What candidate board members need to know

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Logo Wikimedia Belgium
Logo Wikimedia Belgium

Wikimedia Belgium (WMBE) is an NPO founded in 2014 by 8 Wikipedia volunteers, who have since then worked to make Wikipedia and other Wikimedia platforms known to specific organisations and institutions as well as the general public. WMBE collobarates and has partnerships with other cultural and free knowledge organisations. It has signed a Chapter agreement with the Wikimedia Foundation (WMF), allowing it to use the Wikimedia logos and act as a national Wikimedia association. It works closely with neighbouring Wikimedia associations such as Wikimedia Nederland (WMNL), Wikimedia France (WMFR) and Wikimedia Deutschland (WMDE). WMBE is member of Wikimedia Europa (Affiliates in Europe) and WikiFranca (Affiliates who are native French speakers). It strives for diversity in all its characteristics such as culture, gender, geography, language...

The board


At the General Assembly, we present the activity report, the annual accounts, the budget, and a new board is elected. At the same time it is an occasion to meet our members. We comply with all legal obligations, however complex. Members of the board of Wikimedia Belgium (WMBE) perform their duties as volunteers. Expenses are reimbursed. Within the board, the tasks are distributed into functions with the aim of each board member making the most of ones skills and knowledge within the association. We would also like a younger board and we are intensely looking for female board members. New board members are elected for a period of 2 years. The chair is elected every year. The chair of WMBE is (automatically) the international contact within the Wikimedia community. Every year we hold a two-day board meeting in September, to work out the association's planning and budgets for the following year. The aim is also to get to know each other better. Our strategy for the coming years is to separate the functions of the board from the more operational activities delivered by staff members and volunteers.



WMBE receives an annual grant from the WMF for which a board member is responsible. We received an annual budget of 20,000 € which in principle covers all costs, but is insufficient to recruit paid staff. We would like to do an initial recruitment to better operate the administration, improve communication (including the newsletter and social media) and develop larger activities. So far, project coordinators are volunteers who perform unpaid work to develop activities. We publish an activity report and a financial report for the past calendar year to the WMF. Thus, within a calendar year, we are working with 3 annual budgets... (previous, current, next).

Since 2019, Wikimedia Belgium, through the King Baudouin Foundation (KBS), has established the Friends of Wikimedia Belgium Fund (FVV), which is governed by a committee of four members from WMBE and two representatives from the KBS. The fund can receive donations with a tax certificate from the public and from enterprises. Starting in 2024 a Peer-to-Peer platform has been setup to facilitate the fundraising. The FVV is looking for institutions and organisations wishing to submit a grant request for a project using Wikimedia platforms.



We work closely with the education sector. We have an annual project with the Erasmushogeschool in Brussels, with the University of Ghent (Department of Medieval History). We have partnerships with the Fotomuseum Antwerpen, the Industriemuseum Gent, the Jenevermuseum Hasselt, the Koersmuseum of Roeselare, the Royal Library, the Library of Bruges, the Hendrik Conscience Library of Antwerp, the Flemish Architecture Institute and meemoo.

We have been able to recruit someone to provide training for the French-speaking education for teachers on how to incorporate Wikipedia into education. We would like to do the same for Flemish education. In addition, in recent years we have been able to realise nice projects with a number of humanities schools, such as the Sint-Pieterscollege in Leuven about the Molens Van Orshoven.

We organise several photo competitions every year in the context of Wiki Loves Heritage (Wiki Loves Monuments), which allows participants to take photos for Wikimedia Commons, describe these photos digitally, and then use these photos on Wikidata and Wikipedia.



We have more than 130 members from Flanders, Brussels, Wallonia and Europe. Members that actively contribute to Wikimedia projects are exempt from paying the annual membership fee. Volunteers can submit an expense claim as reimbursement for expenses incurred while taking photos, writing Wikipedia articles, or attending specific conferences or activities.

We also use social platforms and we use chat and video systems to communicate among ourselves, including short YouTube training videos.

The writing sessions are supervised through a dashboard and an event registration system. We also operate an association wiki with the aim of achieving complete transparency about the functioning of the association. We give due attention to automating updates to Wikidata (WD), Wikimedia Commons (SDC) and Wikipedia (WP) via Pywikibot scripts.

See also