players in the education, science and culture sectors have very little knowledge about free knowledge, open licenses and the Wikimedia projects. There is a need for transferring knowledge and practical competencies to these people, benefitting the Wikimedia projects and promoting free knowledge in general.

What we hope to learn

After having developed successful formats and programs for the cultural and science sectors, we would like to gain a better understanding of how Wikimedia Deutschland can have impact in education. While we receive many requests for collaboration from stakeholders in secondary, vocational and higher education in the context of digitalization of education, these are not always grounded in a full understanding of our movement, communities and organization. We need to create a strategy on how we can best place our assets and resources and what impact we would like to have in these arenas.

Example Activities

  • Coding da Vinci

Together with strong partners like Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek ("German Digital Library"), we have been hosting Coding da Vinci since 2014. Last year an independent regional organizing team in Hamburg replicated the format for the first time. Next year we expect two to four similar spinoffs all over Germany. Our role will be to consult local organizers and promote further scaling.

  • Fellow Program Open Science

We will continue the Fellow Program Open Science. In 2017 we will test new ways (e.g. Webinars) to bring free knowledge and open scholarship effectively into science.

  • Events, workshops and conferences

We are planning several events, workshops and conferences to transfer knowledge and practical competencies to a variety of players in the education, science and culture sectors.

Wikimedia Deutschland as part of the global movement


All our programs and projects incorporate the international dimension: We learn from the movement, share our experiences (for example by remaining active in the APG process sans funding), team up with other movement entities and carry out our global responsibilities. In 2018 and beyond, Wikimedia Deutschland intends to remain a major player in the movement, especially as our role relates to strengthening the movement, its entities, and filling the Strategic Direction with life. We are conscious that in the light of the new direction we need to revisit our role, responsibilities and the identity of our organization as part of an evolving, diverse global movement. We are looking forward to these conversations and are ready to embrace possible organizational changes coming out of that.

In addition to that, Wikimedia Deutschland will again curate and organize the Wikimedia Conference in 2018, with intertwined tracks focusing on partnerships and on Phase II of the movement strategy process, complemented by the capacity building track. We will continue to support the in-between-conference activities of groups such as the Volunteer Supporters Network and the Partnerships Group.

Finally, Wikimedia Deutschland is determined to support Phase II of the movement strategy in whichever capacity needed and appropriate. Our determination is not only rooted in the strong support by the Wikimedia Deutschland Board, Executive Director and staff, but has gained even more weight by the unanimous vote of the Wikimedia Deutschland General Assembly in November to endorse the strategic direction and to strengthen our international collaboration. As we shape the roles, responsibilities and resources across our movement and together with the broader knowledge ecosystem to best meet the Strategic Direction’s broad vision, it will be crucial to make the next phase of strategy development as inclusive, meaningful and transparent as possible, and to build further trust among stakeholders.

Budget 2018


Wikimedia Deutschland e. V. (WMDE) // Revenue 2018

Revenue 2018
Donations 2,535,000 €
Membership dues 3,430,000 €
Restricted grants and contracts 1,991,000 €
WMF (Wikidata) 1,246,000 €
WMF (Wikimedia Conference) 500,000 €
FDC 0 €
Google (Wikidata) 0 €
Other 245,000 €
WMFG cost allocation 30,000 €
Other income 70,000 €
Withdrawals from reserves 275,000 €
Total revenue 8,331,000 €

Wikimedia Deutschland e. V. (WMDE) // Expenses 2018


Field of Action/Expense Category 2018
1.  Attract, support and retain volunteers 1,820,000 €
2.  Software development: Expand Wikidata and further develop MediaWiki 1,681,000 €
3.  Strengthen conditions for free knowledge 1,476,000 €
4.  Board of directors 157,000 €
5.  Indirect cost (without cost allocations) 3,197,000 €
Total expenses 8,331,000 €

Wikimedia Deutschland Fördergesellschaft mbH (WMFG) // Expenses and Revenue 2018

Expenses and Revenue 2018
Donations carry-over Jul-Dec 10,100,000 €
Donations Jan-June 1,000,000 €
Donations Jul-Dec 10,650,000 €
Interest 0 €
Total revenue 21,750,000 €
Fundraising cost [1] 845,300 €
Total expenses 21,750,000 €
Transfer to WMF and WMDE 20,879,000 €
Operative expenses 871,000 €
Balance 0 €
  1. Flat rate retained from transfer to WMF

Verification and signature


Please enter "yes" or "no" for the verification below.

The term “political or legislative activities” includes any activities relating to political campaigns or candidates (including the contribution of funds and the publication of position statements relating to political campaigns or candidates); voter registration activities; meetings with or submissions and petitions to government executives, ministers, officers or agencies on political or policy issues; and any other activities seeking government intervention or policy implementation (like “lobbying”), whether directed toward the government or the community or public at large. General operating support through the FDC may not be used to cover political and legislative activities, although you may make a separate grant agreement with the WMF for these purposes.
I verify that no funds from the Wikimedia Foundation will be used
for political or legislative activities except as permitted by a grant agreement

Please sign below to complete this proposal form.

IMPORTANT. Please do not make any changes to this proposal form after the proposal submission deadline for this round. If a change that is essential to an understanding of your organization's proposal is needed, please request the change on the discussion page of this form so it may be reviewed by FDC staff. Once submitted, complete and valid proposal forms submitted on time by eligible organizations will be considered unless an organization withdraws its application in writing or fails to remain eligible for the duration of the FDC process.
Please sign here once this proposal form is complete, using four tildes. Abraham Taherivand (WMDE) 15:32, 30 September 2017 (UTC)