I want to encourage people on this mailing list to volunteer to assess the Wikimedia Foundation's draft of the annual plan that is now in the review phase with the Fund Dissemination Committee. I've included a forwarded email from Sue Gardner that gives an overview of the this year's process for drafting the WMF annual plan.

In addition to the general community review, the Fund Dissemination Committee is looking for members of the community to do a through assess of all or part of the draft WMF proposal that is submitted on Meta as part of Round 2 proposals.


As an experiment we are having a team of people do a review of the  WMF proposal that is similar to the Staff Assessment that is done by the WMF staff that support the FDC. We would like to include people from the community at large as well as people in both large and small WMF chapters, and thematic organizations.

In addition to a general call for help, we will be directly asking people to help. If you know of anyone who would be a good fit for this work, or would like to help yourself, let me know. We need to get moving on this work right away, so send me names by next Monday April 14.

Additionally, the talk pages of all Round 2 proposals are available for comments. The organizations writing the proposals spend a good bit of time writing them, and appreciate comments about them from the community.


Warm regards,
Sydney Poore
Member of FDC

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Sue Gardner <sgardner@wikimedia.org>
Date: Mon, Mar 31, 2014 at 11:05 PM
Subject: [Wikimedia-l] WMF FDC Proposal: we invite your participation
To: Wikimedia Mailing List <wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org>

Hey folks,

The purpose of this note is to remind you that the WMF will be
participating in the FDC Process Round 2, which begins tomorrow. I'd
like to invite you to comment on the plan-in-progress, which will be
at this URL within about 24 hours:

The WMF welcomes your thoughts on the draft plan. Of course you're
free to ask questions and make comments on whatever aspects of it
interest you, but we'd probably find high-level input the most useful.
Does it seem to you that the WMF's 2014-15 planning is generally on
the right track? Do you believe the four "crucial initiatives" as
described in the draft are where the WMF should be focusing its
energy? What do you think about our plans WRT the technical
infrastructure, our mobile work, editor engagement, and non-technical
movement support? Bearing in mind that we're an organization focused
fairly narrowly on product & engineering and on grantmaking, is there
anything really significant that you see as missing from the draft?
Are we missing any important risks to the organization or to the
movement overall?

Please don't reply here, because your input might get missed by the
people who should see it. Please reply on meta, at the link above.

And a few explanatory caveats:

First, it's important to know that the plan, at this point, is draft.
That's new. Last year the WMF submitted material after it had been
approved by the WMF Board and after the fiscal year had begun. That
was an okay first step to getting input from community members, but
obviously the input will have more impact if we get it before the
plan's locked down. That's why this year we're submitting a draft
version of the WMF plan, rather than a final version. We've
deliberately synched up the timing of the WMF planning and FDC review
processes such that the community/FDC input will come in during April
and early May, which is exactly when the plan is being actively
refined and revised on a near-daily basis by the team responsible for
it (primarily the C-level people, and also the people who work in
their departments).The benefit of this timing is that community/FDC
input can easily be incorporated into our thinking while we're
actively discussing and rethinking and revising internally at the WMF.
The drawback is it means you'll be reviewing material that is still a
work-in-progress, and so you may find mistakes. The plan may also be a
little confusing, which is partly because it's still in-progress, and
also partly because we are merging this year the original
WMF-Board-only format with the FDC proposal requirements. It'll be a
little clunky: we ask you to bear with us as we work out the kinks.

Second. You'll need to bear with us if we seem a little slow or
unresponsive during the discussions. It's a busy time for the WMF:
we're currently actively recruiting my successor as ED, which means
Erik, Geoff, Gayle and I are far busier than we normally would be.
And, the WMF will be working through roles-and-responsibilities for
the FDC process in real time during the discussion period, which means
questions may languish for a while before we figure out internally
who's supposed to answer them. It might also be worth me saying that
we won't have unlimited time for the process, and we're hoping it will
be broadly participatory rather than being dominated by a small number
of people. That means that if any particular person has lots of
questions and follow-ups, we may eventually be unable to keep
responding. If that happens to you, please don't be insulted -- it
won't be personal. Also, if questions are asked and you know the
answers (or can link to answers or more information) please feel free
to help each other as well: you don't need to wait for us.

Third. You should know -- the WMF is not asking the FDC to recommend a
dollar allocation for the WMF to the WMF Board for approval. Partly
that's because from a timing perspective there's no good way to make
it work. The WMF Board needs to approve the plan by 1 July 2014 when
the new fiscal year begins, and the FDC input is released 1 June. That
month-long window doesn't leave sufficient time for the WMF to
adequately incorporate a dollar amount recommendation from the FDC
into our cycle, particularly given that the window needs to also
include WMF Board approval. Ultimately, I think it's fine that the WMF
Board would approve a dollar amount from the WMF rather than the FDC:
I think the most important function the FDC can play here is to help
the WMF to evaluate and assess the strength of the plan overall. And
so, I've asked the FDC to i) provide input on the plan on the WMF's
proposal page during the community review period (the month of April),
ii) give the WMF formal feedback (reinforcement, support, suggestions,
concerns) on 8 May, and iii) if it chooses to, give a more full and
detailed assessment of the WMF plan as part of its overall package of
recommendations on 1 June. Any June assessment will not be received in
time to significantly influence the plan upon which the Board votes,
but we would take it under advisement as the year plays out. This is
perhaps not ideal but there is no perfect solution, and I think it's a
step forward from last year, because it'll mean the WMF gets community
and FDC input at the point in the process when it will be most

I am really pleased to have the WMF participating for the first time
with its full draft plan in the FDC process. The draft will be posted
within the next 24 hours, and your input is welcome from then until 30
April. We look forward to hearing what you think.


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