Talk:Projects in incubation/Wikibus to Esino Lario

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Huzza![edit source]

This sounds like a great idea. :) Sam Wilson (talk) 09:01, 12 January 2016 (GMT)

I also love this idea, but it would have to be sorted out soon, otherwise people will be booking flights. MartinPoulter (talk) 12:19, 26 January 2016 (GMT)
Problem is that 9 days is a pretty significant chunk of time for most people.Geni (talk) 13:45, 1 February 2016 (GMT)

Budget[edit source]

Would you be able to provide an estimated total cost? Karla Marte(WMUK) (talk) 12:45, 29 January 2016 (GMT)

As Martin says time is of the essence: therefore some sort of "agreement in principle" is needed to allow serious planning to take place. Megaphone Duck (talk)
Yes, and yes: we are working on the budget but what we need to know is how long it will take WMUK to deal with a final proposal from its submission to having the response, and whether there are any key moments in time we should use as a deadline for submission. Leutha (talk) 15:43, 1 February 2016 (GMT)
Okey looking at the numbers from nationwide hire the cost for the minbus, european cover and cover for 2 drives (note only pre 1997 license holders can drive a 17 seater) is £1207.10. Including fuel you are looking at £1500 maybe?Geni (talk) 13:45, 1 February 2016 (GMT)
That fits with our research, but I would allow more for petrol (4 days in Italy and we we would add mileage to visit places on the way). Also we have the cost of the channel crossing and campsites on the way down. Also we are looking at camping accomoodation there and what support we could get from Wikimania 2016 bearing in mind we would be providing a minibus and drivers for the duration. Leutha (talk) 15:38, 1 February 2016 (GMT)

This is a very interesting idea. I agree that it's probably better to stick with a smaller bus as it will much easier to fill-up and pay for – as has been pointed out, nine days is quite a commitment for many people. My main my concern would be the cost, which could end-up being prohibitively high for WMUK. However, the benefits to the project/movement could be large and even a small contribution from those going on the bus (instead of putting it on flights) would add-up, not to mention that the WMF/WM2016 team could also provide some support. The other problem is time – people will be booking flights soon if they haven't already, so a draft budget/itinerary as well as a provisional sign-up list would be sensible next steps for this proposal to move forward. CT Cooper · talk 03:40, 17 February 2016 (GMT)

Update[edit source]

Fabian and those who helped develop the project,

Thank you for putting time in planning this idea. Wikimania is traditionally a great venue for volunteers to come together, build bridges, and exchange ideas, and we could see that this idea captured people's imagination too.

As much as our project grants are normally up to £250, we still put thought and discussion into this proposal. Unfortunately, after careful consideration Wikimedia UK is not going to be able to fund the Wikibus as the cost of the project is too high, there were also finance reporting complications – it may be seen as funding a sightseeing trip, which is not really in our charity objectives.

This doesn't mean that nobody would fund the project. If you want to look for alternative sources of funding, the WMF's Project and Event Grants may cover such a project and it seems to meet the eligibility requirements (Travel and Participation Grants are only for groups of up to 4).

We are still planning to make a small number of traditional scholarships available for people from the UK to go to Wikimania, and will be announcing details soon.

Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 15:03, 9 March 2016 (GMT)

I am somewhat non-plussed by this response. I had emailed WMUK over a month ago with various questions principally to see if various forms of non-monetary support would be available. We did not and have not made a monetary request, which is why this has been page has been given the title which it has, rather than going through the process here. Three of the key questions which have a broader relevance were:
  1. Handling finances: some charities have provision to be fund holders for less formal groups, but this requires a suitable set of policies. Does WMUK have such policies in place? Should the volunteers be looking at setting up an independent bank account?
  2. Staff time: this in turn has both qualitative and quantitative aspects. Qualitatively a member of staff can represent WMUK in negotiations with such organisations as the British Council etc, in a way that a volunteer might not be able to do. But quantitatively, the charity needs to ensure that staff time is used effectively.
  3. Risk management: to what extent is WMUK prepared to carry the risk (particularly financial risk) and to what extent is this to be externalised onto the volunteers (which has cost implications should extra insurance be required by the volunteers to protect themselves. Would restricting participation to WMUK members affect this?

I would be grateful for a prompt response to these queries, as we have already been waiting five weeks for an answer. Leutha (talk) 19:51, 9 March 2016 (GMT)

In terms of finances our policies state that budget holders must be staff. It is unclear what is being asked of staff in particular. What kind of negotiations are intended? Is it cost, publicity, or something else? Without that information it is difficult to assess what the role of staff would be and how much time it would involve. While WMUK's travel insurance covers volunteers on the charity's business, there is a limit to how much time is spent overseas; a nine-day trip may push beyond that.
Underpinning all this is that the project would have direct costs of around £1,250. I understand that there hasn't been a formal request since you have been looking for further feedback, but it appeared that the intention was to ask WMUK for these funds. With that in mind it seemed sensible to ask if this is the kind of project we would fund in principle. The conclusion we arrived at is that the cost is rather high. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 14:50, 10 March 2016 (GMT)
Thanks for that, Richard. I was hoping that there might be someway that it would be possible for volunteers to develop a project in conjunction with Wikimedia UK, particularly following the Project Management training. I thought that in the piece above the point had been made quite clearly: as a volunteer I cannot approach, for example, the British Council, because I cannot speak for WMUK. Clearly if projects like this are to happen we shall need to set up a new organisation and take it from there. Leutha (talk) 20:03, 10 March 2016 (GMT)
Unfortunately, having volunteers as fund holders isn't something we're set up to do. Would you like to come into the office for a chat next week? Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 16:21, 11 March 2016 (GMT)

That would be great. I'll give you a ring on Monday. Leutha (talk) 18:11, 11 March 2016 (GMT)

Is there any news about whether the wikibus shall go ahead? Surely if everyone on it (what, a dozen or so people?) pay equal shares of the ~₤2000 then WMUK won't be out of pocket? Or is there greater legal muddle here? 06:47, 16 March 2016 (GMT)

Having spoken with Richard last week, I must admit I am none the wiser . . . We are looking to go ahead without involving WMUK, perhaps on a smaller scale. Leutha (talk) 00:08, 20 March 2016 (GMT)

That sounds good. I'm definitely interested, but I'm afraid I've already booked my return journey so I'd only be going UK-Italy and not back (am flying to Australia from Milan). Let me know if I can help. Sam Wilson (talk) 03:30, 20 March 2016 (GMT)