By all means try but if I were the charity commission (and I am not,
but we have had a lot of problems with seemingly minor changes to our
byelaws) I would raise the question "what happens when the Wikimedia
Foundation changes its vision and mission". By referring this
objective to something whose change does not require charity
commission consent, you are effectively allowing changes to the
byelaws without their permission, which they would not accept.
Explicitly restating the current vision helps, of course, but they may
insist that you tie down the phrase "the vision and mission of the
Wikimedia Foundation" to a particular version in time, for example by
through helping to creating a world in which every single human being
can freely share in the sum of all knowledge by empowering and
engaging people to collect, develop and effectively disseminate
educational content under a free license or in the public domain
(which is the current vision and mission of the Wikimedia Foundation).
It is not inconceivable that the Wikimedia Foundation could change its
mission to something which would be allowable as charitable in the US
but no in the UK (for example, as far as I know Greenpeace failed to
get charitable status in the UK but succeeded in the US). But if you
wish to avoid this I would fix the wording now explicitly on this
2008/10/3 Andrew Turvey <raturvey(a)yahoo.co.uk>uk>:
I've added my suggestion to the meta page at
"The charity's objects are the promotion of education for all through
assisting the vision and mission of the Wikimedia Foundation: Creating a
world in which every single human being can freely share in the sum of all
knowledge by empowering and engaging people to collect, develop and
effectively disseminate educational content under a free license or in the
Might need a bit of work in terms of getting it to flow.
It's very easy for us to explain how this is exclusively charitable and for
the public benefit ("promotion of education" and "for all") and hence
the Charity Commission happy. It's expressed in a way that keeps our
autonomy so we are not controlled by a foreign organisation not registered
with the UK Charity Commission.
By explicitly referring to the vision of the WMF, we comply with ChapCom's
"The mission of the organisation must be in line with the mission of the
This leaves everything flexible, so projects that WMUK may come up with in,
say, 10 years time, would not require us to rewrite the M&As.
The details of what we're actually planning to do - wikimania, schools etc.
shoudl also be discussed and agreed (I suggest at the AGM in January) but I
suggest we leave the Mem&Arts objectives broad.
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