Grants:Project/Wiki Loves Monuments international team/2018 coordination/Final

Report under review
This Project Grant report has been submitted by the grantee, and is currently being reviewed by WMF staff. If you would like to add comments, responses, or questions about this grant report, you can create a discussion page at this redlink.

Welcome to this project's final report! This report shares the outcomes, impact and learnings from the grantee's project.

Part 1: The Project



  • Wiki Loves Monuments was successfully organized again, with over 50 participating countries. Some of the structural goals such as having an international team discussion on strategic directions were pushed to next year. Infrastructure and documentation continues to be maintained and supported in order to have a flourishing community of national organizing teams.

Project Goals


The international team has three main goals, as stated in our mission statement. These goals are:

  • To freely document and raise awareness of built cultural heritage
We achieved this goal through organizing Wiki Loves Monuments photo competition, supporting Wikimedia community with monuments data transition to Wikidata, and with an increased presence on social media.
  • Increase contributions to the Wikimedia projects
Through the competition, we welcomed over 11,000 new account registrants to Wikimedia projects who did at least one edit by uploading a photo to Wikimedia Commons to participate in the contest. All contributors, counting over 14,000 in numbers, contributed more than 250,000 photos through 56 national competitions to Wikimedia Commons.[1]
  • Bolster local Wikimedia communities.
We continued to provide a framework to welcome communities who were already deeply familiar with Wiki Loves Monuments, but also welcomed new communities from Lebanon, Tanzania and the United Arab Emirates.

Project Impact


Important: The Wikimedia Foundation is no longer collecting Global Metrics for Project Grants. We are currently updating our pages to remove legacy references, but please ignore any that you encounter until we finish.


  1. In the first column of the table below, please copy and paste the measures you selected to help you evaluate your project's success (see the Project Impact section of your proposal). Please use one row for each measure. If you set a numeric target for the measure, please include the number.
  2. In the second column, describe your project's actual results. If you set a numeric target for the measure, please report numerically in this column. Otherwise, write a brief sentence summarizing your output or outcome for this measure.
  3. In the third column, you have the option to provide further explanation as needed. You may also add additional explanation below this table.
Planned measure of success
(include numeric target, if applicable)
Actual result Explanation
Freely document and raise awareness of built cultural heritage: In collaboration with our partners inside and outside the Wikimedia movement, we will support the shift towards Wikidata of our monuments infrastructure. 1) An overview of datasets with their status and obstacles is available 2) A workflow is described to include a built heritage dataset 3) Existing tools maintained by the international team will be made Wikidata compatible where possible 4) New datasets will be supported through Wikidata and participating countries will be encouraged and supported in switching to using Wikidata The goal is met. We made significant progress in the shift towards Wikidata. We enabled harvesting sets of Wikidata items into the Monuments database, so that the rest of the tool infrastructure seamlessly can use it. We prototyped tooling for reconciling monuments identifiers between Wikimedia Commons and Wikidata. While we did not end up publishing as much documentation on the Wikidata migration as planned, we did clarify and formalize a workflow for it. It is now easier to import data straight to Wikidata, as is clear by the adoption of Wikidata as the primary source for several new countries. Finally, we contributed to the requirements for Campaigns for Structured Data on Commons.
Freely document and raise awareness of built cultural heritage: In collaboration with Wikimedia Deutschland, we will use the European Year of Cultural Heritage to draw attention to European heritage in the global movement. The goal is met. A special European award was instituted and awarded.
Freely document and raise awareness of built cultural heritage: We will create documentation aimed at heritage enthousiasts, explaining how to access the monuments datasets. This goal has not yet been met. We had to choose what to focus on, and this was not our first priority. It remains an ambitious goal.
Increase contributions to the Wikimedia projects: Continuing impact in this category lies primarily in the support of national competitions and helping them to operate effectively. We would know our impact through a survey among the organizers. This goal is not met. There was no capacity to run an extensive survey this time, but the wheels have been put in motion to run one in 2019.
Increase contributions to the Wikimedia projects: A great set of international winning pictures is always a good indication for a good process. This is of course highly subjective. We like to think we succeeded. Judge for yourself: commons:Wiki Loves Monuments 2018 winners
Increase contributions to the Wikimedia projects: Where possible, our tools and documentation can be re-used by other efforts with similar workflows. We continue making an effort to making re-use of our tools possible in other photo competitions. This goal is met. The Wiki Loves stats tool and the Montage jury tool are actively used by other competitions (including Wiki Loves Folk, Wiki Loves Africa, Wiki Loves Earth, and other competitions). Thanks to the Montage team, Jean-Fred and Atsirlin for making this scale!
Bolster local Wikimedia communities: [...] we provide an opportunity for people to build relationships and networks that they can use later on to do other projects in their corresponding communities with. This goal is probably met. This is hard to evaluate exactly, but the general feedback is one of collaboration with local institutions.
Bolster local Wikimedia communities: [...] We would be satisfied if the number of countries matches the number of countries in 2016. This goal is met. In 2016, the number of countries participating was 42. In 2018, we saw an astounding 56 countries participate. Even if only countries are counted that submitted to the international jury (50), this goal was well exceeded.
Bolster local Wikimedia communities: A documentation portal is available and up-to-date describing all core information that volunteers would need to organize their national competition. This documentation will suggest a standard (with templates where possible), but may also refer to alternative approaches in less detail. This goal is partially met While a documentation portal is available, it is not fully up to date yet. However, it continues to be improved upon and core information is better covered.
Bolster local Wikimedia communities: We plan to attend a number of international events, where we will both have tete-a-tete and group meetings with other participants and organizers. These will help with both sharing best practices and making Wiki Loves Monuments future proof. This will lead to (at least internal) reports on the participation in these events. This goal is met We have attended (at least) WikiConvention, Wikimania and the Prague hackathon, where we have worked towards these goals and presented at the convention and Wikimania. We have coordinated with local organizers at these events and been available for questions and direct interactions.
Making Wiki Loves Monuments future proof: We will make progress in the evaluation of the framework of Wiki Loves Monuments. By early 2019, we will have at least a list of recommendations - and possibly decisions. This goal is not yet met. We were unable to properly evaluate. However, we are on track to finalize a broad survey as well as an organizers' survey in 2019, and evaluate based on that. Some of the ground work was laid in 2018 organizing year.
Making Wiki Loves Monuments future proof: During our meeting early 2019, we will put together a final set of recommendations/decisions, and evaluate the strategic direction of Wiki Loves Monuments. This will tangibly result in documents that will be shared with the wider community of organizers. Another aimed outcome is to have a gameplan for the 10th edition of Wiki Loves Monuments. This goal was not met We had to skip the meeting, and hence this result was also not achieved as it was interconnected.



Looking back over your whole project, what did you achieve? Tell us the story of your achievements, your results, your outcomes. Focus on inspiring moments, tough challenges, interesting anecdotes or anything that highlights the outcomes of your project. Imagine that you are sharing with a friend about the achievements that matter most to you in your project.

  • This should not be a list of what you did. You will be asked to provide that later in the Methods and Activities section.
  • Consider your original goals as you write your project's story, but don't let them limit you. Your project may have important outcomes you weren't expecting. Please focus on the impact that you believe matters most.

Wiki Loves Monuments has been around for almost a decade. National organizers are using an annual monument photography campaign to increase the amount of content on Wikipedia, recruit new contributors to Wikimedia projects, and expand engagement in their local community. While some countries are running into the limits of what they can achieve with their current plans for Wiki Loves Monuments, we are also seeing a revival in some countries that have not organized WLM in a few years and some new countries organizing WLM for the first time.

All in all, Wiki Loves Monuments is still a major success. In 2018, the competition engaged a record number of countries and around 250,000 images submitted. While this number is a bit below the peak, this is still the largest photography competition in the world measured by number of photos submitted. In 2018, especially the number of individual uploaders was uplifting.



If you used surveys to evaluate the success of your project, please provide a link(s) in this section, then briefly summarize your survey results in your own words. Include three interesting outputs or outcomes that the survey revealed.

We have not executed a survey this time around. We did run an internal survey for organizers to better gauge what were the challenges ahead for WLM, but that falls outside the scope of this report.



Is there another way you would prefer to communicate the actual results of your project, as you understand them? You can do that here!

Methods and activities


Please provide a list of the main methods and activities through which you completed your project.

Example: the “wikiloves” stats tool
  • We created and/or maintained documentation and infrastructure for countries organize their national competitions
  • We supported the use of our infrastructural tooling for both Wiki Loves Monuments and other competitions.
  • We coordinated the competition and communicated with the national competitions
  • We supported national competitions by guiding them through best practices.
  • We reached out and recruited potential national organizers
  • We organized the international jury process
  • We maintained a presence on social media throughout the year by sharing stories on Wiki & heritage.
  • We published about the results of Wiki Loves Monuments and coordinated PR

Project resources


Please provide links to all public, online documents and other artifacts that you created during the course of this project. Even if you have linked to them elsewhere in this report, this section serves as a centralized archive for everything you created during your project. Examples include: meeting notes, participant lists, photos or graphics uploaded to Wikimedia Commons, template messages sent to participants, wiki pages, social media (Facebook groups, Twitter accounts), datasets, surveys, questionnaires, code repositories... If possible, include a brief summary with each link.



The best thing about trying something new is that you learn from it. We want to follow in your footsteps and learn along with you, and we want to know that you took enough risks in your project to have learned something really interesting! Think about what recommendations you have for others who may follow in your footsteps, and use the below sections to describe what worked and what didn’t.

What worked well


What did you try that was successful and you'd recommend others do? To help spread successful strategies so that they can be of use to others in the movement, rather than writing lots of text here, we'd like you to share your finding in the form of a link to a learning pattern.

Instead of writing learning patterns for the sake of grant reports, we prefer to invest that time into documentation that is useful to our constituent countries. Please find a current overview here: commons:Commons:Wiki_Loves_Monuments/Documentation

What didn’t work


What did you try that you learned didn't work? What would you think about doing differently in the future? Please list these as short bullet points.

  • We tried setting up a survey and didn't succeed yet. More luck next year!
  • Feature requests for Montage: there is a lot of interest to use it, and our current maintenance model is burdensome.
  • International team meeting: we had a low key meeting, but it's hard to actually organize it with people from so many continents and off-timeline.
  • A lot of the available volunteer time goes into administrative tasks around this grant, using synergies with our fiscal sponsor could free some more resources (see our rationale on unused funds in the finance section)

Other recommendations


If you have additional recommendations or reflections that don’t fit into the above sections, please list them here.

The reporting and grant writing takes up more and more energy from our team, and it would be really nice if we could find more efficient ways to run this process. At the same time, we also recognize that granting became a hurdle for national organizing teams.

Next steps and opportunities


Are there opportunities for future growth of this project, or new areas you have uncovered in the course of this grant that could be fruitful for more exploration (either by yourself, or others)? What ideas or suggestions do you have for future projects based on the work you’ve completed? Please list these as short bullet points.

  • See above

Part 2: The Grant




Actual spending


Please copy and paste the completed table from your project finances page. Check that you’ve listed the actual expenditures compared with what was originally planned. If there are differences between the planned and actual use of funds, please use the column provided to explain them.

Expense Approved amount Actual funds spent Difference
Prizes and diplomas € 7,300.00 € 6,122.07 € 1,177.93
Outreach and branding € 5,000.00 € 209.58 € 4,790.42
Travel € 5,000.00 € 243.72 € 4,756.28
International team work meeting € 12,700.00 € 0.00 € 12,700.00
Admin and overhead (staff time, external bookkeeping costs) € 2,000.00 € 500.00 € 1,500.00
Total € 32,000.00 € 7,075.37 € 24,924.63

The administrative costs / overhead is lower, as the amount of money administered by WMAT was substantially lower than planned, we only got the first installment and did fully spend it. The rest of the unused funds has mainly to do with reduced volunteer capacity (less time for travels to certain events, no time for organizing an in-person meeting for the core team etc.) which is also due to the fact, that a lot of the volunteer time is consumed by the bureaucratic requirements of this grant. We suggested before − and would like to reinforce this request here − to enable us to use synergies by integrating the reporting for WLM into the regular reports of Wikimedia Österreich in the context of our annual plan grant, in order to support this team of commited volunteers in the international WLM team and free more time for them to spend on the actual project. For a project that we organize every year, there is no need to jump through the same hoops as new projects ideas with more risks attached, again and again. In order to avoid burning out this group, we should come up with more adequate means of support − and it would match goals from the WMF mid-term strategy (particularly the part about a thriving movement) as well as the movement strategy.

Remaining funds


Do you have any unspent funds from the grant?

Please answer yes or no. If yes, list the amount you did not use and explain why.

  • Yes. We spent less on prizes and diplomas because we were able to get some external funding. We did not manage to spend all the funds on branding, travel and team meeting because of a combination of factors. We had a scaled down team meeting during Wikimania with limited effectiveness. The overhead of administrative burden of reporting is in part responsible for this, combined with the accumulation of off-wiki responsibilities with various team members. We have taken efforts to improve this in the future.

If you have unspent funds, they must be returned to WMF. Please see the instructions for returning unspent funds and indicate here if this is still in progress, or if this is already completed:

  • In former fiscal sponsorships, we deducted the amount from WMAT's next grant installment. But we are also happy to transfer the money back immediately.



Did you send documentation of all expenses paid with grant funds to grantsadmin, according to the guidelines here?

Please answer yes or no. If no, include an explanation.

  • Yes.

Confirmation of project status


Did you comply with the requirements specified by WMF in the grant agreement?

Please answer yes or no.

  • Yes

Is your project completed?

Please answer yes or no.

  • Never! :) (we did however successfully complete one year of Wiki Loves Monuments)

Grantee reflection


We’d love to hear any thoughts you have on what this project has meant to you, or how the experience of being a grantee has gone overall. Is there something that surprised you, or that you particularly enjoyed, or that you’ll do differently going forward as a result of the Project Grant experience? Please share it here!

We are volunteering to do a very significant amount of work, but the overall experience is rewarding because it facilitates so much national work. We believe that better aligning the Foundation efforts and facilitation with our work may reduce the overhead and significantly increase the overall success of the projects. Specifically, we hope that we can find a way to better align the timeline and agree on a reduced overhead of the small grants to national Wiki Loves Monuments efforts.