Microgrants/Cambridge University Wikipedia Society 2012-13

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Thanks to our previous microgrant, we now have a Cambridge University Wikipedia Society, and it now needs a working budget for this academic year.


This is slightly unusual because I'm not asking for a known, fixed amount. I'm giving it an arbitrary cap of £250 because that's the microgrant cap, but the actual spending is likely to be below £100. I'm hoping the grant will be given on a spend-and-reimburse basis.

There are two components to this microgrant:

  • Refreshments for events. Expected spending: up to £20 for a gathering; perhaps more (~£50) for a lecture.
  • Booking of rooms. This can range from free to something like £100 per event, depending on occasion and attendance.

Now to July 2013. See w:en:WP:Cambridge University Wikipedia Society for a list of what we're trying to do.

Expected outcomes

Happy Wikimedians in Cambridge University :)

Who I am

Deryck Chan, now officially President of Cambridge University Wikipedia Society


Congratulations on your success founding the society! What are your more long-term plans for funding? Is there any funding available from your student union? Have you considered membership fees (particularly for funding refreshments at internal society gatherings - it's not unreasonable to ask members to pay for what they eat)? I think it's great for WMUK to support university Wikipedia societies, but as more universities follow the example set by Imperial and Cambridge it may not be sustainable for the chapter to provide annual budgets long-term for every society. --Tango (talk) 13:10, 14 November 2012 (UTC)

Until involvement in the society scales up (on average 5+ regularly active members from within the university in each cohort, of whom 3+ need to be on the committee at any one time), the current model of relying on WMUK grants is the only sensible option. This is because, for the society to be fiscally independent (a prerequisite for charging membership fees), it must be registered with the societies syndicate. At the minimum this would involve a bank account, a capable treasurer to keep the books and provide annual accounts, and a university fellow who will endorse the society long-term by providing independent auditing. This is not feasible at the moment, with only two active volunteers from within the university, both of which are finalists. Deryck Chan (talk) 17:39, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
You have 237 people on your mailing list - you need to convert less than 10% of them into active members to reach that threshold. Do you expect that is an achievable goal over the next year? If you can fund your first year through a microgrant and then become financially independant after that, that would work quite well. --Tango (talk) 17:52, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
In terms of sponsorship: if we can find a sponsor, it makes more sense for them to sponsor the WMUK education program directly because that way they get gift-aid or payroll-giving tax money back. Let's see how many people turn up next Sunday. I'm not exactly confident with the conversion ratio, seeing that no undergraduate student turned up last meetup (Mark91 and I are both 4th years)... Deryck Chan (talk) 11:26, 15 November 2012 (UTC)