I cannot answer your question, but I am unsure if numbers would mean
much unless large changes (like more than 20%) are indicated. Here's
The key problem with working out how much of a volunteer fund goes to
volunteers, is that reports rarely separate out the money that is
nominally spent on 'volunteer projects' from the money that directly
funds a volunteer activity.
Based on past discussions and the experience of real cases, this means that:
1. Employees or contractors of the WMF or affiliated organizations may
use volunteer budgets for expenses, travel or scholarships if they
want to identify themselves as a volunteer in that context. For
example, many people funded as Wikimedians in Residence may have no
travel funding and will rely on a volunteer grant, or chapters may not
provide funds for employees to travel and contribute to events not
directly within their scope of employment.
2. A grant for a volunteer project may require reporting of outcomes
and specific evidence of some expenses, but there is a cost of
administering the grant before it gets granted, there are costs of
proposing the grant that may or may not be funded from other grants,
and there are costs of administration of the money and reporting on
it, while the project runs. In cases where this can be analysed, the
overhead costs are in the order of 20% to 50%. In some cases, the
end-to-end costs of administering a grant from the WMF, to a local
organization, and then to a specific project means that less than half
of the money going to a volunteer project was actually used by
volunteers to deliver a planned outcome.
It's a problem, and unclear reporting of administrative overheads
really does not help. Changes over the last couple of years to the way
the WMF and chapters work, means that overhead costs invariably move
from a central overhead charge, to being absorbed into project
budgets, making the end-to-end overhead/admin costs almost impossible
to deduce, unless detailed project time accounting and individual
expenses are made public (which is never going to happen). The end
result is that we cannot judge whether reports of reduced
administration costs, are due to a smart accounting change, or the
result of hard won meaningful improvements.
On 14 April 2016 at 10:48, rupert THURNER <rupert.thurner(a)gmail.com> wrote:
on the question how much money will go to volunteers next year,
katherine stated that the 2016 grants budget is 5.8 mio, out of 63 mio
. my guess was that between 1 and 2 mio would go to volunteers.
i have a little difficulty to calculate the number. i saw the 2016 fdc
numbers , 5.5 mio. WMDE writes that the annual fundraising gives 84
mio usd (i.e. 75 mio eur) . on the grants page i do not see numbers
. the german community budget page does not list numbers. . WMDE
writes that it pays 6 mio a year to WMF . at the same time it gets
1.3 mio via FDC from WMF . there is some indication about money to
volunteers in the FDC split up from WMDE .
my guess was that 0.5 mio usd are support for wikimania travel
including funds to make wikimania cheaper in genaral, and 0.5-1.5 mio
via various community projects (e.g. the one of WMDE), individual
engagement grants to volunteers, summing up to <2 mio usd a year
beeing paid to cover volunteers expenses.
can somebody please chime in here with better guesses, or real
numbers, maybe directly at ?
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