Director, Community Grants and Affiliate Support

Remote Community Engagement

Director, Community Grants and Affiliate Support


The Wikimedia Foundation is seeking a Director, Community Grants and Affiliate Support to advance the Wikimedia movement’s vision of every human being able to freely share in the sum of all knowledge; as well as its strategic direction - that by 2030, Wikimedia will become the essential infrastructure of the ecosystem of free knowledge, and anyone who shares our vision will be able to join us

Reporting to the Chief of Community Engagement, you will oversee two important functions in the Community Engagement department: Community Grants, which provides financial grants to projects, individuals, groups, and organizations in the movement; and Affiliate Support, which provides ‘one-stop’ information and assistance to all Wikimedia affiliates, including governance support, advice, capacity development, training, operational funding, conferences and events. 

Leading by example, you and your team will empower local volunteer Wikimedia communities around the world and meaningfully support their growth, diversity, financial sustainability, and capacity. You will oversee the disbursement of financial grants in innovative ways to fund the work of movement participants and track how these funds achieve their intended impact. You will regularly collaborate with, and be a source of assistance and influence within the movement’s wide network of affiliates. You will be a key representative of the Foundation and a trusted ally to our communities across the world.

You will ensure your team contribute to the strategy, objectives and goals of the Community Engagement department, and coordinate with senior managers and directors of the Foundation in a holistic and collaborative manner. You will align your team’s goals to the movement’s 2030 strategy and the Foundation’s Medium Term Plan. You will manage a committed team, who are deeply rooted in the needs and perspectives of communities. 

You are responsible for:

  • Formulating and implementing Community Engagement’s work objectives and goals together with other senior department leaders - integrating affiliate support and community grants as core components of this work - and monitoring programmatic alignment to movement and Foundation strategies.
  • Strategically communicating Community Engagement’s objectives and goals to internal and external audiences, defining and explaining the Foundation’s role and impact beyond the lens of funding. 
  • Consulting regularly with grantees, affiliates, communities and other movement organizations to understand their needs and priorities; supporting local participatory decision structures in funds disbursement where appropriate.
  • Setting strategic funding priorities and flexible, innovative grantmaking structures and programs in consultation with the wider Community Engagement department; regularly reviewing, measuring and evaluating these priorities, structures and programs to ensure they achieve impact for a thriving movement.
  • Designing, promoting and implementing decentralized structures for some grant programs to enhance decision making at the local or regional level. 
  • Establishing a ‘one-stop shop’ for all affiliate engagement; providing advice on institutional growth and governance strengthening, capacity building, peer networking and grant management for all affiliates, big and small. 
  • Supporting and capacitating the Affiliations Committee (AffCom), a community self governance committee responsible for the recognition, derecognition, management and training of affiliates, ensuring that AffCom functions effectively. 
  • Reporting regularly to Foundation executives and the Board of Trustees on the affiliate landscape and ecosystem, and on the impact that Foundation  grantmaking is achieving within the movement.
  • Developing close working relationships with Community Engagement’s thematic cluster, events and conferences, capacity development, and regional teams when tailoring grantmaking structures and programs and affiliate engagement. 
  • Developing and maintaining a working knowledge of good practices within the techno social sector; advising the Chief of Community Engagement and department leaders on trends and developments.   
  • Managing, inspiring, and leading a newly restructured team of highly motivated staff and contractors to achieve team goals; ensuring cross-team and cross-department dependencies are identified and supported.
  • Collaborating closely with the Finance and Legal teams to disburse, manage and ensure compliance for Community Engagement’s grants portfolio of around $8M.
  • Coordinating with other Foundation departments to realize partnership opportunities with communities and affiliates in a manner that strengthens and fulfills community/affiliate goals.

Skills and Experience:

  • 7-10 years of direct experience and expertise leading international grantmaking programs, preferably to volunteer grassroots networks, with a clear understanding of contexts and situations in different parts of the world
  • 7-10 years of program and project management operational experience, sound financial, budgeting and work plan management skills
  • Experience managing multi-disciplinary and multi-cultural international teams
  • Cross-cultural communication skills, sensitivity and awareness, excellent interpersonal and networking skills among diverse stakeholder groups.
  • Comfort engaging with volunteers and experience with community-focused, volunteer-based, international initiatives
  • Demonstrated commitment to and belief in equity, inclusion and diversity
  • A visionary, trustworthy, open and flexible leadership style
  • Belief in the values, mission and ethos of the Wikimedia movement

Additionally, we’d love it if you have:

  • Experience working with online communities, particularly in the free knowledge movement
  • Experience in participatory decision making structures
  • Fluency in languages other than English
  • Passion for or experience contributing to Wikipedia/Wikimedia projects
  • A global perspective, with significant experience living or working internationally

The Wikimedia Foundation is... 

...the nonprofit organization that hosts and operates Wikipedia and the other Wikimedia free knowledge projects. Our vision is a world in which every single human can freely share in the sum of all knowledge. We believe that everyone has the potential to contribute something to our shared knowledge, and that everyone should be able to access that knowledge, free of interference. We host the Wikimedia projects, build software experiences for reading, contributing, and sharing Wikimedia content, support the volunteer communities and partners who make Wikimedia possible, and advocate for policies that enable Wikimedia and free knowledge to thrive. The Wikimedia Foundation is a charitable, not-for-profit organization that relies on donations. We receive financial support from millions of individuals around the world, with an average donation of about $15. We also receive donations through institutional grants and gifts. The Wikimedia Foundation is a United States 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization with offices in San Francisco, California, USA.

The Wikimedia Foundation is an equal opportunity employer, and we encourage people with a diverse range of backgrounds to apply.

U.S. Benefits & Perks*

  • Fully paid medical, dental and vision coverage for employees and their eligible families (yes, fully paid premiums!)
  • The Wellness Program provides reimbursement for mind, body and soul activities such as fitness memberships, baby sitting, continuing education and much more
  • The 401(k) retirement plan offers matched contributions at 4% of annual salary
  • Flexible and generous time off - vacation, sick and volunteer days, plus 19 paid holidays - including the last week of the year.
  • Family friendly! 100% paid new parent leave for seven weeks plus an additional five weeks for pregnancy, flexible options to phase back in after leave, fully equipped lactation room.
  • For those emergency moments - long and short term disability, life insurance (2x salary) and an employee assistance program
  • Pre-tax savings plans for health care, child care, elder care, public transportation and parking expenses
  • Telecommuting and flexible work schedules available
  • Appropriate fuel for thinking and coding (aka, a pantry full of treats) and monthly massages to help staff relax
  • Great colleagues - diverse staff and contractors speaking dozens of languages from around the world, fantastic intellectual discourse, mission-driven and intensely passionate people

*Eligible international workers' benefits are specific to their location and dependent on their employer of record

More information

Wikimedia 2030
Wikimedia Medium Term Plan
Diversity and inclusion information for Wikimedia workers, by the numbers
Wikimania 2019
Annual Report - 2017 

This is Wikimedia Foundation 
Facts Matter
Our Projects
Fundraising Report


Wikimedia is a global movement whose mission is to bring free educational content to the world.

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