On 10/29/06, daniwo59(a)aol.com
Actually, we have always had them. As a not fo
profit in the United
we are required to have a mission statement, because we are
People have a right to know what they are giving money to, and that
out in the mission statement.
You can legally have informal ones (that is what Michael Snow's
comments suggest exists at the moment)?
Legally, a nonprofit organization must have a purpose, and the purpose
has to be lawful and not for pecuniary profit. The law may require that
this purpose be set forth in the incorporating documents, and I assume
that's the sort of thing Danny is referring to. There's a statement of
purpose in the current Wikimedia Foundation bylaws. It has, however,
never really been meaningfully adopted by the community, which is why
I'm suggesting a referendum on the vision and mission statements.
Vision and mission statements aren't formal legal documents themselves,
although they can be incorporated into such documents. I think there's
general agreement that the bylaws are badly in need of updating, and
that issue was noted at the retreat as a high priority. In conjunction
with that, community-adopted vision and mission statements could help
provide guidance to the board (especially the elected representatives,
but also the others). Right now, I don't see much that would convey to
Florence or Erik what the community wants from them. They can pay
attention to various individual voices according to their own
preferences, of course, but otherwise they're divining the tea leaves of
consensus like the rest of us.
Earl Grey being my favorite.
Long before the retreat, I raised my concern about the "vision" and the
"mission statement". During the retreat, both Erik and I agreed on the
fact there was information missing about it, so we collectively drafted
a new text.
A referendum on this text was indeed suggested (it may have been by
Michael, I must say I forgot :-)), and I think the idea is good. I do
not think it has been formally approved though (might become quite
difficult to do a referendum given our community size now, on the other
hand, Erik is quite good at setting up referendums ;-)).