The Lafayette Practice is pleased to announce our new publication: Funding Free Knowledge The Wiki Way: Wikimedia Foundation’s Participatory Grantmaking.
Wikimedia is a global movement whose mission is to bring free educational content to the world. Through diverse projects including Wikipedia, and the support structure of the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation, the Wikimedia community is mobilized around the belief that free knowledge – free access to information and the ability to learn in your own language — is a human right. Since the beginning of the Wikimedia Foundation Grantmaking Programs, this belief and a shared set of values such as Transparency, Accountability, Stewardship, Shared Power, and Internationalism have informed the distribution of over $15 million dollars invested in the evolution of the international Wikimedia movement.
This report is a comparative review of the Wikimedia Foundation’s grantmaking practices, situating the work of the Foundation within a larger field of practice in philanthropy called Participatory Grantmaking. As authors of “Who Decides?: How Participatory Grantmaking Benefits Donors, Communities, and Movements,” The Lafayette Practice (TLP) found that Participatory Grantmaking is an effective and impactful strategy for resource distribution. Simultaneously – and perhaps more importantly – we found that Participatory Grantmaking is a powerful movement building strategy, increasing movement resources of not only money but also knowledge and self-determination. In 2014, The Lafayette Practice conducted new research on the Wikimedia Foundation to provide a first ever, in-depth insight into the Foundation’s unique grantmaking practices in the context of this philanthropic strategy.
We hope that this report allows the reader to not only learn about the unique grantmaking and decision-making practices of the Wikimedia Foundation, but also to contextualize the values that drive this work, and to situate the Wikimedia Foundation within long-established efforts to democratize grantmaking in the service of movements for social justice and human rights.
“Funding Free Knowledge The Wiki Way: Wikimedia Foundation’s Participatory Grantmaking” by Matthew Hart is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License (CC BY-SA 4.0)