On Fri, Aug 26, 2011 at 11:26 PM, Nathan <nawrich(a)gmail.com> wrote:
On Fri, Aug 26, 2011 at 3:44 PM, Lodewijk
There are several side effects to the idea of not allowing chapters at all
to fundraise (I note that boardmembers and staff members have a different
take on this, so I'll keep it general - keeping in mind there are many other
aspects to be considered, such as transparancy. However, imho fundraising
through chapters should remain the best way).
I don't think the chapters are barred from all fundraising... At most,
they are at risk of not being able to participate in the global WMF
fundraiser. They can still raise funds on their own through other
methods. Maybe such other methods are more time consuming, difficult
and less lucrative... But there are innovative substitutes for the WMF
annual fundraiser, I'm sure.
Yes, there are. But no, there aren't. For anyone who's been involved
in grants proposals, the Wikimedia Foundation included, it is clear
that grants are often restricted, or come with strings attached, and
that you end up building an ugly statue in front of your local
swimming pool to please a very generous but extremely demanding big
donor. Not that these ways shouldn't be explored, but I find the idea
that "community" donations (or to put it more broadly: individual
donations) are much more powerful to bring forward what we're doing
than mega grants that will ever only tackle one side of the mission.
Grants monitored by the Wikimedia Foundation will, yes, go towards the
mission as a whole, but what about local specificities? Will they be
considered "part of the mission"? Wait and see...
In any case, the barriers to participation relate to the
organizational capacity of the chapters and the associated risks. A
chapter that has financial controls and active leadership should be
able to meet the WMFs requirements (with the exception of tax
deduction eligibility, based on jurisdiction); a chapter that does not
puts both their funds and their public reputation at risk. As the
host of the fundraiser and the mark owner, the WMF shares in that risk
- and it is both reasonable and necessary that the Foundation adhere
to and require minimum standards of accountability in order to
mitigate the risk of fraud, waste and abuse.
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
Seriously, one does not go without the other. You can't really
organize to do something if you don't ever do it. Learning by doing is
the best school, and while we can't let people fail, surely we can
help chapters succeed, and not by assuming that they're unable to
start with, on the contrary.
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Intercultural musings: Ceci n'est pas une endive - http://blog.notanendive.org
Photos with simple eyes: notaphoto - http://photo.notafish.org