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Fundraising Letter Feb 2012

 

 

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tchen at wikimedia

Feb 9, 2012, 12:11 AM

Post #1 of 17 (930 views)
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Fundraising Letter Feb 2012

The Board approves the following letter to be sent to the community:

Dear members of the Wikimedia Movement,

As you are probably aware we have been discussing the the future of
fundraising and fund dissemination for the Wikimedia Movement for almost
6 months now. After discussing fundraising and funds dissemination at
this past meeting, the board has drafted the following statement. It our
intention to discuss these matters in the coming weeks to come to a
final decision mid March.

But first we would like to thank everyone who took part in the
discussion so far and spent their valuable time providing us with their
viewpoints which we have of course taken into account in our decision
making process. We hope that you will continue to participate by giving
feedback on this letter.

==Funds dissemination==
The board wants to create a volunteer-driven body to make
recommendations for funding for movement-wide initiatives (Working
title: Funds Dissemination Committee, FDC). The Wikimedia Foundation has
decision-making authority, because it has fiduciary responsibilities to
donors which it legally cannot delegate. The new body will make
recommendations for funds dissemination to the Wikimedia Foundation. We
anticipate a process in which the Wikimedia Foundation will review and
approve all but a small minority of recommendations from the FDC. In the
event that the Wikimedia Foundation does not approve a recommendation
from the FDC, and the FDC and the Wikimedia Foundation aren't
subsequently able to reach agreement, then the FDC can ask the Wikimedia
Foundation Board of Trustees to request the recommendation be reconsidered.

#the FDC will be a diverse body of people from across our movement
(which may include paid staff) with appropriate expertise for this
purpose, whose primary purpose is to disseminate funds to advance the
Wikimedia mission;
#the WMF staff will support and facilitate the work of the FDC
#Proposals can range from one time smaller contributions for small
projects from individuals to larger financing for operational costs of
chapters or associations

The board intends to evaluate this process together with the FDC and see
if it is working.

==Fundraising==
Our thoughts on fundraising are less specific. We have come to the
following two statements which are important

* If and when payment processing is done by chapters, it should be done
primarily for reasons of tax, operational efficiency (including
incentivizing donor cultivation and relations), should not be in
conflict with funds dissemination principles and goals, and should avoid
a perception of entitlement.

* The board is sharpening the criteria for payment processing. Payment
processing is not a natural path to growth for a chapter; and payment
processing will likely be an exception -- most chapters will not do so.


The Wikimedia Board of Trustees

NB: Please note that rather than spend a LOT of time on wording at this
time, the board preferred to amend the above text if necessary when
moving towards a resolution. This letter indicates our intent, and we
may "wordsmith as needed" in our final resolutions.

--
Ting Chen
Member of the Board of Trustees
Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.
E-Mail: tchen [at] wikimedia


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lodewijk at effeietsanders

Feb 9, 2012, 1:07 AM

Post #2 of 17 (903 views)
Permalink
Re: Fundraising Letter Feb 2012 [In reply to]

Hi Ting,

thank you for the letter. Could you clarify to what extent this is the end
decision, and how much discussion/process should be expected ahead of us?
Going up to this board meeting I have heard both the opinions that the
final decision would be made quickly, and also that definitely no decision
would be made, but rather an inventory, which would allow for a real life
discussion in Paris/Berlin with other stakeholders.

Lodewijk

No dia 9 de Fevereiro de 2012 09:11, Ting Chen <tchen [at] wikimedia>escreveu:

> The Board approves the following letter to be sent to the community:
>
> Dear members of the Wikimedia Movement,
>
> As you are probably aware we have been discussing the the future of
> fundraising and fund dissemination for the Wikimedia Movement for almost 6
> months now. After discussing fundraising and funds dissemination at this
> past meeting, the board has drafted the following statement. It our
> intention to discuss these matters in the coming weeks to come to a final
> decision mid March.
>
> But first we would like to thank everyone who took part in the discussion
> so far and spent their valuable time providing us with their viewpoints
> which we have of course taken into account in our decision making process.
> We hope that you will continue to participate by giving feedback on this
> letter.
>
> ==Funds dissemination==
> The board wants to create a volunteer-driven body to make recommendations
> for funding for movement-wide initiatives (Working title: Funds
> Dissemination Committee, FDC). The Wikimedia Foundation has decision-making
> authority, because it has fiduciary responsibilities to donors which it
> legally cannot delegate. The new body will make recommendations for funds
> dissemination to the Wikimedia Foundation. We anticipate a process in which
> the Wikimedia Foundation will review and approve all but a small minority
> of recommendations from the FDC. In the event that the Wikimedia Foundation
> does not approve a recommendation from the FDC, and the FDC and the
> Wikimedia Foundation aren't subsequently able to reach agreement, then the
> FDC can ask the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees to request the
> recommendation be reconsidered.
>
> #the FDC will be a diverse body of people from across our movement (which
> may include paid staff) with appropriate expertise for this purpose, whose
> primary purpose is to disseminate funds to advance the Wikimedia mission;
> #the WMF staff will support and facilitate the work of the FDC
> #Proposals can range from one time smaller contributions for small
> projects from individuals to larger financing for operational costs of
> chapters or associations
>
> The board intends to evaluate this process together with the FDC and see
> if it is working.
>
> ==Fundraising==
> Our thoughts on fundraising are less specific. We have come to the
> following two statements which are important
>
> * If and when payment processing is done by chapters, it should be done
> primarily for reasons of tax, operational efficiency (including
> incentivizing donor cultivation and relations), should not be in conflict
> with funds dissemination principles and goals, and should avoid a
> perception of entitlement.
>
> * The board is sharpening the criteria for payment processing. Payment
> processing is not a natural path to growth for a chapter; and payment
> processing will likely be an exception -- most chapters will not do so.
>
>
> The Wikimedia Board of Trustees
>
> NB: Please note that rather than spend a LOT of time on wording at this
> time, the board preferred to amend the above text if necessary when moving
> towards a resolution. This letter indicates our intent, and we may
> "wordsmith as needed" in our final resolutions.
>
> --
> Ting Chen
> Member of the Board of Trustees
> Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.
> E-Mail: tchen [at] wikimedia
>
>
> ______________________________**_________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> foundation-l [at] lists**org <foundation-l [at] lists>
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/**mailman/listinfo/foundation-l<https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l>
>
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thomas.dalton at gmail

Feb 9, 2012, 2:58 AM

Post #3 of 17 (900 views)
Permalink
Re: Fundraising Letter Feb 2012 [In reply to]

Ting,

Thank you for this. I'm confused, though. You say you want to have another
month of discussions, but I don't see any questions in your letter. What is
it you want to discuss?

Everyone that wants to has expressed their views. The numerous debates on
meta and elsewhere have reached their natural conclusions. This continuing
uncertainty is very bad for the movement. If the WMF wants to take charge
of the movement then you need to actually make a decision. You can't both
take charge and be indecisive.
On Feb 9, 2012 8:12 AM, "Ting Chen" <tchen [at] wikimedia> wrote:

> The Board approves the following letter to be sent to the community:
>
> Dear members of the Wikimedia Movement,
>
> As you are probably aware we have been discussing the the future of
> fundraising and fund dissemination for the Wikimedia Movement for almost 6
> months now. After discussing fundraising and funds dissemination at this
> past meeting, the board has drafted the following statement. It our
> intention to discuss these matters in the coming weeks to come to a final
> decision mid March.
>
> But first we would like to thank everyone who took part in the discussion
> so far and spent their valuable time providing us with their viewpoints
> which we have of course taken into account in our decision making process.
> We hope that you will continue to participate by giving feedback on this
> letter.
>
> ==Funds dissemination==
> The board wants to create a volunteer-driven body to make recommendations
> for funding for movement-wide initiatives (Working title: Funds
> Dissemination Committee, FDC). The Wikimedia Foundation has decision-making
> authority, because it has fiduciary responsibilities to donors which it
> legally cannot delegate. The new body will make recommendations for funds
> dissemination to the Wikimedia Foundation. We anticipate a process in which
> the Wikimedia Foundation will review and approve all but a small minority
> of recommendations from the FDC. In the event that the Wikimedia Foundation
> does not approve a recommendation from the FDC, and the FDC and the
> Wikimedia Foundation aren't subsequently able to reach agreement, then the
> FDC can ask the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees to request the
> recommendation be reconsidered.
>
> #the FDC will be a diverse body of people from across our movement (which
> may include paid staff) with appropriate expertise for this purpose, whose
> primary purpose is to disseminate funds to advance the Wikimedia mission;
> #the WMF staff will support and facilitate the work of the FDC
> #Proposals can range from one time smaller contributions for small
> projects from individuals to larger financing for operational costs of
> chapters or associations
>
> The board intends to evaluate this process together with the FDC and see
> if it is working.
>
> ==Fundraising==
> Our thoughts on fundraising are less specific. We have come to the
> following two statements which are important
>
> * If and when payment processing is done by chapters, it should be done
> primarily for reasons of tax, operational efficiency (including
> incentivizing donor cultivation and relations), should not be in conflict
> with funds dissemination principles and goals, and should avoid a
> perception of entitlement.
>
> * The board is sharpening the criteria for payment processing. Payment
> processing is not a natural path to growth for a chapter; and payment
> processing will likely be an exception -- most chapters will not do so.
>
>
> The Wikimedia Board of Trustees
>
> NB: Please note that rather than spend a LOT of time on wording at this
> time, the board preferred to amend the above text if necessary when moving
> towards a resolution. This letter indicates our intent, and we may
> "wordsmith as needed" in our final resolutions.
>
> --
> Ting Chen
> Member of the Board of Trustees
> Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.
> E-Mail: tchen [at] wikimedia
>
>
> ______________________________**_________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> foundation-l [at] lists**org <foundation-l [at] lists>
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/**mailman/listinfo/foundation-l<https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l>
>
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phoebe.wiki at gmail

Feb 9, 2012, 9:08 AM

Post #4 of 17 (900 views)
Permalink
Re: Fundraising Letter Feb 2012 [In reply to]

Hi Lodewijk,

In this board meeting we were trying to see if we had a general
consensus on the direction we wanted to go (rather than take a final
vote). There are still lots of aspects to be resolved, though -- what
the FDC looks like, what criteria are used for payment processing, and
many more things. Our calendar is unchanged: we do intend to discuss
fundraising in Paris with everyone, we will receive Sue's final
recommendations in early-mid March; and we will plan to take a final
vote at (or perhaps just after) the Berlin meeting.

So yes, we all agree that a real life discussion is important. So is
lots of information -- legal analysis, etc. -- which we may not have
seen all of yet (I'm not sure what you mean by an inventory). We also
thought, though, that it would be bad to talk about this for two days
in the Board meeting and not report back to the community about where
we were at :) Hence, this letter. It's not a final decision, but it is
an indication of board consensus and direction.

best,
Phoebe


On Thu, Feb 9, 2012 at 1:07 AM, Lodewijk <lodewijk [at] effeietsanders> wrote:
> Hi Ting,
>
> thank you for the letter. Could you clarify to what extent this is the end
> decision, and how much discussion/process should be expected ahead of us?
> Going up to this board meeting I have heard both the opinions that the
> final decision would be made quickly, and also that definitely no decision
> would be made, but rather an inventory, which would allow for a real life
> discussion in Paris/Berlin with other stakeholders.
>
> Lodewijk
>
> No dia 9 de Fevereiro de 2012 09:11, Ting Chen <tchen [at] wikimedia>escreveu:
>
>> The Board approves the following letter to be sent to the community:
>>
>> Dear members of the Wikimedia Movement,
>>
>> As you are probably aware we have been discussing the the future of
>> fundraising and fund dissemination for the Wikimedia Movement for almost 6
>> months now. After discussing fundraising and funds dissemination at this
>> past meeting, the board has drafted the following statement. It our
>> intention to discuss these matters in the coming weeks to come to a final
>> decision mid March.
>>
>> But first we would like to thank everyone who took part in the discussion
>> so far and spent their valuable time providing us with their viewpoints
>> which we have of course taken into account in our decision making process.
>> We hope that you will continue to participate by giving feedback on this
>> letter.
>>
>> ==Funds dissemination==
>> The board wants to create a volunteer-driven body to make recommendations
>> for funding for movement-wide initiatives (Working title: Funds
>> Dissemination Committee, FDC). The Wikimedia Foundation has decision-making
>> authority, because it has fiduciary responsibilities to donors which it
>> legally cannot delegate. The new body will make recommendations for funds
>> dissemination to the Wikimedia Foundation. We anticipate a process in which
>> the Wikimedia Foundation will review and approve all but a small minority
>> of recommendations from the FDC. In the event that the Wikimedia Foundation
>> does not approve a recommendation from the FDC, and the FDC and the
>> Wikimedia Foundation aren't subsequently able to reach agreement, then the
>> FDC can ask the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees to request the
>> recommendation be reconsidered.
>>
>> #the FDC will be a diverse body of people from across our movement (which
>> may include paid staff) with appropriate expertise for this purpose, whose
>> primary purpose is to disseminate funds to advance the Wikimedia mission;
>> #the WMF staff will support and facilitate the work of the FDC
>> #Proposals can range from one time smaller contributions for small
>> projects from individuals to larger financing for operational costs of
>> chapters or associations
>>
>> The board intends to evaluate this process together with the FDC and see
>> if it is working.
>>
>> ==Fundraising==
>> Our thoughts on fundraising are less specific. We have come to the
>> following two statements which are important
>>
>> * If and when payment processing is done by chapters, it should be done
>> primarily for reasons of tax, operational efficiency (including
>> incentivizing donor cultivation and relations), should not be in conflict
>> with funds dissemination principles and goals, and should avoid a
>> perception of entitlement.
>>
>> * The board is sharpening the criteria for payment processing. Payment
>> processing is not a natural path to growth for a chapter; and payment
>> processing will likely be an exception -- most chapters will not do so.
>>
>>
>> The Wikimedia Board of Trustees
>>
>> NB: Please note that rather than spend a LOT of time on wording at this
>> time, the board preferred to amend the above text if necessary when moving
>> towards a resolution. This letter indicates our intent, and we may
>> "wordsmith as needed" in our final resolutions.
>>
>> --
>> Ting Chen
>> Member of the Board of Trustees
>> Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.
>> E-Mail: tchen [at] wikimedia
>>
>>
>> ______________________________**_________________
>> foundation-l mailing list
>> foundation-l [at] lists**org <foundation-l [at] lists>
>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/**mailman/listinfo/foundation-l<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



--
* I use this address for lists; send personal messages to phoebe.ayers
<at> gmail.com *

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me.lyzzy at googlemail

Feb 9, 2012, 11:17 AM

Post #5 of 17 (898 views)
Permalink
Re: Fundraising Letter Feb 2012 [In reply to]

Hi Phoebe,

thank you for the clarification and thanks to the board for sharing
this kind of summary soon after the meeting.

On 9 February 2012 18:08, phoebe ayers <phoebe.wiki [at] gmail> wrote:
> Hi Lodewijk,
>
> In this board meeting we were trying to see if we had a general
> consensus on the direction we wanted to go (rather than take a final
> vote).

You describe the content of the letter as an indication. That leaves
enough room for interpretation and although I understand that you're
still in the process of finding a solution I would like to focus on
the main issues of your letter and ask if I can read the letter as:

a) Some chapters still will be able to do fundraising; criterias are
not yet fixed and need discussion.
b) The ability to fundraise should not be connected to any type of
entitlement to the raised funds.
c) Funds dissemination will be managed by a new body (Funds
Dissemenation Committee; FDC), how this will be realized is not yet
fixed in detail and needs discussion.
d) These points mark the main direction for the Board's discussions
and decision.

Regards, Alice.

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stuwest at gmail

Feb 9, 2012, 11:36 AM

Post #6 of 17 (903 views)
Permalink
Re: Fundraising Letter Feb 2012 [In reply to]

Thanks Ting for posting, Phoebe for jumping in already, and everyone for questions so far. As the WIkimedia Board member most focused on financial issues, I thought i should share some personal observations on the fundraising letter and issues behind it. See my blog post:

http://wikistu.org/2012/02/fundraising-letter-comments/



On Feb 9, 2012, at 11:17 AM, Alice Wiegand wrote:

> Hi Phoebe,
>
> thank you for the clarification and thanks to the board for sharing
> this kind of summary soon after the meeting.
>
> On 9 February 2012 18:08, phoebe ayers <phoebe.wiki [at] gmail> wrote:
>> Hi Lodewijk,
>>
>> In this board meeting we were trying to see if we had a general
>> consensus on the direction we wanted to go (rather than take a final
>> vote).
>
> You describe the content of the letter as an indication. That leaves
> enough room for interpretation and although I understand that you're
> still in the process of finding a solution I would like to focus on
> the main issues of your letter and ask if I can read the letter as:
>
> a) Some chapters still will be able to do fundraising; criterias are
> not yet fixed and need discussion.
> b) The ability to fundraise should not be connected to any type of
> entitlement to the raised funds.
> c) Funds dissemination will be managed by a new body (Funds
> Dissemenation Committee; FDC), how this will be realized is not yet
> fixed in detail and needs discussion.
> d) These points mark the main direction for the Board's discussions
> and decision.
>
> Regards, Alice.
>
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> foundation-l [at] lists
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l

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emmanuel at engelhart

Feb 9, 2012, 12:01 PM

Post #7 of 17 (900 views)
Permalink
Re: Fundraising Letter Feb 2012 [In reply to]

On 02/09/2012 09:11 AM, Ting Chen wrote:

> * The board is sharpening the criteria for payment processing. Payment
> processing is not a natural path to growth for a chapter; and payment
> processing will likely be an exception -- most chapters will not do so.

Without any financial autonomy (that means the ability to raise and
invest funds), a chapter can only beg for money. I do not share your
vision of the chapter's future - neither for the "old" nor for the
"young" ones.

Regards
Emmanuel


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thomas.dalton at gmail

Feb 9, 2012, 12:33 PM

Post #8 of 17 (902 views)
Permalink
Re: Fundraising Letter Feb 2012 [In reply to]

On 9 February 2012 20:01, Emmanuel Engelhart <emmanuel [at] engelhart> wrote:
> Without any financial autonomy (that means the ability to raise and invest
> funds), a chapter can only beg for money. I do not share your vision of the
> chapter's future - neither for the "old" nor for the "young" ones.

Plenty of charities are funded primarily or exclusively by grants and
they manage. It's not a great position to be in, but it can work. I do
think chapters should fundraise, but its a more nuanced question than
you suggest.

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nawrich at gmail

Feb 9, 2012, 2:28 PM

Post #9 of 17 (900 views)
Permalink
Re: Fundraising Letter Feb 2012 [In reply to]

On Thu, Feb 9, 2012 at 3:01 PM, Emmanuel Engelhart
<emmanuel [at] engelhart>wrote:

> On 02/09/2012 09:11 AM, Ting Chen wrote:
>
> * The board is sharpening the criteria for payment processing. Payment
>> processing is not a natural path to growth for a chapter; and payment
>> processing will likely be an exception -- most chapters will not do so.
>>
>
> Without any financial autonomy (that means the ability to raise and invest
> funds), a chapter can only beg for money. I do not share your vision of the
> chapter's future - neither for the "old" nor for the "young" ones.
>
> Regards
> Emmanuel
>


Payment processing is piggybacking on the annual WMF fundraiser; nothing
prevents any chapter from raising funds on its own.

Nathan
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klempert.lists at gmail

Feb 9, 2012, 2:29 PM

Post #10 of 17 (906 views)
Permalink
Re: Fundraising Letter Feb 2012 [In reply to]

On Thu, Feb 9, 2012 at 8:36 PM, Stuart West <stuwest [at] gmail> wrote:
> Thanks Ting for posting, Phoebe for jumping in already, and everyone for questions so far.  As the WIkimedia Board member most focused on financial issues, I thought i should share some personal observations on the fundraising letter and issues behind it.  See my blog post:
>
> http://wikistu.org/2012/02/fundraising-letter-comments/

Just commented there - as did some others.

Arne
--
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use <surname>@gmail.com for personal emails.

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anthere9 at yahoo

Feb 9, 2012, 2:52 PM

Post #11 of 17 (903 views)
Permalink
Re: Fundraising Letter Feb 2012 [In reply to]

I wanted to share an experience with regards to a future FDC.

During two years, I was a member of the "comité de pilotage" (which I
will here translate in "steering committee") of the ANR (National
Research Agency in France).

The ANR distributes every year about 1000 M€ to support research in France.

The ANR programmatic activity is divided in 6 clearly defined themes + 1
unspecific area. Some themes are further divided for more granularity.
For example, I was in the steering committee of CONTINT, which is one of
the four programs of the main theme "information and communication
technologies". My program was about "production and sharing of content
and knowledge (creation, edition, search, interface, use, trust,
reality, social network, futur of the internet), associated services and
robotics"

Every year, the steering committee of each group define the strategic
goals of the year and list keywords to better refine the description of
what could be covered or not covered.

Then a public call for projects is made. People have 2 months to present
their project. From memory, the projects received by CONTINT were
possibly 200.

The projects are peer-reviewed by community members (just as research
articles are reviewed by peers) and annotation/recommandation for
support or not are provided by the peers. There is no administrative
filter at this point.

Then a committee constituted of peers review all the projects and their
annotation/comments and rank them in three groups. C rejected. B why
not. A proposed. Still not administrative filtering at this point.

The steering committee, about 20 people made of community members
(volunteers) and ANR staff review the A and B. Steering committee is
kindly ask to try to keep A projects in A list and B projects in B list.
However, various considerations will make it so that some projects are
pushed up and others pushed down. It may range from "this lab is great,
they need funding to continue a long-going research" to "damned, we did
not fund any robotic project this year even though it is within our
priorities; what would be the best one to push up ?" or "if we push down
this rather costly project, we could fund these three smaller ones". We
may also make recommandation to a project team to rework its budget if
we think it was a little bit too costly compared to the impact expected.

At the end of the session, we have a brand new list of A followed by B.
All projects are ranked. At this point, the budget is only an
approximation, so we usually know that all A will be covered but 0 to a
few Bs may be.

The budget is known slightly later and the exact list of projects funded
published.

How do we make sure what we fund is the best choice ?
Not by administrative decision.
But by two rounds of independent peer-review who can estimate the
quality of the project proposed and the chance for the organisations to
do it well.
And by a further round through which we know that all projects are
interesting and feasible, but will be selected according to strategic
goals defined a year earlier.

There are also "special calls" if there is a budget to support a highly
specific issue. Projects leaders have to decide if their project is
related to a "regular theme", or a "white" or a "special call".

The idea behind this is also that they have to make the effort to
articulate their needs clearly and show what would be the outcome.

The staff do not really make decisions. The staff is here to make sure
all the process work smoothly, to receive the propositions and make sure
they fit the basic requirements, to recruit peer for the reviews (upon
suggestion made... by steering committee or other peers), to organise
the meetings, to publish the results, and so on. Of course, some of them
do impact the process because of their strong inner knowledge of all the
actors involved. The staff is overall 30 people.

How do we evaluate afterwards that we made the good choice and funded
the right ones ?
First because as in any funding research, there are some deliverables;
Second because once a year, there is a sort of conference where all
funded organizations participate and show their results. If an
organization does not respect the game or repeatedly fail to produce
results, they inevitably fall in the C range at some point in the
peer-review process.

I present a simplify process, but that generally is it. I am not saying
either that it is a perfect system, it is not. But according to what I
hear, the system is working fairly well and is not manipulated as much
as other funding system may be ;)

Last, members of the steering committee may only do a 2 years mandate.
No more. There is a due COI agreement to sign and respect as well.
Thanks to the various steps in the process and thanks to the good
(heavy) work provided by the staff, the workload of volunteers is
totally acceptable.

Note that this is governement money but the government does not review
each proposition. The governement set up a process in which there is
enough trust (through the peer-review system and through the themes and
keyword methodology) to delegate the decision-making. The program is a 3
years-program defined by the board of the organization. The majority of
the board are high level members of the governement (Education, Budget,
Research, Industry etc.). This board does define the program and the
dispatching of the budget between the various themes. But the board does
not make the decision-making with regards to which programs are accepted
or not.

Florence


On 2/9/12 9:11 AM, Ting Chen wrote:
> The Board approves the following letter to be sent to the community:
>
> Dear members of the Wikimedia Movement,
>
> As you are probably aware we have been discussing the the future of
> fundraising and fund dissemination for the Wikimedia Movement for almost
> 6 months now. After discussing fundraising and funds dissemination at
> this past meeting, the board has drafted the following statement. It our
> intention to discuss these matters in the coming weeks to come to a
> final decision mid March.
>
> But first we would like to thank everyone who took part in the
> discussion so far and spent their valuable time providing us with their
> viewpoints which we have of course taken into account in our decision
> making process. We hope that you will continue to participate by giving
> feedback on this letter.
>
> ==Funds dissemination==
> The board wants to create a volunteer-driven body to make
> recommendations for funding for movement-wide initiatives (Working
> title: Funds Dissemination Committee, FDC). The Wikimedia Foundation has
> decision-making authority, because it has fiduciary responsibilities to
> donors which it legally cannot delegate. The new body will make
> recommendations for funds dissemination to the Wikimedia Foundation. We
> anticipate a process in which the Wikimedia Foundation will review and
> approve all but a small minority of recommendations from the FDC. In the
> event that the Wikimedia Foundation does not approve a recommendation
> from the FDC, and the FDC and the Wikimedia Foundation aren't
> subsequently able to reach agreement, then the FDC can ask the Wikimedia
> Foundation Board of Trustees to request the recommendation be reconsidered.
>
> #the FDC will be a diverse body of people from across our movement
> (which may include paid staff) with appropriate expertise for this
> purpose, whose primary purpose is to disseminate funds to advance the
> Wikimedia mission;
> #the WMF staff will support and facilitate the work of the FDC
> #Proposals can range from one time smaller contributions for small
> projects from individuals to larger financing for operational costs of
> chapters or associations
>
> The board intends to evaluate this process together with the FDC and see
> if it is working.
>
> ==Fundraising==
> Our thoughts on fundraising are less specific. We have come to the
> following two statements which are important
>
> * If and when payment processing is done by chapters, it should be done
> primarily for reasons of tax, operational efficiency (including
> incentivizing donor cultivation and relations), should not be in
> conflict with funds dissemination principles and goals, and should avoid
> a perception of entitlement.
>
> * The board is sharpening the criteria for payment processing. Payment
> processing is not a natural path to growth for a chapter; and payment
> processing will likely be an exception -- most chapters will not do so.
>
>
> The Wikimedia Board of Trustees
>
> NB: Please note that rather than spend a LOT of time on wording at this
> time, the board preferred to amend the above text if necessary when
> moving towards a resolution. This letter indicates our intent, and we
> may "wordsmith as needed" in our final resolutions.
>



_______________________________________________
foundation-l mailing list
foundation-l [at] lists
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l


anthere9 at yahoo

Feb 9, 2012, 3:02 PM

Post #12 of 17 (899 views)
Permalink
Re: Fundraising Letter Feb 2012 [In reply to]

Ah yeah. From what I understood, what I outline as a process is very
similar to any type of academic call of projects/funding in the USA,
such as NSF, NASA, NIH, DOE etc.

Most basic principle: peer review evaluation.

Florence


On 2/9/12 11:52 PM, Florence Devouard wrote:
> I wanted to share an experience with regards to a future FDC.
>
> During two years, I was a member of the "comité de pilotage" (which I
> will here translate in "steering committee") of the ANR (National
> Research Agency in France).
>
> The ANR distributes every year about 1000 M€ to support research in France.
>
> The ANR programmatic activity is divided in 6 clearly defined themes + 1
> unspecific area. Some themes are further divided for more granularity.
> For example, I was in the steering committee of CONTINT, which is one of
> the four programs of the main theme "information and communication
> technologies". My program was about "production and sharing of content
> and knowledge (creation, edition, search, interface, use, trust,
> reality, social network, futur of the internet), associated services and
> robotics"
>
> Every year, the steering committee of each group define the strategic
> goals of the year and list keywords to better refine the description of
> what could be covered or not covered.
>
> Then a public call for projects is made. People have 2 months to present
> their project. From memory, the projects received by CONTINT were
> possibly 200.
>
> The projects are peer-reviewed by community members (just as research
> articles are reviewed by peers) and annotation/recommandation for
> support or not are provided by the peers. There is no administrative
> filter at this point.
>
> Then a committee constituted of peers review all the projects and their
> annotation/comments and rank them in three groups. C rejected. B why
> not. A proposed. Still not administrative filtering at this point.
>
> The steering committee, about 20 people made of community members
> (volunteers) and ANR staff review the A and B. Steering committee is
> kindly ask to try to keep A projects in A list and B projects in B list.
> However, various considerations will make it so that some projects are
> pushed up and others pushed down. It may range from "this lab is great,
> they need funding to continue a long-going research" to "damned, we did
> not fund any robotic project this year even though it is within our
> priorities; what would be the best one to push up ?" or "if we push down
> this rather costly project, we could fund these three smaller ones". We
> may also make recommandation to a project team to rework its budget if
> we think it was a little bit too costly compared to the impact expected.
>
> At the end of the session, we have a brand new list of A followed by B.
> All projects are ranked. At this point, the budget is only an
> approximation, so we usually know that all A will be covered but 0 to a
> few Bs may be.
>
> The budget is known slightly later and the exact list of projects funded
> published.
>
> How do we make sure what we fund is the best choice ?
> Not by administrative decision.
> But by two rounds of independent peer-review who can estimate the
> quality of the project proposed and the chance for the organisations to
> do it well.
> And by a further round through which we know that all projects are
> interesting and feasible, but will be selected according to strategic
> goals defined a year earlier.
>
> There are also "special calls" if there is a budget to support a highly
> specific issue. Projects leaders have to decide if their project is
> related to a "regular theme", or a "white" or a "special call".
>
> The idea behind this is also that they have to make the effort to
> articulate their needs clearly and show what would be the outcome.
>
> The staff do not really make decisions. The staff is here to make sure
> all the process work smoothly, to receive the propositions and make sure
> they fit the basic requirements, to recruit peer for the reviews (upon
> suggestion made... by steering committee or other peers), to organise
> the meetings, to publish the results, and so on. Of course, some of them
> do impact the process because of their strong inner knowledge of all the
> actors involved. The staff is overall 30 people.
>
> How do we evaluate afterwards that we made the good choice and funded
> the right ones ?
> First because as in any funding research, there are some deliverables;
> Second because once a year, there is a sort of conference where all
> funded organizations participate and show their results. If an
> organization does not respect the game or repeatedly fail to produce
> results, they inevitably fall in the C range at some point in the
> peer-review process.
>
> I present a simplify process, but that generally is it. I am not saying
> either that it is a perfect system, it is not. But according to what I
> hear, the system is working fairly well and is not manipulated as much
> as other funding system may be ;)
>
> Last, members of the steering committee may only do a 2 years mandate.
> No more. There is a due COI agreement to sign and respect as well.
> Thanks to the various steps in the process and thanks to the good
> (heavy) work provided by the staff, the workload of volunteers is
> totally acceptable.
>
> Note that this is governement money but the government does not review
> each proposition. The governement set up a process in which there is
> enough trust (through the peer-review system and through the themes and
> keyword methodology) to delegate the decision-making. The program is a 3
> years-program defined by the board of the organization. The majority of
> the board are high level members of the governement (Education, Budget,
> Research, Industry etc.). This board does define the program and the
> dispatching of the budget between the various themes. But the board does
> not make the decision-making with regards to which programs are accepted
> or not.
>
> Florence
>
>
> On 2/9/12 9:11 AM, Ting Chen wrote:
>> The Board approves the following letter to be sent to the community:
>>
>> Dear members of the Wikimedia Movement,
>>
>> As you are probably aware we have been discussing the the future of
>> fundraising and fund dissemination for the Wikimedia Movement for almost
>> 6 months now. After discussing fundraising and funds dissemination at
>> this past meeting, the board has drafted the following statement. It our
>> intention to discuss these matters in the coming weeks to come to a
>> final decision mid March.
>>
>> But first we would like to thank everyone who took part in the
>> discussion so far and spent their valuable time providing us with their
>> viewpoints which we have of course taken into account in our decision
>> making process. We hope that you will continue to participate by giving
>> feedback on this letter.
>>
>> ==Funds dissemination==
>> The board wants to create a volunteer-driven body to make
>> recommendations for funding for movement-wide initiatives (Working
>> title: Funds Dissemination Committee, FDC). The Wikimedia Foundation has
>> decision-making authority, because it has fiduciary responsibilities to
>> donors which it legally cannot delegate. The new body will make
>> recommendations for funds dissemination to the Wikimedia Foundation. We
>> anticipate a process in which the Wikimedia Foundation will review and
>> approve all but a small minority of recommendations from the FDC. In the
>> event that the Wikimedia Foundation does not approve a recommendation
>> from the FDC, and the FDC and the Wikimedia Foundation aren't
>> subsequently able to reach agreement, then the FDC can ask the Wikimedia
>> Foundation Board of Trustees to request the recommendation be
>> reconsidered.
>>
>> #the FDC will be a diverse body of people from across our movement
>> (which may include paid staff) with appropriate expertise for this
>> purpose, whose primary purpose is to disseminate funds to advance the
>> Wikimedia mission;
>> #the WMF staff will support and facilitate the work of the FDC
>> #Proposals can range from one time smaller contributions for small
>> projects from individuals to larger financing for operational costs of
>> chapters or associations
>>
>> The board intends to evaluate this process together with the FDC and see
>> if it is working.
>>
>> ==Fundraising==
>> Our thoughts on fundraising are less specific. We have come to the
>> following two statements which are important
>>
>> * If and when payment processing is done by chapters, it should be done
>> primarily for reasons of tax, operational efficiency (including
>> incentivizing donor cultivation and relations), should not be in
>> conflict with funds dissemination principles and goals, and should avoid
>> a perception of entitlement.
>>
>> * The board is sharpening the criteria for payment processing. Payment
>> processing is not a natural path to growth for a chapter; and payment
>> processing will likely be an exception -- most chapters will not do so.
>>
>>
>> The Wikimedia Board of Trustees
>>
>> NB: Please note that rather than spend a LOT of time on wording at this
>> time, the board preferred to amend the above text if necessary when
>> moving towards a resolution. This letter indicates our intent, and we
>> may "wordsmith as needed" in our final resolutions.
>>
>
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> 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


klempert.lists at gmail

Feb 9, 2012, 3:12 PM

Post #13 of 17 (903 views)
Permalink
Re: Fundraising Letter Feb 2012 [In reply to]

Thanks you so much, Florence. This is really interesting and
definitely valuable food for thought - a very good starting point for
the conversation about funds dissemination.

Arne

On Fri, Feb 10, 2012 at 12:02 AM, Florence Devouard <anthere9 [at] yahoo> wrote:
> Ah yeah. From what I understood, what I outline as a process is very similar
> to any type of academic call of projects/funding in the USA, such as NSF,
> NASA, NIH, DOE etc.
>
> Most basic principle: peer review evaluation.
>
> Florence
>
>
>
> On 2/9/12 11:52 PM, Florence Devouard wrote:
>>
>> I wanted to share an experience with regards to a future FDC.
>>
>> During two years, I was a member of the "comité de pilotage" (which I
>> will here translate in "steering committee") of the ANR (National
>> Research Agency in France).
>>
>> The ANR distributes every year about 1000 M€ to support research in
>> France.
>>
>> The ANR programmatic activity is divided in 6 clearly defined themes + 1
>> unspecific area. Some themes are further divided for more granularity.
>> For example, I was in the steering committee of CONTINT, which is one of
>> the four programs of the main theme "information and communication
>> technologies". My program was about "production and sharing of content
>> and knowledge (creation, edition, search, interface, use, trust,
>> reality, social network, futur of the internet), associated services and
>> robotics"
>>
>> Every year, the steering committee of each group define the strategic
>> goals of the year and list keywords to better refine the description of
>> what could be covered or not covered.
>>
>> Then a public call for projects is made. People have 2 months to present
>> their project. From memory, the projects received by CONTINT were
>> possibly 200.
>>
>> The projects are peer-reviewed by community members (just as research
>> articles are reviewed by peers) and annotation/recommandation for
>> support or not are provided by the peers. There is no administrative
>> filter at this point.
>>
>> Then a committee constituted of peers review all the projects and their
>> annotation/comments and rank them in three groups. C rejected. B why
>> not. A proposed. Still not administrative filtering at this point.
>>
>> The steering committee, about 20 people made of community members
>> (volunteers) and ANR staff review the A and B. Steering committee is
>> kindly ask to try to keep A projects in A list and B projects in B list.
>> However, various considerations will make it so that some projects are
>> pushed up and others pushed down. It may range from "this lab is great,
>> they need funding to continue a long-going research" to "damned, we did
>> not fund any robotic project this year even though it is within our
>> priorities; what would be the best one to push up ?" or "if we push down
>> this rather costly project, we could fund these three smaller ones". We
>> may also make recommandation to a project team to rework its budget if
>> we think it was a little bit too costly compared to the impact expected.
>>
>> At the end of the session, we have a brand new list of A followed by B.
>> All projects are ranked. At this point, the budget is only an
>> approximation, so we usually know that all A will be covered but 0 to a
>> few Bs may be.
>>
>> The budget is known slightly later and the exact list of projects funded
>> published.
>>
>> How do we make sure what we fund is the best choice ?
>> Not by administrative decision.
>> But by two rounds of independent peer-review who can estimate the
>> quality of the project proposed and the chance for the organisations to
>> do it well.
>> And by a further round through which we know that all projects are
>> interesting and feasible, but will be selected according to strategic
>> goals defined a year earlier.
>>
>> There are also "special calls" if there is a budget to support a highly
>> specific issue. Projects leaders have to decide if their project is
>> related to a "regular theme", or a "white" or a "special call".
>>
>> The idea behind this is also that they have to make the effort to
>> articulate their needs clearly and show what would be the outcome.
>>
>> The staff do not really make decisions. The staff is here to make sure
>> all the process work smoothly, to receive the propositions and make sure
>> they fit the basic requirements, to recruit peer for the reviews (upon
>> suggestion made... by steering committee or other peers), to organise
>> the meetings, to publish the results, and so on. Of course, some of them
>> do impact the process because of their strong inner knowledge of all the
>> actors involved. The staff is overall 30 people.
>>
>> How do we evaluate afterwards that we made the good choice and funded
>> the right ones ?
>> First because as in any funding research, there are some deliverables;
>> Second because once a year, there is a sort of conference where all
>> funded organizations participate and show their results. If an
>> organization does not respect the game or repeatedly fail to produce
>> results, they inevitably fall in the C range at some point in the
>> peer-review process.
>>
>> I present a simplify process, but that generally is it. I am not saying
>> either that it is a perfect system, it is not. But according to what I
>> hear, the system is working fairly well and is not manipulated as much
>> as other funding system may be ;)
>>
>> Last, members of the steering committee may only do a 2 years mandate.
>> No more. There is a due COI agreement to sign and respect as well.
>> Thanks to the various steps in the process and thanks to the good
>> (heavy) work provided by the staff, the workload of volunteers is
>> totally acceptable.
>>
>> Note that this is governement money but the government does not review
>> each proposition. The governement set up a process in which there is
>> enough trust (through the peer-review system and through the themes and
>> keyword methodology) to delegate the decision-making. The program is a 3
>> years-program defined by the board of the organization. The majority of
>> the board are high level members of the governement (Education, Budget,
>> Research, Industry etc.). This board does define the program and the
>> dispatching of the budget between the various themes. But the board does
>> not make the decision-making with regards to which programs are accepted
>> or not.
>>
>> Florence
>>
>>
>> On 2/9/12 9:11 AM, Ting Chen wrote:
>>>
>>> The Board approves the following letter to be sent to the community:
>>>
>>> Dear members of the Wikimedia Movement,
>>>
>>> As you are probably aware we have been discussing the the future of
>>> fundraising and fund dissemination for the Wikimedia Movement for almost
>>> 6 months now. After discussing fundraising and funds dissemination at
>>> this past meeting, the board has drafted the following statement. It our
>>> intention to discuss these matters in the coming weeks to come to a
>>> final decision mid March.
>>>
>>> But first we would like to thank everyone who took part in the
>>> discussion so far and spent their valuable time providing us with their
>>> viewpoints which we have of course taken into account in our decision
>>> making process. We hope that you will continue to participate by giving
>>> feedback on this letter.
>>>
>>> ==Funds dissemination==
>>> The board wants to create a volunteer-driven body to make
>>> recommendations for funding for movement-wide initiatives (Working
>>> title: Funds Dissemination Committee, FDC). The Wikimedia Foundation has
>>> decision-making authority, because it has fiduciary responsibilities to
>>> donors which it legally cannot delegate. The new body will make
>>> recommendations for funds dissemination to the Wikimedia Foundation. We
>>> anticipate a process in which the Wikimedia Foundation will review and
>>> approve all but a small minority of recommendations from the FDC. In the
>>> event that the Wikimedia Foundation does not approve a recommendation
>>> from the FDC, and the FDC and the Wikimedia Foundation aren't
>>> subsequently able to reach agreement, then the FDC can ask the Wikimedia
>>> Foundation Board of Trustees to request the recommendation be
>>> reconsidered.
>>>
>>> #the FDC will be a diverse body of people from across our movement
>>> (which may include paid staff) with appropriate expertise for this
>>> purpose, whose primary purpose is to disseminate funds to advance the
>>> Wikimedia mission;
>>> #the WMF staff will support and facilitate the work of the FDC
>>> #Proposals can range from one time smaller contributions for small
>>> projects from individuals to larger financing for operational costs of
>>> chapters or associations
>>>
>>> The board intends to evaluate this process together with the FDC and see
>>> if it is working.
>>>
>>> ==Fundraising==
>>> Our thoughts on fundraising are less specific. We have come to the
>>> following two statements which are important
>>>
>>> * If and when payment processing is done by chapters, it should be done
>>> primarily for reasons of tax, operational efficiency (including
>>> incentivizing donor cultivation and relations), should not be in
>>> conflict with funds dissemination principles and goals, and should avoid
>>> a perception of entitlement.
>>>
>>> * The board is sharpening the criteria for payment processing. Payment
>>> processing is not a natural path to growth for a chapter; and payment
>>> processing will likely be an exception -- most chapters will not do so.
>>>
>>>
>>> The Wikimedia Board of Trustees
>>>
>>> NB: Please note that rather than spend a LOT of time on wording at this
>>> time, the board preferred to amend the above text if necessary when
>>> moving towards a resolution. This letter indicates our intent, and we
>>> may "wordsmith as needed" in our final resolutions.
>>>
>>
>>
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> 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

_______________________________________________
foundation-l mailing list
foundation-l [at] lists
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stuwest at gmail

Feb 9, 2012, 4:40 PM

Post #14 of 17 (901 views)
Permalink
Re: Fundraising Letter Feb 2012 [In reply to]

Yes thanks, Florence. My view is that agreeing on a community-driven process (the Funds Dissemination Committee, or Funds Allocation Committee, whatever it wants to be called) to allocate funds is the easy part. The hard part is figuring out all the details:

- how many people on this committee
- how are they selected
- what terms
- what will annual cycle be of submission/review
- how will staff support
- will it be ready in a few months to deal with the grant / operating plan cycle this summer?
- if it isn't ready, or for any reason isn't functioning well, what is backup? we can't really have bureaucratic delays that keep grants from being distributed.
- And more than anything else, how do we make this really work?

Your email gave some great food for thought on all of these.

I hope we can have a session on this at Wikimedia France's Finance Meeting next week.

-s

On Feb 9, 2012, at 3:12 PM, Arne Klempert wrote:

> Thanks you so much, Florence. This is really interesting and
> definitely valuable food for thought - a very good starting point for
> the conversation about funds dissemination.
>
> Arne
>
> On Fri, Feb 10, 2012 at 12:02 AM, Florence Devouard <anthere9 [at] yahoo> wrote:
>> Ah yeah. From what I understood, what I outline as a process is very similar
>> to any type of academic call of projects/funding in the USA, such as NSF,
>> NASA, NIH, DOE etc.
>>
>> Most basic principle: peer review evaluation.
>>
>> Florence
>>
>>
>>
>> On 2/9/12 11:52 PM, Florence Devouard wrote:
>>>
>>> I wanted to share an experience with regards to a future FDC.
>>>
>>> During two years, I was a member of the "comité de pilotage" (which I
>>> will here translate in "steering committee") of the ANR (National
>>> Research Agency in France).
>>>
>>> The ANR distributes every year about 1000 M€ to support research in
>>> France.
>>>
>>> The ANR programmatic activity is divided in 6 clearly defined themes + 1
>>> unspecific area. Some themes are further divided for more granularity.
>>> For example, I was in the steering committee of CONTINT, which is one of
>>> the four programs of the main theme "information and communication
>>> technologies". My program was about "production and sharing of content
>>> and knowledge (creation, edition, search, interface, use, trust,
>>> reality, social network, futur of the internet), associated services and
>>> robotics"
>>>
>>> Every year, the steering committee of each group define the strategic
>>> goals of the year and list keywords to better refine the description of
>>> what could be covered or not covered.
>>>
>>> Then a public call for projects is made. People have 2 months to present
>>> their project. From memory, the projects received by CONTINT were
>>> possibly 200.
>>>
>>> The projects are peer-reviewed by community members (just as research
>>> articles are reviewed by peers) and annotation/recommandation for
>>> support or not are provided by the peers. There is no administrative
>>> filter at this point.
>>>
>>> Then a committee constituted of peers review all the projects and their
>>> annotation/comments and rank them in three groups. C rejected. B why
>>> not. A proposed. Still not administrative filtering at this point.
>>>
>>> The steering committee, about 20 people made of community members
>>> (volunteers) and ANR staff review the A and B. Steering committee is
>>> kindly ask to try to keep A projects in A list and B projects in B list.
>>> However, various considerations will make it so that some projects are
>>> pushed up and others pushed down. It may range from "this lab is great,
>>> they need funding to continue a long-going research" to "damned, we did
>>> not fund any robotic project this year even though it is within our
>>> priorities; what would be the best one to push up ?" or "if we push down
>>> this rather costly project, we could fund these three smaller ones". We
>>> may also make recommandation to a project team to rework its budget if
>>> we think it was a little bit too costly compared to the impact expected.
>>>
>>> At the end of the session, we have a brand new list of A followed by B.
>>> All projects are ranked. At this point, the budget is only an
>>> approximation, so we usually know that all A will be covered but 0 to a
>>> few Bs may be.
>>>
>>> The budget is known slightly later and the exact list of projects funded
>>> published.
>>>
>>> How do we make sure what we fund is the best choice ?
>>> Not by administrative decision.
>>> But by two rounds of independent peer-review who can estimate the
>>> quality of the project proposed and the chance for the organisations to
>>> do it well.
>>> And by a further round through which we know that all projects are
>>> interesting and feasible, but will be selected according to strategic
>>> goals defined a year earlier.
>>>
>>> There are also "special calls" if there is a budget to support a highly
>>> specific issue. Projects leaders have to decide if their project is
>>> related to a "regular theme", or a "white" or a "special call".
>>>
>>> The idea behind this is also that they have to make the effort to
>>> articulate their needs clearly and show what would be the outcome.
>>>
>>> The staff do not really make decisions. The staff is here to make sure
>>> all the process work smoothly, to receive the propositions and make sure
>>> they fit the basic requirements, to recruit peer for the reviews (upon
>>> suggestion made... by steering committee or other peers), to organise
>>> the meetings, to publish the results, and so on. Of course, some of them
>>> do impact the process because of their strong inner knowledge of all the
>>> actors involved. The staff is overall 30 people.
>>>
>>> How do we evaluate afterwards that we made the good choice and funded
>>> the right ones ?
>>> First because as in any funding research, there are some deliverables;
>>> Second because once a year, there is a sort of conference where all
>>> funded organizations participate and show their results. If an
>>> organization does not respect the game or repeatedly fail to produce
>>> results, they inevitably fall in the C range at some point in the
>>> peer-review process.
>>>
>>> I present a simplify process, but that generally is it. I am not saying
>>> either that it is a perfect system, it is not. But according to what I
>>> hear, the system is working fairly well and is not manipulated as much
>>> as other funding system may be ;)
>>>
>>> Last, members of the steering committee may only do a 2 years mandate.
>>> No more. There is a due COI agreement to sign and respect as well.
>>> Thanks to the various steps in the process and thanks to the good
>>> (heavy) work provided by the staff, the workload of volunteers is
>>> totally acceptable.
>>>
>>> Note that this is governement money but the government does not review
>>> each proposition. The governement set up a process in which there is
>>> enough trust (through the peer-review system and through the themes and
>>> keyword methodology) to delegate the decision-making. The program is a 3
>>> years-program defined by the board of the organization. The majority of
>>> the board are high level members of the governement (Education, Budget,
>>> Research, Industry etc.). This board does define the program and the
>>> dispatching of the budget between the various themes. But the board does
>>> not make the decision-making with regards to which programs are accepted
>>> or not.
>>>
>>> Florence
>>>
>>>
>>> On 2/9/12 9:11 AM, Ting Chen wrote:
>>>>
>>>> The Board approves the following letter to be sent to the community:
>>>>
>>>> Dear members of the Wikimedia Movement,
>>>>
>>>> As you are probably aware we have been discussing the the future of
>>>> fundraising and fund dissemination for the Wikimedia Movement for almost
>>>> 6 months now. After discussing fundraising and funds dissemination at
>>>> this past meeting, the board has drafted the following statement. It our
>>>> intention to discuss these matters in the coming weeks to come to a
>>>> final decision mid March.
>>>>
>>>> But first we would like to thank everyone who took part in the
>>>> discussion so far and spent their valuable time providing us with their
>>>> viewpoints which we have of course taken into account in our decision
>>>> making process. We hope that you will continue to participate by giving
>>>> feedback on this letter.
>>>>
>>>> ==Funds dissemination==
>>>> The board wants to create a volunteer-driven body to make
>>>> recommendations for funding for movement-wide initiatives (Working
>>>> title: Funds Dissemination Committee, FDC). The Wikimedia Foundation has
>>>> decision-making authority, because it has fiduciary responsibilities to
>>>> donors which it legally cannot delegate. The new body will make
>>>> recommendations for funds dissemination to the Wikimedia Foundation. We
>>>> anticipate a process in which the Wikimedia Foundation will review and
>>>> approve all but a small minority of recommendations from the FDC. In the
>>>> event that the Wikimedia Foundation does not approve a recommendation
>>>> from the FDC, and the FDC and the Wikimedia Foundation aren't
>>>> subsequently able to reach agreement, then the FDC can ask the Wikimedia
>>>> Foundation Board of Trustees to request the recommendation be
>>>> reconsidered.
>>>>
>>>> #the FDC will be a diverse body of people from across our movement
>>>> (which may include paid staff) with appropriate expertise for this
>>>> purpose, whose primary purpose is to disseminate funds to advance the
>>>> Wikimedia mission;
>>>> #the WMF staff will support and facilitate the work of the FDC
>>>> #Proposals can range from one time smaller contributions for small
>>>> projects from individuals to larger financing for operational costs of
>>>> chapters or associations
>>>>
>>>> The board intends to evaluate this process together with the FDC and see
>>>> if it is working.
>>>>
>>>> ==Fundraising==
>>>> Our thoughts on fundraising are less specific. We have come to the
>>>> following two statements which are important
>>>>
>>>> * If and when payment processing is done by chapters, it should be done
>>>> primarily for reasons of tax, operational efficiency (including
>>>> incentivizing donor cultivation and relations), should not be in
>>>> conflict with funds dissemination principles and goals, and should avoid
>>>> a perception of entitlement.
>>>>
>>>> * The board is sharpening the criteria for payment processing. Payment
>>>> processing is not a natural path to growth for a chapter; and payment
>>>> processing will likely be an exception -- most chapters will not do so.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> The Wikimedia Board of Trustees
>>>>
>>>> NB: Please note that rather than spend a LOT of time on wording at this
>>>> time, the board preferred to amend the above text if necessary when
>>>> moving towards a resolution. This letter indicates our intent, and we
>>>> may "wordsmith as needed" in our final resolutions.
>>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> _______________________________________________
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>>
>>
>>
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putevod at mccme

Feb 10, 2012, 3:35 AM

Post #15 of 17 (900 views)
Permalink
Re: Fundraising Letter Feb 2012 [In reply to]

Florence, I think you gave a great description of the process, and I agree
that we should aim at the degree of transparency achieved in it. Actually,
if I would be in charge of setting such a review panel, this is close to
how I would do it. However, I also have similar personal experience. I am
an academic researcher, and I also participated in such panels on many
occasions - as a panel member, as a referee, and, obviously, as an
applicant. I do not claim I fully understand all the details, which also
vary case-to-case, but there are a couple of things I learned from my
participation, and it is probably good to list them here.

1) If I am a panel member and I want to kill a proposal (for instance, for
personal reasons), it is fairly easy. I just need to find an issue which
experts did not comment on and represent it like a very serious issue. If
there is another panel member who wants to kill the same proposal, the
proposal is dead. You do not even need to conspire.

2) If I want to promote a proposal, it is very difficult, since everybody
assumes I am somehow personally involved. The most efficient way to promote
a borderline proposal is to kill the competitors, see above.

3) If I see that there are panel members with personal agenda, trying to
kill good proposals, it is usually very difficult to withstand them. The
majority of the panel do not care, and if a panel member is killing a
proposal, and another panel member is defending it, the proposal is most
likely dead.

4) You mentioned that there are "other issues" like opening a new lab
which come on top of the proposal quality and can change ranking. My
experience is that these issues often tend to dominate, and they are the
easiest to use by panel members who want to change the ranking with respect
to the expert evaluation.

Even such an open procedure can be subject to manipulation, and one has
to be extra careful here. I hope this helps.

Cheers
Yaroslav

On Thu, 09 Feb 2012 23:52:20 +0100, Florence Devouard <anthere9 [at] yahoo>
wrote:
> I wanted to share an experience with regards to a future FDC.
>
> During two years, I was a member of the "comité de pilotage" (which I
> will here translate in "steering committee") of the ANR (National
> Research Agency in France).
>
> The ANR distributes every year about 1000 M€ to support research in
> France.
>
> The ANR programmatic activity is divided in 6 clearly defined themes + 1

> unspecific area. Some themes are further divided for more granularity.
> For example, I was in the steering committee of CONTINT, which is one of

> the four programs of the main theme "information and communication
> technologies". My program was about "production and sharing of content
> and knowledge (creation, edition, search, interface, use, trust,
> reality, social network, futur of the internet), associated services and

> robotics"
>
> Every year, the steering committee of each group define the strategic
> goals of the year and list keywords to better refine the description of
> what could be covered or not covered.
>
> Then a public call for projects is made. People have 2 months to present

> their project. From memory, the projects received by CONTINT were
> possibly 200.
>
> The projects are peer-reviewed by community members (just as research
> articles are reviewed by peers) and annotation/recommandation for
> support or not are provided by the peers. There is no administrative
> filter at this point.
>
> Then a committee constituted of peers review all the projects and their
> annotation/comments and rank them in three groups. C rejected. B why
> not. A proposed. Still not administrative filtering at this point.
>
> The steering committee, about 20 people made of community members
> (volunteers) and ANR staff review the A and B. Steering committee is
> kindly ask to try to keep A projects in A list and B projects in B list.

> However, various considerations will make it so that some projects are
> pushed up and others pushed down. It may range from "this lab is great,
> they need funding to continue a long-going research" to "damned, we did
> not fund any robotic project this year even though it is within our
> priorities; what would be the best one to push up ?" or "if we push down

> this rather costly project, we could fund these three smaller ones". We
> may also make recommandation to a project team to rework its budget if
> we think it was a little bit too costly compared to the impact expected.
>
> At the end of the session, we have a brand new list of A followed by B.
> All projects are ranked. At this point, the budget is only an
> approximation, so we usually know that all A will be covered but 0 to a
> few Bs may be.
>
> The budget is known slightly later and the exact list of projects funded

> published.
>
> How do we make sure what we fund is the best choice ?
> Not by administrative decision.
> But by two rounds of independent peer-review who can estimate the
> quality of the project proposed and the chance for the organisations to
> do it well.
> And by a further round through which we know that all projects are
> interesting and feasible, but will be selected according to strategic
> goals defined a year earlier.
>
> There are also "special calls" if there is a budget to support a highly
> specific issue. Projects leaders have to decide if their project is
> related to a "regular theme", or a "white" or a "special call".
>
> The idea behind this is also that they have to make the effort to
> articulate their needs clearly and show what would be the outcome.
>
> The staff do not really make decisions. The staff is here to make sure
> all the process work smoothly, to receive the propositions and make sure

> they fit the basic requirements, to recruit peer for the reviews (upon
> suggestion made... by steering committee or other peers), to organise
> the meetings, to publish the results, and so on. Of course, some of them

> do impact the process because of their strong inner knowledge of all the

> actors involved. The staff is overall 30 people.
>
> How do we evaluate afterwards that we made the good choice and funded
> the right ones ?
> First because as in any funding research, there are some deliverables;
> Second because once a year, there is a sort of conference where all
> funded organizations participate and show their results. If an
> organization does not respect the game or repeatedly fail to produce
> results, they inevitably fall in the C range at some point in the
> peer-review process.
>
> I present a simplify process, but that generally is it. I am not saying
> either that it is a perfect system, it is not. But according to what I
> hear, the system is working fairly well and is not manipulated as much
> as other funding system may be ;)
>
> Last, members of the steering committee may only do a 2 years mandate.
> No more. There is a due COI agreement to sign and respect as well.
> Thanks to the various steps in the process and thanks to the good
> (heavy) work provided by the staff, the workload of volunteers is
> totally acceptable.
>
> Note that this is governement money but the government does not review
> each proposition. The governement set up a process in which there is
> enough trust (through the peer-review system and through the themes and
> keyword methodology) to delegate the decision-making. The program is a 3

> years-program defined by the board of the organization. The majority of
> the board are high level members of the governement (Education, Budget,
> Research, Industry etc.). This board does define the program and the
> dispatching of the budget between the various themes. But the board does

> not make the decision-making with regards to which programs are accepted

> or not.
>
> Florence
>
>


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cyrano.fawkes at gmail

Feb 10, 2012, 7:15 AM

Post #16 of 17 (898 views)
Permalink
Re: Fundraising Letter Feb 2012 [In reply to]

Le 09/02/2012 17:01, Emmanuel Engelhart a écrit :
> On 02/09/2012 09:11 AM, Ting Chen wrote:
>
>> * The board is sharpening the criteria for payment processing.
Payment processing is not a natural path to growth for a chapter; and
payment processing will likely be an exception -- most chapters will not
do so.
>
> Without any financial autonomy (that means the ability to raise and
invest funds), a chapter can only beg for money. I do not share your
vision of the chapter's future - neither for the "old" nor for the
"young" ones.

That reminds me of a Selennites[1] poem :
« With the raise of donations rise the questions ».
Who does it belong to? Whose share is it? Mine! Mine!

Same old story. There ain't such a thing as free money. You have to love
it more than any cause. You have to pay with disputes and parasites.
Money comes with dirty rules and characters.

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anthere9 at yahoo

Feb 14, 2012, 2:10 AM

Post #17 of 17 (870 views)
Permalink
Re: Fundraising Letter Feb 2012 [In reply to]

Indeed Yaroslav

I agree these are concerns and it is likely no solution will ever be
perfect.

I think the best way to limit (not avoid) such concerns is to make the
process as transparent as possible. This one is quite a challenge since
one of the key point in the process is that the name of reviewers are
kept confidential to allow them to be plain honest in their review.
We may not be able to do that since it is not so much in our culture.

The abuse of the system that I have personally witnessed is one related
to COI. I have been wondering how strategic committee was populated. My
memory is that it was represented by three types of people
* representants of major labs (mostly from Paris)
* representants from majors industrial actors (eg, France Telecom)
* individual experts

The desire to have several representants of major industrial actors is
an explicite choice. The gouvernment wanted to make sure that money
given to fund research would have industrial outcomes. Even though some
very fundamental projects end up being funded, putting many industrial
in the committee is a good way to ensure that most funded projects would
be "practical" with some real-life outcomes and economical benefits in
the end.

As for the fact of having experts from major paris-based labs, I think
it was not necessarily a explicite choice. I think it rather come from
facility. France is largely focused on its capital (the rest of the
country is easily considered by the government to be peasants).
Financially speaking, it is more effective to invite someone working 10
mn walks from the meeting place than 5 hours train. And last, people
living in Paris are more likely to lobby ANR to be part of the
committee. Of course, I am projecting there and it may be more complex,
but this is the impression I got.

(as Wikimedians, we could well imagine that major chapters will in
effect have members of the chapters on the FDC just because it is easier
and more effective than having members of a new-born far-away chapter.
This will not necessarily be an explicite choice but will simply
naturally happen.
However, as Wikimedia, we could well imagine that if we want to put a
specific focus in terms of funding on ... say... Africa and women... it
would probably make sense to put on the committee people interested in
Africa and in women. That would be an explicite choice)

The one type of "abuse" I have witnessed was this one.

Imagine the 20 experts of the strategy committee in the room, ranking
projects list A and list B.

Project P is considered. Unfortunately, one of the experts is not only
an expert but also involved in Project P or is possibly working in one
of the company involved in Project P. He announces a COI and leave the
room. In apparence, all is fine.

In reality, there is another expert in the room, involved in Project J
with the same COI situation. Before the meeting, the two experts agreed
that they will mutually support the other expert project. So in the end,
their COI was poorly handled.

I am not quite sure we can really avoid this situation.


The other point that is slightly annoying is that terms of experts are
limited to two years.
Consequently, individual experts can only be there 2 years and be done
with it.
However, big industrial actors (eg, France Telecom) will always have
somebody to propose so the organization itself will be on that
committee, regardless of the 2 years terms.
Of course, one might argue that FT needs to be on that committee anyway
since it is an actor you may not do without, but in this case, the
choice of limiting terms for individuals is rather dishonnest and not
helping. Practically speaking, if an individual is a fabulous expert on
robotics, it is unfortunate to refuse his help after two years based on
a question of terms limitation if he is still willing and helpful.

(I do not need to make any parallele with some wikimedia chapters right ?)

These were the other points which came to my mind as I read your answers.


On 2/10/12 12:35 PM, Yaroslav M. Blanter wrote:
> Florence, I think you gave a great description of the process, and I agree
> that we should aim at the degree of transparency achieved in it. Actually,
> if I would be in charge of setting such a review panel, this is close to
> how I would do it. However, I also have similar personal experience. I am
> an academic researcher, and I also participated in such panels on many
> occasions - as a panel member, as a referee, and, obviously, as an
> applicant. I do not claim I fully understand all the details, which also
> vary case-to-case, but there are a couple of things I learned from my
> participation, and it is probably good to list them here.
>
> 1) If I am a panel member and I want to kill a proposal (for instance, for
> personal reasons), it is fairly easy. I just need to find an issue which
> experts did not comment on and represent it like a very serious issue. If
> there is another panel member who wants to kill the same proposal, the
> proposal is dead. You do not even need to conspire.
>
> 2) If I want to promote a proposal, it is very difficult, since everybody
> assumes I am somehow personally involved. The most efficient way to promote
> a borderline proposal is to kill the competitors, see above.
>
> 3) If I see that there are panel members with personal agenda, trying to
> kill good proposals, it is usually very difficult to withstand them. The
> majority of the panel do not care, and if a panel member is killing a
> proposal, and another panel member is defending it, the proposal is most
> likely dead.
>
> 4) You mentioned that there are "other issues" like opening a new lab
> which come on top of the proposal quality and can change ranking. My
> experience is that these issues often tend to dominate, and they are the
> easiest to use by panel members who want to change the ranking with respect
> to the expert evaluation.
>
> Even such an open procedure can be subject to manipulation, and one has
> to be extra careful here. I hope this helps.
>
> Cheers
> Yaroslav
>
> On Thu, 09 Feb 2012 23:52:20 +0100, Florence Devouard<anthere9 [at] yahoo>
> wrote:
>> I wanted to share an experience with regards to a future FDC.
>>
>> During two years, I was a member of the "comité de pilotage" (which I
>> will here translate in "steering committee") of the ANR (National
>> Research Agency in France).
>>
>> The ANR distributes every year about 1000 M€ to support research in
>> France.
>>
>> The ANR programmatic activity is divided in 6 clearly defined themes + 1
>
>> unspecific area. Some themes are further divided for more granularity.
>> For example, I was in the steering committee of CONTINT, which is one of
>
>> the four programs of the main theme "information and communication
>> technologies". My program was about "production and sharing of content
>> and knowledge (creation, edition, search, interface, use, trust,
>> reality, social network, futur of the internet), associated services and
>
>> robotics"
>>
>> Every year, the steering committee of each group define the strategic
>> goals of the year and list keywords to better refine the description of
>> what could be covered or not covered.
>>
>> Then a public call for projects is made. People have 2 months to present
>
>> their project. From memory, the projects received by CONTINT were
>> possibly 200.
>>
>> The projects are peer-reviewed by community members (just as research
>> articles are reviewed by peers) and annotation/recommandation for
>> support or not are provided by the peers. There is no administrative
>> filter at this point.
>>
>> Then a committee constituted of peers review all the projects and their
>> annotation/comments and rank them in three groups. C rejected. B why
>> not. A proposed. Still not administrative filtering at this point.
>>
>> The steering committee, about 20 people made of community members
>> (volunteers) and ANR staff review the A and B. Steering committee is
>> kindly ask to try to keep A projects in A list and B projects in B list.
>
>> However, various considerations will make it so that some projects are
>> pushed up and others pushed down. It may range from "this lab is great,
>> they need funding to continue a long-going research" to "damned, we did
>> not fund any robotic project this year even though it is within our
>> priorities; what would be the best one to push up ?" or "if we push down
>
>> this rather costly project, we could fund these three smaller ones". We
>> may also make recommandation to a project team to rework its budget if
>> we think it was a little bit too costly compared to the impact expected.
>>
>> At the end of the session, we have a brand new list of A followed by B.
>> All projects are ranked. At this point, the budget is only an
>> approximation, so we usually know that all A will be covered but 0 to a
>> few Bs may be.
>>
>> The budget is known slightly later and the exact list of projects funded
>
>> published.
>>
>> How do we make sure what we fund is the best choice ?
>> Not by administrative decision.
>> But by two rounds of independent peer-review who can estimate the
>> quality of the project proposed and the chance for the organisations to
>> do it well.
>> And by a further round through which we know that all projects are
>> interesting and feasible, but will be selected according to strategic
>> goals defined a year earlier.
>>
>> There are also "special calls" if there is a budget to support a highly
>> specific issue. Projects leaders have to decide if their project is
>> related to a "regular theme", or a "white" or a "special call".
>>
>> The idea behind this is also that they have to make the effort to
>> articulate their needs clearly and show what would be the outcome.
>>
>> The staff do not really make decisions. The staff is here to make sure
>> all the process work smoothly, to receive the propositions and make sure
>
>> they fit the basic requirements, to recruit peer for the reviews (upon
>> suggestion made... by steering committee or other peers), to organise
>> the meetings, to publish the results, and so on. Of course, some of them
>
>> do impact the process because of their strong inner knowledge of all the
>
>> actors involved. The staff is overall 30 people.
>>
>> How do we evaluate afterwards that we made the good choice and funded
>> the right ones ?
>> First because as in any funding research, there are some deliverables;
>> Second because once a year, there is a sort of conference where all
>> funded organizations participate and show their results. If an
>> organization does not respect the game or repeatedly fail to produce
>> results, they inevitably fall in the C range at some point in the
>> peer-review process.
>>
>> I present a simplify process, but that generally is it. I am not saying
>> either that it is a perfect system, it is not. But according to what I
>> hear, the system is working fairly well and is not manipulated as much
>> as other funding system may be ;)
>>
>> Last, members of the steering committee may only do a 2 years mandate.
>> No more. There is a due COI agreement to sign and respect as well.
>> Thanks to the various steps in the process and thanks to the good
>> (heavy) work provided by the staff, the workload of volunteers is
>> totally acceptable.
>>
>> Note that this is governement money but the government does not review
>> each proposition. The governement set up a process in which there is
>> enough trust (through the peer-review system and through the themes and
>> keyword methodology) to delegate the decision-making. The program is a 3
>
>> years-program defined by the board of the organization. The majority of
>> the board are high level members of the governement (Education, Budget,
>> Research, Industry etc.). This board does define the program and the
>> dispatching of the budget between the various themes. But the board does
>
>> not make the decision-making with regards to which programs are accepted
>
>> or not.
>>
>> Florence
>>
>>
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> foundation-l [at] lists
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l



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