Thanks Lisa. That statement makes a lot of sense, though I do have some questions still.
Our first priority was to ensure that we had enough funding to support community grants. We transferred the full amount for Annual Plan Grants (APG) for FY20-21 over to Tides to ensure that all funding for affiliates for this year was secured, regardless of how fundraising performed. It also gives staff at affiliates and the Foundation more time to work together to make thoughtful grants, instead of an end-of-year rush. All affiliates who will be receiving funding through Tides were informed of the arrangement last summer. All other grantmaking (Community Grants, Rapid Grants, Project Grants) are still being funded through WMF directly, as usual. There is a round of APG grants set to go out via Tides this week.
Are Tides simply administering these funds at the WMF's direction, or will Tides start to take over decisions about who gets these grants and what amount different entities are eligible for? Has there been any change to the reporting and transparency requirements that go with the APG grants? What is the intention about how APG grants will work, since the FDC was abolished a couple of years ago and there is unlikely to be any community-driven replacement for it until at least a year or two's work has gone into the implementation of the strategy?
As of now, this is a one-time commitment of approximately $4.5 million. We are still working on the specific initial objectives of the fund and how it will operate. As a pilot initiative, we’ll be learning and adapting as we go.
Funding knowledge equity sounds like a great idea, but I have not previously heard of an organisation making an irrecoverable $4.5 million transfer without knowing what that money will be used to fund. Is there anything more that can be shared apart from "it'll be used to fund knowledge equity somehow"? And as above - is this going to be a WMF-led process (maybe even involving the community), or will Tides be actually making recommendations about who and what is funded? If the latter, how are Tides going to adjust to the Wikimedia community's expectations about transparency?