Wikimedia Polska/Strategy 2019-2022

Introduction to 2019-2022 Wikimedia Polska Strategy

  • Prepared by: Michał Buczyński, Łukasz Garczewski, Szymon Grabarczuk, Paweł Marynowski, Wojciech Pędzich, Małgorzata Wilk
  • Compiled by: Renata Muszyńska
  • Editing: Łukasz Garczewski, Szymon Grabarczuk, Natalia Szafran-Kozakowska
  • Translation: Wojciech Pędzich

Wikimedia Polska – basic informationEdit

Scope of activity
Integrating and representing the interests of Wikimedians in each language used by a nation or ethnicity found in the area of Poland. Sustaining access to free knowledge through collecting resources and developing source-based contents. Looking after acquiring and maintaining cultural heritage in the digital world. Achieving the goals through cooperation with volunteers and institutional partners.
131 regular members, as of February 5, 2019
Popular projects
  • Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  • Wiktionary, a multi-language dictionary
  • Wikisource: free library
  • Commons: media repository
  • Wikidata: data repository
  • Wikiquotes: quote collection

Goals of the strategyEdit

Main goal: creating a 3-year activity plan for the Association in order to optimize the activity and develop the organization

Partial goals:

  • diversification of sources of income
  • implementation of cost analysis
  • implementation of financial controlling
  • strengthening the position of Wikimedia Polska in the international Wikimedia movement
  • cooperation with the Association’s members, volunteers, and project communities
  • cooperation with institutions
  • recruiting donors
  • developing and implementing PR activities
  • introducing changes to the Charter
  • implementation of a CRM platform
  • developing a marketing strategy
  • developing and introducing 1% tax donation campaign
  • conducting a compliance analysis
  • change of management style
  • raising competences within the Association
  • expanding the functionality of the office
  • introducing of the reporting of activities, effects, and processes
  • research of editors, readers


On July 11-14, 2019, strategy sessions for the Board of Wikimedia Polska have been held, the effect of which is the strategic document for 2019-2022 strategy, with a rolling perspective.

During the sessions, the Board, collectively, created the vision of the future of the organization, its goals, means and deadlines for the delivery thereof, responsibilities of individuals, and the required budget.

Planning was done in five perspectives:

  1. Social (final results)
  2. Financial
  3. Market and customer
  4. Internal processes
  5. Knowledge and development

The foundation for the development of the strategy, as well as a source of the fundamental assumptions for this document, was the September-December 2018 organizational audit with the Wikimedia community and volunteers, as well as SWOT/TOWS and Ashridge mission workshops.

This document serves to clarify the assumptions and rules adopted by the Board while planning the main and partial goals, as well as individual tasks to be delivered within the nearest three years. It also traces the process of creating the strategic plan. Therefore, before the section on “What is planned next?”, a series of explanations is provided.

Conclusions from the organizational auditEdit

SWOT/TOWS analysis resultsEdit

In order to diagnose the condition and position of the Association, the Board, staff, and volunteers participated in a SWOT / TOWS analysis, the results of which are presented below.



  • Availability of finances
  • Openness and transparency of the Association’s functioning
  • Diversity and competences of the volunteers, members, and functionaries
  • Place of WMPL within the international community
  • Wikigrants and other WMPL-sponsored projects
  • Community


  • Planning
  • Internal processes
  • Insufficient human resources
  • Lack of income diversification
  • Brand of WMPL and the perception thereof


  • Social potential
  • Cooperation with external partners
  • Diversification of sources of income
  • GLAM
  • Wikimedia ecosystem and its state


  • Legal, institutional, and political system threats
  • Social factors and volunteer burnout
  • Actions of WMF that might impact WMPL’s activity model
  • Weakening of the Association’s reputation
  • Losing of the Public Benefit Organization status
Staff and volunteers


  • Human capital and competences at the disposal of the Association
  • Mission and ideals at the basis of the Association’s activities
  • Brand of the supported projects
  • Projects of the Association
  • Cooperation with external partners
  • Finances


  • Problems with internal and external communication
  • Organization of the activity of the Board, structure of activity
  • Problems with planning
  • Decision-making process
  • Insufficient human resources (staff and non-staff)


  • Finances and infrastructure
  • Cooperation with educational and other institutions
  • New projects
  • New staff and non-staff members
  • Drawing on the experience of other organizations


  • Loss of financing
  • Unfavorable changes in law
  • Loss of general interest in Wikimedia projects
  • Media, politics, image
  • Competing services

The analysis of the relations of the individual SWOT components shows that the most favorable scenario for the future is implementing aggressive (maxi-maxi) strategy with elements of competitive (maxi-mini) strategy. It translates to driving at the maximum utilization of synergy between the strengths of the organization and the opportunities offered by the external environment, while eliminating weaknesses and strengthening its position.

The recommended activities are:

  • Active pursuit of emerging opportunities
  • Strengthening of the Association’s position
  • Focusing on attractive projects
  • Increasing resources, including financial resources
  • Rationalization of costs
  • Introducing organizational improvements
  • Making investments in maintaining and strengthening the Association position in the Wikimedia ecosystem
  • Creating a strategy for growth and broadening of the Association’s activities

Ashridge mission statementEdit

We are a Polish Association of Wikimedia project contributors. We integrate and represent the interests of Wikimedians and we provide them with financial and organizational support. We sustain access to free knowledge through collecting resources and developing source-based contents, and we promote free licences and the awareness of copyright law. Openness and transparency are important to us. We value independence, altruism, honesty. Thanks to the potential of our members and volunteers we look after acquiring and maintaining cultural heritage in the digital world. We achieve our goals through cooperation with volunteers and institutional partners.

Organizational audit recommendationsEdit

  1. In the area of strategic management:
    • Working out a strategy of the Association’s activity and development with the horizon of the nearest three years. The strategy ought to define goals for the priority direction of development in the nearest years, take into account the potential of the Association, and the external opportunities and threats. A well-formed and carried out strategy ought to improve management and communication with the Association’s members. Presenting and monitoring of the delivery of the strategic goals ought to be elements of the Board’s reports to WMPL members.
    • Introducing strategic controlling, including the introduction of long-term planning, e.g. with a three-year horizon (or for the duration of the term of the Board) and monitoring / revision of the strategic goals in a yearly cycle.
    • Setting up a database of WMPL member competences, including those of inactive members, to activate them and involve them in Wikimedia projects.
    • Community support – expectation management. A young person ought to get informed what they can do, what they will get, what support they can expect (e.g. a membership package, prepared after a member questionnaire)
    • Reader support – teachers, youtubers, e.g. how to read and recognize fake news – those are the activities postulated by the volunteers. Recruiting a team to perform these activities
    • Contracting scholars, for e.g. sociological composition and motivation of Polish Wikipedians. How to recruit more?
  2. In the area of marketing and image innovations:
    • Developing a plan of marketing and promotional activities and assigning a yearly budget for this plan. The plan ought to contain, amongst others, marketing activities for the recruitment of new members and institutions for the delivery of projects.
    • Clearing the website of outdated or generalized information.
    • Taking steps towards introducing Wikimedia education into schools, organizing inter-school contests, funding of prizes.
    • Performing an analysis of competing NGOs with the assessment of their competitive advantages as well as business models
    • Intensification of cooperation with the Coalition of Open Education, Centrum Cyfrowe Foundation, E-BIP Association, libraries, universities, etc. – creating a forum of cooperation, using the synergy of common contacts and relations, knowledge base, skills. The Association may become an initiator of the integration of this environment of NGOs and therefore create a development vision for a strong lobby. It is easier to act together, it is easier to press for changes in law together. There seem to be organizations that are eager to cooperate but someone has to initialize it. The initializing organization will most likely be the leader of this environment. A good start would be to write to all the people and institutions in WMPL’s contact database and suggest cooperation.
    • Activity ought to translate to the inflow of new members, provided that this fact will be publicly announced in the media
    • Better use of GLAM. GLAM gives us resources and its use ought to be maximum. GLAM is cool.
    • Answer the question: what are the frameworks for the cooperation with WMF? Are we a reflection of the Foundation? Do we need to get more independent?
    • Acquiring more institutions such as the Katowice Regional Cultural Institute (Regionalny Instytut Kultury w Katowicach) and therefore more announcements like this: “Do you want to learn to edit the world’s largest encyclopedia? Do you want to share your knowledge with others? This workshop is just for you! Fridays with Wikipedia are free meetings that take place regularly in the Regional Cultural Institute in Katowice. The nearest workshop, October 19, will be related to the heritage and industrial families of Silesia. This will be also an occasion to celebrate the 17th birthday of Polish Wikipedia. Come, join us!”
    • Acquiring such people as the Institute’s vice-President who posts on Facebook: „Drop in at Teatralna 4. This is where the Silesian heart of Wikipedia beats” ☺
  3. In the area of organization and management:
    • Preparing detailed duties and responsibilities for paid staff.
    • Preparing the rules for working time confirmation, signing the attendance list (can be done remotely)
    • Developing and implementing staff policy, including motivational system of salaries for the Association’s Staff, rules for awards and career / promotion paths.
    • Approving new Board regulations – the current one is defined by the Resolution 29/2012 of June 19, 2012, is general, and does not define the tasks, work organization, volunteer character of Boardactivity, etc. Discussing the possible change of the time-consuming formula of weekly Board meetings.
    • Setting up activity procedures, e.g. onboarding of new staff into the professional duties and the Association’s reality, procedure for clearing travels, etc.
    • Introducing planning, budgeting, reporting, and checking of results.
    • Developing and implementing a recruitment system for systematic acquisition and onboarding of new members.
    • Revisiting the reporting of performed work – most recent reports are form 2017 – or explaining why reporting has ceased.
    • Hiring a mobile coordinator (manager) of the office responsible for managing administration and staff.
  4. In the area of finances:
    • Preparing yearly budgets of managing resources, planning of expenses
    • Analysis of the account plan from the perspective of introducing cost analytics and monitoring the budget.
    • Assigning funds to a marketing budget as well as image-improving outlays (PR).
    • Considering the option to approve the budgets and plans of the Associations during the General Assembly for the next calendar year instead of the current one. In order to do that, during the 2019 GA, two plans would need to be developed: one for 2019 and one for 2020. In 2020, only one plan would need to be approved, for 2021. Such a solution would allow for better preparation for the next year, and will limit ad hoc activity and “putting out flames”.
    • Initiation of a search to diversify the sources of financial income for the Association.

Introduction to BSC strategic planningEdit

The foundation for efficient planning is to set strategic goals that define the directions for action and development of the organization. Goals form the basis for division of tasks, organizing tasks and delivering tasks in time. The fundamental rule in formulating tasks is the SMART principle. According to it, the goals should be: Simple, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.

By applying this rule, it is possible to set goals that are simple and easy to comprehend but at the same time defined so strictly that one can always safely tell whether they are being delivered or not. Such goals ought to be present in strategies, plans, and reports. Selected strategic goals need to be split into partial operational goals which are the same as specific stages, tasks or requirements that are necessary to deliver the main strategic goal.

The Balanced Scorecard (BSC) is a tool which helps to properly choose goals and later coordinate the delivery thereof. Its creation was led by the concept of putting qualitative goals in strategies and plans; these are more and more frequently the indicators of development and entail the increased importance of putting intellectual capital to work. The BSC allows to develop a strategy and conduct the implementation process while maintaining a balance between:

  • Short- and long-term goals
  • Financial and non-financial indicators
  • Assessment and developmental indicators
  • Internal and external environment

The concept allows for long-term, rational management. Both the planning and monitoring of a strategy are done in five perspectives. In each of these, workshop participants defined a series of strategic goals:

  • Social perspective – what change do we want to achieve through our actions? What primary goals ought to provide guidance to the Association’s staff and volunteers? The goals within this perspective are the final result of the actions included in the other four perspectives.
  • Financial perspective – what are the financial results that will satisfy the needs of the Association and will compliment the other goals? These goals are associated with the diversification of income sources and const control within the Association.
  • External activity – the goals mainly associated with acquiring donors, volunteers, members, institutional cooperation, the place of WMPL within the international environment, as well as promoting and strengthening the brand of the Association.
  • Internal processes – this perspective includes goals for the internal operation of the Association, such as the change of management style, internal communication, the implementation of a CRM platform, expanding the functions of the office, changes to the Association’s charter, developing a marketing strategy and 1% tax deduction campaign, assessing which areas are handled well by the organization and which need attention.
  • Knowledge and development – these goals are related to building a database of competences, training program, documenting of activities, processes, and effects, maing an inventory of Web pages, initiating a research program of Wikimedia project editors and readers.

Defining and grouping of the goals was the fist step towards constructing a coherent Balanced Scorecard. The next stage included defining the relations between the defined goals and perspectives, in the form of a strategy map.

The strategy map for Wikimedia Polska, developed during the sessions, contains all the perspectives and their interconnections. It allows to clearly define the interactions between the perspectives as well as tell the way in which one goal impacts the delivery of another.

We need to bear in mind that in order to achieve the planned strategic goals, planning needs to start from the map’s lowest perspective – knowledge and development. This perspective is where we construct the capital and assess the potential required for all the other activities. Proper awareness of all the requirements for the delivery of goals and planning the delivery of goals within individual perspectives is the chief component and the core function of strategic planning with the use of the BSC, as illustrated below:

The map shows only part of the tasks and interconnections. The sheer number of items would make the map illegible. A strategy map is a tool which makes it easier to prepare the Balanced Scorecard and at the same time allows the organization to learn, through the implementation and control of the adopted strategy. Delivering goals in each of the perspectives leads to balanced development which is also stable and reliable.

Goals also need to be supplemented with metrics that will serve to assess the state of delivering of the goal. It is often a difficult task, especially with qualitative goals that are hard to put in numbers. Also metrics in individual perspectives need to be connected so that when optimization is planned on some of them, others remain of the same quality.

We also need to remember that actions are measurable or countable. What can be measured or counted, can be done. If we cannot measure a thing, we cannot manage it, either. Each goal, according to the SMART principle, also needs a deadline, a responsible person, and a budget, if needed.

An additional advantage from strategic planning with the use of the BSC is its unlimited potential for cascading. For instance, the Board-level strategic plan can be distributed among individual Board members who, in turn, may distribute their goals among their reporting staff and the projects that they are responsible for. Cascading of cards means carrying the overall goals to the widest possible group of people involved in the delivery of individual tasks.


What do we need to do in order to deliver the organizational audit recommendations by 2022?

TO DO (brainstorm) – preparation to develop WMPL’s strategy

  • Introduce order into the organizational area associated with task division among Board members
  • Introduce oversight of staff and staff-related matters
  • Prepare job reporting procedures
  • Implement trainings to raise the competences of active members and volunteers
  • Develop procedures for announcing changes
  • Introduce diversification of income sources
  • Find the next Treasurer
  • Develop a marketing strategy for promoting our image
  • Develop a recognizable brand among institutions (museums, institutes) and donors
  • Assign a budget to the press officer
  • Develop and implement a crisis management procedure
  • Develop Wikimedia informational materials
  • Develop a program for the creation of support volunteer groups
  • Consider hiring volunteer group coordinators
  • Prepare a “what do we offer you” information package for members
  • Look after the editors and the Association
  • Decide what is the pool of donors we wish to build: a small group of generous donors or a massive-scale movement based on small but regular donations.
  • Develop a strategy for recruiting volunteers and editors, and activating and keeping them.

What do we plan?Edit

This section shows the whole process of developing the final shape of WMPL’s strategy. It serves to better understand the motivation behind undertaken actions and introduced changes. Also, it explains the rationale behind the said actions and changes and expected results. It presents the main goals within each of the five perspectives together with the accompanying detailed goals.

Social perspectiveEdit

  1. Development of the Polish Wikimedia project communities:
    • Increase the count of active editors
    • Retention, or preventing burnout among members
    • Integrating the community of Wikimedia Polska
    • Organizing trainings for advanced editors
    • Providing technical support and development of programming tools
  2. Acquiring project content
    • Detailed goals are provided in the external activity perspective, below
  3. Supporting the use of Wikimedia projects in education
    • TBD
  4. Promoting the values and rules of Wikimedia projects
    • Influencing the shape and EU legislation in the area of copyright law

Financial perspectiveEdit

  1. Diversification of sources of income
    • Stabilizing and diversifying the budget
    • Increase of income that allows for professionalization and increase of the scope of activity
    • Larger share of income to be acquired from non-1% tax deductible sources
    • Acquiring WMF and other grants
    • Keeping a safe budget reserve that allows for 2-3 years of regular activity
    • Increase of the passive income from financial reserves
    • Increasing the income from private donations
    • Increasing the income from special projects
  2. Creating a catalog of needs requiring financing
    • Defining financial capacities
    • Defining priorities
  3. Introducing financial discipline
    • Cost analytics
    • Implementing a professional finance management system
    • Outlay planning
  4. Financial and strategic controlling

External activity perspectiveEdit

  1. GLAM and other institutions
    • High recognizability and trust among institutional partners, NGOs, academics, schools, etc.
    • Good cooperation with external partners
    • The Association as a trustworthy educational partner
  2. Education
    • Wikipedia in school and university curricula
    • Establishing a Wikipedia editing training system for universities
    • A lesson on Wikipedia – materials for school teachers
    • Trainings on editing smaller, local Wikipedias
  3. Volunteers and editors
    • Establishing active local groups that would hold regular meetings
    • Establishing thematic volunteer groups
    • Increasing the numer of active volunteers
    • Responding to the needs of wIkimedians and Association members
  4. Acquiring and maintaining new editors and members
  5. Donors
    • Active contact with donors, in various forms, with encouragement to support WMPL
  6. WMF
    • Increasing own activity in the 2030 strategy development
    • Reporting, making requests, assuring compliance
  7. WMPL as a stable partner for the CEE region, a moderator of internal CEE communication, the group’s advocate before WMF
  8. Acquiring content
    • Improving the quality of entries, photos, media, etc.
    • Acquiring new graphic and text contents
    • Taking care of all Wikimedia projects
  9. WMPL’s brand
    • Shaping the image of the Association for the external audience
    • Starting marketing efforts
    • Promoting active involvement in the creation of free knowledge
    • Spreading the information on Wikimedia and the functioning thereof
  10. Editor trainings

Internal processesEdit

  1. Staff management
    • Regular Staff-Board meetings
    1. Employing a Chief Operations Officer
  1. Introducing reporting, scopes of activity, assessments, pay rules, training programs
  2. Describing the staff-related processes
  3. Developing a competence map
  4. Change of organizational formula – increase of the role of thematic leaders
  5. Developing rules for staff travels
  6. Recruiting and training of people with grant requesting experience
  7. Expanding the functionality of the office and moving it to Warsaw
    • Improvement of document flow
    • Moving some of the duties of the Treasurer to the office staff
    • Improvements in communication
  8. Creating a meeting space for the community
  9. Process management
    • Documenting of key processes that ought to have owners
    • Risk management
    • Providing precise description of duties and responsibilities of individual Board members
    • Clear rules of involving of volunteers in the processes
  10. Board communication
    • Change of Board meeting formula – faster decision-making
    • Personal / direct meetings with assured transparency
    • Setting up a CRM platform
  11. Setting up databases
    • Media contacts
    • Volunteers
    • Partners
    • Donors – developing a procedure for ongoing communication
  12. Compliance analysis
    • Change of the Charter
    • Review of staff / Board work regulations, etc.
  13. Review of partner agreements, volunteer contracts, WMF documentation, etc.

Knowledge and developmentEdit

  1. Development of Wikimedians
    • Setting up a database of member, volunteer, and functionary competences
    • Developing the repository of necessary competences within the Association
    • Working out plans for individual staff development
  2. Allowing the development of thematic . community leaders and Board members
    • Conscious and directed specialization of Board and staff members
  3. Training program for staff, key WMPL functionaries and members
    • Task and self-management in time
    • Social media
    • Legal issues
    • Signing contracts
    • Recruitment
    • Others, relevant to the competences from the database
    • Media competences
    • Marketing and advertising
  4. Resaearch
    • Of donors (questionnaires, interviews, focus groups)
    • Of editors (motivation, personality, skills)
    • Of volunteers (motivation)
    • Of readers / users (focus groups, questionnaires)
  5. IT infrastructure
    • Assuring technical base
    • Investing in the office, in IT equipment
    • CRM
  6. WMPL member communication
    • Starting packages (onboarding) for new members)
    • Onboarding packages for new functionaries
  7. Yearly benefit statements for members

Must have, nice to haveEdit

What do we need to have in order for our plans to succeed?

  • Time to deliver the strategic goals
  • Time and better organization thereof
  • Time of the Chair, Board, volunteers
Staff, volunteers
  • Trusted, motivated, competent, involved
  • Reliability of sources of financing
  • Stable finances
  • Additional sources of income
Trust and reliability
  • Within the community
  • Among partners and institutions
  • Among the donors
Acceptance of the community
External stability
  • Stable legal environment
  • Ecosystem
  • In efficient communication of the whole strategic process
  • Towards one another

Also, additional “nice to have” elements are:

Extra financing
  • A high unerstricted grant of 100+ thousand PLN from WMF
  • Sponsors, donors
Non-profit support
  • An ecosystem of WMPL friends
  • Partners: legal, PR, technical, media-related
  • A PR agency to represent WMPL
NGO-friendly political climate
Larger, more active community
  • Local groups
  • Thematic leaders
  • Initiative, responsiveness of the volunteers who are invited to take part in the process
  • Shortened consultation periods
Comfort of Board activity
  • System of Board assistants
  • Professional office
  • Taking off the load of administrative work off the Board
  • Full-time capacity for WMPL
Good atmosphere, favorable conditions
  • Talking about values and motivation
  • Time spent together

Who will undertake the planned activities?Edit

The BSC contains the details. It enumerates:

  • The involvement of Board members, staff, and volunteers
  • Deadlines for individual tasks
  • Metrics

Organizational schemeEdit

Following the planned activities in the internal process area, there emerged a new organizational scheme, according to which a Chief Operations Officer was employed. According to the new scheme, all staff report directly to the COO. The solution will take off the burden of operational tasks off the Board. It will also allow for better and more efficient management of WMPL staff as well as the improvement of the Association’s organizational culture.

How and when will we check that the plan was delivered?Edit

The accompanying BSC includes the Board’s metrics for the assessment of the results. The main advantage of the BSC stems from the fact that tasks can be planned and distributed among the participants at every stage. Afterwards, the state of delivering the individual tasks can be traced and check how the possible resulting delays can impact the overall 2019-2022 goals – the overall level of the strategy. Thus, improvements to places where they are needed are quicker to implement. The strategy is also presented in a clearer way. BSC also proves that it is important to manage all the areas that impact the later delivery of goals in a wider perspective instead of focusing on daily activities.


Introducing changes to the Association depends on the level of involvement of all the parties of the process, as changes are made to the whole Association and all the aspects of its functioning. Regardless of the caliber of the implemented changes, the community needs to be well-informed, understand the idea and logic of the improvements. Changes whose sense and nature are not understood tend to generate fear.

Often, when implementing changes, the internal communication habits are not changed. It is assumed that what worked previously (with this assumption being often totally subjective) will still function well. In the times of stable growth, deficiencies in communication are not dangerous, however, at the period of change they can result in misunderstandings.

This document shows the directions for growth and defines strategic goals for the nearest years. In order for the goals to be delivered, detailed development and implementation of partial goals from the strategic plan need to commence immediately, which is especially true for tasks that have been scheduled to start the soonest.