Wikimedia Foundation elections/2021/Election Outreach Plan

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The Board announced the need for outreach for the 2021 Board election. The Board Election facilitators and Election Volunteers will support the outreach for this election.

This outreach includes two critical goals. The first goal is to increase voters. Outreach should include many channels and communities. Many community members were first asked about Board or governance topics during the Call for Feedback. The election should include and invite contributors. This means providing translation support so communities can discuss in their local language. The second goal is to encourage contributors to be candidates. The Board hopes to increase the diversity of candidates running as trustees.

GoalsEdit

The Board Election facilitators have several clear roles:

  • Increase the number of eligible voters taking part in Board elections
  • Expand the diversity of candidates running as trustees
  • Improve awareness around the Board of Trustees
  • Increase communication about Board Governance in our community

How this plan was createdEdit

The Board Election facilitators created this plan. The design aims to meet the needs outlined by the Board. The facilitators talked with the Elections Committee and the Community Affairs Committee.

Insights from former elections helped develop this plan. Some insights came from the Call for Feedback: Community Board seats.

Community CoverageEdit

The first goal is to increase the number of voters throughout the community. These voters are not spread over all the approximately 800 communities. Only about 530 communities have any eligible voters at all. Only around 100 communities have 25 or more eligible voters.

In general, the voter turnout in the movement has been low during all past board elections. The facilitation team aims to raise the voters turnout globally, local campaigns by volunteers clearly demonstrated that this is an option to raise awareness of the board elections in general.

There are some communities that are especially encouraging. They had an even lower voter turnout than the rest in past election(s). These require reinforced and somewhat different approaches. Some communities may increase voter numbers through translation of election materials. Other communities with low voter turnout may need diverse outreach methods. This might mean using social media or posting to users’ talk pages.

Emerging communities are promising for adding new voters. Emerging communities are less likely to add voters for 2021. Those communities are an investment in the future. Outreach will strengthen the ties between the Wikimedia Foundation and emerging communities. These areas would like more support and will help us to reach our goals.

Facilitators plan to communicate widely about the upcoming Board elections. We cannot do that all on our own. The facilitators came up with the idea of Election Volunteers. While communities will receive information about the Board of Trustees election, Election Volunteers can increase the election outreach and engagement.

Election VolunteersEdit

Election Volunteers are supposed to connect the Wikimedia Foundation and the community. They support a successful outreach plan. Election Volunteers expand the coverage of the Board Election facilitators. They do this by translating messages and hosting community discussions. They will motivate their communities because they know their communities best.

LanguagesEdit

Facilitators plan to support major languages beyond English. This includes English, Arabic, French, German, Russian, and Spanish. Announcements, reports, and discussions will be available in supported languages. Facilitators and volunteers can cover more languages, translating content to and from English.

Communication PracticesEdit

The Board Election facilitators plan to:

  • Engage with many communities
  • Make ourselves available
  • Avoid gaps of silence
  • Communicate in many channels
  • Speak and write simply
  • Provide efficient translations
  • Document the process by keeping template and communication pieces for future adaptation.