Internal:Partnership guide

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Status: Historical

This document details the strategy by which Wikimedia District of Columbia will engage with partner organizations in holding outreach events and for other purposes.


WIkimedia DC benefits when it has the opportunity to partner with organizations on events that further the mission of the organization. Partnerships allow us to share resources and experience, to include more people into our organization, and to work on innovative projects based on a common interest. Wikimedia DC has partnered with several institutions in the Washington, D.C. area, including high-profile organizations like the Library of Congress, and we will continue to maintain and pursue these kinds of partnerships.

This plan is developed to ensure that Wikimedia DC gets the greatest benefit possible out of a partnership, and to ensure that Wikimedia DC can provide the greatest benefit possible for its partners. A quality partnership requires the active involvement of Wikimedia DC, and this plan describes how to achieve this.

Tracking partnerships

Wikimedia DC should maintain a central database to store information regarding the persons and institutions it has contacted. The purpose of this is to create an institutional record of inter-organizational relationships that anyone working under Wikimedia DC's employ can use. This database should include:

  • Name of partnering institution
  • Name of contact(s) at partnering institution
  • Contact information for contact(s) at partnering institution
  • Events and programs pursued with partnering institution
  • Resources, financial and in-kind, contributed to or received from the partnering institution.
  • Name and contact information of the Wikimedia DC representative adding the information

When a Wikimedia DC officer, director, staff member, or volunteer ("Wikimedia DC representative") engages with a representative of a partnering institution, the Wikimedia DC representative is responsible for recording this information into the database.

Support options

Wikimedia DC can support activities with partner institutions in a number of ways:

  • Expertise—Members of Wikimedia DC are knowledgable in the practices and communities of the Wikimedia projects. Wikimedia DC can give advice on how to be more involved with Wikipedia, including the creation of Wikipedian in Residence programs, edit-a-thon-style events, or how to make a collections of text or image materials more easily available online.
  • Financial Support—Wikimedia DC's outreach budget can be used toward sponsoring events, for instance by providing refreshments. When possible, partner organizations should share in the costs or bring supplies. Wikimedia DC can also serve as a fiscal agent for an event or program.
  • Use of Equipment—Wikimedia DC has scanners, hard drives, a projector, and wireless modems for use at events. Note that wireless modems require re-activation for the month, increasing the cost of the event.
  • Publicity—Wikimedia DC can promote Wikimedia-related events on its own event calendar, on Wikipedia meetup pages, and via mailing lists and other communication channels.

Policy limits on partnership

Each partnership should further Wikimedia DC's mission, and should avoid jeopardizing Wikimedia DC's suitability to be a Section 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. A partnership with a political organization advocating candidates or legislation in an election would generally be inappropriate. Activities focused entirely on bringing in revenues would generally be inappropriate. Projects contrary to the Wikimedia movement's values or that offend numerous chapter members should generally be avoided. The chapter's Board of Directors shall determine how to handle potential partnerships whose appropriateness is disputed.

I added new policy assertions in the last three sentences; for discussion. --Econterms


The President of Wikimedia DC may enter into agreements with partners and carry out transactions in the course of ordinary business. Certain limits to the President's authority are listed in the Delegation of Authority Policy.

The Treasurer has the authority to deny funding for any program or expense on the basis that it would jeopardize Wikimedia DC's financial position or would violate relevant laws and regulations.

Issue: I excised from previous draft "The president may determine ... whether Wikimedia DC can pursue a particular partnership." I didn't find "pursue" transparent. Does this phrasing constrain members from creative discussions? I think it couldn't and shouldn't. Is it meant to protect the president from dealing with partnerships that members of the board support? My instinct was that policy should be that the board decides ultimately, and intermediate steps are left implicit; members who fail to get the president to make an agreement with a partner won't usually bother to appeal to the board but if they did, the board should consider the partnership. --Econterms
Good points. Under current policy I see it as a sort of concurrent authority; while the President can pursue some minor partnerships—for instance, holding an event—the overall direction and some particularly big projects should certainly be directed by the Board. And at all steps the President should look to consult with the Board, and members too where feasible. --James Hare (talk)