Grants talk:Programs/Wikimedia Community Fund/Wikimedia Community Ireland Annual Grant 2023

Feedback from the Northern and Western Europe (NWE) Regional Funding Committee on your proposal


Hello Smirkybec, Sameichel Geichel, Thank you for your time and effort submitting your General Support Fund proposal in the Northern and Western Europe region again this year. We are pleased to have reviewed your application, and have the following comments and questions:

We would like to express our appreciation for what stands up as a concrete proposal, with a solid investment on the use of the UNESCO definitely endangered Irish language in the Wikimedia projects; We also recognize the progress being made on the improvement of Knowledge Equity, through the Irish language project and the build up on the Wiki Women programme; We acknowledge that the affiliate followed the committee suggestions on increasing investment on the Irish language as well as expanding the existing staff, hiring a second person, therefore potentially decreasing dependency on the single existing staff, as well as help with the burden, avoiding burnout; We also value what looks like close community support for Wikimedia Ireland, and the way the proposal states that a variety of stakeholders were approached for their input; Finally, this committee would like to emphasise its confidence in the organisation's capacity to deliver the proposal.

Areas where we would like a bit more information were:

While it is said that “an additional staff member is required to ensure that [your] work can continue to grow and not be reliant on a single member of staff”, the second staff being hired now is stated as being planned to be “wholly dedicated to (...) the Irish language. Would you please clarify what coordination, if any, will exist between the two staff in order to address the stated situation? Similarly, can you please clarify how the organisation will ensure that the new member of staff also has peer support from beyond WMIUG - with a staff of two, if there's an issue it could become serious quickly. Have you considered having a WMIUG trustee as a buddy, or some liaisons with WMUK? While the budget overall value and the salary increase seems adequate, we would like to have more details on the investment needed to make it a reality. Organisational stability: from the strategic plan one of the organisation’s goals is to develop fundraising opportunities and explore charitable structure. Is there some progress on this planned within the grant period? We noticed a laptop was provided to the programme manager by the user group, but the ILO is required to use their own one. Have you considered ensuring all staff members receive similar benefits?

Thank you, we look forward to hearing from you.

On behalf of the NWE Regional Committee,

--- Darwin Ahoy! 19:38, 20 April 2023 (UTC)Reply

Thank you very much for your support and affirmation of the work conducted by Wikimedia Community Ireland (WCI), and more specifically, our current Project Coordinator. We also appreciate your support in expanding our remit to include more targeted outreach into the Irish Language community. We believe this is a logical extension of the great work being carried out as part of the Wiki Women Erasmus+ project.
At the moment, our Project Coordinator is the main point of contact for the User Group. This has been identified as a risk for the group as all of the knowledge is vested in one member of staff. While the primary role of the Irish Language Officer (ILO) will be to grow our outreach into the Irish Language community, this part time staff member will also offer support and back up for the Programme Manager. The Programme Manager (PM) will train the ILO on the key administrative tasks required to ‘keep the lights on’ in the event that the PM is not available. The PM will also make the ILO aware of the yearly schedule of meetings, events, and competitions to enable the ILO to step in as necessary.
We understand that the nature of the work carried out by the PM and the ILO can very quickly lead to burnout if not properly supported. At the beginning of the COVID pandemic the WCI Chair began having weekly catch-up meetings with the Project Coordinator. Not only did this allow the Chair to be regularly updated with the work the Coordinator was carrying out, it also enabled the Coordinator to have a regular social connection with someone else in the community. We will continue this practice going forward. The PM will have regular weekly meetings (probably daily in the first few weeks of the position being filled) with the ILO to ensure that any issues that arise are addressed quickly and that the ILO does not get overwhelmed. The ILO would also be introduced to the wider WCI community at the monthly meeting, at the first possible opportunity, including those involved on Vicipéid and its editing community.
As part of the onboarding for the ILO, we will also provide introductions to the staff members in WMUK who work in similar language contexts to tap into the resources and experience that is available. For a number of years, the PC has been a member of a number of messaging groups and regular meetings for WMUK and its Wikimedians in Residence network. This group includes those working in other minority Celtic languages, such as Welsh and Scots Gaelic. We have also discussed how this new staff member would interact and collaborate with their Welsh counterpart, and in particular with the new WMUK Programme Manager with responsibility for Northern Ireland, Sara Thomas. The ILO will also be introduced to the work and members of the Language Diversity Hub, of which Rebecca has been a steering committee member since its inception, and to the more informal Celtic Knot community based across Great Britain and Ireland.
We’re not sure what you are looking for with this question: While the budget overall value and the salary increase seems adequate, we would like to have more details on the investment needed to make it a reality. Could you perhaps provide more context?
Our Strategic Plan runs until 2024. We are already analysing our progress thus far and looking towards our next Strategic Plan. Regarding the investigation into Charitable Status for the group, after careful research and consideration it was determined that there would be increased administration duties with very little benefit. In order to participate in the Erasmus+ programme we had to restructure ourselves into a Limited Liability Company (LLC). This new designation opens many of the same doors Charitable Status would have, with less administrative, compliance, and reporting overhead. We are still in the process of investigating additional funding sources outside of WMF and Erasmus+.
The Project Coordinator was last supplied with a Chrombook as part of our 2018 Simple APG. Due to heavy usage, especially in conjunction with an increase in online events, the equipment is due to be replaced with a laptop. We have also requested funds for a Chromebook for the ILO to use for in person events. When thinking about this request, we were cognizant of the reduced budget available for grants from the WMF. We felt that there were other line items in our grant that took priority. If the WMF budget allows, we would be happy to increase the equipment and materials budget line item to allow for an additional laptop for the ILO to use in place of the Chromebook. This would increase that line item to 1600 EUR.
We look forward to your feedback. Sameichel (talk) 12:08, 25 April 2023 (UTC)Reply
The adjustment to the budget to increase the allocation to laptop budget has been made, this is an increase of €400. Smirkybec (talk) 16:15, 27 April 2023 (UTC)Reply

General Support Fund proposal approved in the amount of 80,429.26 EUR


Congratulations! The Northern and Western Europe Regional Funds Committee has recommended your proposal for funding!

The Wikimedia Foundation has approved the committee's recommendation to fund your proposal in full for 80,429.26 EUR.

Comments regarding this decision:

  • The committee recognised the strength and quality of the training, outreach, and content outcomes with Erasmus+ program for Irish language communities
  • For the next phase of the Wikimedia programme in Ireland, we would like to see more detailed plans for evaluation of specific goals for the new Irish language officer
  • Concern over coverage of Northern Ireland was also discussed by the Committee, who would appreciate future strategising between you and WMUK in how to support and expand communities there
  • The committee was also really pleased to see programs with accessibility options for blind and deaf communities

Next steps:

On behalf of the Regional Committee, I JethroBT (WMF) (talk) 19:54, 25 May 2023 (UTC)Reply

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