After Serving on the MEA Regional Grant Committee: Insights and Recommendations

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Some members of the Regional Grants Committee Source of the image

In line with the strategic guidance of the 2030 strategy recommendations, the broader movement strategy recommendations, and the Grants Strategy, the Foundation established seven regional grant committees. These regional committees play a crucial role in ensuring a better allocation of resources to community initiatives within the movement, being closer to the grantees, and better understanding their needs and goals.

Having had the honor of being part of the MEA regional committee for two years (August 2021 to July 2023), we are excited to share our valuable insights and offer recommendations to future grant recipients in this blog post.

What we learned from this journey

Yamen Bousrih : “With a firm belief in the significance of a regional grant committee for fostering closer community engagement, I have had the privilege of serving on the Wikimedia Regional Grant Committee for Africa and the Middle East over the past two years. I take pride in my contributions to evaluating and supporting impactful projects in the region, an experience that offered a distinct chance to collaborate with devoted individuals and observe the positive transformations our grants facilitated in communities.”

Mwintirew: “Being a part of the regional committee has been an enlightening experience; it has taught me the true essence of collaborative decision-making and advocacy for diversity and inclusivity. It’s like conducting a symphony—listening to different viewpoints, handling complex discussions, and finding common ground to allocate resources. In our capacity as committee members, we represent our regions and ensure that our decisions reflect the diverse makeup of our communities, regardless of gender, ethnicity, age, or location in the Wikimedia movement.

Ndahiro Derrick : ” The dialogues preceding grant decisions allowed me to identify various non-financial assets within each community. Frequently overshadowed in the quest for financial support to make an impact, these non-monetary resources play a vital role. Applause to the Community Resources Team for fostering this opportunity through the Regional Grants Committee.

Joy Agyepong: “Its been a journey full of lengthy discussions and debate which sought to crucially reflect fairness and adequate evaluation process. It also sharpened my analytical skills and exposed me to diverse wealth of knowledge while appreciating the true essence of a collaborative team spirit. Although it has been challenging yet rewarding, as a member of the committee, I was privileged to witness how broad the Wikimedia sphere is, an ecosystem which embodies very rich and diverse innovative projects with efforts to mirror the importance of open education, resources and inclusivity. A warm hand of appreciation to the past, current and future members!.

Euphemia Uwandu: ”It has been an enlightening journey of deep listening with the WMF Community Resources team, Program Officers, grantees, and their diverse communities, influencing the shaping of our decision-making processes and support framework. Our moments of collective reviews and discussions brought crucial realizations to the forefront – prioritizing grantees and their communities over our own interests is essential, and our role is one of support and not critique”.

Eben Mlay: “Through my involvement in the Committee, I’ve gained a profound understanding of the importance of fostering community engagement. Serving on the committee has allowed me to actively contribute to evaluating and supporting impactful projects in the region. This experience has been enlightening, emphasizing the significance of collaborative decision-making and advocacy for diversity and inclusivity. Similar to conducting a symphony, it involves listening to diverse viewpoints, navigating complex discussions, and finding common ground to allocate resources. The dialogues preceding grant decisions have revealed the often-overlooked non-financial assets within each community, highlighting their vital role in making a lasting impact. The journey has honed my analytical skills, exposed me to a wealth of knowledge, and underscored the importance of a collaborative team spirit. Overall, as a committee member, the experience has been challenging yet rewarding, fostering deep listening, fairness, and an appreciation for the support role the committee plays in the broader Wikimedia ecosystem.

Ayokanmi Oyeyemi: “As a member of the Grant Regional Committee, I learned a great deal about team work, collaboration, and how to read the grantee mind. These invaluable skills not only helped me to contribute effectively to the committee, but also played a key role in the success of the Wikimedia UG Nigeria Community Support Grants that I helped to form. Through my experiences on the committee, I gained a deeper understanding of how to assess grant proposals, work with diverse teams, and navigate complex projects. Overall, my time on the committee was a truly enriching experience that has helped me to become a more effective leader and collaborator in all areas of my work.

Recommendations for future grantees

  • Apply for a grant: receiving funding can provide an excellent opportunity to carry out activities under favourable conditions. However, it’s important to note that the foundation will only provide funding to those who submit an application. Funding is awarded to applicants, so we encourage you to seize this opportunity and submit your application without hesitation!

  • Be familiar with the application timeline: It’s essential to be aware of the regional calendar to ensure you meet deadlines and have sufficient time to prepare your application. You can access the calendar on Meta using the following links: [1] [2].

  • Request access to the Fluxx portal: Please keep in mind that all applications should be submitted through the Wikimedia Foundation Funds Grantee Portal, which can be accessed at this address: To submit your application, you must have an account on this portal. To obtain an account, you need to submit a request, which is typically processed within 24 hours. You can find highly informative videos on YouTube that guide you through the process of requesting an account and connecting to Fluxx [3] [4].

  • Reach out to the committee: Don’t hesitate to get in touch with committee members if you need clarifications or have any questions. If this is your first time applying for a grant, we strongly recommend requesting a meeting to introduce your group or community.

  • Engage your community: engaging your community through different communication channels is essential for a successful grant application. Initiate discussions and encourage your community to share project ideas at least one month prior to the final deadline. This collaborative approach enhances the quality of proposals and fosters a sense of community ownership in the grant process.
  • Align your activities and strategies with goals: when planning your proposal, ensure that your activities and strategies align seamlessly with your goals or the intended change. This alignment is crucial for the overall coherence and effectiveness of your project.
  • Choose reasonable Key Performance indicators. When formulating your grant proposal, it’s recommended to select Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that are not only ambitious but also realistic and measurable. Choosing reasonable KPIs is crucial for accurately assessing the impact of your project and ensuring its success. Focus on indicators that align with your project’s objectives, can be easily tracked, and provide meaningful insights into your progress.

  • Compose a detailed and clear budget: to streamline the grant application process and facilitate efficient communication, it’s recommended to present a comprehensive and detailed budget. A well-documented budget minimizes the need for extensive back-and-forth correspondence, offering a clear overview of your financial needs and ensuring transparency. By providing a thorough breakdown of expenses, you enhance the grant evaluators’ understanding of your project’s financial requirements. Please remember that we are a non-profit sector and we rely on donations, so it’s strongly recommended to avoid unnecessary expenses with no value to your projects. Also, if you don’t master the management of spreadsheets, don’t hesitate to ask for help.

  • Choose carefully your staff: while hiring paid staff is crucial for specific task execution, it is advisable to carefully consider staff numbers. Managing a larger team can introduce complexities, so it’s prudent to streamline tasks whenever possible, allowing the same person to handle multiple responsibilities rather than opting for unnecessary redundancy.

  • Select a fiscal sponsor: If you are not formally registered as an association in your country, it’s recommended to explore the option of selecting a fiscal sponsor. This can provide valuable administrative and financial support, enabling you to pursue your initiatives effectively while adhering to the necessary regulatory frameworks.

And finally,

  • Don’t wait for the last day: to mitigate the risk of unforeseen challenges, please don’t wait until the final day to submit your request on Fluxx. Proactively submitting your request ahead of time helps avoid potential issues associated with Murphy’s Law and ensures a smoother and more reliable application process.

Good luck with your grant request !

[1] Regional calendar for Middle East & North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa
[2] Wikimedia Foundation Funds Calendar
[3] Wikimedia Foundation Grantee Portal Tutorial: How to Register
[4] Fluxx Tutorials for Wikimedia Foundation Funds

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