You will all find here http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_board_manual
the draft of what could be included in the manual.
First paragraph shortly explains
* why we need this manual
* who it will be adressed to
* how we could build it...
Next paragraphs should list the actual content.
I suppose it will be best that upon time we build a template as we are
used to do on meta, to act as a table of content and keep the actual
board manual page to a short description of why it is need and who it
As some of you will notice, quite a bit of information is already
available, others are not
3 Mission and vision statement
Basically, we have nothing except the mission statement in the bylaws.
In particular, there were many discussions recently indicating that the
role of the board should be in most part restricted to this area (ie The
role of the board of directors is to set the overall mission, to
give broad guidance, to give expert opinion and advice, to engage in
fidcuciary responsibilities for monitoring, etc); so I guess we really
have to work on filling up this area
4 The board
the board bios are on Foundation
Board statement of responsibilities are nowhere
5 Historical references of the organization
Fact sheet does not exist
History of Wikimedia Foundation Inc is incomplete on meta
Articles of Incorporation do not exist
Bylaws are on foundation ...
6 Minutes from some recent board meetings
Are all on foundation
7 Policies pertaining to the board
Are not written anywhere
8 Finance and fundraising
Current annual budget is on foundation
Budget versus Actual budget is on internal
Banking resolutions do not exist
Current funder list - partners, hosts, sponsors are here and there, but
Staff listing is on meta
10 Wikimedia local chapters
is mostly on meta
11 Other informations
plenty of stuff, but is here and there
Please comment on talk page, please suggest new items, suggest to remove
items, suggest to move items from one place to another. Just give your
thoughts freely on all this.
Some of the stuff above may only be done by board members I guess,
probably with help and support from officers. Other stuff may be done by
I fear a bit that the answer to my call for help to build this manual
will be a fear, a perception that more bureaucracy will enter the
I plead that this is not perceived as so. I think it is necessary for
the long-term health of the organization. We are growing very rapidly,
our legal requirements will be tighter and tighter, our responsabilities
are getting heavier and defining roles of each person is getting more
and more important. We need to rely more on stability, continuity, and
steady development if we want to succeed.
We also need help here.
Ray Saintonge wrote:
There has been a bit of discussion recently about Non Profit
Foundations and their organisation. Michael Davis has been discussing
a lot in the past few days with a lawyer we are working with, and
amongst various conclusions, it was recommanded that we try to
anticipate the best we could our growth curve and to get a strong
legal framework in place asap. Which seems to involve good functioning
structure... and sticking a bit more to traditional board governance
procedures, with some evolution in the way we handle agendas, minutes,
bylaws, resolution, board manual, insurance and so on.
It's hard to know when an exponential growth curve will level off. Thus
far we all stand in amazement at the growth. Generally this is a step
in the right direction.
We are currently working on all this very much.
Each according to its
Some of this can only be done by board members proper, other tasks can
also be supported by officers, and some can involve anyone who is
serious and supportive.
Amongst the tasks I will try to take care of in the next few weeks (or
months...) is documentation, such as typically board manual. Michael
has provided us with some documentation (such as
) and I gathered some
more as well. Most of what is typically required on a board manual, we
already have, but it is dispersed on at least 3 different wikis and
poorly organised. This is unfortunate.
I would suggest beginning with a Table of Contents or site map for the
Manual. This would be helpful in monitoring the development of this
Board governance is not something new and there
is no reason for us to
reinvent the wheel. When I looked at some of these pages, I recognised
areas where we have indeed tried to reinvent the wheel... other areas
we have never explored at all, areas where we found our own balance
and areas which are still a mess :-)
I invite you to join and help the way you can if you have such a
desire. Either help to organise the structure of the future document
(and more generally Foundation website), help to gather what already
exist, help write what does *not* exist, help fix poor english, help
translate (much later) some of the pages.
If you are interested, please, let's talk about this on meta or by
irc. I presume this will be very boring for most editors here, so it
will probably rarely be mentionned on the list, but if you wish to
help, please jump in any time.
I object to your saying that such a task would be boring. ;-) Where