Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2015–16

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This report describes the activities of Wikimedia District of Columbia during Fiscal Year 2015–16, covering the period from October 1, 2015 through September 30, 2016.

This fiscal year, we built on our successful history of outreach to organizations in the Washington, DC area to significantly grow the footprint of our institutional partnership program, holding numerous editing events focusing on a variety of topics, including groups and topics underrepresented on Wikipedia. We provided training and support to emerging program leaders across the Wikimedia movement, awarded grants to likeminded individuals, groups, and organizations that help advance the Wikimedia mission throughout the United States, and hosted two major movement conferences.


During the 2015–16 fiscal year, Wikimedia DC program activity focused in three principal program areas: institutional partnership, training and support, and grantmaking and sponsorship. In addition, Wikimedia DC planned and hosted two major cross-program events.

Institutional Partnership

Over the course of the fiscal year, Wikimedia DC supported a total of 40 editing events in partnership with 27 separate cultural, academic, and government institutions and non-governmental organizations, representing an increase of 90% in the number of events and an increase. of 125% in the number of partners relative to the prior fiscal year.

The specific partner institutions with whom Wikimedia DC engaged during the fiscal year included the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Chemical Society, the American Geophysical Union, American University, the Anacostia Community Museum, the Council on Foreign Relations, the District of Columbia Public Library, the Folger Shakespeare Library, Howard University, the Laurel Historical Society and Museum, the Law Library of Congress, the Maryland State Archives, the National Archives and Records Administration, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the National Museum of the American Indian, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, National Public Radio, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Smithsonian Institution Archives, the University of Maryland, and the University of Virginia.

The editing events were attended by a total of 289 individuals with Wikipedia accounts, consisting of 171 participants were newcomers to Wikimedia DC events and 118 participants were previous event attendees. These participants collectively made 2,307 edits to 1,317 Wikipedia articles, corresponding to 912,019 bytes changed on Wikipedia across all namespaces, and uploaded 127 files to Wikimedia Commons.

Training and Support

Wikimedia DC continued a tradition of high-impact training workshops for Wikimedia program leadership, hosting a GLAM Boot Camp in collaboration with the National Archives and the GLAM-Wiki US Consortium in June 2016. The event was attended by 18 established and emerging program leaders and subject-matter experts from across the Wikimedia community in the United States.

Wikimedia DC additionally hosted several smaller training workshops, including a Wikipedia for Health and Safety Research and Data workshop, hosted in collaboration with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health in December, and a Teaching with Wikipedia workshop, hosted in collaboration with Wiki Education Foundation in February.

Grantmaking and Sponsorship

During the 2015–16 fiscal year, Wikimedia DC provided support to individuals and groups across the Wikimedia movement with direct grants and fiscal sponsorships. Over the course of the fiscal year, Wikimedia DC disbursed a total of seven grants (including three cash grants and four book grants) and administered two fiscal sponsorships, corresponding to an aggregate grant funding disbursement of $52,300. Wikimedia DC's cash grants supported local events in Chicago, Illinois; Minneapolis, Minnesota; and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Wikimedia DC completed a round of book grants in April 2016; during this round, there were 5 applicants, 4 of whom were selected to receive a book grant; of the successful applicants, one was a previous book grants recipient, while the others were new recipients. In total, during this round, Wikimedia DC purchased and distributed 41 books with a total value of $1,228.50.

Wikimedia DC served as the fiscal sponsor for the global 2016 Art+Feminism campaign, as well as WikiConference North America 2016. Over the course of the year, we processed 85 disbursements, reimbursements, and other transactions with a total value of $50,575.72 under these fiscal sponsorships agreements.

Cross-Program Events

Over the course of the fiscal year, Wikimedia DC helped to plan and organize two major cross-program events: WikiConference USA 2015 in October and Wikimedia Diversity Conference 2016 in June. Both events were hosted at the National Archives in Washington DC.

Organizational development


At the end of the 2015–16 fiscal year, Wikimedia DC had 58 members, corresponding to a 3% decrease from the beginning of the year.


In August, the Wikimedia DC Board of Directors adopted a Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2016–17 to 2020–21. The plan focused on the twin themes of participation and diversity, setting out four strategic priorities for the organization:

  1. Empowering academic, cultural, scientific, governmental, and other knowledge institutions to contribute content and subject-matter expertise to the Wikimedia projects.
  2. Empowering and supporting local and remote Wikimedia volunteers who participate in Wikimedia projects and across the Wikimedia movement.
  3. Promoting diverse participation in all aspects of the Wikimedia movement, particularly by women and people of color.
  4. Promoting the development of broadly representative content using source materials that reflect diverse perspectives and experiences.

The plan further defined a set of 15 specific strategic targets across Wikimedia DC's five principal areas of program activity; these targets form the basis of our Annual Plan for Fiscal Year 2016–17.