Dear friends and colleagues,

The 2013-2014 Round 2 FDC timeline and all associated dates are being pushed back by one month. Here are the key date changes:

* Deadline for entities to meet eligibility requirements: 15 March 2014

* Proposal submission deadline: 1 April 2014

* Community review period: 1 April 2014 - 30 April 2014

* Staff assessment deadline: 8 May 2014

* FDC recommendations due: 1 June 2014

* Board decision due: 1 July 2014

This change in dates has been made for a few reasons. First, it allows for the FDC and community to review the annual plan and budget of the WMF. As you know, WMF participated in the first year of the FDC process in Round 1 (October 2012). While this was important, the process ended up being complicated for both the FDC and WMF. WMF used a (no longer in use) distinction of ‘core’ and ‘non-core’ activities, and shared only the ‘non-core’ portion of its plan in the FDC proposal, rather than its entire annual plan (as did all other entities). The timing of the WMF proposal was also difficult; the allocation was made retroactively at a time when the annual plan was already six months into implementation. While the FDC and WMF agree that WMF should continue to participate in the process, they also agree that participation in Round 1 is not a viable solution.

The FDC and WMF have been discussing how the WMF can be part of the FDC process in a way that is meaningful and allows for a robust community review. While the exact details are still to be confirmed, both agree that the best way forward is for the WMF to participate in Round 2 of the FDC process. This approach also allows for community review of the WMF plan through the FDC process, before the FDC recommendations and Board approval of the WMF annual plan.

However, given WMF’s size, the first version of the WMF plan and budget is only ready by April (the planning process begins after a six month retrospective is analysed by the WMF Board in January/February, and strategies for the next year are approved). Therefore, pushing back the FDC timeline by one month would allow for version 1 of the WMF annual budget and plan to be submitted for FDC and community review.

In addition, we consulted with entities that were likely to apply in Round 2, in order to check their preference: they informed us that pushing the dates back by one month was, in fact, more convenient to them as well. Overall, this timing will create an equal 6 month spacing between the two annual plan/FDC cycles as opposed to the current 7 month / 5 month timeframe.

We will be updating all the FDC documentation with these new dates,[1] but this is a heads up particularly for those intending to apply for Round 2.  

Do let us know if you have any questions or concerns about this shift in dates.

Best wishes and warm holiday greetings to all of you. Here’s to a fulfilling 2014 for the entire movement!

Anasuya and the FDC staff 

Anasuya Sengupta
Senior Director of Grantmaking
Wikimedia Foundation

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