Learning patterns/Engaging volunteers with the grants process
What problem does this solve? edit
We found that a lot of our community had some reservations about our grant application process. They found it was too complicated and specific and hard to engage with, especially for non-Wikipedians whose markup skills were not strong. Additionally, it seemed too complex for someone applying for a very simple book grant for example.
What is the solution? edit
We did two things. We changed the language of the page quite a bit, making sure to emphasise that we want applicants to contact us and that the process was a conversation as opposed to just an administrative task. This allows us to expand on ideas and allows applicants to ask questions. Additionally we specified a range of activities one could apply a grant to, making it clear that we were open to small and large ideas.
The other was that we made the application a two stage one, with the second stage optional. The first stage is very simple and collects very basic information, but captures enough to assess any potential for scaling up a simple grant to a more ambitious project. The second stage is more detailed, and we would go through this with an applicant to help develop an idea.