Grants:Programs/Wikimedia Community Fund/FAQ about funding in FY 2022-23
In December 2022 - January 2023, the Wikimedia Foundation received questions from various community members and affiliates asking for clarification about the situation regarding grant funding in the North West Europe funding region (NWE) and in Central Eastern Europe and Central Asia (CEE/CA). We wanted to proactively address those questions and make the information available to all regions. We know how important it is for the communities and the affiliates, and their plans and work is to have a clear and good communication around the grants, so if there are additional questions please let us know at communityresourceswikimedia.org or on this discussion page. We will be more than happy to answer any questions and add them to this FAQ. You can also reach out to your Program Officer for more information.
1. Have there been any changes to the General Support Fund or Rapid Fund this year?
Last year we introduced new funding programs, Regional Fund Committees, applications and reporting guidelines. We are committed to not make any major changes to the programs in this 2022-23 fiscal year .
We are listening to the feedback from applicants and recognize that we still have a heavy process for applications. We will work this year in collaboration with the applicants and Regional Fund Committees to introduce a lightweight renewal process for applications for the next 2022-2023 fiscal year. We will begin the conversation in February so stay tuned for more details soon.
2. Last year was the first time multi-year grants were approved by the Regional Fund Committee, who is eligible for multi-year grants?
Recognizing the importance of stable General Support funding for our grantee partners, multi-year funding became available to organizations with the new funding strategy. Organizations that have approved multi-year plans can apply. Multi-year funding means that grants are approved for a 2-3 year timeline. Grantee partners fill out an annual report and update their annual plans and evaluation plans, and do not need to submit an application each year. In the first year of the new strategy 14 multi-annual grants were approved. We will continue to support multi-year grants as they provide stability for organizations. To learn more about multi-year funding please review the FAQ.
3. Have the regional grants budget been cut this year? Are the budgets for regional grants being cut?
No, the overall grants budget has not been cut this year. The Community Fund overall regional budget grew 20% from $10.2 million dollars last year to $12.2 million dollars this year.
All regions have increased budgets from the previous year. It is not uncommon to receive more requests than budgeted. However in NWE we are projecting much higher requests for funding than available funds in the budget. This is primarily due to unexpected increase in new applicants in the region and high inflation. In December we increased the original budget in NWE to support more work in the region. We know that in times of inflation, when costs rise rapidly, accessible funding is very important for the affiliates to continue their work on the Wikimedia mission. So whilst the increase may not wholly cover every request made (as is the case every year) we aim to meet as many needs as possible within the increased budget.
4. I understood that we were guaranteed 17% growth. Is that true? If so, what happened to that?
The Foundation committed to increase overall funding to community programs worldwide by 17% the same as Foundation growth. The overall budget for grants and direct movement support increased by 28% in fiscal year 2022-2023.This includes funding for communities beyond the four Wikimedia Foundation Funds (Community Fund, Alliances Fund, Research Fund and Conferences). Decisions on individual grants would be made by the Regional Fund Committee and will each be different. See Question 6 for more.
5. I heard growth is capped at 10%, is that true?
No. There is no cap on growth of 10% in the region. The Community Resources team Program Officer is speaking with each grantee partner about their request for this fiscal year. Based on that conversation and the overall review of the application and budget in the round, the Regional Fund Committee recommends an amount. There is no set limit to that growth, all the decisions will be made individually.
6. How does the Foundation plan and account for budgets and local currency?
The Foundation makes grants in the currency that grantees use (except in a few specific cases). This is to match how grantees build their budgets and manage their expenses. Because of this, the Foundation plans for grant programs starting first in local currency. We later convert these amounts to USD because the Foundation is a United States based non-profit. While the conversion rates can fluctuate throughout the year, the Foundation maintains grant planning in local currency. This allows us to manage risk with the primary goal of ensuring that we don’t have to reduce funding to a grantee because of a change to an exchange rate. This also means that the Foundation is responsible for covering any exchange rate difference.