Grants:IEG/Learning/round 1 2014/post-decision

Word cloud of community commenter's stated reasons for participation

After decisions were announced for round 1 2014 Individual Engagement Grants, WMF's Learning & Evaluation and Grantmaking teams collected feedback on the experience via surveys targeting 3 different groups of participants:

  • Proposers - both selected and unselected Individual Engagement Grant-seekers
  • Committee members - the community members who review and help select proposals
  • Community commenters - people who share either their comments or endorsements on proposals, outside of the role of grant-seeker or grant-reviewer.[1]


Here is the slide deck with complete analysis of what we learned:

IEG 2014 R1 - Post-decision Survey Results

Iterating for the futureEdit

Some take-aways about the proposal process for future rounds based on the above analysis are as follows:

  • On-wiki announcements and viral campaigns to spread the word about IEG are worth our ongoing investment. WMF's Community Advocacy team has been providing extra resources in this regard to make sure hundreds of wikis get these announcements, and IEG staff are particularly grateful for Anna Koval, who did this work for round 1 2014, and Patrick Earley, who is doing this work for round 2 2014.
  • Proposers appear to be spending more time on their proposals this round than in the past (and they seem to still be ok with that). We also funded a higher percentage of proposals this round than in the past. This may be an early indication of a trend towards increasing quality of proposals - something to keep an eye on for the future.
  • We've responded to some of the proposer's feedback about the proposal form by further simplifying the form & submission workflow for round 2 (small but hopefully useful iterations to create a few less sections, and the introduction of a form-wizard).
  • The non-English gap is still a known area for improvement, and will take time. One hope we have moving forward is continuing to invest in building advisory and mentorship community capacity for IEG, so that multilingual advisors can help bridge this gap with increasing scale each round.
  • We had a low response rate from committee members to this survey, which makes it hard to draw large conclusions about the committee's process from this data. WMF staff forgot to send a second reminder to the committee to take the survey before it closed, so we'll pester better next time in hopes that helps :)
  • The change we made this round to hold the committee deliberation after WMF staff's due diligence (rather than before) seems to have been deemed overwhelmingly useful, so we'll keep this for the future.
  • One response pointed to dissatisfaction with the scoring and the deliberation call, but we don't have a lot of information to help understand what specifically didn't work for that member. Committee members, if you have any further thoughts to share on this, please add them to the talk page - further discussion is welcome to see what further tweaks may be needed there.
Community input
  • The community commenters shared some really interesting and lovely motivations for participating in what one commenter called their "civic duty" - it is clear that many are motivated by impact potential on a topic or wiki they care about (see word cloud above)
  • Many proposers, too, pointed to the value of the comments and input they got from other people (community, committee, and staff) at each stage of the process.
  • Together, this points to the value of the ongoing community-building efforts around IEGrants, and to the importance of the community comments period that we've built into the IEG schedule. It also provides useful rational for continuing to invest in tools like the AddMe gadget and the new Probox that we've implemented on proposals for round 2 2014, which include even clearer calls to action for giving feedback, endorsing and joining projects.


  1. This is the first time grantmaking has surveyed this type of participant, and it brings some interesting learning, so we encourage all to have a particularly close look at slides 18-22.