I have a couple of comments, mostly directed to WMF, about fundraising and
As a matter of good governance, I would not encourage WMF to be seeking
large external partners who do solid due-diligence about their grantees
until WMF demonstrates that it can complete an annual planning process that
is aligned with the good practices already being demonstrated by affiliates
and aligned with the expectations of the FDC. I feel that an external
partner who conducted a thorough evaluation of WMF's current annual plan
would find it to be mediocre at best and I question whether a large
institutional partner would be willing to invest six-figure or seven-figure
sums in WMF given the state of WMF's current annual plan. I am glad to see
that WMF is in the process of addressing this shortcoming, and I hope for
good outcomes this year.
Another issue that WMF needs to address is the state of its board. The
handling of the situation with respect to two board members (the removal of
James for opaque reasons, Jimbo's unprofessional comments about the removal
of James, the appointment of Arnnon, and the Board's apparent decision not
to remove Arnnon even after learning of his role in illegal activities)
demonstrates significant problems in the board, and if I had millions of
dollars to give in grants I surely would not entrust those funds to the WMF
until there is a major overhaul of the board. Also, if I was an affiliate,
I would have a lot of questions about the wisdom of fundraising on behalf
of WMF given the serious PR liability that WMF has become, and I tend to
think that at this time affiliates would be wise to put a considerable
distance between ourselves and WMF because of the PR and fundraising
collateral damage that we could receive from problems at WMF.
WMF needs to get its house in order.
Speaking in my personal capacity only,
On Wed, Feb 3, 2016 at 9:23 AM, Sydney Poore <sydney.poore(a)gmail.com> wrote:
On Wed, Feb 3, 2016 at 11:02 AM, Dariusz Jemielniak
> Quite the opposite. For several years now, the FDC recommendations for
> applicant who come from rich countries have requested the Chapter
> investigate diversifying their funding sources. All have tried, and
has varied depending on many factors. Some have actually been
successful - I refer in particular to the
recently announced grant by
I can also add that AFAIK the Foundation has
never made the
diversification of funds for chapters a hard rule. Rather, it encouraged
organizations to seek alternative funding, when feasible. We have had
historically cases of chapters that admitted they could relatively easily
get external support, but just have preferred not to try to get it.
All in all we should balance two things: (a) resources are finite. If we
can easily get additional funding, especially in the Global North
countries, that's great! We'll have more to do core work in the areas
where it is not possible. (b) applying for external funding should not
divert us from our main mission, and should not make chapters jump the
loops of insane bureaucracy, irrational strain of effort, etc.
Speaking as a former member of the FDC and current member of Simple Annual
Plan grant committee, I agree with Dariusz but add that a good use of
external resources can add more value than just the funded dollar amount.
Instead of speaking of "funding" we should substitute "resources".
seeking out external resources, which is more than external grant money,
the wikimedia affiliates can build much greater capacity in a particular
region or topic area (GLAM or STEM or Healthcare.)
I believe we have been relatively successful so far. However, I agree
that the Foundation perhaps is not using its full potential in engaging
chapters in a dialogue how to effectively address the local supporters
(both individuals and on an institutional level). We should use the
extensive network of committed organizations to our advantage.
It is key to the future of the wikimedia movement to identify institutional
partners (big and small) who can advance the wikimedia mission.
It is happening now with many affiliate organizations, and growing, but it
is not well documented or analysed yet. We need better analysis about the
ways that external partners are benefiting from their relationship with the
wikimedia movement and the wikimedia movement is benefiting from
relationships with external partners.
This needs to be a joint dialogue between WMF and the affiliated
organizations including User Groups. I hope that people will join the WMF
strategic planning discussions and include their thoughts about developing
external resources that can benefit the wikimedia movement. Also, this is a
topic for Wikimedia Conference in Berlin.
Wikipedia in Residence
WikiWomen's User Group
Wiki Project Med Foundation User Group
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