Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2018-20/Transition/Follow-up events/Cluster E

This page contains raw minutes from the discussion of the initiative cluster E: Funding for underrepresented communities, which took place on 29 January 2021. The minutes were cleaned up and merged from across different documents by the Strategy Support Team, and a summary of them can be found in the follow-up events report. The discussion followed a structured template (as shown below), which was also created by the Support Team.

Video summaries from the follow-up event discussions
Summary of room 1: Resources generation and allocation
Summary of room 2: Fundraising policy
Summary of room 3: Outreach and definition

Key indicator and objectives (WHAT)


What are the objectives of this initiative for the next 18 months?

  • Define what is an “underrepresented”[1][2] and “unrepresented” community[3]
  • Achieve equity, transparency and accountability in the financial structures of the movement.[2]
  • Provide capacities, supporting and communication (e.g. people in the).[2]
  • Allow smaller communities a better access to funds.[2]
  • Better understanding of the distribution of funds in different parts of the world.[2]
  • Identify local needs within the different structures or communities.[2]

Fundraising policy

  • Mapped out revenue generation potential.[4]
    • Explore other groups in the Wikimedia movement to fundraise.[4]
    • Analyze the legal perspectives.[4]
    • Pilot couple of places as new fundraising locations[4]
    • Make additional resourcing for fundraising a priority.[4]
    • Include external expertise, because it does not make sense to reinvent the wheel[4]
    • Comment: It would be good to have some pilots before writing the actual policy[4]
  • Mapping the needs of the communities[4]
    • E.g. building capacity for fundraising[4]
    • Making clear how much funding is available and what is necessary needs to be made clear[4]


  • Collaboration with NGOs[3]
  • Connecting with other parts of Movement Strategy - skill development, hubs[3]
  • Skill development - new editors, new communities, newcomers [3]

What are some anticipated obstacles or barriers to a successful implementation?

  • Lack of infrastructure to assure the participation of new or currently underrepresented communities.[2]
  • Bureaucratic barriers.[2]
  • Bank transfers remain a barrier[4]
  • Technological marginalization / underrepresentation is a big barrier[4]
    • Outreach, contribution[4]
  • If safety nets are too strong, then it is tricky to do fundraising.[4]
  • It is difficult to remove external barriers, it is easier with internal ones - providing resources for building local capacities can grow to provide better support.[4]
  • Building fundraising capacities will take time[4]
  • Global perception of Wikimedia as a wealthy network and Wikimedia Foundation as a wealthy NGO can significantly limit the potential of local fundraising[4]

Implementation steps (HOW)

  • Documentation
    • Thoroughly document where the funds are and where the grants are going to better understand the global situation.[2]
  • Research
    • Map the needs of communities in terms of funding.[2]
    • Identify the local needs and how they are particularly different from one community to another.[2]
  • Capacity and growth
    • Co-elaborate growth paths with less represented communities, to assure their development in time.[2]
    • Develop mentorship programs for local affiliates. [2]
      • Bigger affiliates in each region can help support emerging communities around them due to geographical/cultural/linguistic similarities.[2]
      • Bigger affiliates could also provide human resources and capacity, which are often more important.[2]
      • Support or sponsorship from more experienced affiliates to smaller other communities in accessing funds.[2]
    • Mitigate barriers for funding[2]
      • Provide capacity building and sponsorship for growth. Rapid grants are very useful to organize projects but they are not a path to grow.[2]
      • Consider the differences in tax laws. Many countries have restrictions on receiving foreign funds.[2]
  • Support
    • Provide technical support, e.g. laptops and internet access.[2]
    • Hire multilingual staff or contributors to ensure understanding between the communities and the funding institution.[4]
    • Provide human resources and capacities, which are also urgently needed.[2]
    • Provide centralized staff assistance for smaller affiliates to help document and publicize their activities.[2]
  • Pilots
    • Build pilots/grants to support the needs of communities beyond quantitative results.[2]
  • Make affiliates conform to equal criteria.[2]
    • Many people are part of so many affiliates at the same time, and they find it equally possible to ask for funds through any affiliate.[2]
    • The field is not level in terms of accountability and requirements for everyone in the movement. Rules should be the same for everyone.[2]
  • Highlight what the Wikimedia communities are doing, in order to attract funds later.[2]
    • One metric does not fit all. For example, in some countries a content donation is counted in the millions, in others perhaps a set of 10 photos that becomes free knowledge is a great achievement due to the more rigid copyright laws.[2]
  • Define what can be funding, and make sure not to overspend funds unnecessarily.[2]
    • Keep in mind that chapters with relatively “big” funding may still need a lot of funds to accommodate their underprivileged/underserved communities.[2]
  • Simplify the grant application and reporting to make it easy for volunteers from underrepresented communities to apply for funding[2]

Define what is an “underrepresented”[2] and “unrepresented”.[3]

  • A toolkit that understand the intersectionality of “underrepresented” with qualitative and quantitative approaches to distributing resources[3]
  • Should be an open and fluid definition that can be updated.[3]
  • Potential meaning[3]
    • Does “underrepresented” mean participation in the wiki movement compared to the country's population?[3]
    • Either places where there are no users / groups OR communities with many editors, but little representation.
    • Underrepresentation is relative to content creation in relation to population using the language[4]
    • Should be about the lack of representation in different roles in the movement (e.g. newcomers).[3]
    • Suggestion to categorize in terms of: region, language and global (e.g. women, disabilities).[3]
    • Categorize in terms of having technological or other barriers to participation.[3]
  • Underrepresented can also include contribution and consumption[3]
  • Use METRICS to measure what is underrepresentation[3]
  • Find out about every unrepresented and underrepresented communities and hear from them[3]


  • Map out where local fundraising could happen and then create a policy to distribute the funds in a more equitable A fundraising policy seems to be an additional barrier instead of being of support.[4]
    • Where does the policy sit? Would it sit under the Global Council or Wikimedia Foundation? Who writes it? Who signs off on it?[4]
    • Creating a policy that outlines rules regarding the generation of revenue it will create more dispersed allocation of resources[4]
    • The barrier for doing fundraising work is not in policy or the barrier is elsewhere, e.g. not being able to use online projects or lacking fundraising skills.[4]
    • Instead, provide an implementation point who is capable of supporting individuals, user groups and other community members.[4]
    • Pilot with smaller fundraising experiment in the next 6 months rather than holding up for a major policy[4]
      • The pilots should be conducted in underrepresented communities to understand what is working in these locations[4]
      • Another thought: pilots privilege certain communities who take part in the experiment. This is a too cautious approach.[4]
    • Questions
      • Are there policies in place to guide the processes and procedures used by affiliates who are allowed to fund raise?[4]
      • Are there any clauses regarding local fundraising in the Affiliates' agreement signed between WMF and chapters/user groups/thematic orgs?
  • Capacity building for fundraising[4]
    • Integrity is really important. We need to ensure that people who raise funds need to have the capacity to do fundraising[4]
    • Capacity is not exclusive to sharing skills, but also creating conditions that allow people to be a part of the process.[4]
    • There are parts of the world where it is really difficult to fundraise[4]
  • Role of affiliates in fundraising[4]
    • Create spaces where organizations can fundraise (there is potential in regional hubs)[4]
  • Further investment from the established organizations to support underrepresented communities[4]
  • Map out legal barriers.[4]
    • Legal and policy exclusion need appeals and reviews - e.g. anti-terrorim[4]
  • Conduct stakeholder Needs Analysis (both capacity and funding needs)[4]
  • Explore longer-term solutions that may affect the fundraising policy[4]

People (WHO)


Who would like to take part  in this initiative’s working group?


Who is/are interested in having additional responsibilities to coordinate this working group?





  1. This step directly relates to defining the stakeholder groups for the Interim Global Council
  2. a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af Room 1: Resources generation and allocation
  3. a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Room 3: Outreach and definition
  4. a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am Room 2: Fundraising policy