Annual Plan for Fiscal Year 2021–22
This plan covers Wikimedia DC's planned program activities and operations for the 2021–22 fiscal year, which begins on October 1, 2021 and ends on September 30, 2022.
The Wikimedia DC program portfolio for the 2021–22 fiscal year will be focused around one key program area, institutional partnership.
The institutional partnership program area includes programs whose principal objective is to leverage the resources, holdings, and expertise of institutions in the cultural, academic, and government sectors to improve the Wikimedia projects and other free knowledge repositories. This is achieved both through the direct contribution of institutional records, collections, and other holdings to such repositories under suitable free licenses, and through the participation of institutional staff and other affiliated individuals in such projects.
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a significant realignment of our institutional partnership programs, which traditionally focused on in-person edit-a-thons, training workshops, and other events as the primary mechanism for engaging new partners. Over the past fiscal year, we have reoriented our institutional partnership methodology around virtual participation and engagement, and have successfully collaborated with multiple key partners to host virtual events. While some partners have indicated a planned return to in-person programming, we anticipate that virtual activities will remain a substantial portion of the program portfolio for the coming fiscal year.
Over the course of the 2021–22 fiscal year, we will collaborate with at least 20 institutional partners; we expect that this collaboration will continue to primarily take the form of individual virtual events, and we will continue to explore, develop, and adapt additional mechanisms of engagement to further enhance our institutional partnership program portfolio. As we continue to engage with both new and existing partners, we will ensure that at least 50% of our partnership activities address diversity in some form, including diversity of content and diversity of participation.
Wikimedia DC organizational development priorities for the 2021–22 fiscal year will focus on two key operational areas: evaluation and reporting and membership and community engagement.
Evaluation and Reporting
While our program portfolio has continued to expand and mature, our methodology for program planning and evaluation remains largely the same as it was when Wikimedia DC was founded. We have continued to focus on discrete, quantitative indicators of program success (such as raw numbers of events held and articles improved); while such metrics provide some visibility into the volume of our program activity, they paint a picture that is, at best, incomplete when it comes to evaluating the long-term impact of our work. To improve the effectiveness of our planning and evaluation processes, we will explore new frameworks for evaluating the impact of our institutional partnerships, including both quantitative and qualitative metrics that will enable us to holistically assess the degree to which our partners have engaged with the Wikimedia mission and movement and provide a better understanding of the actual impact of our outreach and partnership activities.
Similarly, our reporting has historically focused on raw, numerical outcomes rather than program stories, which has limited its impact and made it challenging for funders, partners, and the global Wikimedia community to understand the impact of our work. To address this, we will post quarterly reports that include program highlights, case studies, storytelling, and quantitative and qualitative program metrics and results.
Membership and Community Engagement
The size of our membership has not mirrored the growth of our organizational footprint and program activity; our total membership has remained generally stable over the past several years, with the majority of the membership being composed of long-term, renewing members rather than new members who are joining us for the first time. The limited number of new members has made it challenging to grow our volunteer capacity, to develop new program ideas, and to incubate future leadership for the organization. To remedy this, we will grow our total membership by 10% over the course of the 2021–22 fiscal year through a combination of methods, including actively recruiting new members through events and programs, more clearly presenting our membership options in our marketing materials, and identifying and using new tools specifically designed for nonprofit membership management.
Our engagement with our current membership has been limited, with many members participating primarily through program activities or formal governance processes, such as the annual election and annual membership meeting; while we have explored broader frameworks for social engagement in the past, this has not been a focus in the past fiscal year. Increasing our members' engagement with the organization will help to support its continued growth; consequently, we will host at least 1 social event each fiscal quarter, with the aim of engaging with our members and the broader local volunteer and partner community, recruiting new members, and empowering informal mechanisms for exchanging new ideas and feedback regarding our activities.