On 8/9/11 1:46 PM, David Gerard wrote:
(I don't think that is the intent - apparently WMF
feels like it can
mess people around and still get 100% from them. I do consider that
the problems really haven't been considered.)
I don't think the WMF thinks that they can "mess people around" at all,
But it is necessary that we take a leadership role - all of us - in
doing the right things *globally*. What does that look like?
We should recognize that there is evidence before us that the previous
model wasn't working. The chapters - and no blame is being assigned
here, as I will explain in a minute - have not lived up to what we
should all hope to see in terms of reporting, financial controls, etc.
Nothing bad has happened yet - to my knowledge - but there are risks
that can be brought under control and must be brought under control.
Let me tell you what I mean about me not blaming anyone. Being on the
board of a small nonprofit organization is both incredibly fun and
rewarding and also totally not fun and thankless, in different respects.
That I was contacted by random accountants who were members of the
public during the last fundraiser, who told me that the UK chapter was
about to be stricken off the charity rolls for failure to comply with
government reporting requirements was incredibly alarming to me - and
yet totally understandable.
I strongly support that chapters should be innovative, creative, and
independent. I am not in favor of the Foundation attempting to direct
the work of chapters in a top-down fashion. One aspect of that is that
I think we should have a model in which chapters near-automatically
receive funds in a timely fashion.
But not automatically, not without accountability to themselves, to the
communities serve directly, and to the broader movement. The WMF has a
moral responsibility to be engaged with this.