Wikimedia Polska/Reports/2019

PDF version of report

Financial report


Community support


We motivate the community to write and expand articles


There was a total of 5 editing contests held in 2019. We continued the tried and tested formats (e.g. Thematic Weeks, WikiChallenge, CEE Spring) and introduced some new ones, including the first editing contest in Wiktionary.

Each of these contests had a different formula and objectives (increasing the number of articles in a given thematic field, curating and validating content, or activating the community). Each of them had different prizes, as well; however, we continued the 2018 approach, as we refrained from costly prizes and instead opted for unique things that either support the editing effort or strengthen the bond with the project.

The strongest example here was the Article of the Month initiative, where participants competed for virtual badges. The theme of the contest was to commemorate the late Wikipedians, namely Krzysztof Machocki and Piotr Domaradzki. The results were splendid: 109 articles were granted FA or GA, i.e. more than half of the articles validated as such in 2019 originated from this contest.

The international contest for writing articles about Central and Eastern Europe, i.e. CEE Spring 2019, was a success, as well. The Polish edition has brought 1223 new or improved articles, taking second place among all language versions.

Contest Number of participants New or extended articles
CEE Spring 2019 45 1,220
Wiktionary Contest 16 739
Article of the Month 22 119
Thematic Weeks 108 3,598
WikiChallenge 22 414
TOTAL 213 6,090

We celebrated the month of women’s history by organising a contest of editing articles about women in Polish Wikipedia. It attracted a total of 61 people, who either wrote or expanded a total of 342 articles from 1 to 30 March, thus adding 1520 kB of text to Polish Wikipedia. The impact of the contest can be seen in the percentage of articles about women among biographical articles created in Wikipedia: before the contest, about 16% of biographical articles created every week on Wikipedia were about women. During the contest, it was from 23 to 47% every week. Many new Wikipedians joined this contest: 18% of the participants were new users of Wikipedia.

This contest was a part of the WikiGap international initiative aimed at strengthening Wikipedia’s coverage of women. The partner of this contest was Swedish Embassy in Poland, which sponsored gifts for the most active authors of articles.

Objective Wiki Loves Monuments Commemoration
Number of acquired photos 6,862 898
Number of contest participants 304 60
Number of new users 185 18

We support community development


Conferences and meetups


We make sure that the community of Polish Wikimedia can cooperate effectively and share knowledge. In 2019, we organised a total of 3 national conferences:

  • Winter Retreat in Kalisz,
  • Wikimedia Polska Conference in Wrocław,
  • Źródłosłów Conference in Warsaw (a Wiktionary and Wikisource event).

The last conference, i.e. a meeting for volunteers editing Wiktionary and Wikisource, was particularly interesting. It was its third and largest edition: it was attended by many people who have never participated in WMPL events before. As a result of this conference, we launched regular meetings of the Wiktionary community (Verbosing).

Objective Result
Number of participants 163
Number of volunteers involved in event organisation 19
Percentage of people who agree that conferences make them feel more integrated with the community 93% (Winter Retreat) 88% (Wiktsource)

87% (WMPL Conference)

Percentage of people who agree that conferences boost their insight into Wikimedia projects 83% (Wiktsource)

80% (Winter Retreat) 61% (WMPL Conference)

Percentage of people who agree that they will use the knowledge they have acquired in practice in Wikimedia projects 94% (Wiktsource)

78% (Winter Retreat) 70% (WMPL Conference)

Percentage of people who agree that the event motivated them to be more involved in Wikimedia projects 94% (Wiktsource)

73% (Winter Retreat)

71% (WMPL Conference)



The WikiGrants volunteer microgrant programme is the easiest and the most direct way of supporting editors in their editing plans and intentions. Volunteers can apply for reimbursement of sources or tools they need for writing articles, entrance tickets or photo expeditions. Applications are reviewed by a committee of experienced volunteers.

In 2019, 31 applications were submitted. The programme resulted in more than 2,500 new or extended pages in Wikimedia projects, including 1,777 new photos. 20 people filed their applications. Impressive as these results may seem, WikiGrants have noted a certain decline compared to previous years, both when it comes to the number of applications and the allocated funds. It prompted us to take a closer look at this mechanism and strengthen it in the years to come (see the section Planned changes ... below).

Scholarship programmes


In order to support networking between our community and others and promote knowledge transfer within the Wikimedia movement, we have maintained a scholarship programme supporting the participation of volunteers in international conferences.

In 2019, this programme covered three events: Wikimania (3 scholarships), CEE Meeting (2 scholarships), and Wikimedia Hackathon (2 scholarships). Once the pandemic is over, we are going to offer community-based scholarship support: the list of international conferences is longer and covers various areas of Wikimedia movement activities.

Other project and events

  • In the #1lib1ref (one librarian, one reference) campaign, we encouraged librarians to add references to Wikipedia. A total of 5 events were held, attended by 55 people. Polish Wikipedia was on the 7th place in the world!
  • In the A penny for your ship initiative, we have sent commemorative coins from the Polish Ships series to authors of featured articles about Polish ships.
  • In 2019, we supported the establishment of an informal group called Caryatid Collective, and organised one workshop and two editing initiatives with them; we also created artistic promotional materials in the form of a zine (self-published magazine) about editing Wikipedia by women and women biographies.

Content acquisition and collaborations with cultural institutions


Results of GLAM collaborations in 2019

Name of institution Participants Number of new or extended pages Number of files in Commons
National Digital Archive 2 2,616 2,616
Digital Library of Wroclaw University + Polish Ethnographic Society 10 744 738
Regional Institute of Culture in Katowice 10 402 402
Mazovian Digital Library 6 428 3761
Copernicus Science Centre 15 131 116
Adam Mickiewicz Institute 3 32 9
Institute of Philosophy and Sociology at the Pedagogical University 39 183 178
Digital Centre Foundation 2 45 44
„Treat yourself!” competition (pol. “Poużywaj sobie!”) 1 97 93
Grotowski Institute 3 27
Goethe Institut 10 45 29
Chancellery of the President of Poland 2 40 40
TOTAL 93 4,790 8,028

Collaborations with institutions in detail


We continued our collaborations with the European Solidarity Centre, Adam Mickiewicz Institute, Regional Institute of Culture in Katowice, Goethe Institute, and the Copernicus Science Centre.

We have launched new collaborations with a number of institutions, including the Digital Library of Wroclaw University, the Institute of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology in Łódź, Polish Ethnographic Society, Public Library of the City of Warsaw, Jerzy Grotowski Institute, Digital Centre Foundation, as well as the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw.

Together with the National Heritage Institute, we were preparing a project called Living Tradition in Wikipedia, to be launched in March 2020. Unfortunately, the project was suspended due to the epidemic. We are considering a scenario to have some of the activities performed online, and we will definitely revisit to this idea in 2021.

In 2019, we conducted editorial training courses for the staff of the Digital Library of Wroclaw University, Polish Ethnographic Society, Chancellery of the President of Poland, participants of the Platonic Academy, students, and staff of the Institute of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology in Łódź, as well as the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków.

We have launched the ”Treat yourself! Free culture remix competition” promoting the resources of institutions of culture collaborating with Wikimedia Poland under the GLAM project.

Towards the end of 2019, we started the Wikipedian in Residence​” programme. Back then, a resident Wikipedian started his collaboration with the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw.

Wiki Loves Monuments is conquering the world


At the request of the community, we have resumed the promotion and support for the Wiki Loves Monuments photo contest which replaced the WikiVacations (a local contest that was a merge of the abovementioned and Wiki Loves Earth).

Wiki Loves Monuments is a Polish edition of the world’s largest photo contest. Its underlying aim is to document monuments from all over the world for Wikipedia. To make the acquired resources diverse, prizes were awarded not just in the general category, but also in thematic categories sponsored by our partner organisations: the Mazovian Digital Library, the Regional Institute of Culture in Katowice, and the Polish Ethnographic Society.

In order to ensure that, on top of boasting photographic quality, the winning images are also encyclopaedic and useful for Wikipedia, they were judged by a jury comprising excellent Wikimedia photographers. We would like to thank Ewa Caban, Adam Kliczek, and Andrzej Błaszczak for their involvement in the jury.

The results of Polish contest were splendid both in terms of quality and the number of uploaded images:

  • Polish participants uploaded 6,842 photos,
  • Poland was ranked among the top ten countries that submitted the most photos,
  • as many as three Polish photos were among the fifteen winning images from all over the world,
  • the photo of an abandoned evangelical church in Stawiszyn won and was declared the best cultural heritage image in the world in the 2019 edition.

Other photo contests


Wiki Science Competition was aimed at acquiring science-related multimedia. It was organised in November and the first half of December. We asked a jury of experts to evaluate the submitted images. The results of the 2019 edition were much higher (in terms of quantity) and much better (in terms of content) than in the previous edition, as the international organisers of the contest pointed out many times. We are still waiting for the results of the international contest. In addition, on the occasion of the All Souls’ Day and the All Saints’ Day we organised a short Commemoration contest, aimed at documenting Polish memorial sites, cemeteries, and tombstones of notable persons.



We hired a specialist and developed the WikiSchool action plan In the second half of 2019, Klara Sielicka-Baryłka joined our team as an Education Specialist. Her first task was to come up with a plan of educational action plan. Klara collaborated with the Wikimedia Education group, drawing on the experiences from all over the world. She also relied on her contacts to start building a group of experts comprising active and committed teachers from all over Poland. The general idea is to teach something more than just editing Wikipedia, because we noted that these activities are not effective enough. We would rather want to collaborate with teachers to educate young people in a pro-social spirit, teaching them digital competence using Wikipedia. We called this action plan and its follow-up activities WikiSchool.

Edit-a-thons and training sessions


As part of our collaboration projects with educators and universities, we carried out the following ad hoc initiatives:

  • training for teachers under the Modern Poland Foundation project,
  • training sessions for students of the Faculty of Artes Liberales of the University of Warsaw,
  • training sessions for ethnology students at the Łódź University. In collaboration with the Polish Ethnographic Society and the “Łódź Ethnographic Studies”, we co-authored a scientific article about educational activities supported by wiki tools (approved for publication in 2020).

Communication and promotion


Communication channels


In 2019, the communication and promotion activities of the Association were pursued mainly through its Facebook profile, the blog, and the newsletter (as a tool for communication with the editing community). We also responded to messages from the media. This aspect of our activity (with the exception of the newsletter) was supervised by Agnieszka Marszał, who worked for us part-time.

Wikipedia’s 18th birthday


The goal behind the 18th birthday of Polish Wikipedia was to present what Wikipedia has become since it was founded, from an amateur website to a mature source of information that plays an important role in the contemporary landscape of access to knowledge. The event was attended by Paweł Jochym and Krzysztof Jasiutowicz (founders of Polish Wikipedia), along with Wikipedia volunteers and readers, as well as our supporters and representatives of partner institutions, including experts. Unfortunately, due to the fact that the date of the event coincided with the parliamentary election campaign and promotion activities were insufficient, the birthday did not receive any media coverage. For this reason, we are planning to try out some different forms of promoting this annual event of Polish Wikipedia.

Organisation development


We formulated a strategic development plan


The Management Board, with the participation of nearly all its members, have prepared a strategic development plan for the organisation for the next three years. This document lays out a large part of the Association’s activities, and forms the basis for defining tasks for staff and making decisions to bring new ideas forward.

The strategic plan includes the SWOT/TOWS analysis performed back in 2018, and lists goals the Association Board is planning to achieve in the years to come. It is a major methodological support tool for the Board made up of volunteers. What is more, it makes the Association’s activities more transparent and predictable.

We hired a Chief Operating Officer


In December, Łukasz Garczewski took the position of a Chief Operating Officer. Heis a manager who is experienced in working with volunteers and a representative of the first “generation” of Wikipedians, and the President of our Association in the years 2005–2007. He took over daily project and staff management, along with some fundraising tasks. As a result, the scope of tasks of the Management Board began to change.

Other activities


One of the actions outlined in the strategic plan is a strong commitment to reduce fixed costs. Below we present savings made already in 2019 (with effects in subsequent years). These efforts are continued in 2020.

Expenditure Annual cost so far (2019) Annual cost from 2020 Savings Actions email 738.00PLN 0.00PLN 738.00PLN switching to Google Suite
Bank charges 3,390.00PLN 0.00PLN 3,390.00PLN renegotiating the contract with ING
Hotels negotiating a partnership agreement with a 10% discount, no impact on 2020 (COVID-19)
Total 4,128.00 0.00 PLN 4,128.00 PLN

The Board has also passed a resolution to minimise the environmental impact. From now on, when considering different spending options, we take into account waste production as one of the factors.