gustavocarra at gmail
Aug 10, 2011, 2:20 PM
Post #34 of 147
Just I have to say Amen to you, Anthere. I see your point.
In addition, chapters need some time to make his job, that is, to involve
relevant people, to create a local structure that engages people to the real
benefits for an enterprise, a council, an academic institution with free
knowledge. This is a very big challenge since some goverment or academic
institutions, or even relevant people in that institutions are unwilling to
adapt themselves to this new way of thinking budgets, programs... There's a
lot of thechnophobia overthere...
Fundraising must not be an obsession for chapters in the beggining. We're
idealist, we don't need money. Support in reaching academics, outreach,
educational are far more important to us.
Medicos Mundi Spain have more or less the same budget as the entire WMF.
This is a point to think about.
2011/8/10 Florence Devouard <anthere9 [at] yahoo>
> On 8/9/11 4:46 PM, Kirill Lokshin wrote:
> > 2011/8/9 Delphine Ménard<notafishz [at] gmail>
> >> On Tue, Aug 9, 2011 at 4:27 PM, Kirill Lokshin<kirill.lokshin [at] gmail
> >> wrote:
> >>> Well, let's be clear here: in what sense are the chapters
> >> in
> >>> the fundraiser, rather than merely being its beneficiaries? The
> >> underlying
> >>> fundraising work -- the actual solicitation of donations, in other
> >> --
> >>> is performed by WMF staff directly. The chapters do provide some level
> >> of
> >>> administrative and accounting support, obviously; but that could just
> >>> easily be done by the WMF as well, and likely at lower cost.
> >> Wow, this is a gross misrepresentation of the reality.
> >> While Foundation staff has provided an invaluable support to make the
> >> fundraiser a success, it probably wouldn't have been such a success
> >> hadn't there been dozens of volunteers, among which _many_ chapter
> >> board members and simple members who spent uncounted hours of
> >> localizing and adapting messages, providing stories, refining landing
> >> pages, answering donors questions etc.
> >> You may want to look at the fundraising pages on meta to see the level
> >> of involvement of the community as a whole in making it a success, and
> >> even that does not give a real idea of how much chapters' communities
> >> have participated (much happens on their chapters' mailing lists for
> >> example).
> > I'm not suggesting that the success of the fundraiser isn't due in large
> > part to broad community involvement; my assertion is that this community
> > involvement would take place whether or not a formal chapter was
> I think that on this very point, even the WMF would disagree with you.
> Actually, the very fact that WMF explicitely put in the fundraising
> agreement that the Chapter *has to* provide translations of the
> fundraising messages (which include as well stuff such as Jimbo's
> letter) suggests that translations may not as magically appear as we
> would hope. It rather suggests that chapters actually do have an
> invaluable role in making sure that the fundraiser is not 100% in
> English langage (even though members of the community who are not
> members of the chapter clearly help in translation). In short,
> community, both within and not within chapter realm, support the entire
> Aside from this, I am quite shocked when I read
> <quote>in what sense are the chapters "participating" in
> the fundraiser, rather than merely being its beneficiaries? The underlying
> fundraising work -- the actual solicitation of donations, in other words --
> is performed by WMF staff directly. The chapters do provide some level of
> administrative and accounting support, obviously; but that could just as
> easily be done by the WMF as well, and likely at lower cost. The only real
> advantage a chapter's involvement can provide over a fully WMF-operated
> fundraiser is the availability of tax benefits in a particular
> and, given the small size of the average donation, it's unclear to what
> extent such tax benefits are a significant consideration for the average
> But I'll forgive you because you obviously are not totally aware of
> what's going in the various chapters. Having been involved in
> fundraising for Wikimedia France, I can certainly assure you that the
> chapter is not merely being a "beneficiary".
> The actual sollicitation of donations is not only performed by WMF staff
> (are you aware that chapters also provide a specific landing page for
> sollicitation ? specific messages ? Localized press release ? payments
> methods are adapted to local situation ? ). The one thing that chapters
> can provide to donors in their geographical area that WMF will never
> been able to provide (at least, not at any reasonable cost) is to talk
> to them as citizens of the same country. Same langage. Same culture.
> Local events happening HERE rather than on the other side of earth.
> Local partnership with institutions they know about. It tells them about
> THEM. It is about THEM. This proximity can only be provided by chapters.
> Claiming that WMF would provide the same job for a lower cost is
> actually quite laughable given that WMF is actually PAYING staff to do
> this (it costs money) whilst the majority of that work is being done for
> free by chapter members (it costs less money to work for free...).
> And people have staff, in many (not all) countries, staff costs is
> actually lower than in the USA.
> So the "likely at lower cost" comes from nowhere and is unlikely to be
> There is only one point which I will grant you. Some chapters offer tax
> deduction to their donors. This indeed require work to provide hence
> expenses. If WMF was receiving those donations with no tax receipt to
> provide, it would indeed require less work. Hence cost less.
> This said, in France, over 90% of our donors ask for this receipt. I
> expect that many would not give money to an US organization with no tax
> receipt at all. I have no figure to support this, but I am willing to
> give it a go for a few weeks. Get the money from French people and tell
> them afterwards, SORRY GUYS, NO RECEIPT. And then ask them if they will
> give again next year. Of course, all the complaints will have to be
> dealt by WMF staff.
> Seriously, when it comes to fundraising, the first important thing to
> keep in mind is that trying to maximize the money collected in a given
> year is thinking short term. Trying to create a good relationship with
> happy donors is the way to think long term. An upset or disappointed
> donor will only give once. And you will only know one year later.
> > I would assume that the volunteers who contributed to the effort
> > did so because they believed in the goals of the project and the need to
> > raise funds to support them, not because their particular chapter stood
> > collect a large sum of money in the process?
> > Kirill
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