Staffing Plan for Fiscal Year 2016–17

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Institutional Partnerships have historically been the most successful and high-impact of Wikimedia District of Columbia's five program areas, with sustained growth in program footprint, partnership quantity and quality, and program participation and impact to content over the past several years. The Annual Plan for Fiscal Year 2016–17 anticipates the continued expansion of this program area, including a 25% increase in the total number of collaborative editing events.

The sustained growth of institutional partnership programs has resulted in a capacity gap within Wikimedia DC. To date, programs in this area have been planned and executed exclusively by volunteers.[1] However, a significant portion of Wikimedia DC's core volunteers are professionals with full-time jobs that make it difficult, if not impossible, for these volunteers to support events outside of weekend time slots.

At the same time, a significant portion of current and potential partner institutions prefer (or are only able) to hold activities, including both outreach/planning meetings and collaborative editing events, during "normal business hours" (which, for most institutions, roughly correlate to a 9 AM to 5 PM period on weekdays). Further, the increasing number of collaborative editing events requires that some events be held during normal business hours regardless of institutional preference, simply to avoid scheduling conflicts during weekend hours.[2]

Wikimedia DC proposes to address this capacity gap by introducing a paid staff position, the Institutional Partnerships Manager. The Institutional Partnerships Manager will augment existing Wikimedia DC volunteer capacity by supporting collaborative editing events with institutional partners, as well as building a base for future growth by undertaking a systematic outreach program to potential partner institutions.

Staff responsibilities

The Institutional Partnerships Manager will be a full-time employee who will carry out activities in two principal areas:

  • Program sustainment activities, which are intended to augment the capacity of Wikimedia DC's existing institutional partnership program by providing support for event planning, execution, and reporting. These activities will principally target Strategic Objective IP-3 and Strategic Objective IP-4.
  • Program growth activities, which are intended to enable a significant expansion of Wikimedia DC's institutional partnership program by providing support for systematic, targeted outreach to potential partner institutions. These activities will principally target Strategic Objective IP-1.

A detailed estimate of the employee's weekly activity in each area is provided in Table 1.

Table 1: Institutional Partnerships Manager Work Breakdown
Activity Area Activity Estimated Hours/Week
Program Sustainment Event planning and preparation, which includes preparing topical work lists and training materials; attending event planning meetings with partner institutions; coordinating volunteer assignments; and providing pre-event social media and event marketing support. 6 15%
Event facilitation, which includes providing or supporting new editor training; assisting with new account creation and attendee check-in; and providing real-time social media support. 8 20%
Event follow-up and reporting, which includes generating and collating event metrics; preparing event outcome reports for internal and partner use; and providing post-event social media support. 4 10%
Program Growth Initial outreach, which includes identifying and researching potential partner institutions; identifying contacts and stakeholders; preparing tailored outreach and marketing materials; and supporting initial outreach attempts via email or phone. 12 30%
Program planning, which includes supporting outreach meetings with potential partner institutions; identifying potential event topics and themes; and supporting event planning via email, phone, or in-person contact. 8 20%
Overhead Communications and reporting, which includes communicating with and preparing reports for the President, the Board of Directors, and other Wikimedia DC volunteers; and attending internal meetings and conference calls. 2 5%
Total 40 100%


Employment practices

Wikimedia DC has adopted several policies which govern employment practices or are otherwise applicable to a potential or actually employee. The principal policies in this area include:

A comprehensive list of Wikimedia DC policies is available here.

Management and reporting

It is anticipated that the proposed staff position will report directly to the President. This arrangement is consistent with past Wikimedia DC practice regarding staff and contractors, and will allow a single management interface between the employee and the Board of Directors.

The employee will communicate with other Wikimedia DC personnel through several mechanisms, including written weekly status reports covering all completed and planned activities; daily timekeeping, including task-level timekeeping as required; and daily or near-daily communication with the President and other Wikimedia DC volunteers through email or phone.


The Annual Budget for Fiscal Year 2016–17 includes a total of $56,327.00 to support the proposed staff position; this budgetary estimate is described in further detail below. In addition, two potential options for achieving budget reductions are presented; note that both options are likely to result in moderate to severe impairment of the proposed staff position's effectiveness, and are consequently not recommended.

Proposed Budget $56,327.00 The proposed budget assumes the hire of a single individual as a payroll employee at an effective rate of $26/hour, with a projected hire date no earlier than 60 days after the start of the fiscal year, and retention through the end of the fiscal year; this aggregates to a total payroll expense of $45,067.00. In addition, the proposed budget includes fringe costs of $11,260.00; this estimate includes aggregated FICA, Medicare, FUTA and DC unemployment tax costs, which are estimated at 15% of salary, plus a healthcare stipend of $450 per month, with a 10-month effective period.
Reduced Budget A $45,067.00 As a budget reduction option, the payroll position may be converted to an independent contractor position at the same pay rate, allowing an effective cost reduction equal to approximately 20% of the total budget as a result of eliminating the fringe costs associated with a payroll employee.[4] This change will have a moderate adverse impact on the effectiveness of the proposed position:
  • Converting the position to an independent contractor will significantly limit the day-to-day control that Wikimedia DC can exercise over the work to be performed, potentially resulting in an inability to effectively adjust tasking to meet short-term needs.
Reduced Budget B $22,533.50 As a further budget reduction option, the independent contractor position may be converted from 1.0 FTE to 0.5 FTE, reducing the effective cost by 50%. This option will have a severe adverse impact on the effectiveness of the position:
  • A part-time contractor will, by definition, have limited availability, and may therefore be unable to effectively meet the business-hours coverage need identified in the introduction.
  • An effective staff availability of 0.5 FTE would be allocated almost entirely to program sustainment activities (which are estimated at 0.45 FTE), leaving little available capacity to pursue program growth activities.


  1. Wikimedia DC has previously retained contractors to assist with particular projects, including Wikimania 2012 and Wikipedia Summer of Monuments; however, these contractors have not supported institutional partnership programs.
  2. In general, partner institutions are not willing to support weekday events outside of normal business hours (such as evening events); consequently, such events are not considered in this analysis.
  3. No employee travel is contemplated during this fiscal year.
  4. Note that an intermediate budgetary reduction could be achieved by reducing or eliminating certain benefits, such as paid leave or the healthcare stipend; this option is not explicitly considered here, as such changes are likely to make hiring a suitable candidate infeasible.