The Wikimedia Foundation Funds, including Rapid Funds, exist to support the strategic direction of the Wikimedia movement in partnership with all of the people and organizations that seek funding through our programs. Because we seek to create trust-based, collaborative relationships with our partners, we strive to make our processes as transparent as possible. For this reason, we provide an overview of the Rapid Fund review process below.
Key partners in the process include:
- applicants, including prospective new applicants
- members of the Wikimedia community, including individuals, groups and affiliate organizations
- Regional Program Officers and Grants Administrators in the Community Resources Team at the Wikimedia Foundation, who oversee the grantmaking process
- Regional Committees for Wikimedia Foundation Funds.
Overview of the review processEdit
- Submission deadline for proposals
- Submission: Applicants submit their Rapid Fund proposal through the new Wikimedia Foundation Funds portal (https://wmf.fluxx.io/) before the submission deadline for the current cycle. Within 24 hours of submission, the proposal will be automatically published on Meta, where it becomes publicly accessible for review and comment by interested members of the Wikimedia community or other relevant stakeholders of the project. Published applications can be found here.
Though the applicant’s username will be published to Meta, private information (like personal contact information and financial information) will not be published (full privacy information).
- Review of and feedback for proposals (14 days)
- Eligibility check: Staff in the Community Resources team perform an initial eligibility screen to make sure the proposal meets the basic criteria for the Rapid Fund program.
- Staff review: The Regional Program Officer reviews the proposal based on the review framework (see more information on the framework below).
- Committee review (Optional): The respective Regional Committee members may also review the proposal.
- Community review (Optional): As soon as the proposal is posted on Meta, anyone can comment on the proposal discussion page to offer feedback. The proposal may be reviewed by any relevant stakeholders in the Wikimedia community who might have interest in or expertise about the project, including community groups, staff from the Wikimedia Foundation or Wikimedia affiliates, or others. In some cases, staff might invite specific community members to provide feedback. We encourage applicants to play an active role in sharing their proposal idea with others in the movement that you think might be interested or that would be impacted by their project so that they can also give feedback.
- Feedback: The Program Officer reviews any comments from the committee and communities and provides feedback on the discussion page of the proposal on Meta. This feedback may include suggestions for adjustments in certain areas of the proposal or questions around issues that were unclear and that the committee would like to understand further to review the proposal.
- Applicant receives and engages with feedback shared and makes adjustments to their proposal where needed (10 days)
- Applicant reviews and responds to feedback: Applicants have 10 days to review feedback. We encourage applicants to respond directly on the proposal discussion page to any comments that have been posted there. You can always reach out to your Regional Program Officer if you have any questions or concerns about how to respond to feedback on your discussion page.
- Applicant makes revisions to the proposal: If needed: If adjustments need to be made to the proposal, these must be completed directly on the Fluxx portal, which will require your Regional Program Officer to send the proposal back to you through the portal. After you complete any revisions in Fluxx, please also post a short summary of the adjustments on the proposal discussion page so others can easily track the changes and their rationale.
- Approval and disbursement (14 days)
- Funding decisions: Based on the applicant’s response and/or revisions, the Regional Program Officer makes the final funding decision.
- The applicants are informed about the funding decision via email, Fluxx, and Meta. If approved, the grant administration process and fund disbursements will be implemented.
Review framework and questionsEdit
- Is the proposal clear and coherent in terms of the change it wants to make and what it thinks will help bring about that change?
- Impact potential and strategic alignment
- Does the proposal indicate value/impact potential?
- Is the proposal viable?
- Individual / Organizational capacity
- Does the applicant have the experience (technical / organizing) capacity to implement this project?
- If the applicant is a newcomer Is it clear how they are going to account / cover for the lack of capacity?
- Has the applicant accounted for risks related to the project?
- Community engagement
- Does this proposal have support from Wikimedia community members?
- Has there been sufficient and meaningful engagement of community members through the endorsement and feedback process.
- Budget alignment
- Does the proposed budget adequately reflect the investment needed to achieve the proposed goals
- Learning and evaluation
- Does the applicant show clearly what they hope to learn from their work given the change they are hoping to achieve?
This template is available to support reviewers in their review of proposals.