Four clusters of groups have been proposed for recognition as active parts of the Wikimedia movement, including the existing chapters:
- Chapters: independent non-profits aligned closely with Wikimedia's mission, supporting the movement and related work within a geography.
- Partner Organizations: independent non-profits aligned closely with Wikimedia's mission, supporting the movement and related work with a cultural, linguistic, or other topical focus.
- Associations: less formal low-overhead groups, with a social or topical focus. Most groups can get started as an association.
- Affiliates: independent like-minded organizations actively supporting Wikimedia's work.
Each group would benefit from recognition of its work, and the ability to use the Wikimedia trademarks. Chapters and partner organizations might use the marks to pursue partnerships, grants, or other supporters, as well as to promote their programs. Associations might use them to promote programs or events. Affiliates might use them on web badges, to promote collaborations or show support.
As of 2012, the Wikimedia Board is considering resolutions to recognize these models of affiliation.
Questions of futher grouping or hierarchy by size or geography among the above are unresolved. The United States and China currently have no chapters but contain subnational chapters. While these are themselves chapters, they could fall within a future national chapter. Groups of chapters can also become part of a less formal group such as the proposed United States Chapter Council, or the latin-american Iberocoop.