Questions on Wikimedia, Free Knowledge and Free Licenses

  • What is the connection between re•shape and Wikimedia Deutschland?

    re•shape – A Wikimedia program to support knowledge equity is a program initiated and financed by Wikimedia Deutschland, being run in partnership with the neue deutsche organisationen – das postmigrantische netzwerk e.V. The program was conceptualized in collaboration with the Board of Trustees who will also collaborate on the project selection process. Non-material support will be provided by mentors and workshop facilitators from the Free Knowledge movement.

  • What does Free Knowledge mean?

    For Wikimedia Deutschland, Free Knowledge means knowledge that is available, changeable and reusable free of charge to everyone at any time. The most well-known source of Free Knowledge is the free online encyclopedia Wikipedia.

  • What does Knowledge Equity mean?

    Knowledge Equity is a term from the Wikimedia Movement which stands for fair, worldwide access to the processes of shaping and disseminating knowledge. There are many technical and social obstacles that must be overcome on the journey to Knowledge Equity, as well as decision-making processes that need restructuring.

  • What are Free Licenses? What will working with them mean for me?

    Free Licenses are licenses that allow you to use, distribute and modify copyrighted works. Where “all rights reserved” is the norm in copyright law, with free licenses this condition changes to “some rights reserved”. Depending on the license used, everyone is entitled to use the work in many different ways, such as editing or distribution without the need to first enter into more detailed, individual agreements with the copyright holders – as long as they comply with the conditions of the relevant license. Creative Commons licenses are the most commonly used Free Licenses, but there are many more out there. Each of these licenses permits different types of use and modification. Working with Free Licenses therefore also involves weighing up the pros and cons that broad-scale accessibility entails.

Questions about the program

  • What is re•shape – A Wikimedia program to support knowledge equity?

    re•shape is a program in which communities that have been negatively affected by racism can engage with the opportunities and possibilities afforded by Free Knowledge to share and spread marginalized knowledge. The aim of the program is to improve the reach of knowledge by and about marginalized communities through the use of Free Licenses. This will be achieved through independent projects, each of which will receive up to €5,000 funding, plus a mentorship. These projects will be supplemented with a supporting program of workshops and networking opportunities..

  • What is the connection between re•shape and the neue deutsche organisationen – das postmigrantische netzwerk e.V.?

    The neue deutsche organisationen – das postmigrantische netzwerk e.V. is our program partner and will take on an advisory role as part of the program.

  • What does re•shape mean?

    re•shape refers to the dynamic processes of reshaping and forming anew. The program will support funding recipients in reshaping, reforming and defining anew what we as a society know, what we consider to be worth knowing and what we think about when making social and political decisions. We are referring to the dynamic process by which a pluralistic society and interactions within that society are shaped by access to knowledge and information. Questions of power play a significant role here in determining what becomes knowledge and what is included in official narratives. This, in turn, shapes how we as a society interact with one another, which perspectives and interests we center and which are written off as less important or irrelevant. The aim of this revision and rethinking process is to help make marginalized knowledge of and by communities that experience racism accessible and more visible through Free Licenses, in order to contribute to a caring society and to the forming of informed opinions.

  • How will the participants and their projects be communicated externally?

    The projects will be communicated on the social media channels and in the newsletters of the neue deutsche organisationen – das postmigrantische netzwerk e.V. and Wikimedia Deutschland. It is up to you whether you want to be mentioned by name as a program participant.

  • Where will the various program events be held?

    The kick-off event will take place at our offices in Berlin. The location of the closing event has not yet been decided and will be selected once we know which regions of Germany participants reside in.

  • What language is the program held in and how good do my language skills need to be?

    The main language of the program is German, but translations to and from English are possible. When applying, you will be asked which of these two languages you would like to generally use for your communication and how good your knowledge of the other language is.

  • How big can a group be?

    Project groups can have up to three members.

  • Why are groups limited to 3 people?

    We have limited the size of groups to three people so that all participants have equal opportunity to engage in the supporting program and hold a dialogue with other participants. Smaller group sizes are also better when it comes to coordinating the mentoring program.

  • How long will the program run for?

    The funding phase will begin with a kick-off event on September 8 and 9, 2023, and end with the closing event on April 12 and 13, 2024.

  • What will participants learn?

    The supporting program consists of workshops, networking and mentoring as a way of giving participants a space to engage with Free Knowledge and with how Free Knowledge projects and Free Licenses can be used to increase the visibility of marginalized knowledge. The content of these workshops and the mentoring provided will be adapted to the needs of participants and their projects. This means that if you are selected to receive support and funding, you will be involved in deciding what you learn.

  • How many people will be selected?

    A total of ten projects will be selected for the program, with each being run by 1-3 persons. Consequently, between 10 and 30 people will participate in the progra

  • How many projects will be selected?

    A total of ten projects will receive up to €5,000 in funding each.

  • What’s expected of participants (and what’s not)?

    Conversational level German or English is required in order to be able to participate in the supporting program. Attending the kick-off event and closing event is hugely important, as they are integral to the non-material support, as well as for networking purposes. We kindly ask you to let us know as soon as possible if you are unable to attend either of these events, so that we can work out individual solutions with you. We expect participants to be interested in engaging with Free Knowledge and in publishing their project content under a Free License. You are not expected to have prior experience with or knowledge of Free Knowledge and makinge a decision on publishing your results under a Free License is not mandatory. You must also have an address in Germany and you must provide your bank details. For tax reasons, charitable organizations must also submit proof of charitable status, their charter and proof of registration as a charitable organization and will be required to prepare a one-page case and finance report at the end of the program.

  • How will participants and their projects be supported?

    Each project will receive up to €5,000 in financial support. The program will further provide a space for learning how to work with Free Licenses in practice, both in learning modules, such as workshops, and in dialogue with others. In addition, each project will be assigned a mentor as a point of contact for any questions regarding execution of the project.

  • What are the technical requirements for participation?

    If program events cannot take place in-person – because of pandemic-related restrictions, etc. – they will be held online via Zoom. A stable internet connection will be required in such a case. We will notify you well ahead of time if other digital tools will be used. The individual technical requirements for your specific project must also be satisfied; in some cases, hardware can be loaned out.

  • What will happen with the funded projects once the program ends?

    The rights to the project and its content will remain with you, as the copyright holder, under the conditions of the license you have chosen. Subject to their consent, the funding recipients and their projects will be presented or referenced on our online presence.

  • Will participants retain the rights to their projects?

    The rights to your projects and their content lie with you. We expect that participants demonstrate an openness to the possibility of publishing some or all of the results of their project under a Free License. Content published under a Free License will be available for use by the general public under the terms and conditions applicable to your chosen license.

  • Does it cost anything to participate?

    No, participation is free. In addition, the projects will receive up to €5,000 in funding. We will also cover your travel and accommodation costs for attending events and can provide childcare.

  • I can't attend all the events. Can I still apply?

    Attending the events and seminars is vital for both networking and for receiving the non-material support. Please contact us in advance if you already know that you will not be or are unlikely to be able to attend one or more of the events and together we will work out a solution.

  • Accessibility – How accessible is re•shape?

    We want to make this funding program just as accessible as our resources allow. To that end, we are attempting to reduce barriers and make them more transparent.

    • Communication & language: A significant portion of communication during the program will take place via email or via spoken language at events. Within the program, we communicate in German and English; translations/interpreters between these two languages will be offered. We are conscious that events and communication at these events is centered largely around spoken language. Provided we are informed of individual needs before funding is awarded, we can arrange spoken language or sign language interpreters for the supporting program. While the languages of communication are German and English, you can select any language as your project language. We are working on providing information in a more accessible manner.
    • Attendance: Attending the events is vital for both networking and for receiving non-material support. Please contact us as soon as possible if you are unable to attend either of the events, and together we will work out a solution.
    • Pace of work: At no point during the program will you be asked to provide an update on the status of your project based on performance or achievements.
    • Event locations: The kick-off event will take place at the Wikimedia Deutschland e. V. offices. These offices are located on the first floor and are accessible by stairs and elevator. The offices have wide corridors and double doors that open fully. Toilets on the premises are not wheelchair accessible. Mobile dis/abled toilets will be organized for events as necessary. The offices have at least one low-stimulation room where participants can switch off. The location for the closing event has not yet been determined and may be selected based on existing accessibility needs as applicable.
    • Technology: For digital events, such as the info event on May 24 (18:30), we use Zoom.

Questions about the financial support

  • How exactly does the financial support work?

    If you are participating as an individual or as part of an informal group, you will receive support in the form of a personal stipend. However, the funding of up to €5,000 will be provided per project, meaning that if you are participating as part of an informal group, then this sum will be divided between you according to the group’s wishes. Charitable organizations will receive payouts in the form of funding agreements.

  • How and when will funding be paid out?

    Payouts can be arranged with the program team individually and can be paid out as a lump sum or in installments.

  • What do you mean by “up to €5,000 funding per project”? What determines how much funding I will receive?

    We are working under the assumption that each project will receive €5,000 in funding. However, it is sometimes more suitable to provide a lower amount of funding, such as if an organization can only provide accounts for a sum lower than €5,000, or if a private individual is only entitled to a lower amount of additional income. We will only ever reduce this sum when explicitly asked to..

  • What can I spend the money on?

    Our only condition is that the money be used for running the project. This can take a number of different forms, such as purchasing materials or booking services. Alternatively, it may be used to cover your living expenses or costs for childcare and so on.

  • To what conditions is the payout subject? What financial information must I provide?

    The rules differ here depending on whether you are participating in the program as an individual, as part of an informal group or as a charitable organization:

    • Individuals and informal groups: You do not need to submit itemized accounts. All we need from you is a brief declaration stating that the money was spent on running the project.
    • Charitable organizations: Towards the end of your funding, you must submit a one-page case and finance report.
  • Is the funding taxable?

    The rules differ here depending on whether you are participating in the proram as an individual, as part of an informal group or as a charitable organization:

    • Individuals and informal groups: Stipends are tax-free, subject to certain conditions according to Sec. 3(44) German Income Tax Act (Einkommenssteuergesetz). Recipients are responsible for paying the correct tax on their stipend, for maintaining any insurance policies, and for obtaining any third-party permissions required to take up the stipend. Wikimedia Deutschland makes no guarantee that the stipend is tax-free. Where tax must be paid on the stipend, the amounts indicated must be treated as gross amounts.
    • Charitable associations: Charitable associations are generally exempt from paying tax, meaning they do not need to pay tax on their funding.
  • Why are the conditions of funding for individuals and informal groups different to the conditions for charities?

    As a charitable association, Wikimedia Deutschland is tax-exempt – just like the charitable organizations we want to support with re•shape. We require the requested documents as evidence that donations have been used according to our charter.

  • We want to apply as a group, but we are not a charitable organization. Is that possible?

    Funding for projects run by individuals is provided to individuals personally. You can apply as a private group (of up to three people) if you would like, but the €5,000 of funding will be distributed among the members of your group according to your requests. All group members can take part in the non-material support and program events.

Questions about the application process

  • When can I apply?

    Applications are open between Thursday May 11, 2023 and Sunday June 18, 2023 (23:59). You can find more information on the application process here.

  • Who can apply?

    The program is aimed at people and communities who experience racism and who are interested in engaging with Free Knowledge. Individuals aged 16 years or over as well as charitable initiatives and organizations (e.g., initiatives, associations, archives, networks) based in Germany can apply. Prior experience with Free Licenses and Free Knowledge platforms is not required.

  • What projects will receive funding?

    Funding and support will be provided to projects that aim to open up more space for marginalized knowledge of and by communities that experience racism by publishing all or some of the results of the projects under a Free License. This knowledge must come from the community itself so that it can be shared autonomously. There are no restrictions on format. Projects will be selected based on the funding criteria.

  • How long will it take to fill in the application form?

    We have made every effort to make the application form as short as possible. How long it takes to complete the form obviously depends on individual factors, but we estimate it may take from 45 to 90 minutes. You do not have to complete the entire form in one go; you can save your application and come back later. Grammar and spelling play no part when we review applications.

  • I am not part of the target group, or my project does not fit with the program. Is there other funding I can get?

    Wikimedia Deutschland provides a rich variety of funding opportunities, encompassing countless aspects of community engagement in Wikipedia. Funding opportunities range from access to specialist literature stipends and technology loans, to organizational support for event planning and reimbursement of travel expenses for community meetings. More detailed information on funding can be found here (in German).

  • I still have questions about the application. What should I do now?

    Don’t hesitate to call in during our telephone consultation hours (030-577116220, Mondays and Wednesdays from 16:30 to 17:30 during the application phase) with your questions. You can also bring them to our info event (18:30 on Wednesday, May 24, 2023; sign up via or drop us an email at