2011/8/28 Delphine Ménard <notafishz(a)gmail.com>om>:
On Sun, Aug 28, 2011 at 12:53 AM, Ray Saintonge
If the question is one of "minimum standards
of accountability" the
WMF's first obligation would be to publish the standards which it
requires, presumably consistent with IFRS. Chapters incorporated within
particular jurisdictions will be subject to the financial reporting laws
of their respective jurisdictions. These are more important than the
FUD and distrust at the heart of recent proposals. There is no doubt
that a small band of individuals unaccustomed to large infusions of cash
will have challenges to face, but in these cases the WMF would do better
to help these chapters find competent help in their own countries than
to play the role of a distrustful parent.
I'm still baffled at the Wikimedia Foundation wanting to go against
what other international organisations are doing, ie. they fundraise
locally. (Take a look at the international pages of oxfam, wwf,
médecins sans frontières, etc.). Who are we to know better than these
people who've been around for like... ever? Surely there is a reason
for them doing this the way they do?
in switzerland we feel that a good target is to get 1 CHF per user and
year as donation. not having a better means of calculating the users,
we took 10% of the working population as guess. for switzerland that
means, 8 mio inhabitants, 4 mio working, 400'000 users, i.e. 400'000
any measure that brings down the donations means that we are failing
to make the people happy about wikimedia projects, and thats a path we
probably do not want to walk.
If it were only the chapters themselves at stake (as
is the case when
they raise funds independently), then they could get money first and
organization second. But the WMF shares in the risk, and is offering
organizational support to chapters, so cart before horse does not make
There's a difference between organizational support and organizational
takeover. One possible solution might be to not allow chapters to
participate in the global fundraiser unless they already have a suitable
organization in place, but that could make it more difficult for the WMF
to take a piece of the chapter's action.
Which brings up the question: how do chapters ever get to the point of
being organisationally ready if they never take a crack at doing
fundraising on their own? Pleasing donors near you brings on an
incomparable motivation to do great things and adapt our mission to
what is expected and needed in a given region. Pleasing the Wikimedia
Foundation somehow does not, seem to me to have the same potential.
You know, the very old parable of giving a fish and teaching to
i like that :)
additionally we should not forget the entry point to reach a person.
building up additional fundraising procedures means additional ways to
contact people. do people really want to get spam mail from wikimedia
affiliated organizations, plus see people on the street asking to sign
long term donation contracts, plus experience other means common with
other NGO's? currently i did not hear the foundation is unhappy about
the income. so why bother so much tinkering with the status quo?
but i heard that wmf is, at least in some cases, unhappy with
spending. there should be more intelligent ways to improve spending
than micro managing the chapters spending via grant requests, also at
a timeline more appropriate to wikipedia ... which is made to stay
around at least for a couple of years.
imo, it would be wise to take our assets into account when designing
the next steps, no matter if it is on the donation side, or on the
1. a globally visible web page, where a banner is sufficient to reach everybody
2. a culture of byte sized volunteering, everybody doing a little bit
but it fits at the end
3. "wiki", i.e. make quick, small, non interruptive improvements to
finally become the best