The Board of Trustees has formally concluded the work of the Funds Dissemination Committee (FDC) with gratitude and appreciation for all of the dedication of its members over the years.
The FDC was developed in 2012 as an advisory body to the Board of Trustees, to “provide recommendations on requests for funding by eligible entities within the movement to achieve the mission goals of the movement”. The FDC framework and the members who served on it across the years have been instrumental in shaping our movement’s organizational development. Over the past three years, the FDC deliberations were put on pause so that key movement actors, individuals and groups could concentrate on developing our Movement Strategy.
The FDC framework which oversaw the Wikimedia chapters’ Annual Plan Grants program was based on participatory grantmaking – where the decision-makers were people from the movement. The FDC made recommendations to the Board of Trustees for APG and also reviewed the Foundation’s annual plan. The FDC also introduced common practices for metrics and evaluation. The new, collaboratively developed Wikimedia Foundation Funds strategy builds upon valuable lessons from the FDC and focuses on decentralized community decision making, building a relationship of partnership with grantees and learning.
Moving forward, the seven new Regional Funds committees will support the review of grant applications in their region, aligned with the new funding strategy that brings decision-making closer to local communities and needs. The role previously filled by the FDC as a sub-committee to the Board to review the Wikimedia Foundation’s annual plan will be carried out through a movement-wide feedback process that will be built into the Annual Planning Process. This year, the Foundation has already shared a draft annual plan on Meta and hosted conversations with the movement to invite feedback and thoughts on the draft. That feedback is informing the next iteration of the plan, which will be finalized and shared with the Board in June. The experience from this year’s open community feedback process will also help shape future iterations of a collaboratively created Foundation plan.
On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I would like to extend our thanks to everyone who has thoughtfully participated in the FDC framework to elevate our grants programs. This includes a special thank you to the members of the FDC, each of whom volunteered their time and spent countless hours reviewing applications and reports. I also want to thank the organizations who participated in the program, created thoughtful applications, and developed diverse and inspiring programs to support our work to bring knowledge to all.
To ensure the institutional memory and learnings of the FDC framework are preserved, a retrospective was completed with members of the most recent committee and is available on Meta-wiki.