The Participation Support Program provides reimbursements to contributors to Wikimedia projects for their travel to and participation in events that are not organized by the Wikimedia Movement. Participation support reimbursements may cover travel, accommodation, reasonable incidental expenses (such as food and transportation), or participation fees. The program is a collaboration between the Wikimedia Foundation and Wikimedia Deutschland. Other potential funding organizations are encouraged to join the program or discuss it.
Guidelines for applicantsEdit
- We do not inquire into any applicant's financial situation when evaluating a request.
- Unless advance disbursement of funds is specifically requested by the applicant in advance, WMF will reimburse each recipient after the event or activity has concluded and a report has been submitted.
- We ask that applicants consider alternative sources of funding when they are available. Funding may be available through bursaries or scholarships offered by the event organizers, or from a local chapter.
This program only supports the voluntary participation of Wikimedia Contributors in mission-aligned events and activities.
- Wikimedia-organized events are out of scope
The Participation Support Program does not fund individual participation in "Wikimedia-organized events," which are defined as events organized by Wikimedia chapters, the WMF, or other Wikimedian groups. However, WMF is likely to fund participation in Wikimedia-organized events when the event organizers apply for funding through the WMF grants program. Therefore, individuals seeking funds for participation in Wikimedia-organized events should request funding from the event organizers during the planning stages of the event so that the organizers may budget appropriately to cover these costs. For more information, see Participation:Support/Guidelines on funding participation in Wikimedia-organized events.
- Events with other scholarship programs are out of scope
Events with other scholarships, bursaries or grants programs are generally out of scope of the Participation Support program. In some cases, however, the Participation Support Committee may fund applicants to other scholarship or grants programs whose applications had merit, but were denied by the scholarship program due to limited funds for scholarships. In these cases, an applicant's proposal may be strengthened by a recommendation from the other scholarship program.
Meeting these minimum requirements does not guarantee that a request will be funded. Each request will be reviewed by the Participation Support Committee.
To qualify for Particiption Support,
- The applicant must have a Username on a Wikimedia project or an endorsement from somebody with a Username.
- All individuals will be required to disclose their legal names, addresses, dates of birth to the WMF, but are not required to do so publicly. According to US Law, all persons with access to the bank account to which the reimbursement is sent must be checked against the Specially Designated Nationals list, and individuals on this list will not be eligible for funding.
- Applicants must have a non-commercial bank account, or be able to make other acceptable arrangements to receive grant funds (such as receiving the funds through another account).
- Applicants must be over the age of 18, or must apply with the consent of a legal guardian willing to cosign the Participation Support Agreement.
- Applicants must be in compliance with all reporting requirements for any previous request through the Participation Support Program, the Individual Engagement Grants Program, or the WMF Grants Program.
Criteria for decision-makingEdit
The following criteria will be considered when evaluating each Participation Support request. Note that meeting these criteria does not guarantee that a request will be funded.
- The applicant must demonstrate in the request that participation in the event or activity is aligned with the Wikimedia Mission.
- This applies whether or not the context of the event is devoted to free knowledge.
- Applicants who are active participants in events are significantly more likely to receive funding, and examples of active participation may include speaking at a conference, or leading a workshop.
- The applicant must present a clear goal and statement of expected impact in the request: this may consist of a few sentences that demonstrate exactly how the Wikimedia Mission is furthered through this participation.
- If the applicant is from a region with a local Wikimedia affiliate organization (chapter), that organization will be consulted during the review process.
Unless otherwise specified, most recipients of Participation Support will be reimbursed for their expenses after the completion of the funded event or activity. Recipients must submit all required reports and documentation before receiving their reimbursements. All successful applicants must be willing to sign a Notice of Award and agree to comply with this program's reporting requirements.
- The recipient must publish a report on Meta using the instructions below and using the form provided, no later than 14 days after the completion of the funded event or activity specified in the approved Participation Support Request.
- The recipient must submit documentation of expenses to WMF no later than 14 days after the completion date of the funded event or activity. In most cases, this means that receipts for every expense will be required. See, the WMF Grants Program's guidelines for documenting expenses.
Recipients who do not comply with the above requirements will not be eligible to receive future support through this program or through any WMF Grants Program until these requirements are met.
Creating a travel budgetEdit
Successful applications will estimate reasonable travel costs: the cost of travel to, from, and within a particular region will be checked by travel experts during the review process.
WMF uses the following guidelines:
- Meals and incidental expenses (this includes local transportation) should total less than 75% of the standard U.S. General Services Administration or U.S. Department of State rates for the city in which the applicant is traveling. Find the GSA list (for US cities) here [<tvar|url1>http://www.gsa.gov/portal/category/21287</>] and the US Department of State list (for cities outside of the US) here [<tvar|url2>http://aoprals.state.gov/web920/per_diem.asp</>].
- The total cost of accommodations should also not exceed 75% of the GSA or Department of State Rates. Applicants are strongly encouraged to seek more frugal accommodations when available. If special circumstances exist that require an increased budget, these circumstances should be clearly explained in the Participation Support Request.
How it worksEdit
- Once a Participation Support Request is submitted on Meta using the instructions on this page and once the Participation Support Committee is notified by Email, the request will be reviewed by WMF in consultation with the Participation Support Committee (PSC).
- WMF staff in consultation with the PSC will comment on each Participation Support Request on the discussion page of the request. It is critical that the applicant monitor the discussion page and respond to questions and comments there. WMF or the PSC may also contact applicants by Email.
- If a request is complete and if no additional information is required, a decision will be delivered within 21 days. This review period may be extended if the applicant is unable to respond to requests in a timely way, or if important information is missing from the Participation Support Request.
Once a request is approved, WMF will contact the recipient regarding next steps:
- The recipient will be asked to complete a request for information form
- A Participation Support Agreement will be issued in the name of the recipient
- Once a signed agreement is received, the Participation Support is finalized, and the recipient may attend the event or activity as planned.
Within 14 days of the event or activity completion date:
- Submit all receipts to the Participation Support Committee
- Submit the report using the instructions on this page and notify participation at wikimedia dot org.
- Once documents are received and the report is accepted by WMF in consultation with the PSC, funds will be released within 30 days.
- Participation support will not be disbursed in cash.