April will follow shortly; thanks for your patience waiting for these :-)
Report to the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees
Covering: March 2009
Prepared by: Sue Gardner, Executive Director, Wikimedia Foundation
Prepared for: Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees
1.Preparation for April Board of Trustees meeting and chapters meeting
2.Recruitment of Chief Program Officer
3.Begin development of 2009-10 Annual Plan and goal-setting process
4.Finalize Strategy Plan Process proposal
5.Preparation of licensing update decision and potential roll-out
6.Bits and pieces: normal fundraising activities, grant proposal
THIS PAST MONTH
ALL STAFF MEETING
On March 12-13, the Wikimedia Foundation held its bi-annual all staff
meeting. During the meeting, WMF staff were given an overview of the
foundation's strong year-to-date financial position, and the
fundraising team was thanked for exceeding its targets in a difficult
global economy. The process for 2009-10 goal-setting and performance
assessment was rolled out, and new projects and priorities for 2009-10
CHAPTERS AND BOARD MEETING PREPARATION
Following consultation with Wikimedia volunteers, individually and on
the foundation-l mailing list, Sue Gardner prepared a presentation for
the Board of Trustees on Biographies of Living People, and drafted a
resolution for the Board's review.
Four workshops were organized for the chapters meeting in Berlin:
Frank Schulenburg prepared a workshop on public outreach; Mike Godwin
prepared a workshop on trademarks; Rand Montoya prepared a workshop on
fundraising, and Erik Moeller prepared a workshop on the Wikimedia
Foundation's new Chapters Funding Request process.
Mike Godwin worked with the Stanford Law Clinic to create a new draft
chapters agreement template, and a trademark policy memorandum for the
Board of Trustees. The trademark materials will be presented at the
April Board of Trustees Meeting.
NEW CHIEF PROGRAM OFFICER
The Wikimedia Foundation hired Jennifer Riggs as its first Chief
Program Officer. Jennifer comes to Wikimedia from the American Red
Cross Bay Area chapter, where, as Manager of Volunteer Resources, she
managed the work of more than a thousand volunteers. Prior to the Red
Cross, she worked at the California School-Age Consortium and with the
Peace Corps. Jennifer speaks French, Sango and some Spanish. She is
scheduled to begin work with Wikimedia April 13. Cary Bass, Frank
Schulenburg and Jay Walsh will report to Jennifer, and Jennifer will
report to Sue.
The technology team launched a tech-focused blog at
<techblog.wikimedia.org>. It will be used for updates about important
developments as well as background on outages or maintenance
The usability team completed the first Wikipedia user experience tests
ever organized by the Wikimedia Foundation, with the help of
Bolt|Peters, a usability firm in San Francisco. Videos and analysis of
the results will be released shortly.
The Wikimedia Foundation hired Frederic Vassard as Systems
Administrator, a planned new position. Fred has a background working
with Linux and Unix system administration, and will be responsible for
operations, monitoring, and documentation of the Wikimedia
Foundation's technical infrastructure. He will also help improve our
responses to, and anticipation of, operations issues.
The department continued working on the launch of the new mobile
interface for Wikipedia, and a native application for iPhone and
Michael Dale continued testing new upload changes that are aimed at
improving the user experience of finding and transferring media
content. A preview was announced in the tech blog:
Several of the Technology Department staff also prepared for an
upcoming trip to Berlin, Germany where they will be taking part in a
wiki technology meeting adjacent to the chapters meeting.
OTHER PROGRAM ACTIVITY
Erik Moeller and Mike Godwin continued preparing the decision for a
potential licensing update for all eligible GFDL content in Wikimedia
Foundation projects. A survey on the issue of author attribution was
presented, and the proposal at
was finalized and
readied for translation. A licensing update committee was formed to
invite volunteers to help support the decision-making process and
Frank Schulenburg created a proposal and built a team of volunteers
for a Wikipedia Academy event with the U.S. National Institutes of
Health. This will be the first-ever Wikipedia Academy to take place
in the United States. Its purpose is two-fold: to coach the National
Institutes of Health staff in how to contribute usefully to Wikipedia,
and to experiment with how the Wikimedia Foundation might work with
volunteers to support the staging of Academies in ways that scale past
Cary Bass organized a merger of Wikipedia Facebook pages, and
supported volunteers self-organizing to form the Board of Trustees
Election Committee. During the month of March, two new OTRS
administrators were recruited and appointed.
The Wikimedia Foundation participated in interviews with the Star
Tribune newspaper (Minneapolis, Minnesota); the New York Daily News;
Fox News; Veja Magazine (Sao Paulo, Brazil); the BBC; The National
(Abu Dhabi); Philosophy Talk, KALW (San Francisco); the New York
Times, and the Wall Street Journal.
An "Inside Wikimedia" video was released showing the Wikimedia
Foundation office and interviews with staff and volunteers:
FUNDRAISING, GRANTS, & PARTNERSHIPS
During March, the Wikimedia Foundation received 1,069 donations, with
a combined total dollar value of USD 57,711. Year-to-date, by the end
of March the Wikimedia Foundation had raised USD 5,417,804 in
donations, 35% above the full-year target of USD 4,000,000.
Rebecca Handler coordinated with the Hellman Family Foundation to
finalize an unrestricted gift of $75,000. Our thanks to the Hellman
Family Foundation for its generous support of the Wikimedia projects.
Sara Crouse travelled to Chicago, where she and Jimmy Wales spoke with
the MacArthur Foundation.
FINANCE AND ADMINISTRATION
In March, the Wikimedia Foundation hired Bill Gong as its new
Accounting Manager. Bill will fulfill the duties previously held by
Mary Lou Secoquian, as well as incorporating some new responsibilities
related to financial reporting and analysis. Bill comes to Wikimedia
with several decades of non-profit accounting experience, including
positions at the Catholic Charities of San Francisco, the U.S.
National Hispanic University, the Volunteer Center of Marin, and the
Western Association of Schools and Colleges. He was most recently the
Director of Finance for the Bay Area Discovery Museum.
Veronique completed the Form 990 Tax Return, which was reviewed and
approved by the Audit Committee on March 27. The Form 990 Tax Return
will be presented to the WMF Board of Trustees for final approval
during the April Board Meeting.
James T. Owen began work for the Wikimedia Foundation as the new
Personal Assistant to the Executive Director and Deputy Director.
James recently relocated to San Francisco from Manhattan, where he
worked at the Metropolitan Museum of Art as Associate Administrator
for Information Systems and
Technology. Prior to joining the Met, James was an Executive/Personal
Assistant and Estate Manager, and held positions helping disadvantaged
children and adults at non-profit organizations in New York,
Minnesota, South Africa and Wisconsin.
During March, the Finance and Administrative department continued
developing the Wikimedia Foundation's new Employee Handbook (to be
released June 30, 2009), and began a process for standardizing
development of budgets for funding proposals.
During March, Kul Takanao Wadhwa spoke at Mobile World Congress in
Barcelona, and had meetings with more than twenty European and Asian
potenial partners. He also started researching markets and business
models in the areas of publishing and Wikipedia branded product.
IN COMING WEEKS
1. Begin on-boarding process with new CPO
2. Release of the 990 Tax Return
3. Berlin Wikimedia Chapters Conference and April Board Meeting
415 839 6885 office
415 816 9967 cell
Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in
the sum of all knowledge. Help us make it a reality!