PHILANTHROPIC GRANTS AT THE WIKIMEDIA FOUNDATION
Wikimedia is the world’s fifth most popular digital platform, used in everything from secondary education to advanced computational research. While Wikipedia is the largest and best-known of the Wikimedia projects, it is only one part of our work. Wikimedia is: Nearly 300 languages; Written by 200,000 monthly contributors; Visited around 6,000 times each second by more than one billion devices every month.
One of the many roles of the Wikimedia Foundation is that of a philanthropic funder (or “grantmaker”). This role is carried out by the Community Resources team, whose purpose is to make grants and offer other support to mission-aligned projects and organizations around the world. Annually, this team distributes ~$8M USD via several participatory grantmaking programs, which support a wide variety of ideas and projects: outreach, experimentation, conferences, research, software development, as well as general operating support grants.
In 2017, the Wikimedia movement adopted a new strategic direction for 2030. In order to achieve these 2030 goals, our movement is engaging in a movement-wide conversation about the current system of resource allocation. Given that grantmaking is one such system of resource allocation, the Community Resources team is interested in understanding how other philanthropic funders structure their programs to enable their goals, and how our current structure and programs compare to the larger sector.
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