Strategy/Archive/WMUK activities and volunteers

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In order that we can reliably measure volunteer activity, and feed that information into our strategy monitoring plan, we need to define what we mean when we say WMUK activity or WMUK volunteer. Without clear definitions we run the risk of double-counting both volunteers and events, or perhaps not counting them at all. We also need to be consistent and reasonable when we claim the actions of a certain volunteer are 'attributable to us' in the sense that they can be counted as a contribution to the overall impact we make as a charity. We cannot reasonably claim 'credit' for the impact of all the activities and events we get involved with, nor for the actions of all those with whom we come into contact.

For the purposes of strategic measurement and reporting we use these definitions. Since our activities are very varied, there will inevitably be scenarios that are difficult to classify. Where those occur we we take a common sense decision and will update the examples given here to ensure that similar situations in the future are treated in the same way.

The charity and its activities[edit | edit source]

WMUK[edit | edit source]

Wikimedia UK (WMUK) is a charitable company that has its own legal status which is separate and distinct from the active community of individuals that are associated with it - volunteers, staff and trustees. The company is owned and controlled by its members and is run by the staff under the strategic direction of the board of trustees. For certainty, references to 'WMUK' in this strategy are references to the charity as a company and not to its wider community of individuals.

WMUK activity[edit | edit source]

A WMUK activity is an activity or event that is arranged by, carried out, hosted or run in conjunction with WMUK, or which WMUK has significantly sponsored or paid for. To count as a WMUK activity, the charity or its volunteers, staff or trustees must have taken some leading role: merely attending is not enough.

The charity does not claim as a WMUK activity external events or activities that fall outside the above definition, even if WMUK staff, trustees or volunteers attend or are involved in a non-leading capacity. That is the case regardless of whether the individuals attend or are involved on behalf of WMUK.

Examples:

  • UK Wikimeets are mostly not WMUK activities, as they are not arranged by, carried out, hosted or run in conjunction with the charity, and the charity does not sponsor or pay for them. That is so even though some, many or even all of the attendees may be WMUK volunteers.
  • An OpenStreetMap conference (run independently of WMUK) does not count as a WMUK activity merely because the charity pays for a volunteer to attend, or merely because it sends a staff member.
  • The Wiki Loves Monuments contest 2013 in the UK was a WMUK event as WMUK volunteers were closely involved in running it, with staff support, and the charity sponsored the prizes.

Tracking of volunteer activity[edit | edit source]

Activity units[edit | edit source]

Rather than tracking the raw number of activities that the charity and its volunteers get involved with, without regard for their size, we instead focus on a measure of personal engagement that we call an activity unit. An activity unit is defined as one person attending one event. So, a score of 5 units may represent one person attending five separate events, or five people attending one event. For this purpose, no distinction is made between people who lead or help to lead an event, and those who simply attend.

If the event is a WMUK activity, then all attendees contribute one activity unit to the overall count.

If the event is a non-WMUK activity, we count only the activity units contributed by volunteer attendees who are working with us in some way for that activity.

As we are primarily interested in external volunteer engagement here, we exclude the activities of WMUK staff or trustees when they are acting in their professional capacities. However, the following are not in themselves reasons to exclude from our activity counts:

  • The contributor has a grant, scholarship, or is claiming expenses from WMUK or any other organization for the activity
  • The contributor is being paid to contribute by some other organisation (eg as an employee)
  • The contributor is a staff member or trustee of WMUK, provided that they are contributing on a voluntary basis outside the scope of their professional duties.

Examples:

  • A WMUK GLAM editathon that attracts 10 editors is jointly run by one WMUK staff member, one GLAM staff member, and a volunteer. That is recorded as 12 activity units (all those who are involved apart from the WMUK staff member each contribute one activity unit).
  • WMUK pays the expenses of one volunteer to attend an externally-run open knowledge event. That is recorded as one activity unit.
  • Two WMUK trustees help to organize the Wiki Loves Monuments contest, with support from three staff members. 500 people submit entries. That is recorded as 502 activity units (the staff support is not counted as it was contributed by staff acting in their professional capacities. The trustee activity is counted, as the trustees were acting not in their professional capacities but as volunteers).

Leading activity units[edit | edit source]

A leading activity unit is defined as one person taking a leading role in one event. That may include running or helping to run the event, or being one of the lead organisers of an online activity.

Leading activity units are recorded as a subset of activity units, so a person taking a leading role is counted as contributing both one activity unit and one leading activity unit.

Examples:

  • A WMUK GLAM editathon that attracts 10 attendees is jointly run by one WMUK staff member, one GLAM staff member, and a volunteer. That is recorded as two leading activity units (all those who take a leading role apart from the WMUK staff member each contribute one leading activity unit).
  • Two WMUK trustees help to organize the Wiki Loves Monuments contest, with support from three staff members. 500 people submit entries. That is recorded as two leading activity units (the staff support is not counted as it was contributed by staff acting in their professional capacities. The lead trustee activity is counted, as the trustee were acting not in their professional capacities but as volunteers).

WMUK volunteers[edit | edit source]

(related to WMF Global Metric 3 ([1]), although short of editors and participants who do not leave us their contact details. WMF metric also only captures participants active in a given quarter, rather than in the 12 month period like WMUK does in this metric).

A WMUK volunteer is a person who has, at least once during the preceding 12 month period:

  • Contributed at least one activity unit, and
  • Has provided us with contact details, including at least an email address, to allow us to record them as a unique individual on our database.

Examples:

  • A WMUK GLAM editathon that attracts 10 attendees is jointly run by one WMUK staff member, one GLAM staff member, and a volunteer. All involved (apart from the WMUK staff member) are asked for contact details, and those who supply them are included in the WMUK volunteer count for one year after the date of the editathon. People who attend but who decline to provide contact details are counted as contributing one activity unit but are not counted as WMUK volunteers.

WMUK leading volunteers[edit | edit source]

A WMUK leading volunteer is a person who has, at least once during the preceding 12 month period:

  • Contributed at least one leading activity unit, and
  • Has provided us with contact details, including at least an email address, to allow us to record them as a unique individual on our database.