Grants Policy

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ARTICLE I – PURPOSE

1. Purpose. The purpose of this Grants Policy ("Policy") is to describe the processes and procedures used by Wikimedia District of Columbia ("Wikimedia DC") to award grants to persons and organizations who carry out projects aligned with its mission.

ARTICLE II – GENERAL PROVISIONS

1. Definitions. As used in this Policy, the following terms have the indicated meaning:

(a) "Third Party" shall refer to a person, group, or legal entity other than Wikimedia DC.
(b) "Prohibited Activity" shall refer to any activity not permitted to be carried on by a corporation exempt from federal income tax under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code; or not permitted to be carried on by a corporation, contributions to which are deductible under Sections 170(c)(2), 2055(a)(2) and 2522(a)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code.
(c) "Charitable Purpose" shall refer to the purpose and objects of Wikimedia DC, as defined in Article II of the Bylaws.
(d) "Grant" shall refer to any payment made by Wikimedia DC to a Third Party to carry out activities in furtherance of the Charitable Purpose, excluding such payments described in Paragraph 2 of this Article.
(e) "Grant Program" shall be a program of Wikimedia DC that operates primarily by awarding Grants.

2. Exclusions. The following shall not be considered Grants under this Policy:

(a) Payments for goods and services provided to Wikimedia DC, or where Wikimedia DC substantially directs the project or activity funded through the payment.
(b) Disbursements, including reimbursements of expenses, made under fiscal sponsorship agreements.
(c) Reimbursements of expenses incurred by employees, contractors, and volunteers in the course of carrying out Wikimedia DC business.

3. Grant Programs. Grant Programs shall be established by resolution of the Board of Directors. When establishing a Grant Program, the Board of Directors shall define the rules, restrictions, and requirements of the Grant Program, and shall designate one or more persons to review applications to said Grant Program (the "Grant Reviewers"). No Grant shall be awarded outside of a Grant Program.

4. Authority. Grant Programs shall be implemented by the President, who shall be authorized to award Grants of up to $2,500. Any Grant in excess of $2,500 shall additionally require the specific prior approval of the Board of Directors.

5. Trial Grant Programs. The President may establish Grant Programs on a trial basis through a written statement to the Board of Directors. Such programs shall be authorized to award no more than $2,500 of Grants in total, and shall operate for no longer than one year. The President shall designate one or more Grant Reviewers for each such trial Grant Program.

6. Legal Requirements. No provision of this Policy shall be interpreted in a manner that conflicts with any applicable law or regulation. It is the policy of Wikimedia DC to comply with all applicable laws and regulations at all times.

ARTICLE III – GRANT PROGRAMS

1. Small Grants Program.

(a) Definition. The Small Grants Program shall be a Grant Program of Wikimedia DC authorized to award Grants of up to $2,500. The Small Grants Program shall be authorized to issue grants to any Third Party, whether located in the United States or elsewhere, except as otherwise provided by this Policy.
(b) Applications. Applications to the Small Grants Program shall be submitted through the Wikimedia DC website, and shall be processed on a rolling basis.
(c) Reviewers. The members of the Programs and Partnerships Committee shall serve as Grant Reviewers for applications submitted through the Small Grants Program.

2. Book Grants Program.

(a) Definition. The Book Grants Program shall be a Grant Program of Wikimedia DC authorized to award Grants of up to $2,500. The Book Grants Program shall be authorized to issue Grants to active Wikimedia project participants in the United States in the form of payments for purchases of books or other media for the purpose of improving Wikimedia content.
(b) Applications. Applications for the Book Grants Program shall be accepted in fixed application cycles of not less than thirty (30) days each. There shall be at least one application cycle per year, and the President shall be authorized to declare additional application cycles on the basis of available funding. Each application shall include the applicant's Wikimedia username and a description of the Wikimedia project content to be improved using the resources funded through the program.
(c) Reviewers. The Vice President shall serve as the Grant Reviewer for applications submitted through the Book Grants Program. In addition to the general criteria for reviewing Grant applications, the Vice President shall consider the applicant's prior contributions to Wikimedia projects in evaluating their application.

ARTICLE IV – ELIGIBILITY

1. Prohibited Purposes. No Grant shall be awarded for any of the following purposes. Applications for such Grants shall be rejected:

(a) Conducting any Prohibited Activity.
(b) Conducting any political or legislative activity whose conduct by a corporation exempt from federal income tax Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code is restricted.
(c) Instituting or conducting a subsidiary or dependent grants program.
(d) Purchasing any capital asset with a fair market value of $1,000 or greater.

2. Prohibited Applicants. Grant applications from the following applicants shall be summarily rejected:

(a) Any Third Party, when the transfer of funds to such Third Party would constitute a Prohibited Activity.
(b) Any Third Party whose name appears on the Special Designated Nationals List published by the United States Department of the Treasury.
(c) Any corporation, partnership, or similar legal entity which is not a registered nonprofit entity under the applicable laws.
(d) Any Officer, Director, or employee of Wikimedia DC.

ARTICLE V – APPLICATION PROCESS

1. Applications. All Grants shall be issued in response to a written application submitted by the Third Party requesting the Grant (the "Grant Application").

2. Required Minimum Information. A Grant Application shall contain, at minimum, the following information:

(a) The full legal name of the Third Party requesting the Grant;
(b) The amount of funding requested, listed as line items for each projected expenditure; and
(c) A description of the purpose of the Grant, containing sufficient detail to establish whether said purpose is consistent with the Charitable Purpose.

3. Form of Application. In implementing a Grant Program, the President or Board of Directors may impose application requirements beyond the minimum information required under this Policy, including a requirement to submit applications publicly through the Wikimedia DC website.

4. Review of Applications. Each Grant Application shall be reviewed by the President and by the Grant Reviewers. Grant Reviewers may, but are not required, to provide individual feedback regarding the Grant Application to the President and/or to the applicant. Grant Reviewers may, at their discretion, request additional information regarding any aspect of the Grant Application which is unclear or unsatisfactory.

5. Review Criteria. Grant Reviewers shall consider the following factors as they relate to the purposes described in the Grant Application:

(a) Fit with the mission and strategic priorities of Wikimedia DC;
(b) Potential for impact in the projects that the Grant aims to support;
(c) Availability and readiness of volunteers and other non-financial resources required to implement the Grant;
(d) Past track record of the recipient in managing grants;
(e) Efficiency of proposed use of funds; and
(f) Sustainability of impact beyond the duration of the Grant.

6. Feasibility Analysis. The Treasurer shall review each Grant Application for financial feasibility, consistent with the due diligence review required by the Fiscal Control Policy.

7. Decision. No later than fifteen (15) days after the submission of a complete Grant Application, or fifteen (15) days after the application deadline of a Grant Program, whichever is later, the President shall determine whether the requested Grant shall be issued. In making their decision, the President shall consider, but shall not be bound by, the recommendations of the Grant Reviewers. The President's decision shall be communicated to the Treasurer, to the Grant Reviewers, and to the Third Party requesting the Grant.

ARTICLE VI – DISBURSEMENT

1. Authorization. Upon the approval of a Grant Application, the President shall approve the requested funding amount as an expenditure in accordance with the Fiscal Control Policy.

2. Means of Disbursement. The funds shall be made available to the Third Party requesting the Grant in one of two ways:

(a) Through the expense reimbursement process established by the Fiscal Control Policy.
(b) Entirely or partially through an advance payment authorized by the President, consistent with the Fiscal Control Policy. Any Third Party that receives an advance payment shall be responsible for submitting documentation of each expense funded through the advance payment even if reimbursement is not otherwise requested.

3. Return of Unused Funds. A Third Party that receives funding through a Grant shall be required to return any portion of said funding which is not used for the purposes specified in the Grant Application.

4. Unapproved Expenditures. Wikimedia DC shall not responsible for reimbursing any costs incurred by the applicant in the course of carrying out any activity described in a Grant Application until and unless said Grant Application is approved by the President. No costs will be reimbursed in the event that the Grant Application is not approved.

ARTICLE VII – REPORTING

1. Report. A Third Party that receives a Grant shall be required to submit a report regarding the use of all funds disbursed under the Grant (the "Grant Report") within thirty (30) days following the completion of such use. Grant Reports shall be submitted in writing to the President.

2. Content of Report. The Grant Report shall contain, at minimum, the following information:

(a) The amount of funding spent, listed as line items for each actual expenditure; and
(b) A description of the specific activities conducted using the funding, containing sufficient detail to establish whether said activities were consistent with the Grant Application and the Charitable Purpose.

3. Additional Information. The President may, at their discretion, request additional information regarding any aspect of a Grant Report which is unclear or unsatisfactory, or accept a late Grant Report.

4. Use of Report. Any Third Party submitting a Grant Report shall agree that Wikimedia DC shall have full rights to use the name of the Third Party and any information contained in the Grant Report in printed and electronic materials prepared by Wikimedia DC, including, but not limited to, materials intended to solicit funds on behalf of Wikimedia DC.

5. Transparency in Reporting. All submitted Grant Reports shall be incorporated into or summarized in the periodic activity and financial reports published by Wikimedia DC.

6. Failure to Report. Any Third Party which receives a Grant but fails to submit a Grant Report shall not be eligible to receive future Grants, and may be required to return any received funds.