Microgrants Program: call for volunteers

Monthly meetupsMeetup Meetup groups are locally-organized groups that get together for face-to-face events on a regular basis (commonly once a month). Learn more about Meetups in our Meetup Organizer Handbook. are great. WordCamps are great. We love them both! And yet, there are lots of other event types out there — workshops, hackathons, and contributor days, to name a few — that would help our local community groups share WordPress knowledge and inspire people to do more with WordPress. How can we make it easier for local communities to organize more events? Maybe money would help.

In 2017, we want to provide financial support to local WordPress communities that want to organize “bigger-smaller events” (bigger than a monthly meetupMeetup Meetup groups are locally-organized groups that get together for face-to-face events on a regular basis (commonly once a month). Learn more about Meetups in our Meetup Organizer Handbook. but smaller than an annual WordCampWordCamp WordCamps are casual, locally-organized conferences covering everything related to WordPress. They're one of the places where the WordPress community comes together to teach one another what they’ve learned throughout the year and share the joy. Learn more.) like this, though a microgrants program. We also want to track the events that receive financial support and be able to report on the results. The program will be paid for out of surplus WordCamp funds.

The microgrants program has six main components:

  1. An application form that will collect information like: what community is requesting funds and details about what the funds will allow them to do, probably similar to the WordCamp application on Central.
  2. An easy way for grant recipients to submit vendor payment and/or reimbursement requests up to the sum of their grant amount.
  3. A debrief form that will collect the results of whatever the funding went to, in a way that can be collected into an end-of-year report of some kind.
  4. A nice clear set of expectations around what the program will fund in this first (experimental) year.
  5. Event organizing documentation in the handbooks for grant applicants who want to explore new kinds of event.
  6. DeputyProgram Supporter Community Program Supporters (formerly Deputies) are a team of people worldwide who review WordCamp and Meetup applications, interview lead organizers, and keep things moving at WordCamp Central. Find more about program supporters in our Program Supporter Handbook. training materials for volunteers who are interested in reviewing/processing grant applications.

I mentioned this idea here previously (you’re not experiencing deja vu), and I’m honored to say that @kcristiano has agreed to lead the work on this project during my sabbatical (in case you missed it, I’ll be gone from February 20-May 15). Kevin’s deep knowledge of the WordPress community as well as non-profits and accounting systems makes him pretty much the perfect person to make this program a reality, but he can’t do it alone! (Please don’t make him do it alone!) A few months ago, @ryelle was kind enough to start working on some of the forms we’ll need, but we’re still in the infancy stage of this program and that means We! Need! You!

If you’re interested in helping to draft this program or building the tools to make it work, please comment below! If you have questions, concerns, or recommendations about this program, please comment below as well!

If you want to talk to Kevin or me about this program in real time, we’ll be available together at 21:00 UTC this Friday, February 10 in #community-team for a very preliminary, highly informal kick-off meeting. (You don’t have to be available at that time to participate in this project.)