After months of discussion and coordination with volunteers around the world, the Community Resources team at the Wikimedia Foundation is happy to share the new members of the Regional Funds Committee. The Regional Funds Committees will make decisions about funding and guide applicants for each across seven regional areas. Their work is an essential piece of the new funding strategy, which is focused on decentralizing decision-making, working with regional committees, and reaching underrepresented communities. Starting 10 August 2021, we have committees in the seven regions, where they offer the best local knowledge and context in grantmaking decisions.
We are so grateful to the 98 candidates we received from across the globe. We also want to thank all of the volunteers of the FDC, Project, Conference and SAPG grant committees. The shared experiences have greatly informed the formation of the Regional Funds Committees. As always, Wikimedians have shown a commitment to work together towards change that embraces our shared mission and values — free knowledge for everyone, through processes that prioritize equity and empowerment.
The Community Resources Team tried our best to select candidates that represented diversity, Movement knowledge and experience. The 55 Regional Funds Committee members will provide both guidance and support to applicants as well as make decisions about the distribution of funds in the seven regions. The Committee members have begun a series of 8 cross-regional and regional learning sessions to facilitate discussions on various themes. The goal is to share learning and experiences from many affiliates and other grantees, as well as develop the foundation for a strong partnership between the Community Resources team, Regional Fund Committees, and communities. We have requested a two year commitment to the committee and the initial members have the ability to review the criteria for membership and decide to invite more people based on the needs of the region.
Our team also plans to form committees for both the Wikimedia Alliance Fund as well as the Wikimedia Research and Technology Fund. The two program committees will function collaboratively with the Regional Committees when assessing applications based in their regions. For global or thematic programs — a subcommittee from delegates from the different regions impacted will review applications.
We appreciate and thank Wikimedians for their support and constructive feedback provided throughout the process. The redesign of the grants work has been adaptive as we listen to and address community needs, and I’d like to thank the broader Movement, in particular affiliates and fund recipients, for their thoughtful and patient engagement as we improve grantmaking together.
Kassia Echavari Queen
Director, Community Investment