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Board letter about fundraising and chapters

 

 

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phoebe.wiki at gmail

Aug 5, 2011, 1:32 AM

Post #1 of 42 (1337 views)
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Board letter about fundraising and chapters

All,
At the recent Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees meeting at Wikimania,
the Board approved sending the following letter regarding concerns with our
shared fundraising practice, and outlining principles for future fundraising
practices.

This will also be posted at
http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Fundraising_accountability for discussion.
Note: for those currently at Wikimania, please feel free to ask us questions
in person as well as on the list or on meta.

best,
Phoebe Ayers
(2011-12 Board Secretary)

-------------------------------------------------------

The Board of Trustees has recently reviewed our fundraising model and issues
related to the way donor funds are received. This review followed detailed
discussions among the Board's Audit Committee and with our outside auditors,
which highlighted issues about the level of financial controls over donor
funds that go directly to the chapters who act as payment processors. This
review focused on the model established last year, under which donors in
certain countries are exclusively directed to the local chapter during the
annual fundraiser. In our 2010-2011 year, about $4M net went directly to 12
chapters, representing roughly 15% of the total funds donated to the
movement.

There are several problems with this model, and with the current fundraising
situation. Some chapters have received large sums of money early in their
organizational lives, before they have built the capacity and financial
controls to safeguard and best use those resources in pursuit of the
mission. Some chapters have received many times their planned budget in a
single fundraiser. Additionally, in some countries, transferring funds
internationally has been limited by regulatory constraints.

There are also currently no movement-wide controls applied consistently to
all entities that receive donor funds. Some chapters, despite being
well-funded, have not reported in a timely way on their activities, their
financial status, and their use of donor funds, or have had difficulties
following the regulatory requirements of their countries.

This fundraising model has also contributed to significant resource
disparity among chapters. Some of the largest fundraising chapters have
revenue far greater than their stated need and capacity to spend, while
other chapters receive revenue only from Foundation grants or have almost no
revenue at all. The model also suggests that chapters are entitled to funds
proportional to the wealth of their regions, which amplifies the gap between
the Global North and South.

We need to improve our model to address these concerns and to improve the
distribution of donor funds across the Wikimedia movement.
*
==Design principles==*

Our design principles for improving the fundraising model are:

* We are deeply committed to decentralized pursuit of our mission and to
supporting the long-term sustainability of chapters and other movement
partners.

* Because of its role as operator of the websites, the Foundation has to be
satisfied that any organization directly receiving donor funds will treat
them with an appropriately high level of care and transparency.

* An organization can directly receive donor funds as a payment processor if
the following criteria are met:
** There is sufficient money raised in the geography to merit the logistical
effort.
** The organization offers tax deductibility or other incentives to local
donors.
** Regulatory issues about any international funds flows are fully resolved.
** The organization's current financial resources are not enough to fund
proposed program work.
** The Foundation can confidently assure donors to the chapter that their
donations will be safeguarded, that our movement's transparency principles
will be met, and that spending will be in line with our mission and with the
messages used to attract donors.
* The donation process should clearly disclose basic facts about the
organization receiving the donation.
* The Foundation is committed to a grants program to continue to provide
funds to those who can most effectively pursue our mission.

*==Next steps==*

These concerns need to be substantially addressed prior to the start of the
2011 fundraiser. In particular, we expect all parties to live up to current
fundraising agreements including full compliance with all reporting
deadlines.

We appreciate that some chapters have already started working on their
budgets assuming that they would participate as payment processors in the
2011 fundraiser, but may not be able to meet the new criteria outlined
above. The Foundation will work with these chapters to follow through on the
principles of the current Fundraising Agreement to provide the necessary
funds to continue their programmatic work and to meet their operational
needs.

The Foundation will significantly expand its grants program, and should work
closely with the Audit Committee to continue improving the controls and
disclosures around grants.
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z at mzmcbride

Aug 5, 2011, 10:06 AM

Post #2 of 42 (1318 views)
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Re: Board letter about fundraising and chapters [In reply to]

phoebe ayers wrote:
> The Board of Trustees has recently reviewed our fundraising model and issues
> related to the way donor funds are received. This review followed detailed
> discussions among the Board's Audit Committee and with our outside auditors,
> which highlighted issues about the level of financial controls over donor
> funds that go directly to the chapters who act as payment processors. This
> review focused on the model established last year, under which donors in
> certain countries are exclusively directed to the local chapter during the
> annual fundraiser. In our 2010-2011 year, about $4M net went directly to 12
> chapters, representing roughly 15% of the total funds donated to the
> movement.
>
> There are several problems with this model, and with the current fundraising
> situation. Some chapters have received large sums of money early in their
> organizational lives, before they have built the capacity and financial
> controls to safeguard and best use those resources in pursuit of the
> mission. Some chapters have received many times their planned budget in a
> single fundraiser. Additionally, in some countries, transferring funds
> internationally has been limited by regulatory constraints.
>
> There are also currently no movement-wide controls applied consistently to
> all entities that receive donor funds. Some chapters, despite being
> well-funded, have not reported in a timely way on their activities, their
> financial status, and their use of donor funds, or have had difficulties
> following the regulatory requirements of their countries.
>
> This fundraising model has also contributed to significant resource
> disparity among chapters. Some of the largest fundraising chapters have
> revenue far greater than their stated need and capacity to spend, while
> other chapters receive revenue only from Foundation grants or have almost no
> revenue at all. The model also suggests that chapters are entitled to funds
> proportional to the wealth of their regions, which amplifies the gap between
> the Global North and South.

I think it's great that the Board is looking into this. I was vaguely aware
of the problem and it's certainly one that needs to be addressed.

I have two questions from your post:

* Is there a breakdown of the amount of money given to chapters from the
past fundraiser? A chart or something somewhere? There definitely should be
and I imagine there is, but I wouldn't be able to locate it off-hand.

* Have any chapters been asked to give money back? If so, what has been the
response?

MZMcBride



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berialima at gmail

Aug 5, 2011, 10:11 AM

Post #3 of 42 (1325 views)
Permalink
Re: Board letter about fundraising and chapters [In reply to]

MZM,

WMF *can't *ask money back from Chapters. By the agreement, Chapters who
participate in last year Fundraising need to give 50% of everything they
raised to WMF, but they are not forced to do anything more. And WMF can't
ask for more than that because there are 2 different organizations.
_____
*Béria Lima*
<http://wikimedia.pt/>(351) 925 171 484

*Imagine um mundo onde é dada a qualquer pessoa a possibilidade de ter livre
acesso ao somatório de todo o conhecimento humano. É isso o que estamos a
fazer <http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Nossos_projetos>.*


On 5 August 2011 18:06, MZMcBride <z [at] mzmcbride> wrote:

> phoebe ayers wrote:
> > The Board of Trustees has recently reviewed our fundraising model and
> issues
> > related to the way donor funds are received. This review followed
> detailed
> > discussions among the Board's Audit Committee and with our outside
> auditors,
> > which highlighted issues about the level of financial controls over donor
> > funds that go directly to the chapters who act as payment processors.
> This
> > review focused on the model established last year, under which donors in
> > certain countries are exclusively directed to the local chapter during
> the
> > annual fundraiser. In our 2010-2011 year, about $4M net went directly to
> 12
> > chapters, representing roughly 15% of the total funds donated to the
> > movement.
> >
> > There are several problems with this model, and with the current
> fundraising
> > situation. Some chapters have received large sums of money early in their
> > organizational lives, before they have built the capacity and financial
> > controls to safeguard and best use those resources in pursuit of the
> > mission. Some chapters have received many times their planned budget in a
> > single fundraiser. Additionally, in some countries, transferring funds
> > internationally has been limited by regulatory constraints.
> >
> > There are also currently no movement-wide controls applied consistently
> to
> > all entities that receive donor funds. Some chapters, despite being
> > well-funded, have not reported in a timely way on their activities, their
> > financial status, and their use of donor funds, or have had difficulties
> > following the regulatory requirements of their countries.
> >
> > This fundraising model has also contributed to significant resource
> > disparity among chapters. Some of the largest fundraising chapters have
> > revenue far greater than their stated need and capacity to spend, while
> > other chapters receive revenue only from Foundation grants or have almost
> no
> > revenue at all. The model also suggests that chapters are entitled to
> funds
> > proportional to the wealth of their regions, which amplifies the gap
> between
> > the Global North and South.
>
> I think it's great that the Board is looking into this. I was vaguely aware
> of the problem and it's certainly one that needs to be addressed.
>
> I have two questions from your post:
>
> * Is there a breakdown of the amount of money given to chapters from the
> past fundraiser? A chart or something somewhere? There definitely should be
> and I imagine there is, but I wouldn't be able to locate it off-hand.
>
> * Have any chapters been asked to give money back? If so, what has been the
> response?
>
> MZMcBride
>
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> foundation-l [at] lists
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>
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z at mzmcbride

Aug 5, 2011, 1:48 PM

Post #4 of 42 (1319 views)
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Re: Board letter about fundraising and chapters [In reply to]

Béria Lima wrote:
> WMF *can't *ask money back from Chapters. By the agreement, Chapters who
> participate in last year Fundraising need to give 50% of everything they
> raised to WMF, but they are not forced to do anything more. And WMF can't
> ask for more than that because there are 2 different organizations.

I'm sorry, I don't follow.

It's my understanding that some of these chapters received tens of thousands
of dollars. In some cases, as noted by the Board, this far exceeded the
chapter's needs. If that's the case, I'm not sure why it would be
out-of-the-question to ask for some of the money back. There might be
reasons that the chapters don't want to or aren't required to, but I don't
see any reason why the Wikimedia Foundation couldn't ask.

Can you clarify?

(And to all those chapter-related people and Wikimedia Foundation staff
currently discussing this on internal-l, could you please try to honor the
transparency and accountability that Wikimedia was founded upon and discuss
this on the public list?)

MZMcBride



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berialima at gmail

Aug 5, 2011, 1:54 PM

Post #5 of 42 (1319 views)
Permalink
Re: Board letter about fundraising and chapters [In reply to]

The discussion in Internal-l is case-to-case and don't concern people who
are not involved in the chapter in discussion or WMF.

And - again - WMF don't "give money to chapters" in fundraising. The chapter
earn it alone. And the only thing to be in the way is the fundraising
agreement. Who - again - says that 50% goes to WMF and 50% stay with the
chapter. If that 50% is more than what the chapter need, is not WMF job to
ask the money back, because - again - the money don't belong to WMF.

I sugguest you to go tough chapters report and ask what they are doing with
the money they receive in Fundraising. They need to be transparent about
what they are doing, but WMF does not have a "policy" status over that.
_____
*Béria Lima*
<http://wikimedia.pt/>(351) 925 171 484

*Imagine um mundo onde é dada a qualquer pessoa a possibilidade de ter livre
acesso ao somatório de todo o conhecimento humano. É isso o que estamos a
fazer <http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Nossos_projetos>.*


On 5 August 2011 21:48, MZMcBride <z [at] mzmcbride> wrote:

> Béria Lima wrote:
> > WMF *can't *ask money back from Chapters. By the agreement, Chapters who
> > participate in last year Fundraising need to give 50% of everything they
> > raised to WMF, but they are not forced to do anything more. And WMF can't
> > ask for more than that because there are 2 different organizations.
>
> I'm sorry, I don't follow.
>
> It's my understanding that some of these chapters received tens of
> thousands
> of dollars. In some cases, as noted by the Board, this far exceeded the
> chapter's needs. If that's the case, I'm not sure why it would be
> out-of-the-question to ask for some of the money back. There might be
> reasons that the chapters don't want to or aren't required to, but I don't
> see any reason why the Wikimedia Foundation couldn't ask.
>
> Can you clarify?
>
> (And to all those chapter-related people and Wikimedia Foundation staff
> currently discussing this on internal-l, could you please try to honor the
> transparency and accountability that Wikimedia was founded upon and discuss
> this on the public list?)
>
> MZMcBride
>
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> foundation-l [at] lists
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>
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z at mzmcbride

Aug 5, 2011, 2:01 PM

Post #6 of 42 (1322 views)
Permalink
Re: Board letter about fundraising and chapters [In reply to]

Béria Lima wrote:
> The discussion in Internal-l is case-to-case and don't concern people who
> are not involved in the chapter in discussion or WMF.

Where did the money come from? I think it unambiguously concerns people who
are part of the Wikimedia community (broadly defined), seeing as they were
the ones to donate the money.

> And - again - WMF don't "give money to chapters" in fundraising. The chapter
> earn it alone. And the only thing to be in the way is the fundraising
> agreement. Who - again - says that 50% goes to WMF and 50% stay with the
> chapter. If that 50% is more than what the chapter need, is not WMF job to
> ask the money back, because - again - the money don't belong to WMF.

The chapters earned the money by doing what, exactly?

> I sugguest you to go tough chapters report and ask what they are doing with
> the money they receive in Fundraising. They need to be transparent about
> what they are doing, but WMF does not have a "policy" status over that.

Do you know if there's a chart listing how much money each chapter received
(or earned) from the past fundraiser? Is there a list of the chapters that
were involved, at least?

MZMcBride



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berialima at gmail

Aug 5, 2011, 2:07 PM

Post #7 of 42 (1324 views)
Permalink
Re: Board letter about fundraising and chapters [In reply to]

>
> *Where did the money come from? I think it unambiguously concerns people
> who are part of the Wikimedia community (broadly defined), seeing as they
> were the ones to donate the money.
> *


1. People who donate money are mostly NOT on fundation-l and 2.
http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Reports (if you want to read)

*The chapters earned the money by doing what, exactly?
> *


Same thing Fundation do.


> *Do you know if there's a chart listing how much money each chapter
> received (or earned) from the past fundraiser? Is there a list of the
> chapters that were involved, at least?
> *


Yes and is public.
https://spreadsheets.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Av5TeXEyGuvpdGRyNDJHS19RZmRqbWlqeHp5ak5uWnc&authkey=CKb59_wD&hl=pt_PT#gid=0


_____
*Béria Lima*
<http://wikimedia.pt/>(351) 925 171 484

*Imagine um mundo onde é dada a qualquer pessoa a possibilidade de ter livre
acesso ao somatório de todo o conhecimento humano. É isso o que estamos a
fazer <http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Nossos_projetos>.*


On 5 August 2011 22:01, MZMcBride <z [at] mzmcbride> wrote:

> Béria Lima wrote:
> > The discussion in Internal-l is case-to-case and don't concern people who
> > are not involved in the chapter in discussion or WMF.
>
> Where did the money come from? I think it unambiguously concerns people who
> are part of the Wikimedia community (broadly defined), seeing as they were
> the ones to donate the money.
>
> > And - again - WMF don't "give money to chapters" in fundraising. The
> chapter
> > earn it alone. And the only thing to be in the way is the fundraising
> > agreement. Who - again - says that 50% goes to WMF and 50% stay with the
> > chapter. If that 50% is more than what the chapter need, is not WMF job
> to
> > ask the money back, because - again - the money don't belong to WMF.
>
> The chapters earned the money by doing what, exactly?
>
> > I sugguest you to go tough chapters report and ask what they are doing
> with
> > the money they receive in Fundraising. They need to be transparent about
> > what they are doing, but WMF does not have a "policy" status over that.
>
> Do you know if there's a chart listing how much money each chapter received
> (or earned) from the past fundraiser? Is there a list of the chapters that
> were involved, at least?
>
> MZMcBride
>
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> foundation-l [at] lists
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>
_______________________________________________
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vasilvv at gmail

Aug 5, 2011, 2:09 PM

Post #8 of 42 (1328 views)
Permalink
Re: Board letter about fundraising and chapters [In reply to]

On Fri, Aug 5, 2011 at 11:54 PM, Béria Lima <berialima [at] gmail> wrote:
> I sugguest you to go tough chapters report and ask what they are doing with
> the money they receive in Fundraising. They need to be transparent about
> what they are doing, but WMF does not have a "policy" status over that.

Well, right now many chapters fail to handle such basic transparency
thing like publishing an annual report (seriously, look at
http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Reports ). If they fail, Wikimedia
Foundation, as an organization that empowers them to collect money
through the banners, may act as an oversight and revoke that
privilege. I do not believe that this is the proper process to do
that, but I certainly agree that it is what to be done.

--vvv

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berialima at gmail

Aug 5, 2011, 2:12 PM

Post #9 of 42 (1328 views)
Permalink
Re: Board letter about fundraising and chapters [In reply to]

If they do revoke (which they can, because do report are part of Chapter
Agreement), will be also a private discussion. I do understand your people
curiosity to know what they discusses, but all the relevant info are public.
Only particular details are handle in private
_____
*Béria Lima*
<http://wikimedia.pt/>(351) 925 171 484

*Imagine um mundo onde é dada a qualquer pessoa a possibilidade de ter livre
acesso ao somatório de todo o conhecimento humano. É isso o que estamos a
fazer <http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Nossos_projetos>.*


On 5 August 2011 22:09, Victor Vasiliev <vasilvv [at] gmail> wrote:

> On Fri, Aug 5, 2011 at 11:54 PM, Béria Lima <berialima [at] gmail> wrote:
> > I sugguest you to go tough chapters report and ask what they are doing
> with
> > the money they receive in Fundraising. They need to be transparent about
> > what they are doing, but WMF does not have a "policy" status over that.
>
> Well, right now many chapters fail to handle such basic transparency
> thing like publishing an annual report (seriously, look at
> http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Reports ). If they fail, Wikimedia
> Foundation, as an organization that empowers them to collect money
> through the banners, may act as an oversight and revoke that
> privilege. I do not believe that this is the proper process to do
> that, but I certainly agree that it is what to be done.
>
> --vvv
>
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> foundation-l [at] lists
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>
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vasilvv at gmail

Aug 5, 2011, 2:16 PM

Post #10 of 42 (1319 views)
Permalink
Re: Board letter about fundraising and chapters [In reply to]

On Sat, Aug 6, 2011 at 12:12 AM, Béria Lima <berialima [at] gmail> wrote:
> If they do revoke (which they can, because do report are part of Chapter
> Agreement), will be also a private discussion. I do understand your people
> curiosity to know what they discusses, but all the relevant info are public.
> Only particular details are handle in private

Wait, was that a non-of-your-business response? And what do you mean
by "they discuss"? Who are they?

--vvv

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nawrich at gmail

Aug 5, 2011, 2:22 PM

Post #11 of 42 (1318 views)
Permalink
Re: Board letter about fundraising and chapters [In reply to]

Beria, I don't think your views on transparency as stated mesh all
that well with the character of this list. I'd suspect the same is
true of the wider community of editors and donors; the assertion that
details be discussed in private is both improper and at distinct odds
with the history of the WMF. If chapters prefer that their actions not
be subject to the oversight of the WMF and Wikimedia community, then
they should do their own fundraising and develop their own trademarks.

On Fri, Aug 5, 2011 at 5:12 PM, Béria Lima <berialima [at] gmail> wrote:
> If they do revoke (which they can, because do report are part of Chapter
> Agreement), will be also a private discussion. I do understand your people
> curiosity to know what they discusses, but all the relevant info are public.
> Only particular details are handle in private
> _____
> *Béria Lima*
> <http://wikimedia.pt/>(351) 925 171 484
>
> *Imagine um mundo onde é dada a qualquer pessoa a possibilidade de ter livre
> acesso ao somatório de todo o conhecimento humano. É isso o que estamos a
> fazer <http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Nossos_projetos>.*
>
>

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nawrich at gmail

Aug 5, 2011, 2:26 PM

Post #12 of 42 (1327 views)
Permalink
Re: Board letter about fundraising and chapters [In reply to]

Also, the spreadsheet Beria linked
(https://spreadsheets.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Av5TeXEyGuvpdGRyNDJHS19RZmRqbWlqeHp5ak5uWnc&authkey=CKb59_wD&hl=pt_PT#gid=0)
shows how much money was received by from each region, but not how
much was distributed to the chapters (or so I'm guessing, since there
area number of countries on that list I'm fairly sure don't have
chapters). Is there another spreadsheet that says how much was
diverted to chapter organizations?

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de10011 at gmail

Aug 5, 2011, 2:27 PM

Post #13 of 42 (1320 views)
Permalink
Re: Board letter about fundraising and chapters [In reply to]

Nathan, there is no reason to single out Beria. She at least responded to
the questions. There are a lot of people reading this who didn't and have
far more authority to comment on the matter than her.

Theo

On Sat, Aug 6, 2011 at 2:52 AM, Nathan <nawrich [at] gmail> wrote:

> Beria, I don't think your views on transparency as stated mesh all
> that well with the character of this list. I'd suspect the same is
> true of the wider community of editors and donors; the assertion that
> details be discussed in private is both improper and at distinct odds
> with the history of the WMF. If chapters prefer that their actions not
> be subject to the oversight of the WMF and Wikimedia community, then
> they should do their own fundraising and develop their own trademarks.
>
> On Fri, Aug 5, 2011 at 5:12 PM, Béria Lima <berialima [at] gmail> wrote:
> > If they do revoke (which they can, because do report are part of Chapter
> > Agreement), will be also a private discussion. I do understand your
> people
> > curiosity to know what they discusses, but all the relevant info are
> public.
> > Only particular details are handle in private
> > _____
> > *Béria Lima*
> > <http://wikimedia.pt/>(351) 925 171 484
> >
> > *Imagine um mundo onde é dada a qualquer pessoa a possibilidade de ter
> livre
> > acesso ao somatório de todo o conhecimento humano. É isso o que estamos a
> > fazer <http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Nossos_projetos>.*
> >
> >
>
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> foundation-l [at] lists
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>
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nawrich at gmail

Aug 5, 2011, 2:29 PM

Post #14 of 42 (1317 views)
Permalink
Re: Board letter about fundraising and chapters [In reply to]

Other than that Beria is the person to whom I was replying, I suppose.

On Fri, Aug 5, 2011 at 5:27 PM, Theo10011 <de10011 [at] gmail> wrote:
> Nathan, there is no reason to single out Beria. She at least responded to
> the questions. There are a lot of people reading this who didn't and have
> far more authority to comment on the matter than her.
>
> Theo
>

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berialima at gmail

Aug 5, 2011, 2:31 PM

Post #15 of 42 (1321 views)
Permalink
Re: Board letter about fundraising and chapters [In reply to]

You don't need to defend me Theo.

Nathan and MZM: If you want to know how much each chapter has earned and
spent, there are reports (nathan himself pointed to the page).

If you have any questions about Internal-l adress it to
internal-l-owner [at] list (I'm sure they will answer you)

If you want to ask about my chapter (Wikimedia Portugal) the reports are
here: http://wikimedia.pt/Relat%C3%B3rio_Anual_2009 and here:
http://wikimedia.pt/Relat%C3%B3rio_Anual_2010
_____
*Béria Lima*
<http://wikimedia.pt/>(351) 925 171 484

*Imagine um mundo onde é dada a qualquer pessoa a possibilidade de ter livre
acesso ao somatório de todo o conhecimento humano. É isso o que estamos a
fazer <http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Nossos_projetos>.*


On 5 August 2011 22:27, Theo10011 <de10011 [at] gmail> wrote:

> Nathan, there is no reason to single out Beria. She at least responded to
> the questions. There are a lot of people reading this who didn't and have
> far more authority to comment on the matter than her.
>
> Theo
>
> On Sat, Aug 6, 2011 at 2:52 AM, Nathan <nawrich [at] gmail> wrote:
>
> > Beria, I don't think your views on transparency as stated mesh all
> > that well with the character of this list. I'd suspect the same is
> > true of the wider community of editors and donors; the assertion that
> > details be discussed in private is both improper and at distinct odds
> > with the history of the WMF. If chapters prefer that their actions not
> > be subject to the oversight of the WMF and Wikimedia community, then
> > they should do their own fundraising and develop their own trademarks.
> >
> > On Fri, Aug 5, 2011 at 5:12 PM, Béria Lima <berialima [at] gmail> wrote:
> > > If they do revoke (which they can, because do report are part of
> Chapter
> > > Agreement), will be also a private discussion. I do understand your
> > people
> > > curiosity to know what they discusses, but all the relevant info are
> > public.
> > > Only particular details are handle in private
> > > _____
> > > *Béria Lima*
> > > <http://wikimedia.pt/>(351) 925 171 484
> > >
> > > *Imagine um mundo onde é dada a qualquer pessoa a possibilidade de ter
> > livre
> > > acesso ao somatório de todo o conhecimento humano. É isso o que estamos
> a
> > > fazer <http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Nossos_projetos>.*
> > >
> > >
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > foundation-l mailing list
> > foundation-l [at] lists
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
> >
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> foundation-l [at] lists
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>
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wikipedia at frontier

Aug 5, 2011, 3:06 PM

Post #16 of 42 (1312 views)
Permalink
Re: Board letter about fundraising and chapters [In reply to]

On 8/5/2011 2:22 PM, Nathan wrote:
> Beria, I don't think your views on transparency as stated mesh all
> that well with the character of this list. I'd suspect the same is
> true of the wider community of editors and donors; the assertion that
> details be discussed in private is both improper and at distinct odds
> with the history of the WMF. If chapters prefer that their actions not
> be subject to the oversight of the WMF and Wikimedia community, then
> they should do their own fundraising and develop their own trademarks.
When it comes to the relationship between the Wikimedia Foundation and
one of its chapters, I think it's understandable that much of that
discussion happens directly between the foundation and the given
chapter. That's no different than the kind of interaction people expect
under any circumstances. It's just like an editor might want to receive
the courtesy of being contacted personally, on their user talk page or
via email, about a problem, rather than somebody going off to blast them
on a mailing list. So at some point, I think the concepts of "in
private" or "in public" are not really what anybody is aiming for,
especially since they get used in such black-and-white terms that leave
no flexibility for circumstances.

That being said, when it comes to discussing the guiding principles for
things like fundraising, or the relationships between the foundation and
chapters collectively, I do think it would be better to have more of
that discussion open to the entire community. In terms of identifying
the right forum for discussion, though, I'm not sure how much better
this list really is, given that anecdotally its atmosphere has driven so
many chapter people to resist subscribing. Honestly, I must say that it
is a colossal disappointment to find that with all the posts I've seen
both here and on internal-l, nobody has yet made a single edit to the
talk page on Meta where the letter was posted. Doesn't anybody here know
how to use a wiki?

--Michael Snow

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kotechemcintosh at gmail

Aug 5, 2011, 3:18 PM

Post #17 of 42 (1312 views)
Permalink
Re: Board letter about fundraising and chapters [In reply to]

1qcQA
Sent from my BlackBerry smartphone from Virgin Media

-----Original Message-----
From: Michael Snow <wikipedia [at] frontier>
Sender: foundation-l-bounces [at] lists
Date: Fri, 05 Aug 2011 15:06:36
To: Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List<foundation-l [at] lists>
Reply-To: Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List <foundation-l [at] lists>
Subject: Re: [Foundation-l] Board letter about fundraising and chapters

On 8/5/2011 2:22 PM, Nathan wrote:
> Beria, I don't think your views on transparency as stated mesh all
> that well with the character of this list. I'd suspect the same is
> true of the wider community of editors and donors; the assertion that
> details be discussed in private is both improper and at distinct odds
> with the history of the WMF. If chapters prefer that their actions not
> be subject to the oversight of the WMF and Wikimedia community, then
> they should do their own fundraising and develop their own trademarks.
When it comes to the relationship between the Wikimedia Foundation and
one of its chapters, I think it's understandable that much of that
discussion happens directly between the foundation and the given
chapter. That's no different than the kind of interaction people expect
under any circumstances. It's just like an editor might want to receive
the courtesy of being contacted personally, on their user talk page or
via email, about a problem, rather than somebody going off to blast them
on a mailing list. So at some point, I think the concepts of "in
private" or "in public" are not really what anybody is aiming for,
especially since they get used in such black-and-white terms that leave
no flexibility for circumstances.

That being said, when it comes to discussing the guiding principles for
things like fundraising, or the relationships between the foundation and
chapters collectively, I do think it would be better to have more of
that discussion open to the entire community. In terms of identifying
the right forum for discussion, though, I'm not sure how much better
this list really is, given that anecdotally its atmosphere has driven so
many chapter people to resist subscribing. Honestly, I must say that it
is a colossal disappointment to find that with all the posts I've seen
both here and on internal-l, nobody has yet made a single edit to the
talk page on Meta where the letter was posted. Doesn't anybody here know
how to use a wiki?

--Michael Snow

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jayvdb at gmail

Aug 5, 2011, 3:21 PM

Post #18 of 42 (1321 views)
Permalink
Re: Board letter about fundraising and chapters [In reply to]

Many chapters are shocked at this announcement, and there is a likely
conversation on internal-l, which has followed after a blog
conversation which was reported in the Signpost (see first item in
"News in brief").

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/2011-08-01/News_and_notes

The chapters organised and sent people to a Fundraising Summit in
June, and the Fundraising Agreement was on the agenda. The WMF was
there.

http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Fundraising_2011/Fundraising_Summit

After the summit, the chapters then signed the Fundraising Agreement
with the WMF.

http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Fundraising_2011/Chapter_Fundraising_Agreement

This recent announcement from the WMF has many, albeit minor,
differences to the agreement that was recently signed.

--
John Vandenberg

On Sat, Aug 6, 2011 at 7:27 AM, Theo10011 <de10011 [at] gmail> wrote:
> Nathan, there is no reason to single out Beria. She at least responded to
> the questions. There are a lot of people reading this who didn't and have
> far more authority to comment on the matter than her.
>
> Theo
>
> On Sat, Aug 6, 2011 at 2:52 AM, Nathan <nawrich [at] gmail> wrote:
>
>> Beria, I don't think your views on transparency as stated mesh all
>> that well with the character of this list. I'd suspect the same is
>> true of the wider community of editors and donors; the assertion that
>> details be discussed in private is both improper and at distinct odds
>> with the history of the WMF. If chapters prefer that their actions not
>> be subject to the oversight of the WMF and Wikimedia community, then
>> they should do their own fundraising and develop their own trademarks.
>>
>> On Fri, Aug 5, 2011 at 5:12 PM, Béria Lima <berialima [at] gmail> wrote:
>> > If they do revoke (which they can, because do report are part of Chapter
>> > Agreement), will be also a private discussion. I do understand your
>> people
>> > curiosity to know what they discusses, but all the relevant info are
>> public.
>> > Only particular details are handle in private
>> > _____
>> > *Béria Lima*
>> > <http://wikimedia.pt/>(351) 925 171 484
>> >
>> > *Imagine um mundo onde é dada a qualquer pessoa a possibilidade de ter
>> livre
>> > acesso ao somatório de todo o conhecimento humano. É isso o que estamos a
>> > fazer <http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Nossos_projetos>.*
>> >
>> >
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> foundation-l mailing list
>> foundation-l [at] lists
>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>>
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> foundation-l [at] lists
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>



--
John Vandenberg

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jayvdb at gmail

Aug 5, 2011, 4:26 PM

Post #19 of 42 (1321 views)
Permalink
Re: Board letter about fundraising and chapters [In reply to]

On Sat, Aug 6, 2011 at 8:06 AM, Michael Snow <wikipedia [at] frontier> wrote:
> .. Honestly, I must say that it
> is a colossal disappointment to find that with all the posts I've seen
> both here and on internal-l, nobody has yet made a single edit to the
> talk page on Meta where the letter was posted. Doesn't anybody here know
> how to use a wiki?

Michael, the board announcement is not a good way to start a conversation.
Perhaps it is you who doesn't know how to use a wiki. :P

It is a pronouncement, and talks about "criteria" which are not in the
agreement the chapters recently signed.

If the letter talked about improvements to be made to the next
agreement, you would have a lot of positive activity around the
letter. The recently signed agreement covers this financial year, and
*only* this next financial year. Now is a good time to start working
on the next agreement, so that we can slowly work through all the
issues related to 35+ countries with a chapter.

If the WMF wanted to make changes to the current agreement, and
recognised that late changes are going to be difficult, we could work
with you make some important changes which raise the bar but do not
adversely and unnecessarily exclude anyone who has already signed the
agreement. To begin with, chapters would be wanting a tiered approach
to these criteria. For example, tax-deductibility does not make sense
for a small chapter, and it is usually impossible for small
organisations to obtain this. It is silly to exclude a chapter on
this basis - the WMF cant become tax-deductible in these countries
anyway, so there is no possible benefit to the donor if the chapter is
excluded from the fundraising process because they are not
tax-deductible. Until the chapter becomes tax-deductible, there is no
possibility for the donor to obtain a tax deduction. In some
countries it is very inappropriate to fundraise without government
approval, so the WMF shouldnt be fundraising in these countries
anyway. Chapters receiving significant amounts of dollars should use
those funds to pursue the often difficult process of
tax-deductibility. There are only a few chapters who fall into this
bracket, yet WMF is trying to reduce all chapters to wikipedia clubs.
And in doing so, the WMF wont have the benefit of the donations that
are made because the donor responds well to the fact they know in
advance that the money goes to a local organisation - an organisation
which is accountable to the local regulatory system.

This letter comes on the heels of WMF staff privately contacting
individual on chapter boards over the last week and telling them that
they are breaking the fundraising agreement, after the chapters have
sought qualified opinions on the matter and signed the agreement on
that basis. Now we know why. Perhaps I should post those private
conversations to the wiki so we can use the wiki to discuss the real
problem: how the WMF is implementing the improvement.

--
John Vandenberg

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dgerard at gmail

Aug 5, 2011, 4:31 PM

Post #20 of 42 (1323 views)
Permalink
Re: Board letter about fundraising and chapters [In reply to]

On 6 August 2011 00:26, John Vandenberg <jayvdb [at] gmail> wrote:

> And in doing so, the WMF wont have the benefit of the donations that
> are made because the donor responds well to the fact they know in
> advance that the money goes to a local organisation - an organisation
> which is accountable to the local regulatory system.


I know that some people do donate because of the local factor. Others
donate because they want to give money to "Wikipedia". Do we have
actual numbers (e.g. survey results) as to proportions?


>  Perhaps I should post those private
> conversations to the wiki so we can use the wiki to discuss the real
> problem: how the WMF is implementing the improvement.


Violating confidentiality? Tch.


- d.

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wikipedia at frontier

Aug 5, 2011, 4:36 PM

Post #21 of 42 (1314 views)
Permalink
Re: Board letter about fundraising and chapters [In reply to]

On 8/5/2011 4:26 PM, John Vandenberg wrote:
> On Sat, Aug 6, 2011 at 8:06 AM, Michael Snow<wikipedia [at] frontier> wrote:
>> .. Honestly, I must say that it
>> is a colossal disappointment to find that with all the posts I've seen
>> both here and on internal-l, nobody has yet made a single edit to the
>> talk page on Meta where the letter was posted. Doesn't anybody here know
>> how to use a wiki?
> Michael, the board announcement is not a good way to start a conversation.
> Perhaps it is you who doesn't know how to use a wiki. :P
That's funny, it seems to have started quite a bit of conversation. I
just wanted to point out that we have these recurring arguments about
the "right" mailing list to use, when we keep ignoring the arguably more
open and transparent forum we're all familiar with.

--Michael Snow

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z at mzmcbride

Aug 5, 2011, 4:39 PM

Post #22 of 42 (1323 views)
Permalink
Re: Board letter about fundraising and chapters [In reply to]

Michael Snow wrote:
> That being said, when it comes to discussing the guiding principles for
> things like fundraising, or the relationships between the foundation and
> chapters collectively, I do think it would be better to have more of
> that discussion open to the entire community. In terms of identifying
> the right forum for discussion, though, I'm not sure how much better
> this list really is, given that anecdotally its atmosphere has driven so
> many chapter people to resist subscribing. Honestly, I must say that it
> is a colossal disappointment to find that with all the posts I've seen
> both here and on internal-l, nobody has yet made a single edit to the
> talk page on Meta where the letter was posted. Doesn't anybody here know
> how to use a wiki?

I do!

Not having been able to find a chart so far, I created my own:
<http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Fundraising_2010/Chapters>.

The list of chapters is derived from the "big 12" listed at
<http://meta.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?oldid=2750139>.

Anyone involved in a particular listed chapter should feel free to update
their row. Otherwise, I'll probably end up just making some numbers up. ;-)

I'll post a link to the new chart on the referenced talk page in a moment.

MZMcBride



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z at mzmcbride

Aug 5, 2011, 4:42 PM

Post #23 of 42 (1322 views)
Permalink
Re: Board letter about fundraising and chapters [In reply to]

David Gerard wrote:
> On 6 August 2011 00:26, John Vandenberg <jayvdb [at] gmail> wrote:
>> Perhaps I should post those private conversations to the wiki so we can use
>> the wiki to discuss the real problem: how the WMF is implementing the
>> improvement.
>
> Violating confidentiality? Tch.

I fail to see how violating the community's principles of transparency and
accountability by keeping everything on a non-public list is any better. I
just hope nobody's discussing anything too private there... arbcom-l is a
cautionary tale.

MZMcBride



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z at mzmcbride

Aug 5, 2011, 4:45 PM

Post #24 of 42 (1310 views)
Permalink
Re: Board letter about fundraising and chapters [In reply to]

Michael Snow wrote:
> On 8/5/2011 4:26 PM, John Vandenberg wrote:
>> On Sat, Aug 6, 2011 at 8:06 AM, Michael Snow<wikipedia [at] frontier> wrote:
>>> .. Honestly, I must say that it
>>> is a colossal disappointment to find that with all the posts I've seen
>>> both here and on internal-l, nobody has yet made a single edit to the
>>> talk page on Meta where the letter was posted. Doesn't anybody here know
>>> how to use a wiki?
>> Michael, the board announcement is not a good way to start a conversation.
>> Perhaps it is you who doesn't know how to use a wiki. :P
> That's funny, it seems to have started quite a bit of conversation. I
> just wanted to point out that we have these recurring arguments about
> the "right" mailing list to use, when we keep ignoring the arguably more
> open and transparent forum we're all familiar with.

Wikis are, quite simply, terrible for discussion. Maybe one day there will
be a great replacement for the ":::::::::::::" madness, but until then, even
mailing lists, antiquated and goofy as they are, are a vast improvement.

People bring up the forum because this (foundation-l) is the central list
for the Wikimedia Foundation. Anyone who thinks that this particular issue
is outside of this list's scope is insane. Using internal-l as a substitute
for an open discussion isn't appropriate or in line with Wikimedia's values.

MZMcBride



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Birgitte_sb at yahoo

Aug 5, 2011, 5:07 PM

Post #25 of 42 (1318 views)
Permalink
Re: Board letter about fundraising and chapters [In reply to]

On Aug 5, 2011, at 3:32 AM, phoebe ayers <phoebe.wiki [at] gmail> wrote:

>
> ==Design principles==*
>
> Our design principles for improving the fundraising model are:
>
> * We are deeply committed to decentralized pursuit of our mission and to
> supporting the long-term sustainability of chapters and other movement
> partners.
>
> * Because of its role as operator of the websites, the Foundation has to be
> satisfied that any organization directly receiving donor funds will treat
> them with an appropriately high level of care and transparency.
>
> * An organization can directly receive donor funds as a payment processor if
> the following criteria are met:
> ** There is sufficient money raised in the geography to merit the logistical
> effort.
> ** The organization offers tax deductibility or other incentives to local
> donors.
> ** Regulatory issues about any international funds flows are fully resolved.

These three should be uncontroversial.

> ** The organization's current financial resources are not enough to fund
> proposed program work.

This would be best to be written up as only applicable so long as WMF's current financial resources are not enough to fund proposed program work using the same criteria.

> ** The Foundation can confidently assure donors to the chapter that their
> donations will be safeguarded, that our movement's transparency principles
> will be met, and that spending will be in line with our mission and with the
> messages used to attract donors.

This is all rather ambiguous. But once it is hammered into something concrete it should a trade of assurances with WMF providing the chapter with the equivalent paperwork and the chapter doing it's own fiduciary duty by seriously reviewing it annually and of course vice versa.

> * The donation process should clearly disclose basic facts about the
> organization receiving the donation.


Uncontroversial

> * The Foundation is committed to a grants program to continue to provide
> funds to those who can most effectively pursue our mission.

Ambiguous but if I negotiating on the chapter-side I would see it written into the contract that additional money (above the historical 50%) passed through my organizations hands to WMF be earmarked for grants and that the overall amount awarded in WMF grants must be at least x% greater than the amount earmarked for grants.


>
> *==Next steps==*
>
> These concerns need to be substantially addressed prior to the start of the
> 2011 fundraiser. In particular, we expect all parties to live up to current
> fundraising agreements including full compliance with all reporting
> deadlines.
>
> We appreciate that some chapters have already started working on their
> budgets assuming that they would participate as payment processors in the
> 2011 fundraiser, but may not be able to meet the new criteria outlined
> above. The Foundation will work with these chapters to follow through on the
> principles of the current Fundraising Agreement to provide the necessary
> funds to continue their programmatic work and to meet their operational
> needs.
>
> The Foundation will significantly expand its grants program, and should work
> closely with the Audit Committee to continue improving the controls and
> disclosures around grants.

Reviewing these agreements is the right thing to do. Since both chapter and WMF share nearly identical principles and goals there should be little difficulty negotiating the finer points to everyone's satisfaction. Best case scenario is that each chapter/WMF can view this not only as an opportunity to ensure that their current partner is being held accountable to these shared principles, but also as an opportunity to lay the groundwork to see that these principles will by upheld by the heirs of both organizations whoever they might be. Worst case scenario this is viewed by some or all parties as an exercise in defensiveness. But it is an issue that will only be harder to resolve to everyone's satisfaction the more time passes.

The elephant in the room is the chapter that will never exist till the existing parties hammer things out into something that could feasible if it were applied to the funds of the entire fundraising drive. One could argue that the chapters negotiating the original agreement were given too much in recieving 50% with so little accounting required. One could argue that that chapters negotiating the original agreement gave up too much by not requiring anything of WMF . And I would argue all involved hurt the development of *successful* new chapters by setting up such perverse incentives. I would urge all involved this time to keep in mind the chapters-yet-to-exist and all current parties-under-unknown-future-leadership rather than only thinking of securing an agreement for your party-as-it-currently-exists.

BirgitteSB
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